Have you ever noticed how some people seem to be rushing around, always exhausted, and yet they don’t really seem to be accomplishing anything more or getting any further ahead than everyone else? Or how about the ones who say that they really would like to make extra money but just don’t have enough time in the day to do it?

On the other hand, have you noticed that sometimes you’ll talk to someone and they mention that they are working full-time, going to school, are in a relationship and somehow still manage to get a nap?

How can the same 24 hours produce complete polar opposite results in the lives of different people?

I believe that it boils down to awareness and opportunity.

Most of my adult life, people have told me that when I talk about my plans for my day, that it exhausts them. And I wonder why? Truthfully I don’t always tell them the entire list. I often accomplish an incredible list of things a day, and still end up getting in at least a few moments with family or friends.

Now, mind you, I am not superwoman and if you’ve read my previous blogs you also know about the times that I tend to grab entirely too many plates and get them all spinning at the same time – until they start to crash! That isn’t what I’m talking about this time.

No, in this blog I’m going to share a few secrets and tips on how to get more out of your day, and feel better about it!

I’m going up be honest, I don’t really know how true this stands for someone who is like the person that I explained that was accomplishing so much and still getting in a nap. Perhaps some of my ideas may help them as well, but I definitely know that if you’re not already that type of person – the information that I am going to share will change your life!

The first step is actually having an awareness that YES – you can accomplish more than you’re already currently doing.

We are all given the same 1,440 minutes in a day. It comes down to how we spend those minutes each day.

So, let’s not wait another minute, let’s get right into this!

To List or Not To List –

While some people may feel that it is a waste of time to jot down a little list of what you would like to accomplish in your day, I think that it is a vital activity especially in the beginning. I also believe it is well worth the time and is actually a great habit to cultivate and continue using throughout life.

Creating a list of the things you would like to accomplish helps you to be able to realistically look at it and determine not only what things should be done first and what order things could be done but also what could be grouped together.

One area of wasted time and energy is backtracking or crisscrossing. For example if part of what you need to do is running errands but you don’t have a list for your errands something similar to the following scenario could happen.

Imagine this:

You leave your home and drive north to the post office, then drive south past your home to pick up your pet medicine at the vet and then return home to grab the library book that you forgot to return at the library that is located next to the post office, only to check the time and realize that you need to head south just past the veterinarians office to get in line to pick up your child from school.

Whew! Even writing that exhausted me!

Now you’re practically in tears because of how exhausted you are, and how nothing got accomplished at home, because you spent the entire day running around just trying to handle a few errands. What a tough day!!

So much of that could’ve been avoided, if you had created a list. Viewing the list you would’ve noticed that two of the things that you needed to do were in one area of town, and the other two were in another area of town. You could have strategically grouped them together and saved yourself gas, time, and frustration.

Another thing that creating a list would have done is most likely reminded you of the library book. You would’ve had it in the vehicle with you when you left from the start.

Result – The time that it took to prepare ends up being less than the time wasted being unprepared.

Multitasking – Helpful or Harmful –

Depending on what you read or hear out there you’ll hear benefits and warnings for both sides of multitasking. I definitely believe that there are times that multitasking can be beneficial and I can also say that there are definitely times that multitasking is treacherous! This is where knowing what you are able to do and knowing what you can multitask on comes in handy.

One of my favorite ways of multitasking while doing chores is to rotate between having a positive self-help audio or some upbeat energetic music going while I am cleaning or cooking or some other mundane activity. The benefit of doing this is that is my mind isn’t wandering, or even dwelling upon negative or fearful things and instead is getting a healthy work out.

Another way to multitask is while you’re doing those chores that are mundane or kind of boring is to see what you can add physically. For example dancing around while you’re cleaning will help to burn calories. Not only that, it will also help to stretch your muscles which will cause you to feel better versus feeling stiff and sore. When you are cooking, it is simple to add some squats when you go to get something from a lower cupboard, or add some calf stretching by going onto your toes when you are reaching for something overhead. While you are waiting for the water to boil, you can do some hip and glutes strengthening by holding the counter and standing on one leg and then switching to do the other.

Phoning and catching up with a friend or family member while doing the above chores, or while doing some things like stretches is another great way to multitask. It’s amazing how quickly the time goes when you are chatting with someone.

A warning would be to make sure that anything that you’re doing if you are going to be in harms way by being distracted, then don’t multitask. It just takes wisdom and awareness to know when it is a benefit.

Result – More gets accomplished when we’re generating positive energy by stimulating our mind and activating our muscles.

Prepping – Not Just for Survival?

We’ve all seen stuff online and on TV about the importance of prepping for survival. Perhaps you’ve even done some of it yourself.

It’s amazing how much it can benefit you to prep on a more frequent basis. Now, the type of prepping that I am sharing about is things like meal prepping and thinking ahead as well and preparing for other things that can cause chaos and added stress during hectic times.

Imagine this:

Your schedule is jampacked for about two weeks, you have activities, deadlines, and events even more than you generally do. (perhaps it’s midterms, for the holidays, or sports tournaments, {Insert whatever is causing your calendar overload here}, something that is a short term burst of an insane schedule) ….

Scenario 1… sitting in the drive-through behind all the other last minute planners, frustrated that the line isn’t moving fast enough and wondering how in the world you’re going to make up the time, and hoping that maybe this time they will get the order right. Rushing to eat that meal as you are trying not to hit pot holes as you are driving through traffic and wondering will anyone notice that ketchup that dripped on your shirt. Promising yourself that after this insane couple of weeks you will return to eating better.

Stressing because you’re having to decide what things to cut out of your schedule to even make it through these days. Asking yourself did you remember to turn on the dryer, after you switched over laundry and hoping that you have some thing clean to wear the next day.

Frustrated because you still have to try to figure out running to the grocery store to grab the toilet paper and essentials that you are already almost out of.

Scenario two… switching over laundry,

while smelling the wonderful aroma of the homemade lasagna that is warming in the microwave, then grabbing the pre-packed bag of road snacks and setting it near the door to go. Listening to a positive audiobook as you relax and fold laundry before eating and leaving for the next event.

Don’t know about you, but I am all for scenario two!

But how did that happen?

Scenario two was someone who prepped and prepared for what was happening.

Like this…

I love to take a day and meal prep and cook ahead. I like to purchase a large package of hamburger and dice up some onions and then brown up a bunch of that hamburger. Once it’s done I drain the meat and let it cool a bit. I then take it and split it down into Ziploc or other freezer containers. I take a sharpie marker and write what it is and the date. A great space saving trick I have learned, is if you are placing it in a Ziploc bag or something similar, press it down flat to let it freeze more in the form of a plate. These can then stack easily on top of each other using a smaller amount of space. You can freeze a large amount of the meat, or you can split it into smaller portions and freeze it. I like to do the smaller portions than it makes it simple to pull it and thaw it for a quick add in to a meal.

Preparing larger meals, and then taking and freezing some of the individual proportions will give an easy way to have a quick meal when things are hectic. (Remember the smell of the homemade lasagna warming?) Or like the hamburger above – having items that are prepared ahead of time to simplify meals can also cut down on the time.

My son Michael was in travel baseball. There were certain times through the year that I believe we were seeing ourselves leave as we were coming in the door! We were nonstop busy. So I had to learn some of the tricks to help us survive.

Not all games were local. And so we would need to stay at hotels. I created a plastic tote that was our hotel tote. Inside of it I purchased ahead of time items that were non-perishable and that I knew would make our time much easier. I threw in a container that we could use to microwave food. Plastic ware and paper plates and paper towels joined that as well. A can opener, dish towel, dish rag, small dish soap and other items like serving and stirring spoons were tossed in. While the fun of eating out with friends at events like that is a definite draw, learning how to cut down on some of those meals can certainly help the budget!

During the weeks prior to those planned crazy weeks, I would add a little bit to each grocery shop that I set aside for our trips. Tossing in some extra snack cups, bags of snacks, breakfast items to each one of my prior shops helped it to not be a huge expense shopping just before leaving. It also eliminated some of the shopping while we were out of town. It totally came in handy if we overslept and didn’t have time to drive through and pick up breakfast, that there was some thing to quickly grab from our tote.

Keeping an eye on the calendar and seeing times ahead that it would really benefit to not have to do some of the time sucking chores like grocery shopping can take off a lot of stress. Planning out a menu that simplifies life during those busy times is a great benefit.

Think ahead, and don’t add things like routine doctors appointments, dentist appointments and etc. into what you know is already going to be a crazy busy schedule. You are in control of your calendar, and sometimes that means chunking blocks of times ahead to prepare for the more chaotic times.

Result – things run more smoothly and are actually less chaotic, because you are prepared.

Well. There you have it. Just a few of my little secrets on how I manage to do more in a day, and still have time for a nap!

Thank you so much for reading, liking, commenting, following and sharing! I really appreciate that you carve out time for us!

Time for a nap! – Amy

Photo Credit:

Family photo – iPhone timer! What a great feature!

Me- selfie – yup! I’m the queen of selfies!

Michael – baseball – Shane Mashke

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