2 Simple Rules You Need to Know to Increase Productivity
Sanity Savers is a series featuring quick tips & tricks and products that we use to make our lives easier. Easy-to-implement, simple, and fast, these ideas and products help our household run smoothly.
We all want to be more productive. With a young family, there’s so much to do, and so many people that need your attention all the time. In our house, we’ve implemented two simple rules that have made a substantial difference in how our household runs.
#1: Do It Now
This is a tip that I read years ago, and implementing it has made a huge difference in my life. The idea is simple: if a task takes less than two minutes, do it NOW.
What does this mean in practice? Rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher instead of piling them in the sink. Put the folded laundry away instead of leaving it in the basket. Sign the permission slip and put it back in your child’s backpack right away, instead of leaving it to do later (and inevitably forgetting!). You get the idea. The task gets done, and you don’t need to waste mental energy remembering to do it later.
#2: Finish the Job
In our house we add a second part to this rule: finish the job that you started. Unfinished tasks create visual and mental clutter. It drives me crazy to look around my house and see the toaster that needs to be put away, the counters that need to be wiped, the clothes that didn’t quite make it to the laundry basket, etc. Taking the time to finish a task properly usually takes less than two minutes. It makes a significant difference in the tidiness of your space, and is one less thing to be added to your mental to-do list.
Obviously, there will be times when it’s not feasible to do a two-minute task. This might be particularly true with young kids, who often need you urgently. However, the kids’ wants and needs don’t automatically take precedence. When appropriate, there’s value in making them wait, and teaching them that you finish one task before moving onto the next.
If you can get everyone on board, implementing these two simple rules will make a significant difference in how smoothly your household runs. Instead of spending the first half hour after the kids go to bed finishing all of the little tasks that pile up during the day, you might actually get a chance to relax!
Looking for more quick tips? Check out previous Sanity Savers: