“Where’s my (fill in the blank),” “I totally forgot (fill in the blank),” and “(fill in the blank) is stressing me out!”
Do these phrases sound uncomfortably familiar? Productivity and time management is an important part of everyday life, but we often don’t prioritize it as we should. Organization plays a huge role in success inside and outside the home—it affects every aspect of life and should be taken seriously.
Dr. Thayne interviewed a productivity and time management expert, Dawnie Williams, who shares tips on how to live an overall better, more productive life. Get a jump start on the new school year ahead and start implementing these insights and ideas today.
To understand the importance of productivity and time management, we must first understand where it came from. Individuals and groups throughout history have always strived for productivity, but it really started picking up when the manufacturing era started. Business owners wanted to find ways to cut down on time and production costs, which resulted in an increase in time management and productivity.
Although not everyone runs a business, families and individuals can benefit from implementing productivity and time management strategies in their daily lives. In this post, we’ll share the tips and strategies Dawnie and her family use for staying on top of household tasks, work, and family life. She believes that because time is limited, we want to do the best we can with the time we have.
Weekly Planning & Organization
When it comes to productivity, the best way to find success in your daily life is to start bigger by planning your weeks. Dawnie suggests sitting down with the family once a week to fill in the calendar to ensure that everyone is on the same page and no one misses important events during the week. It can be helpful to schedule work, family time, and downtime into the calendar as well.
She also mentions that you can stay busy all day without actually being productive. This is why it’s important for each member of the family to have a task list, categorize it, and prioritize it. Then when doing the tasks, make sure whatever you are doing gets 100% of your attention.
Daily Planning & Organization
Starting the week off right with organization and productivity sets you up for success when it comes to daily tasks and to-do lists. Dawnie’s personal rule while reading emails or prioritizing tasks is that if she can get the action item done in two minutes or less, she will take care of it immediately. If not, it goes onto the task list and is prioritized based on urgency and importance.
Once she makes it through her emails, Dawnie will move onto her task list that is prioritized by urgent, high, medium, and low. Urgent and high priority tasks are completed that day, while medium and low priority tasks are saved for later in the week. This method can be helpful at work as well as in the home – no matter what you need to get done, prioritizing your tasks can keep you from feeling overwhelmed and increase productivity.
Here are a few other tips Dawnie mentions for the entire family to stay organized and productive throughout the day:
- Go to bed early
- Wake up early
- Meal prep
- Write lists (this can be done on your phone, in a notebook, on Monday.com – whatever works best for you)
- Be present in whatever you are doing
Keeping Your Kids Productive & Organized
If you don’t have any of these things implemented into your daily and weekly routines yet, it’s going to take some time. Try not to get too frustrated with yourself or with your kids! The path to growth and change isn’t always linear, and some weeks will be better than others. Just know that by putting in the effort, you are setting an example for your kids and giving them a clearer path to success in adulthood.
Your kids will look to you as an example, so with this in mind, start making those small daily changes and the big changes will follow. Your kids will see how much more productive you are and they’ll want to implement the changes in their own lives. It will take some time and maybe some persuasion, but it will be so worth it in the end.
Dawnie also emphasizes how important it is to realize your kids are different from you. They’re still learning about themselves, their sleep schedules are different, and they can be more productive at different times. Productivity varies from person to person and there isn’t a formula that works for everyone. However, having a template your kids can go off of will be helpful as they are finding what works best for them.
If you haven’t previously focused on organization and productivity in your home, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable at first. But don’t give up! As you start to implement productivity into your life, your kids will follow suit and it will benefit them throughout their entire lives.
If you would like to hear Dawnie and Tim’s in-depth conversation on this topic, listen to the Not By Chance podcast episode on the Apple Podcast app, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.