My Secret to Getting Things Done | 10 Tips You Can Implement Today

Hi friend! I’m so happy to hear that all of you are on board with me letting the Just Sales posts go in lieu of more meaningful content.  It feels very refreshing for me too!

A few of you mentioned that you only get my content via my blog, so I will continue to link my Goodies posts for you here too.  And if you missed Amazon Live, it’s here for you!

Today, let’s dive deeper and I’ll share my real secret for getting things done.  And my secret might surprise you.

 

It’s having less to do.

 

A few years ago, I was scrolling Instagram when I came across this powerful quote.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  As a mom, room mom, sports mom, entrepreneur, daughter, and friend with fitness goals, financial goals, personal goals, a household to run, and mom to help take care of, there were endless tasks on my to-do list each day.

I suddenly realized, I don’t want to get more done.

I want to have less to do.

Isn’t that the real goal?  Doesn’t that kind of life sound more so much more relaxed and enjoyable?

Don’t get me wrong, I still have things to do each day and GSD, but I don’t want my schedule and life so jammed packed that there’s no space for breathing room.

So, practically speaking, how can we have less to do?

Below are 10 tips to help get you started with lowering the amount of to-do’s on your list.

10 TIPS for having less to do

ONE | Decide what is important to you

Different seasons bring different priorities.  Different times of day have different priorities also.

As a divorced mom with shared custody of her children, it’s especially important for me to spend as much slow, quality time with my kids as possible.

My daughter is just 6 years-old and that she wants to spend nearly every minute with me is really endearing.  Especially since my 12 year-old is becoming more and more independent with school, social, and sports commitments.  It’s not lost on me that he’ll be heading off to college in 5 years and I know that time will go quickly.  Remember last week when he was 8 and wrote this blog post?!

Keeping those priorities in mind is a cornerstone for how I spend my time.  That means that sometimes I have to hustle and go fast during the day, while my kids are at school, so I can slow down and savor the evenings when they’re home.

If you get clear about what is important to you, you’ll be better able to prioritize your time.

TWO | Outsource

We simply cannot do it all or all very well, all the time.  If you can outsource some of the tasks on your list, rely on others or ask for help, the burden won’t lie soley on your shoulders.

At home, my kids have chores and are responsible for themselves to the level of their own abilities.  My son takes out the trash and then the can to and from the street on trash day.  He also unloads the dishwasher and puts away his own clothes.  My daughter also helps unload the dishwasher (she does the silverware) and puts away her clothes.  She helps me make my bed in the morning since she sleeps there too.

They are both responsible for cleaning up after themselves and doing whatever independent tasks they are capable of.  I’ve hired my mom to pick up the kids from school two days a week so that I can finish up my workday.

I also have a housekeeper and business assistant.  It was scary at first to add those additional expenses to my budget, but I realized my time could be more valuable if I outsourced some of those things.

Grocery delivery is a way to eliminate the task of going to the grocery store.

THREE |Automate

Here I’m talking about putting things on auto pilot wherever you can so you don’t have to spend any extra time and energy on them.  You can automate your bills, watering the lawn, set when the lights/house alarm come off and on, and more.

FOUR | Do the most important thing First

If your to-do list is overloaded with things you have to do, take a hard look and decided what the Most Important Thing is and do that first.  Do the thing that, once you have it done, will give you the biggest payoff.  Don’t start with the easiest task, do the one that will have the greatest impact on your day and life.

FIVE | Make a plan, work the plan

When I’m feeling overwhelmed with too much on my plate, my anxiety can get the best of me, causing a kind of paralysis.  I was venting to a good friend about this recently and she said, “make a plan, work the plan.”  Genius.  Making a plan forces you out of your head and into action items.

SIX | Eliminate or limit distracting apps

We all know how easy it is to get lost on Instagram or Facebook with mindless scrolling.  Sure, those things can be entertaining and offer some relief from the stress of the day, but if you really feel like you don’t have enough time in your day, maybe you could consider cutting back and setting limits.  You can also decide you’ll only put on YouTube while cleaning or walking.

SEVEN | Utilize apps that save you time

Conversely, apps like Waze and Mailstrom can actually help save you time on important things like email and driving.  I always use Waze before I head out the door as it lets me know where the traffic is and which route is the fastest.

Mailstrom helps me clean up my email and respond more efficiently.

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EIGHT | Have routines

If you have a set of basic routines in place, it will help things run smoother, almost like autopilot.  I have a good morning routine, makeup routine, exercise routine, meal plan & prep routine, Sunday routine, evening routine and so on.  I spend less energy on these things because I don’t have to put much thought into them.

NINE | declutter

Decluttering is easier said than done and something that doesn’t seem to end, rather, you have to continuously be on the lookout for things to let go of because it’s so easy to accumulate.

My daughter and I have periods of uninterrupted play time where the phone is put away, she gets to decide what to do, and the focus is just on her and our time together.  We call it “special mama/Jordan time.”

We started this because, in the past, we’d be playing but I was only half paying attention to her – more distracted and in my head about all the things I felt needed my attention. It was like nagging to-do’s kept me from being present in the moment. If spaces in my home weren’t clean and organized, I have a hard time relaxing.

Realizing this, I’ve worked hard to declutter our home to the point where I can be in it and feel relaxed.  Not that it doesn’t get messy, but because I know the tidying can be accomplished in 15 minutes or less, it takes the pressure off.

Now, when Jordan and I are playing, I can be all there.

TEN | lower the bar

Hear me out on this unusual tip.  Lower the bar on things that don’t align with your current goals and values. Maybe your laundry isn’t perfectly folded, your family eats simple meals like breakfast for dinner, pasta with cheese, snack plates, or your fridge isn’t organized, the house is “clean enough”.

If you intentionally lower the bar, giving yourself grace, you free up some time as well as mental and physical energy for the things that matter more to you.

There’s only so many hours in a day and I don’t work around the clock, like I believe some in my industry do.  I’ve struggled with comparison and I know that, generally speaking, the more I work, the more income I earn, but I’m working on letting that go.

I have set work hours because my priority is to spend as much time with my kids and on also on my own self care so I don’t get drained, burned out, or sick.

Although I do take my work seriously and put a lot of time and energy into it, I’ve intentionally “lowered the bar” so that when the kids are home, I’m done with work for the day.

I used to drive myself crazy thinking about what a new blog post I could be drafting or Stories I could be sharing on Instagram, but I’ve let that go.  Giving myself that grace has been a real gift. ♥

Where can you give yourself more grace?

 

How does the pace of your life feel lately? Mine ebbs and flows, but this week in particular is one I could easily characterize as “crazy busy”, but last Sunday, I wrote out the calendar for the week, scheduled in all the appointments, parties (being Halloween weekend there are several kid commitments), and then my half marathon is Sunday!

When I see everything written out on my calendar, I know that as long as I stick to my plan and get enough sleep, we will get through this week okay!

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Have a fantastic day friend!

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23 Comments

  1. Nancy
    October 26, 2022 / 7:19 am

    Thanks for this post, so many great points. I’ve also noticed that having to say no to some things allows me to be a better wife and mom. Have a great week Megan!

    • Megan
      Author
      October 26, 2022 / 11:34 am

      I totally agree! If I get burned out or not enough sleep I’m much more grouchy with my kids.

  2. Lisa
    October 26, 2022 / 9:39 am

    Love this post, so many great tips. We recently did a big closet decluttering project that I want to continue throughout the house. Thanks for the inspo!

    • Megan
      Author
      October 26, 2022 / 11:33 am

      Doesn’t that feel SO good?! Keep it up Lisa! 🙂

  3. October 26, 2022 / 9:45 am

    Loving it, thanks for sharing!!!

    • Megan
      Author
      October 26, 2022 / 11:33 am

      Thank you for being here Giulia!

  4. Tina
    October 26, 2022 / 10:20 am

    I know I’m going to read through this list many times. Thank you so much. I needed this today.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 26, 2022 / 11:32 am

      I’m so glad this post is helpful for you Tina, thanks for letting me know!

  5. Shannon
    October 26, 2022 / 10:44 am

    Excellent post Megan! Thanks for all of the inspiration.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 26, 2022 / 11:32 am

      Thanks so much Shannon!

  6. Sue
    October 26, 2022 / 12:13 pm

    Hi Megan, I really needed this post today. Thank you for all you do for your readers.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 27, 2022 / 11:13 am

      Thanks so much for being here Sue. 🙂

  7. Lisa S
    October 27, 2022 / 7:34 am

    Great post! I don’t usually comment but this one struck me. It seems like as moms there is an inherent “I’m busier than you” type of one-upmanship which is so annoying. I love the idea of choosing not to be so swamped.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 27, 2022 / 11:13 am

      It’s really hard to stop doing busy and it can easily become our default mode. I’m so much better when I allow myself “white space” and breathing room.

  8. jennifer
    October 27, 2022 / 9:24 pm

    Megan- I have never posted before but this is SUCH and fantastic, doable list . I love your voice as a single Mom in this space. You are a big inspiration for so many Moms all over the globe. Thanks for sharing with honesty and grace.

    Jennifer from Oregon

    • Megan
      Author
      October 28, 2022 / 12:53 pm

      Oh Jennifer, thank you for that kind comment. Our role as mothers makes us so vulnerable, so to have such a thoughtful and sweet compliment on parenting is very special. Thank you.

  9. Jill
    October 28, 2022 / 9:39 am

    This was a really great post~thanks for sharing!!

  10. Janelle
    October 28, 2022 / 12:08 pm

    I saw this post and didn’t to read it because I didn’t want someone else telling me how to get MORE stuff done. But I couldn’t resist and I am glad I read it. I agree with everything you said but the first point about having LESS to do surprised and encouraged me all at the same time. Thanks for this post, Megan.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 28, 2022 / 12:47 pm

      Isn’t it such a refreshing way to look at it?! I’m glad you read!

  11. Aubrey
    October 29, 2022 / 10:47 am

    Love this post, Megan. You made so many important points. If we don’t really prioritize and setting boundaries in all aspects of our lives, things will likely feel overwhelming and out of control. Doing less and “non-striving” has been the theme of my mid-40’s. It feels so good to step out of the craziness and focus only on what is truly important to me. It seems that life slows and takes on deeper meaning when we do this❤️

  12. Alissa
    October 29, 2022 / 8:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing content that’s not about buying things! I love your blog and your IG chznnel, but sometimes the amount of stuff your sharing to buy can get overwhelming. It’s nice to read about life and not another next best thing to buy! thanks so much!

  13. Tiffany
    November 5, 2022 / 4:28 pm

    I’m late commenting because sometimes my blog reading has to pile up – but that’s life and me managing my time. Grateful for this lazy Saturday watching football and reading blogs! Love these tips and just the mentality in general. So many of us juggling so many balls.

  14. Valarie
    November 29, 2022 / 1:35 am

    I can’t tell you how many times I have read and REREAD this post! It’s just sooooo good!

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