Being Productive

I have to be productive. I have so much on the go that I need to plan, organize and get things done.

It’s not easy, but by doing certain things I find I can get the majority of things done. Not necessarily when I want but things can be accomplished.

I have had a few conversations with people who are trying to do the same things as I have and had to drop classes because they couldn’t find and make time to study.

I thought I would share what I do to keep on top of things and be productive.

To Do Lists:

I have to do lists. I have a personal one, cleaning one, one for almost every job I work. Sometimes they are done by my superiors at my jobs, sometimes they are jointly made and then there are just the ones I make.

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I love this to do list pad because it can easily with arrows move things to different day and then as priorities change I can move it to the “maybe never” will I ever get this done.


I have the calendar on my phone which is actually a combination of 2 calendars, there is my personal one and my business one. I colour code what I am doing, different colours for Brian’s activities. I also have the calendar on the fridge so Brian has access to what is going on and for quick reference while I am doing morning breakfast stuff.


Alarms and Timers:

I have alarms set to remind me to do even things like pick up Adam from school. I have an alarm set when I have to go get him and then 30 minutes before I have a warning so I know that I have to start to wrap up and get ready to leave. I have alarms set for all my activities and appointment. Usually 30 minutes before but sometimes the day before. I also frequently use times through the day so I can divide my time equally. If I say I have 1 hour to clean I will set a 1 hour countdown timer on the phone so I don’t lose track of time and end up not getting things accomplished.

Sounds on the Phone:

I have different songs, tones and ringers set on my phone so I know if it is an important message or if it is something I can ignore. I also have sounds assigned to specific people so I know when they are trying to get a hold of me. It’s all about prioritizing and not stopping a task for an email about a sale.


Spreadsheets again go into organization. Spreadsheets to keep track of Christmas shopping, time worked at certain employers, assignments that are due and “what if” scenarios for grades. I save my most important ones on the cloud so I can access them wherever I go. If I end up taking the bus then I can be productive there. If I am shopping I can quickly pull up the spreadsheet so I know what I have bought who.  Spreadsheets also help track money, and help me try to stay on top of my budgets.

Waking up early or staying up late.

People roll their eyes at me when I say I got up at 5:30am. I find my mind works best first thing in the morning. Sometimes it is just better to get up before the birds and get some work accomplished. This morning I did that and I had almost all my required reading and homework done before Adam woke up. When he did I bought a bit more time by letting him sit at my desk and eat breakfast. This took a few things off my to do list and motivated me to keep going through the day. Some people are night owls so it might be better to stay up later too. Just make sure you are getting enough sleep to keep you going all day.


I try to reward myself for accomplishing tasks or completing a long stretch of working days. This is as simple as giving myself permission to sit and watch a movie or read my book. If there is something I really want to do I plan it for the end of my to do list.

Asking for Help:

This is probably the hardest thing for me to do but I am getting better at asking for help and making what I need help with clearer. I also try to take advantage of times where Adam asks to go to Gramma’s house. Even if it is for 30 minutes there is usually something that I can accomplish in that time.

Lowering Expectations:

I use to plan and work hard to make sure my house was “Better Homes and Gardens” ready. I have lowered my expectations on those standards. If my floor doesn’t get swept every day that is ok, if things get dirty that is fine. Those who love me won’t judge me on the cleanliness of my house. They will understand the tasks I am undertaking and appreciate that I can’t necessarily do it all.

This is how I manage to accomplish all I do in a day. There are days where I am juggling too many balls and they drop other times I put on quite a show. It’s not easy and it’s very stressful what I am doing but if I continue this for a little while longer my hard work will pay off. It already has and I am starting to mold and live the life I want to when it comes to balancing work and life.

How do you manage to make it through the day and get everything accomplished? Maybe there is something you do that I can steal!


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