Find more stories to help you achieve awesome status in our self-improvement guide! We’ll be adding more tips, tricks, guides and more throughout September, so be sure to check back as the month progresses for even more ways to be a better you.
Where does the day go? Between all the “I have to” and the “I need to,” it seems to fade away quickly with little warning. Sometimes I go to bed beyond exhausted and still wonder what I did all day. Especially when I have to climb over yet another toy to get into bed.
Lately, though, I have been keenly aware of how long those dreaded chores really take. Believe it or not, it does not take 12 hours to fold and put away a load of laundry, It just feels that way! So, if we do a few productive tasks every day, we won’t seem overwhelmed by them. That’s why I’ve put together this guide on how to be productive with just one minute, hour, or day — whatever time you have, try tackling these tasks.
A moment of mindfulness can help you be more productive during the day. Discover 5 ways you can be mindful every day!
If you have 1 minute
Put a rack of dishes away
We all love the feeling of opening the dishwasher to find it empty. While I may not have the 15 minutes or so right then to do the dishes, putting one rack away can often be done in less than a minute. Do that right before walking out to the bus stop or on your way to work, and by the time the evening dish mess comes, you will have one less part of the process to complete!
Wipe down the counters
I love a clean kitchen. It takes no time at all to pull out the cleaner, grab a paper towel, and wipe down the counter area. Even if homework is strewn about, the areas I get clean just make me feel better.
Don’t have much counter space to wipe down? Conquer that counter clutter with these 14 kitchen organizing tips!
I think we all get into this mindset that we have to be going, going, going all the time — that we’ll be more productive if we never stop. The truth is, just like taking a 30-minute walk a day can boost your productivity, so can sitting and relaxing. Put the phone down, sit on your couch in the quiet and count to 60. It is truly amazing how much more productive you can be when you take a minute to just relax.
If you have 1 hour
Pick up all the toys
An hour is a long time to me, but it also flies by. If I have an hour, I can pick up the toys in my girls’ rooms, which is 90 percent of what’s on the floor, and have a sense of peace about the house not being cluttered in the process. I use a lot of baskets and bins in their rooms, and these help me just toss and go. It won’t be perfect — it never is — but they’re off the floor, at least until the kids get home.
Put the laundry away
While the entire task of laundry takes me all week to complete and then start again, I can often get the towels, sheets, and other essentials folded and put away within an hour. If I am really feeling energetic, I can get those put away and the girl’s clothing that is dry as well. Though my laundry room is never clean, I can feel less overwhelmed by doing a little bit at a time.
Laundry is no fun task for anyone, but with these homemade cleaning and laundry products your time cleaning and folding becomes a little brighter.
Take a walk
Much like sitting for just a minute can change your mindset for a moment, taking a walk can change it for the whole day! If I know I have an hour, I can get ready, take a walk around my neighborhood for about 40 minutes, and still get home to shower and have a snack before the hour is up. I feel more productive afterward and definitely notice a difference in my day.
Walking every day is a healthy habit you should try to include in your routine. If you’re having trouble sticking with your exercise or weight loss plan, check out these motivational and helpful tips to help you tough it out!
If you have 1 day
Tackle the storage area
If I have that rare day with nothing on my agenda, I tackle the large jobs. In fact, this weekend is one of those weekends so far, and my garage is the target. I’m going to empty the storage area in the garage, sweep it out, and put everything back in a more orderly fashion. Even though I don’t look in that part of the garage that often, it will help me maintain my sanity knowing it’s in order.
Need some help getting started on organizing your garage or storage area? Check out these 5 garage organizing tips for some real inspiration!
Now listen, I don’t care how organized you are, kids have a way of turning their closets into a jumbled mess in less than a week. Mine rummage through drawers, toss clothing and shoes on the floor, and when they “clean” their rooms, things end up crammed in the corners. So if I have a day, I empty each girl’s closet and start over. This makes laundry easier to put away and keeps me from totally losing it when they say they can’t find their shoes!
You don’t need to invest in a pricy closet system to get that beautifully organizing closet! Check out these 10 affordable closet organizing ideas.
Pretend you did chores and then catch up on Netflix
I’m all for a personal therapy day! It’s so, so rare that any of us get a day to just sit, so when they come we should take them. Throw yourself into a Friends marathon. Watch those movies that you’ve been missing and push the guilt aside. All of us need a real day off to be as productive as possible on the days we’re going nonstop.
Even better, watch those shows without worrying about the cable bill. We’ve got 5 ways you can indulge in your favorite shows and movies at a lower cost — some are even free!
Tackling most chores takes a lot less time than we imagine. They seem so daunting sometimes, but breaking them down into manageable chunks makes them much easier to get done.