A Productivity Academy subscriber, Angela, had a good question about how to deal with working a full time job while also helping out part time to prepare lessons, train volunteers, and plan events for children’s activities. It’s a handful and like a lot of people she’s tired of feeling the last minute crunch when the deadlines hit.
So, what can we do?
The first and most important part of any plan that involves productivity and processes is a daily review. This is the foundation and start to getting your tasks done while not losing track of any stray items. It’s also the time to review your calendar and plan out the day, week, or month. Getting in the habit of doing this every, single, day makes a huge difference.
Now, for this particular type of situation, there’s more to be done:
- Use a calendar
Sounds simple, but we often forget to make use of that simple device. I know I have to remind myself from time to time – but form that habit and make it part of your daily review.
In this particular case, it will be important to set deadlines in the future, and work backwards from there. Now, when you’re doing your daily review, you’ll see which tasks need to be done that day in order to work towards the larger goal…
And that means…
You won’t feel the “crunch” when the deadlines hit!
We all put off tasks from time to time – I do, you do it, everyone does it. But having a plan in place will reduce this so that it’s not the normal. Once you start doing this regularly you can actually relax more because you won’t be worrying about what you might have forgotten. Neat, right?
Now, there’s one more thing that I would add for this situation.
And that is processes. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating them on paper, using a tool like Trello, or anything else. The idea is to get those activities that repeat into a broken down form and make them easier to deal with.
This means writing out the steps of the process so that you can do it faster next time, hand it off to a co-worker, or some mixture of the two. It takes some time up front, but in the end it saves you so much time and mental anguish.
Even better – putting these methods and processes into place gives you more time to do the things you want to do. Helping with children’s programs, spending time with your own kids, going for a walk, reading a book – whatever it is that you enjoy doing!