Wednesday, December 5, 2012

17 Things You Can Do Today to Make Your Life Easier Tomorrow

We all know from experience what procrastination can do to our lives. If left unchecked, it can make us late, unorganized, stressed out, embarrassed, overtired, broke, and hungry. I know this because I’ve experienced these symptoms myself.

Take this morning for example. I was trying to get the kids breakfast started when I remembered that I had some important paperwork to take care of. It was already over-due, and it had to be done immediately. So I delayed my shower and sat at the dining room table filling out forms that had passed through my hands several times during the past few weeks. Any number of those times I could have sat down and got the papers in order, but because it was something I dislike taking care of I chose to put it off until the very last minute. As a result, I was thirty minutes late for an appointment that was on my calendar a week ago.

If you’re a procrastinator have no fear there’s an anecdote for all of us–it’s called being proactive. “Pro-action” as I like to call it, is preparing for things before they cause us to react. One example would be washing underwear before you run out–that’s always wise! Another might be picking up shampoo when you start running low. Those are are just two examples of proactive things that most of us do on a regular basis without really thinking about it.

If you start to look around, you’ll probably see things that you would be better off taking care of now than leaving it for later. In fact you’d probably find several. Before you run off and start doing them–I’ll also offer you a list of my own. Here are 17 things that we can do today to make our lives easier tomorrow: 
  1. Pray. Women often waste time over-discussing our problems when going to prayer with them is far more effective.
  2. Make a double portion of your meal and freeze half for another day.
  3. Make school lunches for the next day while you’re cooking dinner. (An idea I got from a reader!)
  4. Clean out your purse and organize it.
  5. Clean out a junk drawer so you can find things easier.
  6. Empty the dishwasher before going to bed.
  7. Grab garbage every time you leave your car.
  8. Pick up small containers to use for organizing and storage. How many times do you clean up loose items in the pantry like crackers or pasta? Storing them in small containers will save you time and keep them fresh.
  9. Make amends where you can.
  10. Take care of a difficult or annoying task that you normally put off. Get it over with today and you’ll feel a weight off your shoulder tomorrow.
  11. Pay your bills before they are due.
  12. Eat well so you’ll have energy tomorrow.
  13. Never handle a piece of paper twice. Remember what I did this morning?  Paper work is a huge time-waster. Every single time that paper went through my hands I wasted time with it. Open your bills and pay them immediately. Have school notes? Grab a pen, sign them and put them in your child’s backpack.
  14. Go to sleep early so you feel refreshed and productive the next day.
  15. Cut veggies up and store them in the fridge so you have healthy snacks on hand. Wash fruit and keep it out on the counter.
  16. Fill bottles of water so you can grab one on the run.
  17. Take the time to train your children to do a task right. Even if it means standing beside them when they make their bed for the first several times. Having them learn to do it correctly will save you all time in the long run.
Darlene Schacht 

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