Monday, October 24, 2016

One Simple Way to Get More Done

My friend Jane shows up to every book club and girls' movie night with a to-do bag. The bag usually carries either a knitting project or a bunch of laminated teaching aids to be cut out of the laminating sheets. Both are things she can easily do while watching a movie or chatting with friends—and when she has her laminating out, she often passes out extra scissors and employs the rest of us. The ones who are not organized enough to have our own to-do bags!

Jane is a great example of thinking ahead and using her time more wisely. Having a bag full of things you can do while waiting at a doctor's office, watching TV, chatting with friends at book club, or attending your kids' school events is an excellent way to be productive and get things done during time that would otherwise be wasted. Not to say that going to book club or watching your daughter's recital is time wasted—but you can use that time even more effectively by having such a bag.

Want to use your downtime more effectively and get more done during the day? Try this to-do bag idea. It just takes a little organization and planning, but once it's ready to go you'll get more done regularly!

So far, I've only ever managed to throw a thing or two into my purse as an afterthought, but I want to be more like Jane. I have a list of things that would be great candidates for a to-do bag, and plan to get one put together ASAP.

What to put in a to-do bag

A book to read
Paperwork that needs filling out
Thank you cards
Your planner
Knitting/crochet projects
Make a to-do list
Craft projects that are portable
A pile of papers that need to be sorted
Meal planning
A magazine (tear out pages you want to keep and recycle the rest)
Coupons to be clipped
Clothes that need small mending, such as buttons being sewn back on
A stack of mail to sort and deal with
Bills to be paid
Receipts to be sorted and organized
A sketchbook
Gratitude journal
Jewelry making project (or, in my case, jewelry to be untangled)
Gifts to wrap

And, because it's most commonly in Jane's bag:

Laminating to be cut out

The biggest key is to turn your phone to silent so you aren't distracted by notifications. I know from personal experience that it's much easier to just play on your phone mindlessly while waiting in the doctor's office than it is to do something worthwhile.

But I am sure happier when I choose the more worthwhile project.

This post is part of my Small Habits That Will Make a Big Difference 30 day challenge. To see all of the posts in this series, click here. Or, join the challenge and receive a daily email with a new small habit that can affect your life in a big way.

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Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.

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