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.

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