“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker
When you scroll through feeds, you usually find something related to “balance” and trying to achieve that. I mean, even I’m guilty of using that terminology in my blog. I think we say “balance” when what we actually mean is efficiency. We strive for efficiency when doing tasks effectively — a nice “balance” between every detail.
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However, I’m not positive that term is what we should be striving to reach. Yes, we want things right, and we want to do the right things. But, sometimes we have to choose which way we are swinging that hammer. The nail may not always be flush against the wood afterward either. And, hey, once in a while, we may have to pull that d*mn hunk of metal out of there because it tries to go in sideways or gets bent.
My primary goal each day changes based on my to-do’s.
What MUST I get done? If I have a good day, what would I like to add to that list? What can I get ahead on if I have a good day? If my day goes down the drain, what can I put off until later? This process is how I maintain my semblance of “balance,” efficiency, and effectiveness.
Not often do I find that I do not check off everything on my list, though. Some days get a little more chaotically completed than others, but they get finished by golly, and I’m going to be proud of that.
How do I do it?
Here are three of my tips to maintain a steady workflow:
Windows of Time
This week especially, the week before Christmas, tends to be work and home life juggle. Jam-packed with activities for the school, extracurricular activities like dance recitals, and errands (plus any last minute items that need crossing off before Santa arrives), we find ourselves scrambling from place to place. I become VERY aware of what time I have in between each excursion and plan accordingly. If I have an hour here or two hours there, I consider my checklist and decide which duties can be fit into those windows of time and use them wisely (this includes diaper changes, feedings/lunches/snacks, play time, etc.).
As aforementioned, I create a dang list. I scribe in my planner (sometimes chicken scratch like so I don’t forget any information) and have started color-coding segments to keep track of at a glance easier. Not only does this organize my thoughts, but also keeps me on track and prevents an element from being overlooked. Trust me, totally worth the time it takes to write out. Plus, crossing or checking each line as you complete a responsibility is utterly satisfying.
Stressful times means your emotions are on edge, too. I’m usually much quicker to boiling over or steam coming out of my ears. Patience lessens as the tasks pile up and I feel the pressure to get everything done. And, yep, I blow a gasket a time or two. I also remind myself to take a breath, enjoy little moments, and I’m much more likely to be productive and get my work done if I’m in a good mood. A negative space tends to create a block of sorts, and you end up pulling back into a shell of protection.
For example, I had an hour of time the other day and desperately needed to get some work done. My girls were super crabby, though, so I made the executive decision to help put together one of her Christmas Lego sets while stacking and sorting through color blocks with the littlest lady. My mind could reset and release some of that stress, and the girls received some much needed and deserved attention.
What ways do you maintain a steady workflow when it comes to your household and your work?
I find these necessary to feel any efficiency and effectiveness in my day to day life (and especially around holidays).
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