Choose You Blog
By Alpa Patel, Strategic Director, Cancer Prevention Study-3
There seem to be days where I feel like I am struggling with how to get things done – between work, cleaning the house, cooking, exercising, and so much more I find myself panicking. The result…I try to get everything done immediately, and the reality…I actually end up getting virtually nothing done. If you’re like me, you end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed and just don’t know where to start. This usually means you do nothing!
To get things done and avoid the danger of doing nothing, there are simple steps that I take every day to ensure that I am setting realistic expectations for myself, and more importantly, that I am accomplishing what I need to get done.
Here are 5 tips on how to get things done that have helped me:
- Plan. To eat healthy without having to cook every day, I plan three meals on Sunday morning and make three batches of each. I realized that most of the time, it is the prep work to make a meal that takes the longest. This gets me through the week and gives me a few servings to stick in the freezer for a later date. These meals come in handy on those days when I am running late and keep me from grabbing something unhealthy on my way home.
- Make lists. I make a to-do list of all things big and small so I don’t forget anything and don’t have any surprise items I have to fit in to my schedule. If I am really ambitious, I color-code my to-do list so that I know which are the easy or important tasks and get to those first.
- Prioritize. A coworker told me that he checks email for only 30 minutes first thing in the morning and then he doesn’t check it again until after lunch. This means that you are spending your morning every day getting things checked off YOUR to-do list instead of helping others get their work done first. I felt guilty about putting my work first, but quickly realized that people didn’t expect me to send an immediate response, so I shouldn’t feel guilty.
- Find Time. On days when I can’t fit in time to exercise, I take 20-30 minutes at lunch or whenever my schedule permits and walk outside or around my building. Wearing my pedometer, I mapped out a couple of 1-2 mile loops inside and outdoors. Sure, this isn’t the vigorous activity I would prefer, but every little bit really does count and the alternative would be getting no exercise on those days.
- Go one at a time. I could rarely manage to find the time to clean my whole house on a single day (or I didn’t want to spend a weekend doing it!). I started spending 15-20 minutes every day before bed cleaning one room and have been able to keep my house much cleaner while still having my weekends free for other things that are far more fun!