Living Your Potential:  Efficiency


achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.

I’m often among busy women discussing all the responsibilities and roles in their lives. I have heard the question “How do you make time for __________?” Fill in the blank. Yoga, massage, cooking, date night, girl’s night, reading, blogging, movies, etc.

Honoring your need for self-care is crucial to live your potential, and not having enough time is often the excuse we use. Finding a few extra few minutes each day to do that thing you really WANT is easier than it seems. Small changes can have a big impact on our daily lives. I’ve found these few solutions help me multi-task, make the most of a few minutes of free time, give me a few minutes back, and stay organized. It helps reduce stress by increasing my efficiency.

  1. Make the most of a few minutes: TED talks daily podcast                                              These 5-20 minute audio podcasts can be squeezed-in during a short commute or while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, or binge-listen to several during a road trip.  I like for their length and the diversity of topics: from motivational speakers to business gurus. I’ve heard so many great ideas that I have subsequently shared with friends and colleagues (easy enough to do when using the Podcast app on your phone). A new one shows up on your queue each day – make it a new habit.
  2. Give you a few minutes back: meal planning and grocery delivery                                        I don’t hate grocery shopping. But I do hate how much time it takes.  What’s worse? Having to go shopping multiple times during the week because I didn’t plan well or forgot a few items. Once I started meal planning, not only did I FEEL more prepared every day to cook, I also only do one large shopping trip per week with maybe one tiny one (like when your 9 year old eats a whole pint of strawberries that were for another recipe, but you can’t get mad because he chose a healthy snack.) Using a grocery delivery like Shipt is also a way to save time. I especially like to pre-order when I’ll be out of town, so it arrives shortly after I return. I just unpack the delivery and get cooking.  To learn more about the 5-Step Meal Planning check out this blog post by Sisters Consuming Life.
  3. Stay organized: get a personal assistant (aka Siri)                                                                       I don’t have a long commute and most of our family’s activities are local. However, as soon as I am in the car, I seem to think of 1,000,000 things I need to do or people I want to email. Since I don’t want to touch my phone while I’m driving, I set my iPhone up to respond to “Hey Siri” and take voice commands for just about every app on my phone. For instance, I can ask Siri to take a note, send a text, set a reminder, schedule an appointment, or just play music.  Similarly, when I’m at home I often ask “her” to set a timer, read me my texts, or tell me what is on my calendar tomorrow.  None of these are earth-shattering, but that’s the beauty.  You have no excuse not to try something new that could help you FEEL more productive, more organized, and more efficient.

Rebecca Malotke-Meslin is a busy mom of two boys, and the Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid at The Avery Coonley School  in Downers Grove, a Preschool – 8th grade independent education for academically bright and gifted children.  

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