Efficiency in the New Year.

I’ve read a lot of great posts about the many, many resolutions people are attempting in 2013. I’m very inspired just thinking about what everyone (else!) hopes to accomplish. While I don’t have any new earth shattering ambitions for the New Year, (I am still just trying to keep all my usual balls in the air PLUS take good care of the HKBundle, thank you very much) there are a few tools I’ve been using to help me attempt to ‘do it all’ with the end goal of being really present with the little man, as generous with my friends and family as possible, and a good contributor at work.

  • Wonderful Day App. I’ve been trying to do three things every day for the past few months and this app gently reminds me every day of these goals and let’s me check a green or red box (very satisfying for us Type-As) if I do or don’t complete them. For me they are: exercise, wear my retainers and write a note to someone I care about.

  • O.H.I.O. One of my professional idols and mentors is Elizabeth Mayhew (she’s an author, editor and her stationery armoire was written up in the NYTimes, need I say more?!) and she endorses this acronym (as do others I’m sure) but it stands for Only Handle It Once, whether it be an inbound email or a letter in the mail, you have one chance to touch it. She really manages to do it all… amazing mother and career… and I think this practice must be a big part of her success. So if you’re not ready to reply to that long, lovely email from a friend, don’t open it up! And when you sit down to open the mail, you better be ready to sort it. It’s really encouraged me to stop making endless piles and then re-making piles. Instead, I need to file, scan or toss! I have taped this up onto my monitor to remind me to stick to it.

  • My Tomatoes. Studies have shown that our maximum ability to focus, really focus is 25 minutes.  The Pomodor0 technique encourages you to do tasks in 25-minute blocks with five-minute breaks. This website helps you do that with timers and then gives you space to record what you did in each block. It is really, really tough to self-motivate to get work done or to stay on top of personal email while working from home with an adorable little baby. This site has gone a long way to helping me stay focused and instead of just logging hours upon hours at my desk with nothing to show for it, I now have a nice little list of what I’ve accomplished, which feels really, really good. And when that timer goes off and the truth is I’ve gone down an internet rabbit hole for the last 20 minutes and have nothing to fill in, I feel like crap about myself and really want to do better during the next tomato! Speaking of which, the clock on this post is almost up! I hope maybe these tools help you get on with your New Year resolution.

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6 responses to “Efficiency in the New Year.

  1. oooh, fascinating ideas. I’m pondering these – and pinning for future reference. Thanks!

  2. Hmmm I was just hoping to be more patient as a parent….

  3. LOVE the Only Handle It Once! Totally adopting that.

  4. O.H.I.O is such brilliance! I’m pretty good about my email, most of the time, but this rule would make a big difference in my mail-handling…!

  5. Only handling it once is a challenge… I stack things I have to do “later” all through out the house. I will seriously have to think about this… Great blog post~

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