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People who just get things done and are relentlessly efficient - please explain how you do it

(215 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

CarbonEmittingPenguin Thu 21-Jan-16 15:52:55

As said above. I am the queen of 'getting round to things' but never actually doing them. I can waste entire days thinking about what needs doing but never actually doing it confused

If you are efficient and just get on with things how do you do it? What is your thought process? What are you generally like?

QuiteLikely5 Thu 21-Jan-16 15:55:00

Watching with interest blush

gleam Thu 21-Jan-16 15:56:01


saggyboobs1 Thu 21-Jan-16 15:58:00

Maybe they don't spend time on Mumsnet... obviously I'm a procratinator too smile

Parsley1234 Thu 21-Jan-16 15:58:33

Lists and ticking off, putting things to be done on the table I've shop returns etc that sort of stuff do you mean ?

HoggleHoggle Thu 21-Jan-16 16:02:21

Lists, lists, lists. Both physical and on my phone. I also use my phone calendar to set reminders - helps me to not forget things but also to actually do them.

The main thing is just doing something straight away. Sounds simple, but instead of putting something on the side and thinking 'I'll do that later', I do it straight away. Things build up less, then you never have something big hanging over you.

Also routines. Every Friday I clean the house, so that's done at least once a week. Towels are washed on Fridays, bedding on Saturdays. Batch cook a soup every other Monday for lunches etc. It's boring but it's less stressful for sure.

HoggleHoggle Thu 21-Jan-16 16:04:03

Also in terms of what I'm actually like, as you asked - super organised and frankly a bit controlling (not with people). I'm definitely an 'everything in its place and a place for everything' sort of person.

I know, line up to be mates with me grin

Orangeanddemons Thu 21-Jan-16 16:07:23

I just cannot stand anything in my metaphorical in tray. So I get things done. The thought of tasks hanging over me means I can't relax. I've always been a do everything straight away person......although I can procrastinate with housework as I hate it.

Fitzers Thu 21-Jan-16 16:10:02

Lists and staying on the move/doing things much more frequently. That's what's worked for me. I wasn't disorganised so much as overwhelmed and a bit of a procrastinator. Writing lists for things as soon as they pop into my head - shopping, things for the kids, household tasks etc and making the most of any kid free time (usually only when they are in bed...). It's meant I've lost some time in the evenings that I might have used to relax and watch telly but I can still do that, just a bit less! I'm less stressed in return so it is worth it. I also try and anticipate things and prepare on that basis - clothes ready the evening before, breakfast sorted snd dishes set out, work clothes for the week more or less sorted, that kind of thing. I don't do it alone, DH is hands on with it all too.

balancingfigure Thu 21-Jan-16 16:10:53

Well I wouldn't say I'm relentlessly efficient but I am improving and one of the things I find the most helpful is just doing small tasks as soon as I become aware of them.

So a party invite is found in school bag: ask DD if she wants to go, RSVP & put in the diary.

A form needs completing and sending off eg for school or council tax or whatever - grab pen, fill in at kitchen table, put in school bag or envelope.

An email requires a brief response - just reply.

This may sound silly to some people but all of the above type things used to go in a pile to be dealt with at some point. Then you have to move the pile, go through the pile etc.

Also with emails make subfolders and move everything that doesn't need action into a folder or delete.

I have found that this means these smaller tasks are dealt with while the kettle is boiling/waiting for the dinner to be ready or whatever and no free/project time is used up. Otherwise when I have time to deal with stuff I start with a list/pile that I have to pick up, read again etc.

The principle is really that you try to handle every bit of paper just once.

I now need to deal with the bigger tasks in a more efficient way too!

Fitzers Thu 21-Jan-16 16:11:17

I do have a cleaner every second week too, being completely honest, that helps a lot!

balancingfigure Thu 21-Jan-16 16:12:04

Snap Hoggle!

lucysmam Thu 21-Jan-16 16:14:42

As above -lists, lists and more lists.

Do things as soon as you know about them so little things don't end up being a huge 'to do' pile.

Routine - I do a set wash load every day and certain area of the house so I'm on top of it. Once a week big clean top to bottom.

ChampaleSocialist Thu 21-Jan-16 16:16:39

Timetable and lists, isnt that awful? I sort of hate it but it works.
I had CBT for depression and that was one thing they had me do, and it worked so I stuck to it.

CarbonEmittingPenguin Thu 21-Jan-16 16:19:01

Do you ever switch off efficient people? My problem is actually getting started. When I am I can and will do it but the angst in-between is terrible. You'd be forgiven for thinking I'm some layabout 16yr old!

Obs2016 Thu 21-Jan-16 16:19:10

I just stay on top of things. If a letter comes home from school that needs signing and money, I sort it within the next few days/that weekend, then, it's done. Put it on phone calendar, write it on family calendar in dining room. Done.
Then there's no faffing at the last minute.

YaySirNaySir Thu 21-Jan-16 16:20:08

Routines and working p/time.
Don't let junk mail into your house, I swear it breeds.
Get dc to help.

Lolimax Thu 21-Jan-16 16:21:18

I'm not efficient by nature but have learnt to become so. I'm messily efficient. Im writing a million pound funding bid at the moment and I'm 2 weeks early for submission. My desk looks like a bomb has hit it but I'm on a roll. House is sorted and clean. All bills paid. I guess I just got fed up of chasing my tail. But I have to write everything in my diary. And I can't rely on other people.

Stratter5 Thu 21-Jan-16 16:21:25

Lists, and doing something rather than putting it off. I twitch otherwise.

Just grit your teeth and get on with it.

hesaidwhat Thu 21-Jan-16 16:24:33

I swing from being shit hot on getting things done, spotless decluttered house, everything in it's place to being the worlds biggest lay about procrastinator wasting hours and hours online.

I hate the feeling of knowing things need to be done. It feels like a big, uncomfortable itch. The itchy feeling makes me do it!

Other times when I'm slack.....well, fuck knows what goes on there grin

Fitzers Thu 21-Jan-16 16:25:42

Getting started is the hardest part. Once you do you see the results and it keeps you going. I try to remind myself how much better I feel when things are organised, it used to really get me down if things were disorganised so I've stopped that in its tracks. We also have a very small house so I had to get rid of lots recently and it is much easier to organise and clean now there is space for everything.

Out2pasture Thu 21-Jan-16 16:26:13

Lists and routines. If a task is daunting I break it down into smaller sub tasks. I pat myself on the back for doing stuff as no one would ever say thank you for organizing, cleaning decluttering ...

juneau Thu 21-Jan-16 16:26:17

I think I have mild OCD, which helps, and certainly liking everything neat and tidy and no clutter helps me to keep on top of everything at home. Having a cleaner come in once a week is also really helpful, because I tidy the house before she comes and that stops things building up.

Everything else - I have lists. I have a 'to do' list and a shopping list on my phone and they are both constantly updated. I have a list on the back of the door reminding me what each DC needs to take to school each day. I also have lists for things like Christmas, holiday packing, and I keep my contacts list for other parents at the DC's school religiously up-to-date so I can contact everyone easily to organise things. My email is set up to automatically sort messages into folders, my computer sorts photos into folders labelled with the month and year, and the most important weapon in my organised arsenal is that I don't work. If I did I wouldn't have the time to be so organised.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Thu 21-Jan-16 16:29:30

I put things on my list that I've already done for the pleasure of ticking them off blush

Then don't do any of the other things. Double blush

EricNorthmanSucks Thu 21-Jan-16 16:29:34

I'm not relentlessly efficient, but I do (mostly) manage to stay on top of a very busy life - lots of concurrent work projects, teenage twins with demanding schedules, two homes to run (we split our time), an active social life....I have to get a lot done whilst being extremely nimble; things can change very quickly.

I make endless lists.
I diarise everything.
I constantly ask for updates (from work and family).

I then break them down into daily to-do lists/timetables.

When things change, which they do with alarming frequency, I react immediately and re-do the list/timetable.

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