Declutter your brain with The Daily 5

I don't know about you, but I find myself feeling very overwhelmed on a daily basis with everything that I have to do. I know, I know... I'm not supposed to try and do all the things by myself. But even when I ask for help, or outsource a few things here and there when necessary, the demands of work, life, and being a mom can be a LOT. So I'm always trying to learn new ways to get more done in less time. 

I've recently started listening to podcasts. I'm a bit behind the curve on that, I know. But I literally didn't have time until now to even figure out what a podcast was and how I could find them. But one of my oldest and dearest friends from college, who is also an amazing mom, taught me all about podcasts one day not that long ago, and I'm officially hooked. They impart knowledge in my gumball machine of a brain while I drive... what more can a busy mom ask for? Anyway, I wanted to share this idea of The Daily Five with you, which was discussed by Lauren Golden of The Free Mama on the "3 in 30 Takeaways for Moms" podcast. 

The Daily Five Instructions
  • At the end of your work day, or sometime each evening before you go to bed, create your daily top five for the next day. That way, when you wake up, you have a clear direction of what to work on that day and don't waste time in the morning (and mornings are typically the most productive time of day for the average person).
  • Rank the 5 things you want to accomplish most, in order of priority/importance (highest priority is first on the list)
    • Note: The most important thing is the one that will get you closer to your goals, whatever they may be. 
    • Note: The most important thing, the "game changer", so to speak, is not always the easiest or the fastest thing to accomplish, but it will likely have the greatest impact on your day and your goals.
  • When you're ready to start tackling your list the next morning, start on item #1, and move on to item #2-#5, only when you've accomplished the prior item. 
    • Note: If you only get one thing done that day, it will be the one that was most important to you and therefore you'll still go to bed knowing you accomplished something meaningful.

So far, I've found this tool to be very helpful for me. The traditional to do lists that have 20 different things on them can be very intimidating and I'd spend half my time trying to figure out what to work on. By only listing five things, you won't psych yourself out and you can tackle your list in a thoughtful way.

I've been trying the Trello app/website to make my lists which I've liked so far! Or just write it on a post-it note and stick it to your phone - whatever works for you! 

Also, this tool can be adapted to fit your needs. So if you need to have two lists, one for your work life and one for your personal life, by all means do what works best for you.

Do you have any other productivity tools that work well for you?