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This post was updated August 28th, 2020.
Raise your hand if you, like me, are a pro at procrastination. I’m not talking about the super-long-having-to-think-critically-and-spend-hours-at-something kind of tasks that get pushed off. I’m talking about the easy-doesn’t-take-more-than-a-few-minutes kind of tasks. This is the kind of procrastinating that can really hurt our productivity.
I have missed more deadlines, important letters in the mail, appointments – you name it – than I care to admit. I had good intentions – I always said I would get to it later. But then later came and went and I forgot. Sound familiar?
I think many of us can admit there are tasks we put off that would make our lives so much easier if we just did right away.
Recently, I wrote a post on tasks that take less than a minute to do but will save your hours. But there are also many other simple things that take just a tad bit longer that are important to get done right away. And by a tad bit longer, I mean, like a few extra minutes. Not long at all! I believe that by not pushing these off, it will make us more productive and free up time for other important things in our lives.
So take a look at the following list and decide if there’s anything on here where you may benefit from no longer procrastinating. Remember, a few minutes here can add up to big minutes down the road!
Do the dishes
Some of you may argue that depending on what kind of meal you make and how many people eat at your table, this task really isn’t all that quick. I promise, I totally get that!
To make it as quick as possible, I do as many dishes as I can while I’m making a meal so most of it is done before we even eat. And washing the rest right after (or soon after) we eat prevents dishes from needing to be scrubbed because food had too much time to sit and get stuck. If you can’t get to them right away, at least get them soaking to make washing later easier.
I admit there are plenty of times I want to relax after dinner and spend some quality time with my husband instead of doing dishes right away (and that’s ok!). I still try to get them done before bed. Waking up to a clean kitchen is such a great feeling!
Empty the dishwasher
When the dishwasher is empty, any new dirty dish can go in it right away instead of sitting on the counter or piling up in the sink. Emptier counters = more peace of mind and is a natural productivity booster!
Bills are one of those things that many of us wait until the due date to pay. Try paying them right when you get your paycheck to avoid forgetting to actually pay them and to knock one more thing off your to do list.
Sort the mail
How many envelopes have you lost or not seen because of the pile of mail that forms on your counter or kitchen table? TOO MANY for me! In all honesty, just today I had to pay a late fee for a bill I never saw sitting in our large stack of mail until now 🙁 I hate having to spend more money than I need to!
Keep your life more organized by taking care of the mail right when you walk inside the house. Or, if you can’t get to it right away, create a special “mailbox” inside your home where you can put your mail until you can get to it. Your “mailbox” doesn’t have to be complicated. Maybe you have 2 old shoe boxes, one for bills and one for other items you will look at later. Or maybe you have an organizer hanging on the wall inside your front door with a slot for each person in the house and mail can immediately get placed in the appropriate slot (I’m hoping to have one of these soon to show you – as soon as my husband finds a few minutes in his busy schedule to make it 🙂 )
Fold and put away laundry
Ok, I know folding and putting away laundry is not fun, or so I’m told anyway. I, on the other hand, actually don’t mind it. I think this is because this is one of those chores I just sit down and do in front of the TV. It’s my excuse to sort of relax while doing – at least the folding part. Sure putting it away isn’t all that fun, but that really only takes a few minutes. Plus, when the laundry is taken care of right away, there no more wrinkled clothes to worry about and no need to wonder if something in “that pile over there on the floor” is clean or not. And remember, no wrinkled clothes means less time wasted ironing. Woohoo we saved ourselves some time!
Make the Bed
Studies show that making your bed in the morning can set you on a productive path for the rest of the day because you feel that you accomplished something right away. Also, just the simple act of making your bed can make your bedroom seem so much more organized, which can help increase your productivity in other areas of your home.
Take out the garbage
There is always the risk of a garbage bag breaking when we constantly push garbage down over and over when the trash is getting full in order to make more room at the top of the trash can (or am I the only one that does this?). Don’t risk a huge mess (not to mention having to carry a very heavy bag outside) and just empty the garbage once it’s getting full. Of course there are times it makes sense to push the garbage down so we don’t waste space, but use your best judgement for this one. Plus, taking your garbage out when it needs it will help prevent yucky garbage smells in your house!
Put away groceries
Ever forget to put something refrigerated away until hours later? I have 🙁 And wasting money really irks me! Putting the groceries away right away can help save food items and it also gets rid of clutter in the kitchen immediately.
We’ve all tried to make that dentist or doctor appointment for the same week we’re calling and they don’t have an opening for a few weeks down the road. Why do we do this? I know that making appointments as early as I can will save me so much time and stress. The earlier I make the appointment, the better chance I have of getting one at a time I want.
I am done missing out on things because I am so busy trying to catch up on all of these tasks that should have already been done. Procrastination has got to go!
Try doing some of these tasks right away, even for just a week and see what happens. When I stick to this, it really frees up my mind because I am no longer thinking about what I need to get done. For that reason alone this list is a must-do for me! If you know anyone else that can benefit from a list like this, please share with them.
What other tasks would you add to this list?
If you enjoyed this post, please share 🙂
The Tasks Take Less Than A Minute To Do But Will Save You Hours
When You’re So Overwhelmed By What You Need To Get Done That You Can’t Even Get Started
The One Word You Must Stop Saying If You Want To Be More Productive
The Life-Changing Tip That Made Me Super Productive
5 Surefire Ways To Being More Productive
Stop Procrastination Before It Starts
What To Always Plan For In Order To Be More Productive
Great tips. I am guilty of postponing making an appointment until the last minute too. Worse, I’m guilty of not telling my boss I need time off for a dr’s appt until the last minute. No idea why I do that but it causes so much stress.
Amy Thompson says
I am so sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier 🙁 Yes, I completely understand not telling your boss early you need time off. I am often guilty of the same thing and I have no idea why I do that!