In today’s post, I’m sharing 11 simple ways you can learn how to be more productive at home. These tips help you simplify your life so you can get the tasks at home done faster and easier, giving you more time and energy for living and enjoying your life!
How to be more productive at home: work smarter, not harder
I’ve always resisted the idea of “productivity hacks” or ways to increase your productivity at home. Simply because my goal in simplifying and embracing a minimalist lifestyle is to simplify my to-do list and the amount of time spent taking care of my home overall. All so I can have more time and energy to enjoy my home and life.
Francine Jay of Miss Minimalist said it best when she said, “My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.”
Simplify your life by being more productive at home
However, no matter how much you simplify, there will always be tasks that need to be done to take care of yourself, your home, your family, etc. You still have to cook meals, wash the dishes, do laundry, clean the bathrooms, etc. Even though I really wish someone would invent self-cleaning bathrooms!
But there are ways you can simplify your household tasks to make them easier and less time consuming. Or at the very least, get your household tasks done in a more efficient manner by learning how to be more productive at home.
11 tips to learn how to be more productive at home
In no particular order, here are 11 ways you can learn how to be more productive at home to help simplify your life.
Try some or all of these tips to help increase your productivity at home. Take what works for you, ignore what doesn’t. Remember, the end goal is to spend less time managing your home, and more time enjoying it!
1. Make a to-do list for the day
To-do lists sometimes get a bad reputation as being restrictive or making you a slave to your list. But a to-do list can be a very helpful tool to help you be more productive at home for a variety of reasons.
First, a to-do list helps you stay accountable
For me, a task is more likely to get done if it’s on my list (especially if it’s something I don’t want to do!). Simply because the list helps hold me accountable to myself.
Second, a to-do list helps you identify your priorities for the day
A to-do list can be a great place to “brain dump” everything you need to do that’s floating around in your head causing distraction and mental clutter.
Once you’ve gotten it out of your head and down on paper or a digital list, you can start prioritizing what is essential to get done, what needs to be done but isn’t urgent, and even what can be removed from the list altogether.
Then, you can use a to-do list to map out your day in a way that works for you. You might prefer making a to-do list in chronological order of what needs to be done. Or you can list tasks in order of priority. Or simply getting all the tasks out of your head and into a list might be enough to simplify your life.
Do what works for you!
And finally, the best part of a to-do list is checking things off!
There’s something so satisfying about checking things off your to-do list. And wanting to check off more things on your list can give you some motivation to keep going!
Of course, don’t let your to-do list rule your life or consume your days. Life is about so much more than just checking things off your to-do list.
But a to-do list can be a great tool to help guide your days and clear your head of mental clutter. Helping you be more productive and simplifying your life!
2. Have clear priorities
There are two ways setting priorities can help you learn to be more productive at home.
First, get clear about what your priorities are for your life in general
Think about what you want your days to look like and be focused on. When you are clear about what your priorities are and what’s most important in your life, you can make sure your daily decisions and lifestyle support your priorities.
Second, know what your priorities are for the day
Decide on 1 to 3 priorities that must get done that day. Identifying your top priorities for the day allow you to focus on them first, so you know you’ll be doing what really needs to get done. Instead of getting caught up doing less important tasks during the day and then scrambling to get the important things done later.
And I should mention here that your priorities aren’t only cleaning tasks or “work”. One of your top priorities could be making sure you spend at least 15 uninterrupted minutes playing with your kids each day. Your priorities are whatever you want them to be!
3. Use routines to stay productive and simplify your life
Another great way to be more productive at home is by establishing and following daily routines.
The great thing about daily routines is that over time they become habit and you begin doing them naturally without much extra thought or effort.
When these daily routines become habit and you do them consistently, the state of your home never gets a chance to get completely out of control. So, staying on top of your daily and weekly household tasks becomes a lot easier and less time-consuming.
For example, if you make it part of your routine to do the dishes every evening, you’ll stay on top of the dishes each day and be less likely to feel overwhelmed trying to keep up.
4. Develop morning and evening routines
My favourite routines to help increase productivity at home are morning and evening routines.
Morning and evening routines help you start and end your days in a way that will set you up for success throughout the rest of the day.
Even if the day gets away on you, a morning and evening routine are like anchors that help bring things back in check.
For example, a morning routine might include making the beds, unloading the dishwasher, wiping the bathroom counters, putting one load of laundry in, etc.
An evening routine might include washing the dishes, cleaning up the kitchen, starting the dishwasher, folding and putting away the laundry, making lunches for the next day, doing a quick tidy to reset the house, etc.
Evening routines are a great way to set yourself up for success by doing as much as possible to prepare for the next day the night before. Try to do as many tasks the night before as possible so you can start your day with less rushing, less stress and more calm.
Consistency is key!
The more consistent you are with your routines, the less time they take because things don’t have a chance to pile up or get out of control.
And doing these few tasks each morning and evening sets your days up for success. Even if that’s all that gets done in the day, your home will stay relatively tidy and life at home won’t feel completely chaotic or overwhelming.
5. Daily resets
Another great routine to help keep your home more manageable and help you be more productive at home is doing daily resets.
A reset is a quick tidy and clean of your house to keep things more manageable. It’s not a deep clean, just a quick tidy to return things to baseline.
Doing a reset one or two times a day is a great way to stay on top of managing your home because nothing has a chance to get completely out of control and overwhelm you.
A reset might include picking up and putting things away from the floors and flat surfaces, quickly sweeping or vacuuming a space, etc.
If you spend 10 minutes twice a day resetting your spaces, it will help you stay on top of clutter, mess and household chores relatively quickly and easily throughout the day. And any routine that makes it easier to keep up with household tasks will help you be more productive at home and simplify your life!
6. Don’t put things off
An important way to be more productive at home, is by taking care of things right away, rather than putting them off and having mess, clutter and chores pile up.
For example, when you finish using something, put it away instead of putting it down. Or when you notice something that needs to be put away or cleaned up, do it right then rather than leaving it to take care of later.
When you stay on top of these little tasks consistently throughout the day, it’s easy to stay on top of keeping your home clean and tidy.
It’s especially helpful to take care of little tasks that take less than one or two minutes right away instead of putting them off. If you put things off and have 10 two-minutes tasks to do at the end of the day, it can feel a lot more daunting than taking care of those tasks one at a time as they come up throughout the day.
7. Front load the day
Front loading your day is another great way to be more productive at home. This means getting the things you need to do done right away. Instead of procrastinating and having the tasks looming over you, get them done and get on with your day.
Front loading your day can be a really great way to ensure the tasks you need to get done, do in fact get done. Then leaving you more flexibility during the rest of your day.
8. Adjust your schedule to suit your lifestyle
Before having kids my husband and I used to clean the whole house on the weekend. We would both work for a couple of hours and get everything done at one time.
After having kids though, it didn’t work as well because I didn’t have 2+ hours of uninterrupted time to clean. Instead, I find it much more efficient to do a little bit of housework everyday.
I loosely follow the Clean Mama cleaning schedule, doing one cleaning task each day of the week. Because you get in the habit of keeping up with these tasks each week, the tasks don’t take too long and are easy to fit into the day.
Take some time to think about what kind of schedule would work best for you. A little bit everyday? Doing everything at once, once a week? Some combination of both?
An important part of learning to be more productive at home is figuring out how you can work with your lifestyle, schedule and preferences, rather than against them.
9. Try time blocking and batching techniques
Using some productivity and time management tools, such as time blocking and batching tasks, can help you be more productive in your home as well.
The idea of time blocking is dividing your time into blocks of time and focusing on a specific task during each block.
It helps you be more intentional with your time because you can see where your time is going and make specific plans for how you want to use your time. Instead of letting time slip away or bouncing from task to task.
Another time management tool that can help you learn how to be more productive at home is batching tasks.
The idea of task batching is doing similar types of tasks together at one time so you can save time and do them more efficiently.
Take preparing meals for example. Task batching might mean chopping vegetables for tonight’s supper, tomorrow’s lunch and tomorrow’s supper all at once. Instead of chopping vegetables three separate times. You’ll likely save time doing it all at once, and even create fewer dirty dishes!
Single tasking vs multi-tasking
Research has shown multi-tasking isn’t usually very effective. In fact, trying to do more than one thing at the same time can leave you distracted, stressed, less productive and not doing your best at any of the things you’re trying to do.
Time blocking and batching are great ways to focus on one task at a time to increase focus and productivity, while decreasing distraction.
10. Simplify what needs to get done
As I mentioned, no matter how much we simplify and declutter our homes and lives, there will always be household tasks that need to be done.
However, you don’t need to spend more time or energy on these tasks than necessary! See if you can do anything to make your daily tasks simpler, less complicated or remove any unnecessary steps.
For example, when you’re meal planning, instead of coming up with 7 new meals each week, try rotating through a list of the same 20 – 30 meals your family enjoys.
It’s not always possible to further simplify your daily tasks, but it’s certainly worth a try!
11. Have less stuff!
And finally, speaking of simplifying your daily tasks, a great way to do that is by having less stuff in general!
When you have less stuff, you have less to take care of. Which means you need to spend less time and energy managing your house and the stuff in it.
Take vacuuming for example. It’s something that will always need to be done. But when you have less stuff, you have less to pick up before vacuuming, less to vacuum around, less to move to vacuum under, etc. So, the entire task becomes quicker and easier, simply by having less!
How to be more productive at home and simplify your life
These 11 tips are simple ways to help you be more productive at home and simplify your life at the same time.
They make keeping up with normal household tasks easier, more manageable and less time consuming. All so you can spend less time managing your home and the stuff in it, and more time enjoying your home and the people in it!
Do you do any of these things to be more productive at home? What is your favourite way to simplify household tasks?
Wednesday 28th of April 2021
I really enjoyed this post! I like the idea of doing a little cleaning each day instead of all at once. My mom taught me to set a timer in my mind like “I’m going to do dished for 5 minutes” or “I’m going to clean the bathroom for 15 minutes” and see how far you get. It is motivating and usually I finish in the time I set but if I don’t I’m so close that I just finish anyway. It helps me be more productive because I look at everything in manageable amounts of time.
Wednesday 2nd of October 2019
Over the years, I have incorporated aspects of each of these points into my life. I think the most important item on this list for me is learning to adjust my schedule to suit my lifestyle. For me, this goes hand-in-hand with front loading the day. I am a complete morning person, so my most productive hours are the ones before noon. I schedule my most important and difficult work-related tasks for the early morning when I am the most awake and have the most energy. Getting the tough stuff out of the way and feeling the joy of completing a big task carries me through the afternoon and end of the day. Starting my days with a win also helps motivate me to keep up my momentum and continue being productive.
Simple Lionheart Life
Thursday 3rd of October 2019
Yes!! I love everything you said here, Ayla!! It's so true. When you work with your natural tendencies, it makes it a lot easier to be more productive. And I agree, getting your big tasks done first is such a great way to feel accomplished and productive, while hopefully keeping your momentum going. Great insights, thanks for sharing! And thanks for reading :)