Friday, August 29, 2014

Plan Your Work and then Work Your Plan

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I have a list about a mile long of things that need to get done here, at church, to get Stephen ready to leave for college on Sunday, and to get ready to open a new business.  There have been a few moments of panic and thinking, "How in the world am I going to get all this done.  However, I have a list and have been working my way down it.

Many times people comment at how much I get accomplished in a day.  I think a lot of the reason for that is I've tried to follow the adage, "Plan your work and then work your plan."  Every day when I get up, I have a to-do list of things that I want to accomplish.  It's a rare day that I get everything done on my list, but I strive to be as productive as I can be.

I mentioned recently that I was reading a book by John C. Maxwell called "Today Matters."  One of the things he discusses in the book is prioritizing your life.  He shares a story of an executive who wanted his company to be more productive and hired a management consultant.  The consultant told him to make a list every day of the things he wanted to accomplish. And then he told him to number those items in order of importance.  Then he was to start with number one and not do anything else until that item was done, then move on to two and so on.  Even if the list didn't get finished that day the things that were the top priority would.

Yet so often people will do the things of least importance first just so they can check items off their list.  Things are getting done but not the top priority items.  I've been guilty of this.  How about you?It doesn't matter if you are an executive or a homemaker, it's a great principle to follow.

So I've been trying to incorporate that principle along with my daily routine of making a list and it certainly is helpful.

Yesterday was a "stay-at-home" day and I was able to tackle a task that was looming over me; dealing with the piles of vegetables from my garden.  However, I was able to get other things done as well.

* I processed about 30-40 lbs. of tomatoes and made and canned 15 pints of sauce.

* I de-seeded and cut up and froze approximately 40 jalapeno peppers.

* I grated 14 cups of summer squash for the freezer which will be used for muffins, breads, sauces, etc.

* I made 2 loaves of zucchini bread (only used the summer squash instead and it turned out wonderful).

* I made and printed labels for all my jams, candles and soaps that were recently made.

* I made 16 candles (maple, patchouli, Christmas fir and peppermint).  Side note:  Don't buy an inferior wax and fragrance when making soy candles.  These did not turn out as well as the others. Sigh.

* Made roasted tomatoes with some of our grape tomatoes and had that over pasta with Romano cheese for lunch.

* Made a Polish dish of kielbasa, potatoes, cabbage and carrots for dinner.

* Deep cleaned both bathrooms

* Did a load of laundry

* Numerous loads of dishes were washed.

I fell into bed tired, but satisfied that I had been busy and productive and accomplished the top priorities on my list.  Today is going to be a day spent at Emily's tennis match this morning and then working in the shop this afternoon. 

I encourage you today to plan out your work and then work that plan!