CASA GRANDE — We all get the same 24 hours in a day, but why is it that some people seem to accomplish so much more than others? Do they have some secret bonus hours or clones that do things for them? If so, where can someone get those things? Asking for a friend...

I wish there was a magic wand to help with this, but there’s not. I know, it’s a bummer. The good news is there’s not any huge secret to accomplishing more because these apparent overachievers get the same 24 hours as everyone else, they’re just much more organized and deliberate with their time than their less productive counterparts. So if you’re in need of some tips that will start you on the path of accomplishing more, this one is for you!

  • Use a planner — OK. This is a shameless plug because of course I want you to use a “Positively Organized Life Planner” designed by yours truly, but really any planner that breaks days down into hours will work. But simply buying a planner isn’t a magical fix. You have to use it.
  • Read or download some books about productivity. I like “Eat That Frog” as a starting point because it’s not overly complicated and it’s a fast, easy read (or listen if you prefer audiobooks).
  • Schedule your entire day out in advance. You can plan time to rest and watch TV mindlessly, but account for all of the time you’re given.
  • Create time-saving systems like doing all of the grocery shopping one day a week instead of having to run to the store daily to get things for dinner that night. If you’re fortunate enough to have the means to hire help, outsource things you don’t enjoy or don’t have time to do like cleaning your house or doing yard work.
  • Allow time for transitions and snags in your plans, especially if you have kids. It’s OK to be flexible sometimes, just not all the time.
  • Do one thing at a time. Don’t try to answer emails while you should be working on a budget report and don’t try to work on a budget report while you’re spending time with family. This strategy is called time blocking and it’s a gem.
  • Relax. You’ll never get everything done and that’s OK. If you don’t believe me, ask your laundry hamper. The second you think you’re done, it’s there to remind you that you’ll never be done. Ever.
  • Prioritize what’s most important in your life and honor that. If you say family, they come first. This sounds easy, but loved ones are often the ones who suffer most when we’re overworked and disorganized.

As much as I love this topic and could write a novel about it, I’m not perfect at these things and you won’t be either. There’s a line between rigid and balanced and if you can learn to bend and flex appropriately, you’ll avoid being stressed and you’ll get more done while still loving your life.

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Contributing writer Skyla Teel is a wife, mom, professor, rodeo coach and life coach. She can be reached at skyla@skylateel.com.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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