How to Use Templates to Increase Productivity

"How can I get more hours in the day?"

This might be the question I hear the most from the female entreprenurs/mompreneurs/working moms in my Business Building Blocks Course.

And the unfortunate answer is - you don't. But you CAN be more strategic about how you use your time. Using templates and systematic processes will help you increase your productivity and literally shave HOURS off your workday. Here are just a few examples of how I use templates to increase productivity in my own day.

Note: This post contains affiliate links (*). For more information, see my disclosures here.

Brain Dumping

Do you brain dump? If you don't, you should! In my post about Brain Dumping, I talk about how I use Evernote* to organize my life! Within Evernote, I keep my memory jogger template. {Click here for a free printable of the memory jogger I use!}

I like to think that I'm not a forgetful person, but with everything that I have going on between church, family, clients, and friends, the fact of the matter is that without a good process in place, something will inevitably slip through the cracks. Without this template, I would likely either forget to "dump" many of the items that I do on a regular basis or I would spend hours trying to remember the basic tasks I need to get done each day. But with the assistance of this template and by setting aside 30 minutes to an hour to plan, I'm much more efficient throughout my week.

Meal Planning

Another area that I personally find tough is meal planning. Who else is guilty of getting to 6:00 and realizing that there's nothing ready for dinner so it's eggs or sandwiches again?! Anytime I don't meal plan, this is the story of my life!!

I want my family to eat healthy, but I also don't enjoy {and don't have time to be} spending hours slaving over a hot stove. {To my foodie bloggers - you ladies seriously impress me with your passion for beautiful presentation!}

Each week, I write out a plan for our family's meals and snacks. {Click here for my meal planning printable}. I make sure each meal is healthy, quick, and easy to prepare. Now, I don't always 100% stick to it {like on the amazing days when my husband suggests we go out to dinner, or the days where life has been crazy and we have our favorite - brinner {breakfast for dinner}, but it gives me a great system to work with most days. Planning our meals saves time, saves money, and keeps us healthy throughout the week. Win, win, win!

Grocery Shopping

Truly, the best advice I ever received as it relates to grocery shopping is to "do your grocery shopping with a list and a time limit". Having a well-organized list and doing a full inventory of the house saves me so much time at the store. {Click here for my grocery list planner printable}. I can't count the number of hours that I've spent making multiple trips to the store to grab one more thing. Or how many times I've had to weave back and forth between the aisles because I realize a recipe called for fresh ____ {fill in the blank}. Now, more often than not, I come prepared! And on the days I don't, I notice a big difference.

@@Do your grocery shopping with a list and a time limit! #sweatpink #fitfluential@@

Using Evernote

So here's the deal... I used to love printables, and I'm guessing many of you do too, but I'm just not a pen and paper person anymore. {Ok, in my heart I want to be, but practically I just can't seem to make it work with my current lifestyle}. Once I switched to Evernote*, I never looked back. Instead of using the printables mentioned above, I have each of these lists and templates saved as easy-to-use nores in Evernote. Earch week, I copy/paste the template into a fresh note and start planning! The best thing is - Evernote saves them to my computer, the internet, and my phone. And notes like my grocery list can be shared with my husband via the shared notes function!

Do you use templates to stay organized? Have you found that having templates increases your productivity? What areas of life do you use checklists and printables?

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