If you struggle with getting things done on your to-do list (and who doesn’t?!) learn a productivity system you can use daily that will help move you forward. GEMS is an acronym that helps you create baby-steps in the most important areas of your life, including self-care. If your to-do list is as big as your arm, this system will help you focus your day so you can start actually accomplishing and stop feeling so overwhelmed and behind.
Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and enjoy some laughs! You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search. Enjoy! Here’s a link to the podcast on iTunes.
Why I Created This System
A few years ago I took a class with a very well-known teacher. The course wasn’t cheap. It went about eight weeks and built up to the most important lesson at the end. This buildup resulted in his ultimate message: Each day only do three things.
As a Mom, are you kidding me? I do 3 very important things before I brush my teeth. Only three things? I felt his message was unrealistic for busy people (especially working Moms).
But there’s something to be said about MOVING FORWARD and keeping things simple.
How do you move forward with big projects, goals if you have them, get stuff done off your to-do list, when you have SO MUCH to do.
I came up with a system that I personally use and I use with my clients and it works amazingly well.
As a Mom, you do a lot more than three things in a day. However, I trust you. I know that the immediate & pressing things will get done.
You’ll get dinner on the table.
You’ll help your kid with their homework.
You’ll pick up your kid from school.
But there are many things to do that aren’t pressing or urgent and when they go undone for long, it causes you stress.
You’ll get dinner done, but will you get around to straightening the cluttered guest room?
I developed the GEMS system to help with getting things done in every part of your life that needs some help.
The GEMS System
Here’s how it works.
You’ll choose 4 items to do for the day for this system.
G: G stands for goals. Goals can be actual goals, such as a goal you’ve set for the year, the quarter, or the month. Or it can be a general goal or project you have, like to replace your ugly blinds.
Below are some examples of my G’s from all different areas of my life.My podcast: Outline an episode (that’s an easy one when you have a biz)
- Pick out 5 possible office chairs to consider buying
- Buy an outfit
- Outline a podcast episode
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but in this system, the goal usually takes the longest of all 4 parts of the system.
2. Ease of Mind
E: E stands for Ease of Mind. You’ll want to choose something from your to-do list that will help ease your mind.
There are so many things you typically have to do that are usually small, but take up a lot of real-estate in your mind.
Below are some examples:
- A cluttered inbox
- Library books to renew
- An auto-ship item to delay
These small items take up a lot of space in our mind since we worry about them. But they can usually be done very quickly. And once done, our mind feels more at ease is freed up for bigger, more important things.
M: M stands for Microactions. What tiny action can you take that will help move you forward on a bigger project, goal, or something you’ve been procrastinating?
I’ve been doing microactions for months and can’t believe how doing such small things can make such a small difference.
Here’s how you know if something is a microaction: It feels silly NOT to do it!! It’s so small, it’s easy for you to do. But you still feel accomplished and move forward when you do them.
Here are some examples:
- Delete 5 emails from inbox (to help clear it out)
- Clean just the mirror of the bathroom
- Set out a shirt to wear tomorrow
- Find 3 items to put in the give-away pile
Imagine you process 5 emails a day (plus all the new ones coming in). After a few months, you may be down to a 0 inbox…..Pretty cool. Inching away really works!
S: S stands for self-care. Imagine the impact to your life that will come from planning self-care EVERY day!
Here are some examples:
- Go to bed by 9:45 p.m.
- Drink 90 oz of water
Don’t you love building self-care into your to-do list?
I love this system since it’s so easy and get so impactful. It gets you moving forward in many areas of your life.
The secret is to do this every day. The more you do it, the more you’ll move forward on your most important goals.
What if You Have More To-Do’s?
I always have more than just the GEMS to get done in a day.
But by focusing on my GEMS, I make sure that I’m not only working on urgent things. With this system, I’m also working on important things.
It feels so great to make progress on my goals and projects and I know once you start implementing GEMS, you’ll feel the same way.
GEMS helps you do things in advance so everything isn’t a crisis. It helps make sure that our projects aren’t hanging around for decades.
Let me know how GEMS works for you!! I’m excited for you to use it and start seeing results in every part of your life.