Start your day with prayer. There's nothing better. Some time alone talking to God is the single most important thing you can do.
Decide what's MOST important. We are not superwomen with super powers (we try) so we are not going to be able to do everything there is to possibly do. You'll get more out of each and every day if you really focus on what is of the utmost importance. Your relationship with God should be ranked first, followed by your husband, and kids, then all the other things in your life.
Make a "Top 3" list. Every morning make a list of the top 3 things you really want to see accomplished by the end of the day. If nothing else gets done except those 3 (and the children are still alive) then you know you got some important things done. I have written some crazy stuff down on my Top 3 list before. Different seasons of life call for different lists. When I brought our sixth child home from the hospital there were days I would write on my list 1. Eat something healthy, 2. Shower, 3. Read a book to the kids. I was breastfeeding our newest addition and literally would forget to eat. That doesn't work. I would want to know that I did at least one thing for the kids so I would write on my top 3 to read a book to them. If it was on my list then I would make it happen. Write down three things you really, really want done today. Anything else you accomplish will be a bonus!
Get dressed first thing. If you want to get a lot out of your day you can't be lurking around in your pajamas. As soon as you wake up get showered and dressed. It's all too tempting to grab a cup of coffee and snuggle into your favorite spot or to head right into your work and find yourself still in your pjs at lunchtime. Take a few minutes and get yourself ready at the start of the day. Once you are dressed your brain knows it's time to get moving. As long as you are in your pajamas your brain and body feel a little too comfortable. There are two things that get my brain/body in go mode - shoes and a bra. I mean, I wear other things but those two items help me get to work faster and better than if I didn't have them on.
Break large tasks into smaller ones. These days it takes me forever to finish a project. It's sad, but true. Here's what I've found: If a project seems huge to me I will just keep putting it off. Some things just keep getting moved to the next day's to-do list, and then the next, and the next. In addition to taking care of our family and home, and teaching my children, I'm currently running a taxi service for my husband and my sons. It is a necessary (major) interruption to my day. I've finally come to realize that I must break big jobs into little ones if I am ever going to get anything accomplished.
Be thankful. Through it all and in it all remain thankful. As you are cleaning your home be thankful that you have a home to live in. While you cook and wash dishes give thanks to God for the food you have to eat. As you are training and teaching your children be thankful for the sweet ones God has given you to raise. When you work on the laundry, or in the garden, or clean the bathrooms, try to spend some time reflecting on all the ways God has blessed you. Think of those women who want children so badly and have none. Lest you be tempted to complain about all the work you have to do, think about how blessed you are to be here to do it. I'm really preaching to myself. It's easy to get overwhelmed and want to throw a pity party. Believe me, I understand. Some days I just want to cry because I have so much work to do and what seems like no way to do it all. God has given us Himself. We are not alone in our work and we need only to ask for His ever present help. Being thankful for all that you have will help you get much more our of your day - far more than if we complain. There is always, always something to be thankful for! Try praising God for your work and see if you don't get more out of your day.
Give yourself a fun break. If you want to get a lot out of your day it can't be all work and no play. Stop what you are doing at some point and go for a walk, or look through a catalog, or read a book you've been wanting to get your hands on. Set a timer so you don't get lost. I find it perfectly acceptable, (I recommend it actually), to stop working for a little while and go get a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Work really hard all morning - take a break mid day for a latte - work really hard all afternoon. It makes sense to me! Everyone needs a pick-me-up once in a while. If you are working on some difficult tasks it is nice to know you have something to look forward to. Tell yourself to work to a certain point and then reward yourself when you get there.
There's my list. Now, how about yours? Share with my readers and me your best tip for getting the most out of your day.