Keep Up with Daily Responsibilities: Get Back to Your Post, Soldier!

In the military, your job or position is known as your Post. Even if you’re not in the military, a well-defined Post is an important pillar of personal productivity. When you do your job well, other things in your life fall into place more smoothly. When this pillar is weak, your personal responsibilities seem to get in the way of life. Try these tips for defining and handling your life responsibilities.

1. Hire out tasks requiring a level of expertise you don’t have. You don’t have to do everything yourself, especially when there are people available who can do it better for a price. You can outsource just about anything these days.

2. Hire out simple chores to helpers. Most people don’t have the time to work full-time and do all the housework too — so don’t hesitate to hire it out if you need to. In most cases, such services are worth far more to us than anything else we might have spent the money on.

3. Have goods delivered to avoid unnecessary time at the store. You can still get milk, groceries, and dry cleaning delivered in most areas, and online shopping for other things works great if you’ve got any mail service at all.

4. Complete shopping efficiently. Little things add up. Plan the most efficient route to get your shopping done, pick up your pace, create a shopping chart, buy in bulk, and don’t try clothes on in the store. It’s often more trouble than it’s worth.

5. Run errands efficiently. Instead of trying to do it all on your day off, divide up your chores and do one or two every evening. If you can’t, try to consolidate your errands so you can get them done with the minimum of fuss, or take care of a particular errand whenever you happen to drive by on the way to somewhere else.

6. Function effectively as the social, child, and family coordinator. Be sure to plan time with your friends and extended family, and coordinate your social activities, because your significant other (especially if he’s a guy) might not.

7. Do routine chores on a regular basis. Be sure to keep up with all the boring tasks that keep your household humming along smoothly. For example, keep your house clean, mow the lawn, pay your bills, or do whatever your Post requires.

8. Conduct preventive maintenance on your home. It may not be required every day, but preventative maintenance will help keep your life together. Keep an eye on your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and laundry room especially, and make sure certain items get fixed or replaced regularly.

9. Prepare meals quickly and systematically. Take advantage of meal plans, cooking services, and school lunch programs to cut down on the time you have to spend in the kitchen.

10. Expect family members to do their fair share of the housework. To protect your sanity, it’s imperative to develop an understanding with your partner and kids about how you’ll divide household chores. Emphasize fairness and responsibility.

You may not be in the military, but you have your own well-defined Post and set of responsibilities, both inside and outside the home. So should everyone else in your family, right down to the youngest kid. If you and yours can’t do it all, don’t hesitate to hire people to help. Letting day-to-day tasks, chores, errands, and responsibilities overwhelm you is the first step on the path to the loony bin.

© 2008 Laura Stack.  Laura Stack is a personal productivity expert, professional speaker, and author who helps busy workers Leave the Office Earlier® with Maximum Results in Minimum Time™. She is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management training company in Denver, Colorado, that caters to high-stress industries. Laura’s newest productivity book, The Exhaustion Cure (Broadway Books), hits bookstores in May 2008.  Laura is a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, and Day-Timers®, Inc and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, and the New York Times. Her clients include Cisco, Sunoco, KPMG, Nationwide, and MolsonCoors.  Contact her at