5 Ways To Slay Productivity
I think we all have days where we have so much to do, so much on our minds, and seemingly so little time to do it all in, that it can become quite overwhelming to even know where to start, let alone get in and get sh*t done! On the flipside, we may have a slower paced day ahead of us, or just not feeling 100% energized, so we keep putting off the inevitable few tasks we do need to do! Or, we could have a set of tasks we know we need to do, but then a friend asks you to catch up, you get caught riding the wave of the internet, or a client reaches out for an unexpected meeting. There are a multitude of reasons we may struggle to be as productive as we want to be – work, home, children, moods and life in general all come into play! And I know all the self-employed peeps out there in particular are nodding their heads!
Here are my five top ways to stay focused and get through the tasks you need to. Five ways to really set yourself up and slay productivity!
1. Lock it in (or out) baby!
If there is something that needs to be done – schedule it in! Make time in your day so that you actually can make it happen. When you schedule appointments and tasks into your diary you can easily see what should be happening when, and you can also see, at a glance, when you have too much going on in any one particular day or week. You can also schedule things out! How many times have you logged in to check emails and decided to click a link to read something, which then takes you to another link, and another and then you find yourself researching something, and before you know it an hour has passed? *Insert raised hand here* if you are aware of certain distractions, schedule them out. Block out a 2 or 3 hour period – no emails, no phone and no social media!
2. Be accountable
This tip works great for anyone who is a high achiever, dislikes letting others down or is quite competitive! Find yourself an accountability partner! Perhaps you have a friend who has a whole stack of tasks to get though too, or someone else you know is really trying to rock the productivity game alongside you. Join forces, motivate each other and bring each other back to being focused on the tasks at hand. You might like to check in with each other half way through your day, or with some random text messages checking in to let each other know how you are going with your tasks – make it fun!
3. Step away
Sounds counterproductive to take a break when you have much to do right? Wrong! Staying focused can be quite draining, and as our energy depletes and mental fatigue sets in, your productivity levels are going dowwwwwn. Knowing how often and how long to break for, comes down to experimenting. You might find you work great for 3 hours with a half hour break, or prefer to work half hour with a 5 min break. If only taking short breaks, be sure to take a longer one after a few ‘blocks’ – maybe a short stroll, a phone call to a friend or playing with your dog for a while. Find what works for you and avoid ignoring what your brain and body is trying to tell you when productivity starts to drop.
4. Make a list
I am such a fan of lists. I sometimes write ‘create list for x’ on my current list. Yes, I do. I usually find that when I don’t write a list, and I am just thinking about things over and over, I stress myself out thinking I have SO much to do, when really I get it on paper (or phone) and realize that it’s not so bad! Overwhelm is a huge productivity killer! By writing a list it also provides me with something tangible to tick off as things are completed which is rather satisfying! By writing things down you might realize that some of the chatter that is floating around in your head may not be so important right now either, which takes me to step 5!
Once you have your list written down, start prioritizing! What is important, and what is urgent? What isn’t? There is nothing more frustrating than having an unproductive day, simply because you didn’t know where to start. Once you can work out what needs to be done first, you will be working through your list, with minimal stress in no time!
Next time you are feeling overwhelmed with the tasks in your day or week ahead, or simply notice your focus disappearing before your eyes, refer to these five tips to get you back on track slaying productivity in no time!