My week day usually begins at 9am and ends at 3pm when my son is in Montessori School. It’s like an alarm clock where I have 6 hours of peace and quiet to get everything done before switching into mom mode.
I don’t have time to procrastinate but heck, I do it anyway… because all your Instagram posts scream out for attention louder than my need to blog or prepare a digital strategy for a client or run an errand. But somehow it all falls into place and I make it (barely) work.
Here are my 10 productivity tips to get $hit done and appear like you’ve got it all together…
If something takes less than 2 mins, do it now
This includes those emails that require one sentence replies or hanging up your jacket (in the closet).
Get 3 small things done by 10am
I am usually up around 7:30am so there is no reason why I can’t complete simple tasks like scheduling a dental appointment, sending off invoices, showering and getting dressed! Don’t judge, I work at home AND I’m a mom.
It also kick starts my day and makes me feel productive. Yay I’ve accomplished something before my first latte break!
Have something really really good to look forward to
Nothing motivates me like a romantic date night with hubby or a girls’ brunch (aka gossip sesh)! I then feel incentivized to tie up all loose ends so I won’t be secretly checking off my to-do list or hiding in the bathroom to send emails, and I can then really enjoy my time unplugged.
Talk and walk
Unless it’s a business meeting or involves multiple people where you need a computer or a quiet environment , there is no reason why you can’t make calls on the go. It’s like hitting three birds with one stone! Save time, chit chat and log in those steps on your Fitbit.
Break up big projects into mini tasks and ditch multitasking (because it doesn’t work)
Launching this site was a biggie. And since I’ve already been blogging for over six years, I knew exactly what was involved – the good, bad and ugly! There are those things I love and eagerly get out of bed for (designing the site and creating an editorial schedule) and other things, I dreaded (migrating content from my old site to this one).
So I listed all the things that needed to be done, grouped them in order of importance and created a plan. The key is to be “realistic” about it. I decided on Monday & Tuesday, I would create the site. Wednesday, I would write one quality post. I got into the habit of sticking to a rigid schedule where I didn’t allow myself to be too nit picky on trying to get the site to look perfect. I only gave myself 2 days to make the site pretty… and even though it will always be a work in process, I forced myself to move on to the writing part. On the third day, I wrote for 3 hours and whatever I had, I made myself publish it. Since I am a slooow writer, I kept reminding myself that if I took a “social media break” it would cut in on my writing time and I’ll end up having to go live with half a$$ work. Thursday, I sent out emails to update everyone on my new site and setup an editorial calendar. Friday, I wrote another post (in advance to publish for the following week).
Until I get my rhythm I focused on 1-2 things a day rather than flip flopping between tasks. While multi-tasking may seem efficient on the get go, it’s actually harder to switch your brain abruptly between writing a few sentence, then sending out a bunch of emails, then figuring out how to code in a widget. Do one thing, complete it, move on.
Clean your home
When I feel the need to procrastinate, my home is that much more cleaner. I’d rather do laundry then have to write a boring product review any day! So if you are going to slack off, at least do something beneficial such as tidying up the photos on your computer or go to the gym.
Turn off the pings and bings!
I am referring to your phone, IM chat, text notifications, you got a new Like, etc. Or turn up the music really loud so you won’t feel the need to run to your phone every time it calls out.
Schedule in social media breaks
Seriously, social media is the ultimate time trap! Your goal is to send one little Tweet and it’s an hour later and all you’ve done is laugh at a couple of cat .gifs. If your job involves being on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, try using a tool like Hootsuite.
Then actually block out time to lurk around the web. 2 hrs of work rewards you with 20 mins on social.
Out Of Office
When all else fails and you’ve dinked around long enough that you are way behind in whatever needs to get done… setup your OOO. Don’t pretend to be on vacation but just admit you are a slacker and need the extra day or two to catchup. I admit I did this once. Coming back from a 4 week “workcation” with an over active toddler… I needed an extra few days of peace and quiet to deal with jetlag and to get our family back into a routine. Don’t hate if you were trying to reach me this summer but kept getting an auto-response. 🙂