As I’m picking up a major time commitment with my new job, I thought I’d share with you guys some of my top tips for productivity. These are things that I learned working from home because that requires a huge amount of discipline and productivity on its own! Obviously not all of these will work for everyone but this is what works for me when it’s time to sit down and get stuff done!
1. Make a to do list.
I live on to do lists. I have a major list and then I have lists for my lists. If I don’t write everything down I feel super anxious that I’ll forget something. Then I can never get anything done because I’m so worried about doing everything at once so I don’t leave anything out lol. If I have a really big project on my to do list, I always try to break it down into a few smaller tasks. That way I can feel like I’m making progress when I cross off the smaller parts. I do like to write my to do list before bed so when I wake up I have a plan as for what I need to get done that day!
2. Finish one thing before moving onto the next.
I’ve heard a lot of people talk about using timers to space out how much they work on different things. That doesn’t seem to work for me. I like to choose one thing on my list and work on that until it’s finished. (Including breaks here and there obviously.) There’s just something about crossing a task off my to do list that is so satisfying! And if I do something that wasn’t on my list, I absolutely always write it down and cross it off because that makes me feel good!
3. Take breaks when necessary.
Especially working in the creative industry, it’s so important for me to listen to my mind and take a break when I need one. Even if that just means taking a short walk down the hallway. Sometimes even that is helpful to look away from my work for a minute or two and then come back to it fully focused.
4. Work ahead.
This may sound easier said than done, and sometimes it is! But I always always always will work ahead as much as possible. That was how I managed my school work in college and how I manage running this blog while working and doing twenty million other things.
5. Batch work.
I think this pertains to some projects/jobs a lot more than others, but it’s how I’ve been managing things for my blog lately and it has been super helpful! Basically what I mean by this is batching the different parts of each blog post in my case. So one day I will plan out the next month or so of posts. The next day I will plan all of the outfits I want to shoot. Another day I will spend all day in the car changing outfits and driving all over town taking photos for the next months worth of posts. Another day I may spend writing out 5 or 6 blog posts to have prepped and ready to go! I do like to incorporate a lot of real time content in my blog so these pre-planned posts are always worked in with the real time things you guys see.
6. Avoid multitasking.
I know it feels like I’m getting so much done when I’m doing a ton at once but it’s really counter productive. Usually I’m not giving everything my all and will have to end up going back and fixing it anyways. It helps to focus on one thing at a time and give that one thing all of my attention so I know the time spent on it is worth while.
7. Utilize a calendar.
My calendar is my lifeline. Next to my to do lists lol. They kind of go hand in hand though because I make my to do lists based on my calendar so I can sort of organize by deadlines! Putting everything on my calendar including like my workouts and fun stuff is SO helpful in making sure that I get everything done. I’m currently reading Girl Wash Your Face and one of the chapters talks about keeping the promises you make to yourself. (For example, if I say I’m going to work out 5 times this week. That’s a promise to myself that I’m going to work out 5 times this week.) So many of us are guilty of breaking the promises we make ourselves. (Myself included.) I’ve been trying VERY hard lately to focus on keeping those promises and putting those things on my calendar is helpful!
8. Make use of waiting time.
If I have a doctors appointment or I’m waiting on my food or whatever the case may be, I try to use those 10-15 minutes productively when I can! Yes, sometimes I just want to sit there scrolling through social media and technically for me that is somewhat productive because engagement is an important part of my job and running this blog. However, that’s not really what I was referring to as something productive lol. I try to get through my emails on my phone, make a grocery list, edit my to do list, plan something ahead, etc. Just something that will make good use of that time rather than staring at the clock.
9. Schedule in make up time.
I like to have time allotted for making up whatever work didn’t get done when I expected it to. Things unexpectedly come up. That’s totally inevitable as unfortunate as it is. Having time set aside specifically for make up work helps keep me from feeling behind when something like that comes up. If my make up time comes and I don’t have any makeup work to do, I use that time to work ahead as much as possible.
10. Don’t beat yourself up.
This is one of those cases where I need to take my own advice. I’m hoping my new job will be helpful with this, but when I was solely working from home I really struggled with turning it all off. It was always so hard to feel okay about putting my laptop away and watching Netflix or doing something lazy. I always felt so guilty. But in reality it’s okay to spend 8 hours binge watching your favorite show on a Sunday sometimes. Obviously don’t make a habit of it but it’s okay to unwind, relax, and take a day to really just chill out.
Like I said, I’m no expert and not all of these things work for everyone! This is just what helps me and what I’ve found works best for my working habits!