We all want to be productive in our daily lives. So why does it seem so hard some days? Do you ever wake up, sip that first cup of coffee and start that mental to-do list of all the things you plan to check off today...just to realize it's now 8pm and you haven't even made a dent in the list? (and now you're beating yourself up over it...) If that's you, here are 5 easy ways to work on your productivity.
Understanding That Productivity Doesn't Have to Be Exhausting -Understand that being productive doesn't mean on the go 24/7 to the point of pure exhaustion trying to get a hefty to-do list of 150 things accomplished in 3 hours.... Being productive means using your time more efficiently, so that you can accomplish what needs to get accomplished, while enjoying a balanced lifestyle of your choice. So if you're the "150 things to accomplish in 3 hours" type of person (as I definitely was!), then I encourage you to slow down for a second & slightly shift your mindset around productivity. For me, the goal of being productive is allowing more time for relaxation & family time. What does it mean for you?
Identify Your Top "Time Suckers" -Take a week to really explore where your time goes. Keep a journal/piece of paper around the house/note on your phone and jot down where you seem to be spending most of your time. At the end of the 7 days, look at your patterns from the week and identify any areas that seem to be consuming time that you could live without (or cut back on). List (and acknowledge) these "time suckers" and set a goal for what you hope to replace some of that time with in the weeks to come.
Block Scheduling/Plan Ahead -Set yourself up for success each week! Sit down each Sunday and take 15-20 minutes to look at your schedule and to-do list and create a simple schedule that incorporates all that you hope to accomplish for the week and a rough outline of when you plan to take action for each task. Do your best to hold these times sacred for the task you planned for. (For example: Thursday night after the baby goes to bed, I will sit down & make our meal plan & grocery list for the following week. This way, I can spend Saturday grocery shopping and Sunday meal prepping for the week....ultimately, working toward our health goal of eating out less by making sure that we've got easy go-to meals & snacks ready to avoid eating out).
Break Down Your To-Do List -Once you have your simple schedule created, separate your to-do list into "short tasks" (tasks that take 10-20 minutes to complete) and "long tasks" (tasks that you will have to use a larger block of time for). Tighten up your schedule around your "long tasks" and make sure that you've got a time slot for those built into your schedule. When it come to the short tasks.....keep that list handy throughout each day for when you happen to find a spare 10-20 minutes, you can choose a quick task to get done without wasting time contemplating what to do and then resorting to the "Well, it's not really enough time to get anything accomplished.... so HELLO social media!
Take the Word "busy" Out of Your Vocabulary -Take the word "busy" out of your vocabulary and you'll start to see how much time opens up in your life. We often mentally trick ourselves into being less productive by constantly using phrases such as: "I'm really busy this weekend." or "I didn't get to that because I was busy." It becomes our mental block or quick excuse that we can pull out whenever we don't want to hold ourselves accountable for the action that we planned to take.
Make these few simple shifts & you'll be well on your way to a new productive you!
Cheers to the balance that true productivity can bring to your life!
PEACE. LOVE. HAPPINESS.