Guest Post: 5 ways to be more productive + FREE weekly planner
Sometimes I just feel like my To Do list is never-ending and I’m always looking for ways to be more productive. As a time-poor, work-from-home mum, I have to stay focused. I need to ensure that every second of my working day is spent efficiently. Productively!
I’ve always been an organised person and I’ve always had a passion for making lists. I pride myself on getting through my To Do list daily, ticking off each item in turn and ending the day with nothing to do but relax. Having kids changed that big time of course – longer lists and less relaxing!
As a self-employed writer, I can organise my working day to suit myself. At the same time though, so much of it centres on creating new ideas and continuous improvement of my work. There is always something to do. There is always a LOT to do.
Luckily, I’ve picked up some tips that help me become more focused and efficient. Here are my ways to be more productive:
1. Find your productivity ‘sweet spot’
Are you more focused and energised at a certain time of day? For me, this is first thing. I’m so much more productive in the morning and I try and get all of my tougher tasks done then.
Perhaps you’re more of a night owl, though? Find the time in the day when you’re most likely to work at your best and plan to tick off the more pressing or difficult tasks on your To Do list then.
2. Prioritise your To Do list
Put the most urgent jobs or those you don’t particularly want to do or the ones that will take the most time to the top of your list. Otherwise you’ll cherry pick and those tasks you’re not keen on tackling might never get done.
I try to do the things I don’t enjoy doing first so that as the day goes on, I’m getting to the tasks I do like.
3. Minimise distractions
Do you work better with the radio on, or the TV in the background? Or do you need complete silence so you can concentrate on the task you’re doing?
If you’re distracted by noise, your phone beeping or people calling/texting, then turn those devices off. Set aside a couple of hours in the day to focus only on what you need to get done. The world will not end if you don’t check your email or social media accounts every hour.
Set the right scene for productivity. You might need to shut the door to distractions, face away from a window. Find a place where you can remain focused.
4. Take regular breaks
It’s so important for your physical and mental well-being to take breaks to recharge. Sitting at your desk for hours is not great for productivity levels.
If you work at a desk, try to move as much as you can regularly throughout the day. Grab a drink from the kitchen or break up the working day with some physical tasks. You’ll be even more productive by doing this and move more at the same time.
5. Find your planning style
I like to use a personal written planner to plan my day and week. For you, it might be the same, or an online calendar, bullet journal or plain piece of paper.
I find that having a written To Do list on my desk, right next to my laptop is working best for me. It’s a permanent visual reminder that keeps me focused. Give a few planning options a go, without spending a fortune on stationery, to see what works best in making you more productive.
You can download my free Weekly Planner by clicking here. Give it a try!
“5 ways to be more Productive + FREE Weekly Planner” is a guest post by Mim at lovefrommim.com
Mim Jenkinson is a Freelance Writer and Lifestyle Blogger at Love from Mim.
As a planning-obsessed Mum of two small children, Mim shares tips and hacks on productivity, planning and working from home.