So many of us are balancing a full-time job or parenthood, plus a side hustle – here are a few tips that’ll help you hit maximum productivity in the hours that you do have!
I have been SCRAMBLING the last few months, but here’s hoping I finally have a (sort of) handle on my schedule so I can get back to blogging! Jumping right in with a few little tricks that I’ve been using to get back on top of things!
Tip #1: Don’t overextend yourself, and keep your expectations realistic.
I’ve learned this the hard way (and will continue to do so) the last couple of months. They have been insane and even though I’ve gotten lots of stuff done, I’ve been feeling totally overwhelmed because that to-do list just isn’t getting COMPLETED.
The thing is, I’m busy all day – and not “fluff busy”, but legitimately productive.
Lightbulb moment: the LIST is too dang long!
Checking off a list is super satisfying, but when we never get to the bottom… it just feels sucky.
Keep it brief and 100% doable – completing even the shortest of short lists will flood your brain with happy, can-do feelings… and those will boost your productivity in the long run!
We feel so much better when we prioritize 1-3 things per day, knock those out, and count everything else as bonuses.
Here are two steps to a rockin’ to-do list:
1. Use this quick, pretty printable and throw down the three most important tasks you need to complete each day.
2. Flip the page over and write out every single thing you’d like to get done this week, or month. Once you’ve finished your three daily tasks, you can start hammering out this lower-priority list.
You will be amazed at how much more accomplished you feel!
Tip #2. Do your chores.
I work from home and my two little rascals are with me 96% of the time (yes, I calculated it), so I like to keep my home & workspace clean and organized so that I can really focus and be productive when I get the chance to be at my desk.
I’ll be honest, I am currently juuuuuust catching up on work projects, but I will say… my system for household stuff works pretty flawlessly. (I call it my Dutch Housewife System. Just go with it. Haha) My house isn’t perfect, but I don’t feel panicked if someone unexpectedly pops in for a weekend stay. Totally acceptable!
Here’s how it works:
1. Scribble down every single chore you can think of.
2. Divvy them up into Daily / Weekly / Monthly / Other columns.
3. Print off this worksheet and change the “weekend” column to “daily”.
4. Divide your weekly column into doable daily chunks.
5. On your quietest day, put down “Power Hour” – that’s for your monthly chores, and getting done all of that little crap that seems to get neglected otherwise. (Replacing a lightbulb, fixing a chair, wiping down a dirty door… you know. There’s always something.)
I also use this system to accomplish monthly goals – this summer, I know that I’m getting twenty daily minutes of reading, colouring projects, and weekly baking with my kiddos in, because they’re scheduled in. (Not feeling like a shitty mom = big win!)
Tip #3: Put your freaking phone down.
Take a guess – how many times per day do you pick up your phone to do a mindless little scroll of Instagram? I’m 100% guilty here – and I didn’t realize how bad it was until I stopped taking my phone into my office. I know that the less up-to-date I am on other people’s shenanigans, the more I’m getting done on my end.
Did you know that it takes almost 25 minutes to get back on task when you jump back and forth between work and your phone?
Of course, it’s important to take a break every now and again, but there’s a big difference between taking a deliberate break, and getting distracted. I’ve scheduled Do Not Disturb hours into my week so I can focus – I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my productivity since doing this!
And one last thing… watch for burnout.
Don’t forget to give yourself some time to… NOTHING!
On Sundays, I throw the whole concept of productivity right out of the window… and I’m always chomping at the bit to get back to work on Monday! I swear by one guilt-free day off every week.