Happy Monday! Today I thought I would share a few tips and tricks that I use that help me to keep moving towards my goals and staying sane. Productivity is always something I could do better at and I think it takes a lot of personal awareness to discover where you could improve upon within this area and what is hindering your productivity. As a result, some of these I use daily, others I am trying out, and still others I have been using for years. I am constantly readjusting and reflecting, so they are just what help me, and hopefully you might find one or two that will work for you.
- Passive multitasking – okay so I touched on this a little bit on this Instagram post, but essentially you take something that you hate doing and pair it with something that is a little bit more enjoyable. That way you take out the annoyance of the original task and make it more fun. I like to think of this as also finding joy in the mundane which is crucial to our happiness. A good example of this is while you fold laundry, listen to a really good podcast. Or while you are cleaning, catch up with a friend.
- Ivy Lee Method – this is one I like to employ when my to do list is a mile long and I am feeling super overwhelmed. For example, I am actually using this method today to get as much as I can done and keep me on track. Essentially, you take your to do list and choose your top 6 most important tasks you need to get done for that day. Number one would obviously be the absolute most important. Then when you are about to begin working on the list you must start with number one and you can’t go to any others on the list until you have completed the first task. Then you move to number two and so forth.
- Choose just one thing (like Martha stewart magazine): Okay, this method I use for creating joy within my day. I say that it is like in the Martha Stewart magazine because that is where I first saw this being done. So within the magazine, Martha has her month displayed in the very front of the magazine (it’s like a calendar picture) and under each day she has just ONE THING she is going to be doing that day. Some of them are harder tasks like “sharpen and oil garden tools”, others are walks with family, but there is always just one thing under that day. I love this concept because I feel like it takes away a lot of overwhelm for me. You see, for me, sometimes what happens is that I feel so anxious about all the stuff that I just never do it because it all just seems like to much, but in this way you just take one thing each day and if I did that, then by the end of one week I would have completed 7 things! That’s actually kind of a lot. I like this idea for those bigger more annoying things on your to-do list (like cleaning the baseboards) and incorporating fun stuff too, like baking cookies or going to a museum. It adds joy to your week, while also crossing things off that seem to hang over our heads.
- Top priorities: I think deserves it’s own blog post personally because it requires you to do some relfecting, but essentially we all have priorities in life. These change with the different seasons we go through, but you will make time for whatever you prioritize. So for example, if you prioritize working out, you will make time for it. You don’t make excuses or choose other things over it. I think it’s super important to look at what you spend your time on right now (I like to look at 3 or so). Whatever you fill your space with, is what you prioritize. Now, ask yourself is that where you want to spend your time? If not, readjust, but if you are okay with it given where you are at in life right now, then that is okay. But, you have to be honest with yourself.
- Investing money to save time: I think this is underrated but we all do it to some degree. Some examples of this might be you have a housekeeper so you don’t have to clean your home. That time it would take you to clean your house, you can spend working on other things. Or maybe you take an uber instead of drive so you can answer emails. Essentially, you outsource something which gives you more time to spend on something else. Now, this method doesn’t work for everyone because obviously you have to spend money in order to do this. However, sometimes you have to invest money in order to see gains later on.
- Batching: This is one of my FAVORITE productivity hacks. Batching saves not only time, but also mental space. You can batch tons of different things too, like emails, texts, cooking, etc. In doing this, you stop yourself from constantly switching back and forth between things which actually is very hard on your brain. When you do one task at a time, you will not only complete it faster, but you will also complete it better because your mind isn’t being pulled in 1,000 directions. For example, just because someone texts us on their time, does not mean we need to respond right away when it’s not productive for OUR time. The same with emails. Establish boundaries. We have become far too readily available to each other and demanding of each other’s attention when it is convenient for us.
- Take a quick 30 min: This is another highly underrated productivity hack and can work in many ways. One is that you can actually get quite a bit done in 30 minutes IF YOU ARE FOCUSED. For example, if you took 30 minutes every day to work on your business, clean, or do whatever it is you are trying to focus on, you can get pretty far. Another way this method works well is when we aren’t motivated to do something. Many times I’ll just tell myself “Commit to 30 minutes (or 15 or 20 even).” Then I reassess where I am at after that time frame and typically I can easily keep flowing if I want to. Many times our lack of motivation is just simply getting the energy to start something.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks. They have really helped me stay focused throughout the week and are also a large factor in balancing all the many hats I now wear. I would love to know if you have any productivity hacks you love I didn’t list or if you try any of these yourself!