Here are just some simple tips to help make your days more productive.
If you are anything like me you will understand when I say, most days I feel like I am chasing my tail. Never stopping but not getting too much done either.
I have slowly come to realise it's not about how much you can get done in a day. It's about how you can become more engaged in what you are doing.
When I'm focusing on getting things done as quickly as possible, I find myself feeling overwhelmed, scattered, and exhausted. And no matter how many things I'm able to cross off my to-do list, more to-do's keep cropping up. So I'm never released from the anxiety of unfinished business.
However, when you are engaged in what you are doing, while you are doing it, you are naturally productive. You are focused on the task at hand with full attention, and you are relieved (at least temporarily) of the stress and pressure of checking things off the list.
Here are just some simple tips to help make your days more productive-
1. Create a good morning routine
One of the best ways to start your day is to get up early and eat a healthy breakfast. The most successful people in the world you will find have similar morning routines, which include exercising and quickly scanning their inboxes to find the most urgent tasks. Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses. Exercising first thing in the morning ensures that you’ll have the time for it, and it improves your self-control and energy levels all day long.
Sometimes we can’t have a productive day because we just don’t know where to start. When that’s the case, the most simple solution is to list everything you need to get accomplished, then prioritize these tasks based on importance and urgency.
3. Set daily goals
Don't write a long list of 50 things to get done before lunch. But set 3-4 goals you have to get done for the day. That doesn't mean you may not get more done. But take the pressure off to cram in as much as possible. Plan your time accordingly and if your goals are going to be time-consuming try just three, or if they will take you less time, try five. But be realistic with how much time you have to complete your tasks.
4. Budget time
Decide how much time you need or want to spend on each goal. Be realistic in what you can achieve if you are deeply focused on the tasks involved. Plan your time, always allowing a little extra. You may not need it, but then you won't feel rushed and pressured. Set a time when you begin working on the goal. If you aren't finished, decide if you want to move on to the next goal or if completing the one you are working on is more important.
5. Remove Distractions
Before you begin your first task, clear your desk, turn off your phone (or at least on silent) and close your door. Don't tempt yourself with anything that will catch your eye or ear or pull your thoughts away from what you are doing. This is the hardest but most important step!! Distractions will kill your productivity.
6. Take a break
If you find it difficult to focus, even without distractions, break down your goal or task into 15-minute intervals. Set a timer and work steadily for 15 minutes, then take a 5-minute break and reward yourself with something that won't pull you away from the task (emails, phone calls, texts etc). Stand up and stretch. Close your eyes and breathe. Look out the window. Take a moment to check in with yourself and make sure you are doing okay.
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.