Do you ever wake up some days with big plans of getting so much stuff done, but by the end of the day, you’ve not gotten even a fraction of your to-do list ticked off and you feel totally deflated and like you’ve had the most unproductive day ever? ‘Cos same. More than I’d like to admit. But, there’s something I was once told that stuck with me we all have the same 24 hours each day. (Yeah, even Beyonce!) But, the difference between getting things done and not is simply by focusing on the things that are actually important for you. Not just the things you think you have to be doing in order to be productive because if they’re not leading you towards your goals then they are simply making yourself busy for the sake of it.
So, I’m going to share some of the tips and tricks I use to avoid that “oh my word, what did I actually manage to do today?!” dread below;
Set Yourself (Manageable) Goals
Almost all of my productive days start in the same way. That being writing a list of ten things I want to achieve and trying to tick them all off. They’re almost always a mix of things that I really need to do like “clear the inbox” and stuff that I know I’ll definitely achieve like “watch an episode of that show on Netflix”. Setting goals not only keeps you focused on the things you want to achieve but allows you to break down your schedule into more manageable chunks. Going further than that, you can almost reverse engineer your bigger goals. For example, this year I wanted to clear off a credit card. So, I’ve added “don’t spend any money at lunch” to my daily list and instead add that money to a payment at the end of each week. So, now I’m fairly confident I’ll achieve it. Goals really are super important in terms of you not just doing things for the sake of things!
Make Yourself A Schedule
Take your list of goals (be they a to-do list for the day or your “this time next year I want to” ones) and set them out into a schedule. I know I’m more productive in the morning so I tend to make sure that I spend my morning at work making calls and dealing with anything important so I can spend the afternoon at a more leisurely pace. I also know that, while I’m a morning person I will usually take that extra 10 minutes in bed over making a packed lunch. So I always spend part of Sunday morning (or early afternoon!) dealing with making Meal plans for the week and prepping the next few days lunches. Then again on Wednesday ready for Thursday and Friday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are normally my gym days and, when I finish at 5 pm on a Monday I’ll tend to do blog photos. Schedule, for me at least, helps me be more productive even when it feels like my to-do list is getting out of control…
Take The Time To Review & Reflect
One of the main problems with keeping yourself productive is that people can see it as some kind of level of perfection that has to be achieved. When, in reality, not every day is going to be as good as your best. So if you feel yourself falling behind make sure to take that time to reflect over what you’ve achieved so far. For example, every year I post my 30 things bucket list and then take the time to review it over at the beginning of the next year. While it’s not always a case of signed, sealed achieved it all, it does show what progress I’ve made and gives me hope that the following 365 days will be even better. (& gives me some sense of direction when I’m feeling down!)
Hopefully, these tips will help you out too. If there are any other techniques you find helpful please do pop them in a comment below!