Lately, I find I am the most productive between 2pm and 3pm, as it’s around 2pm that I start to clock watch, I make a coffee and then countdown the minutes until I have to leave for school pick up. I stop work and switch off the computer at 3pm switching from blogger to mum mode. It’s in that last hour that I try and fit as much as I can in, if only I had this energy all day! Below are some techniques that I use and you can implement too to help you boost your productivity. Put some into action right now and see how much extra time it gives you at the end of the day and helps increase your concentration.
Work while standing up
If I have a pile of products or paperwork next to my desk (I don’t have an in-tray purely because I find it too easy to let the paperwork just pile up in there) I stand up and sort it out. I usually need to either filing it, photographing it, or sending a quick email. I find if I stand up I focus more.
I put my keyboard on top of a shoe box and tilt my computer screen up slightly.
This works really well with my working while stand up method especially when listening to music with a great beat and the volume cranked up, somehow it makes me work faster.
You’d be more productive if you switched your phone off, but I don’t do this if the kids are out of the house (at school), I want to ensure I am contactable. But I do screen calls. I have family and friends that want to call up and chat during the day, whilst I love and adore them I treat my working hours 9-3 as work and give them a call back later that afternoon. They know to text me if it’s urgent. I find the trip to school pick up a good time to return calls.
Switch to full screen mode
This method eliminates so many distractions. I usually quit my email program so my new emails don’t pop up and stop my concentration.
- Apple – click on the green x in the top left of your screen. Holding down the green x for a few seconds also allows you to split your screen, I love this.
- Microsoft – press view in the menu bar, then full screen.
I have block scheduled, or also known as batching, for years now. This works brilliantly for me as I can’t move onto another task until I finish the one I am working on. Typically each day I know what my priority is and I work on that until it’s completed or I’m where I want to be with it. Just breifly this is my typical day in blocks:
- Block 1 – Check and reply to emails, blog comments and social media
- Block 2 – Regular admin tasks
- Block 3 – Write blog content
- Block 4 – Lunch
- Block 5 – Project
- Block 6 – Check emails and social media, tidy desk and complete items from to-do list
Project block changes daily depending on what day it is, it could be creating quote images, typing up newsletters, uploading and editing photos. I have these tasks set for specific days.
Read or Listen to Inspiration
They could be quotes, books, podcasts, you-tube inspirational talks. I haven’t ventured into the world of podcasts yet, however I simply find quotes really inspirational and motivational. After your inspiration hit it will give you an impulse to get to work and boost your productivity.
My agent Lorraine Murphy from The Remarkables Group has just released her new book Remarkability. I don’t read books, I can’t sit still long enough but I really want to read this one. Lorraine is one of a handful of people that really inspire me. She has a determined vision for her future and incredible drive to achieve her goals. She came to visit me here at home earlier this year, she asked me what my plans are for the future and I honestly didn’t really have many big picture plans, she told me how she sets her goals. The moment she left I pondered and wrote down my goals, I have them printed on bright coloured paper on my office wall. Each of them have exactly what I want to achieve and dates that I want to complete it by. One being my hard copy 2017 The Organised Housewife Calendar, which will be released really soon.. eeek.
About Remarkability – Success isn’t made up of huge leaps forward, but instead small repetitive actions completed each day. These small steps eventually lead to great achievements in the pursuit of your goals. This book is an inspiring look at the lessons Lorraine has learned during her entrepreneurship journey – through study, trial and error; the strategies she has developed and the habits she religiously follows. Be remarkable in work and life, following the advice of one of Australia’s most exciting thought leaders.
Clear your office desk
Working alongside a mess will reduce your productivity. Clear your desk of piles of paperwork and anything unrelated to what you are working on.
One of the quotes I love most on my wall is this one:
Don’t be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same – Lisa Messenger
Sometimes you can get stuck in a rut, this was me last year, i don’t want to be the same me last year, I want to make plans and look further than tomorrow.
Take care of you
I have a work curfew, I switch off my computer at 3pm to pick up the kids from school, run them around to after school sports, do washing, tidy the house, make dinner etc and I don’t work on weekends. I really enjoy blogging, it could very easily consume me, taking all my spare time as there is a never-ending list of something that has to be done. I switch off despite having tasks that need to be completed to ensure I always have that balance so I am spending quality time with my family, looking after the home and taking care of me. My need for this balance has a lot to do with my mindset, I could spend time in the evening working on the blog, one because I enjoy it and two because there is stuff to do. But if I did perhaps I would have neglected the dishes, washing or quality relaxing time with the family. For me, if I wake up the next day to a messy kitchen, or washing that hasn’t been put away my mind is messy, I get a little cranky and that is not a great start to the day.
Light a candle
There is something about a candle that I find very calming, having it flickering next to my computer screen helps give me some clarity and calm me down if I feel a little frazzled.
Work in active wear
For the days where I need to get a lot done, I wear my gym clothes (clean not sweaty). It’s strange, but I find I work faster in my active wear, like I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to procrastinate, I’m a big procrastinator.
For tasks that you do multiple times create templates or checklists to help you streamline the process. I have a checklist that I created for tasks I need to do once I have finished writing a blog post, things on this maybe to proof reach, check SEO, schedule it to social media, pin it etc. I also have templates for emails as a fast way to reply to questions I get asked often.
Create a plan
End the day creating a plan for tomorrow. Write at the top of your list the #1 tasks you need to complete followed by other tasks you need to make a priority. Knowing what you need to do tomorrow will help save you time and focus your attention when your ready to sit down the next day to start work. This also gives me time overnight to think about strategies.
Do you need to boost your productivity? Which one of the tips below will you implement right now?
TIME SAVING APPS AND PLUGINS TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY – I appreciate learning about new and fantastic apps or plugins to help optimise the blog, either to improve productivity or to make tasks easier. Over the years I have used a few different apps and plugins, there are a select few that I continually use to help organise and streamline my blogging.
HOW TO START A BLOG IN 7 EASY STEPS – I have put together a list of information, sharing with you How to start a Blog and lessons I have learnt along the way. I hope my tips help you create a successful blog.