Have you ever had a whole day fly by just to realize you’ve done absolutely nothing productive all day? and now you’re staring at your to-do list frustrated and wondering how you wasted an entire day. What on earth did you do to fill your time for the past 10-12 hours? Well, I’ve been there and done that more times than I’d like to admit, and let me tell you – it’s an awful feeling! I feel so much better when I’ve had a productive day and knocked off a huge chunk of my never ending to-do list! Somehow, I have a feeling I’m not alone in this, so today I’d like to share with you a few tips on how to be more productive. Trust me, they work!
Organize Your To-Do List
I find when my to-do list is overwhelmingly large, I have a harder time getting motivated to tackle it. Where do I even begin? Organize your to-do list into categories. Instead of having a bunch of random tasks all over a piece of paper (or sometimes even more than one piece of paper!), try clustering them into groups. For example, I have several events and appointments that I’m needing to schedule. Those all go into one category. Another category will include all the house work that needs to be done: dishes, vacuuming, laundry, etc. I make a separate category for any shopping trips that need to take place, and a category to include my Youtube channel and blogging tasks. Just visually seeing everything separated into categories will help to clear your head and prepare you to conquer them.
Plan Your Time
Of all the tips I’m going to share with you, I think this one is the most beneficial! Now that you’ve separated your To-Do list into categories, plan out your day and designate a specific amount of time to each category. For instance, this morning I scheduled my day like this:
- 7-8 am – Shower and Get Ready
- 8-9 am – Clean House
- 9-10 am – Work on Blogs
- 10-11 am – Work on Videos
- 11-11:30 am – Schedule Events
- 11:30-12 noon – Make Grocery List and Meal Plan
- 12-2 pm – Grocery Shopping and House Shopping
- 2-3:30 pm – Jeunesse party
- 4-5 pm – Wash Cars
- 5-6 pm – Go for a Run/Walk
- 6 and on – Make dinner and Relax
Every day it will change obviously, but giving yourself scheduled time will help to put yourself in a productive mindset. This one task makes a WORLD of difference! When I do this, I make the most of my time, and I stay focused. I don’t waste time scrolling through social media and getting distracted by other unimportant things. I also find that I get things done faster! It becomes like a game! How quickly can I accomplish my task? I find myself trying to beat the time frame I gave myself. If I clean the house in 45 minutes instead of an hour, I win! Try it out! It’s actually kind of fun!
Oh boy! Most of the days I end up being unproductive and I think back to what I filled my time with, it’s things like constantly checking Facebook and Instagram, watching Youtube videos, watching Netflix or TV, and online shopping. These activities can suck up hours of your time! There’s nothing wrong with any of these things in moderation, but they can really hinder you from doing what needs to get done. Planning your day out, as I mentioned above, is an awesome way to discourage you from hopping on Facebook for no reason. Another way you can avoid these pitfalls is to leave your phone in another room or turn it off, or schedule phone, TV, or online shopping time into your day! If you only schedule 15 or 30 minutes to check social media and set an alarm to go off once that time finishes, you won’t be feeling yucky at the end of the day for not being productive.
Wake Up Early
Take advantage of the mornings. I am always my most productive in the morning after I’ve had a good night’s sleep and my brain is fresh, alert, and awake. Now, I realize this isn’t for everybody. Some people feel they are more productive at night. My husband and my mom are both night owls and they can get a lot done at night. I can’t. After 10 pm, I’m tired and my brain won’t focus enough to get much done. Find what works for you and use it to your advantage. If you usually wake up early, try to take advantage of the first few hours after you wake up to get your largest tasks done while your brain is at its clearest.
Take Scheduled Breaks
If you have a large task to accomplish that is going to take several hours of your time, schedule short breaks in. I recommend working in 20-30 minute bursts with a 5 minute break. Use your break to get some fresh air, make a cup of coffee, tea, or water, go to the bathroom, or check your phone. Again, this is a general principle. If you’re working on a project and you’re really on a roll, you may not want to take a break because your mind is concentrated and once you break that concentration, it can be hard to get back into that mindset. However, if you’re finding that you’re having a hard time focusing, your mind keeps wandering, or you’re feeling fatigued, it’s probably time for a break. Just like your muscles, sometimes your mind needs a little rest to reset itself so it can function at its best for you.
I hope that you find some value from these tips and become more productive in your life! The weekends are too short already, so let’s start eliminating wasted weekends one day at a time!