Over the past few months I have been looking for more ways to maximize my time. There always seems like so much to do and so little time to do it, or at least that is what I thought. Once I sat down and thought about how I was actually spending my time, I realized that I was not being very productive. These are five ways that have helped me improve my productivity and I hope that they will do the same for you as well.
Timers are your bestfriend...
Now if you know me, then you know my clock app is one of my most used apps. I took the time one day to count all of them… I had around 120 alarms. I am not over exaggerating either, there was at LEAST one in every hour of the day. I set alarms and timers for literally anything and everything, because if I didn’t, then I would lose track of time and spend way more time on things that don’t require that much attention.
By setting timers, you are setting boundaries with yourself and not allowing yourself to spend longer than necessary on things that shouldn’t take up a ton of your time. You time is valuable, treat it as such.
So, a little insider tip; whatever area you see is hindering you from being productive, try this.
Let's take social media for example. When you get on social media, give yourself around 10 minutes (or however long you feel like is appropriate) and take ONLY that allotted time to scroll through your feed. Then once your timer goes off, you’re done, move on.
I do this because it is SO easy to get sucked in for hours at a time. I have been a victim of that way too many times. I use to be so frustrated with myself because I would waste time doing scrolling, whenever I had plenty of things that needed to be done first. By setting limits for things, such as social media, then you will not be wasting as much time doing things that aren’t beneficial to you or helping you accomplish your goals
Write this down... Take a little note...
First off... if you didn't sing that heading in your best George Strait voice then I don't know if we can be friends. (kidding)
At the beginning of each day, write down what you are going to accomplish that day. By doing this you are staying focused on your tasks you have to accomplish and are aware of the important things for the day.
If you are like me, then you love checking things off a list. I love making long lists and seeing what I can accomplish, no matter how small the task is. BUT for the last month I have been using my Daily Deposit (that I got from Macy’s Good is Cool event, best event ever!) to help me pick out my top 5 most important things and accomplish those first. If you head to her Instagram page, you can hear more about them in her highlight or if you want to buy one for yourself then you can do that here. But I love that it makes me pick out what I think is the most important things or things that need to be accomplished for that day. It definitely keeps me accountable and focused.
These journals include, a gratitude section, a personal development (or what you’re learning) section, your game day list (to-do list), and an affirmation section and a whole page for notes on the left side (as seen above). 10/10 would recommend them to anyone and everyone.
You get a treat! You get a treat!
If you have trouble getting things done or even starting, then set rewards for yourself. Doesn’t matter how big or small, this gives you something to work towards. Personally, I am more likely to do something if I know there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I know everyone is different but setting small rewards to work towards helps me work a little harder towards my goals and tasks.
It can be as simple as going and getting a cookie for yourself from the pantry after accomplishing something or your favorite Sonic drink at the end of a long week. Or it can be as big as rewarding yourself with a vacation or a shopping trip because you scored that job promotion you've been striving for. Whatever will motivate you to push a little harder to reach a goal or finish a task, use that and run with it.
Are you distracted by your phone? Put it on silent for 15 minutes and power through your task so you don't have to worry about it anymore. Are you distracted by your email? Close that tab and don’t open it again until you have accomplished something. Are you distracted by your screaming kids? Ask a friend or your husband to watch them for 20 minutes while you run to a local coffee shop by yourself to get some work done, or even go to the grocery store by yourself.
I have found that whenever I am distracted I do not get anything done or if I do (by the slimmest chance) then it is not usually quality work that I am proud of.
So my question to you is... what are you distracted by that is keeping you from being productive? I'll answer that for ya.
You are distracted by all of the excuses that you keep telling yourself as to why you aren’t getting anything done.
Can we just take a minute for these facial expression though... HAHAHAHA
Positive Vibes Only!
No negativity, period. I repeat NO NEGATIVITY. By talking negative to yourself, you are shooting yourself in the foot before you even give yourself a chance to succeed. For example...
Remember that time on a Friday afternoon when your desk was piled high with papers and you told yourself, “I am never going to finish this before 5 o’clock.” OR that time that you stepped on the scale after one workout and didn’t see any results and said, “I am never going to lose this weight.”
By telling yourself these things, you are quitting before you even start, sister.
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET AND IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Cliche? Maybe, but holy cow, it is so true!!! Instead of saying “I will never finish going through this stack of papers” try saying, “I am going to finish this before 5 so I can go home and enjoy my evening with my family.” By changing the way you talk to yourself, then you are telling yourself that you CAN do something and setting yourself up to do good.
Another example; instead of saying “I am never going to lose this weight” say something like, “I am so proud of myself for working out today. It is crazy what I can do when I just decide I want to do it.”
Do you see the difference?! Your life will change with affirmations. Read that again and repeat it out loud to yourself. YOUR life WILL change if you speak kindly to yourself and kindly to others.
That is all… I will get off my soap box now. Maybe I'll do a whole blog post about this in the future, let me know your thoughts about that.
These are the few things that I have found the help me be the most productive and eliminate the distractions that are crippling me from getting things done. I hope you find these tips helpful and thanks for tuning in to my Ted Talk. HAHA!