Most weeks, my to do list is never ending and I’m very certain you feel the same! When 9PM rolls around, I’m often left wishing there were more hours of in the day. While we can’t always get what we wish for ;-), we certainly can improve on managing our time more wisely in order to be efficient and have time for life’s important aspects like spending time with loved ones, investing in friendships or staying in our pjs just a bit longer in the morning. Each stage of our life requires so many different things from us, but it all centers around time.
Time is so coveted. If I make the most of my time allotted to work, I have more time to focus on the sweet things in life. Today I’m sharing eight ways to boost productivity.
ONE // REMOVE YOUR EMAIL TAB
I cannot see a “1” or “12” on my email inbox and not read it. When my email is open, I waste so much time going in and out of my inbox all day. I decided to remove my emails from my working tabs in my browser and dedicate a specific block of time each day to vetting through and responding to them.
TWO // PUSH NOTIFICATIONS ARE OFF
Honestly, I turned off my push notifications for all my social media accounts when I first launched my blog strictly due to conserving my battery, but I quickly realized another benefit. I realized that this also made me much more focused throughout the day because I wasn’t constantly opening Instagram or Facebook to check my notifications. Now I only receive notifications for text messages which is much more manageable.
THREE // PHONE IN THE OTHER ROOM
While text message push notifications are manageable, they can still be distracting if I have a huge deadline or really don’t have a minute to spare. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I need to immediately respond to text messages because if not, I’ll totally forget about them and feel so horrible responding two days later so with that, I’ll set my phone in the other room to avoid seeing my texts while I’m working and will see them when I have the free time to respond. Having my phone out of reach also helps me from browsing social media. Even without push notifications sometimes we will just grab our phone and get sucked into the bottomless pit of scrolling through Instagram which is so unproductive.
FOUR // PLAN WITH TRELLO FOR PROJECTS
I utilize Trello for my blog’s editorial calendar and in turn to track the progression of my blog posts from idea through to publishing. Trello is a free project management tool and very visual. You can utilize columns, color coding, checklists and more. I’ll dive into how I use it:
I have two types of columns: blog post categories [ex: Style, Beauty] and months [ex: November, December]. From there I have blog post ideas I refer to as projects that live under the category columns. I just click on the projects and drag them between columns. I’ll pull the blog post ideas over from the category columns to the specific month column and I consider that as scheduling it. I then take each post idea and label it with 1, 2, 3, or 4 which represents the week of that month it will do live. There are color combinations for the blog posts status [ex: drafting, published] or other important factors [ex: firm due date – holidays, brand partnership]. Trello serves as my editorial calendar and it’s the foundation of how I plan my quarter, months and weeks out. Trello is an awesome tool that would be great if you’re s student at college, a momma managing your household or a professional organizing your work projects.
FIVE // LISTS FOR TASKS
I review Trello each Monday and from there, write out my lists of small tasks. Since I track the overall project in Trello, my lists are small, quick tasks like write copy for post XYZ, optimize SEO for post XYZ, or create/schedule Instagram social posts for the week. While Trello allows me to plan a quarter in advance, my lists allow me to efficiently check off all the little tasks needed to execute these projects. The combination of both allows me to be productive and avoid the “I have so much to do, but don’t know where to start so I’ll lay in bed and pet my cat instead”.
SIX // DO THE WORST FIRST
When I review my tasks in the morning, I’ll see if there is a specific task I’m dreading. While running a business, we have things we enjoy and things we don’t. I cross off the things I don’t enjoy all that much first thing in the morning. The morning is when I’m most productive and a fresh start to the day let’s you come in with a clear mind. Once the dreadful tasks are cleared, I can use my other time towards tasks I enjoy more which also allows me to avoid the “I don’t want to do this task so so I’ll lay in bed and pet my cat instead” feeling after work too.
SEVEN // AWESOME PLAYLIST
S and I always chat about what playlists we listen to while working. He goes through different phases of generes, but mine stays pretty constant. I love listening to acoustic covers on Spotify. This playlist just really puts me int he zone to work and get inspired. Getting some great music playing can push you through a writing rut or just simply block out noise and focus you on the task at hand.
EIGHT // WORK IN AN ORGANIZED ENVIRONMENT
Until we sell our wedding decorations and organize our spare bedroom into my office, I work at my kitchen table. Due to that, I make sure that our kitchen it clean and organized before I sit down to work. If not, I will have anxiety, feel stressed and not be able to focus. If you’re feeling irritable or unproductive, check to see if your surroundings need to be tidied up. Consider tidying up your working area if you’re feeling distracted!
I hope these 8 tips to be increase productivity helps you become more efficient! I’d love to hear your tips below. Xo Mindy
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