Do you ever feel like you work all the hours you can and never seem to get anywhere? Ok, I have to admit, even I do sometimes!
This morning would be a prime example of this.I sat down to work with my usual to do list, and worked for three hours and seemed to get nothing done.
I realised that my mind was trying to focus on too many things. I was thinking about everything from my list of 20 or so tasks, to what I had to do tomorrow and what we were having for dinner tonight. This was seriously inhabiting my productivity!
I decided this blog post on productivity was the perfect post as so many people suffer from this issue! Here are my 5 sure fire ways to increase productivity…
1. Have a To Do List
Ok ok, As I mentioned above, I already use a to do list every single day, and today I was still halted in my productivity. However, the good old fashioned to do list is an extremely useful tool (if used correctly), They allow you to prioritise and focus on one task at a time, as you aren’t trying to remember the other tasks you have to do. For my to do list, I actually use a page per day diary, and in that diary I write my tasks for that day. I write my most critical tasks at the top of the list (to ensure they get done first) and my lower priority tasks at the bottom of the list. Now one mistake I have learnt with this, is piling my entire workload onto one list, a workload I couldn’t possibly fit into one working day, and so at the end of the day, I would be left with a whole host of tasks that needed to be added to tomorrow’s list, which would mess up the hierarchy of tomorrow’s tasks (priority wise) and also make me stress about the fact that I wasn’t going to get everything done on that day, which slowed me down.
In short, what I am saying is, yes, have a to do list, but only list a limited number of tasks that you can realistically fit into your working day (however hours that may be.)
2. Set a schedule
Working on your own business can become lonely unless you have staff, and sometimes, you feel the need to just take off and see friends or go shopping. This can obviously have a detriment on your productivity. Set yourself a schedule. Maybe you opt to work from 8am until 2pm every day, or every other day and give yourself the rest of the day off to do whatever you like. If you have set working hours, you will be more focussed during that time.
Now, we all need me time, and I am not saying that spontaneity isn’t allowed, just be mindful of your workload. Treat it like a job, book yourself ‘time off’ and I promise your business will grow much faster. Once you have mastered the art of this, you can then begin to loosen the strings a little and say, ‘ok I am going to work 4 hours every day’ but be flexible with your time so you can take off out whenever you feel like it.
Also, for those of you that still work other jobs, You have a little more difficulty with this task, but try and schedule the hours you work on your business round your current job, so you know you are dedicating a chunk of your time every week to your business.
Schedule yourself breaks too!
3. Be Mindful
Mindfulness is a topic that has come into light a lot recently, with hundreds of books on Amazon seeming to be dedicated to the topic in a very short space of time.
Despite it being almost a “craze” in the world of emotional and spiritual health, I do believe it’s principles and can be applied to most areas of your life.
When it comes to productivity, I feel it is very important to be mindful of the moment. So what this mean’s is, live for right now. What tasks are you focussing on right now, stop thinking about how you need to go and pick up some flour to bake cakes for the kids bake sale tomorrow. When you commit to a task, fully commit to it.
4. Don’t take on too many projects…
This is a biggy for me, and probably for most entrepreneurs. We all like to chase the new shiny object or course or money making system, and I will be honest, for me, this was part of the reason I set up this blog. I was always doing a new course and thought other people can benefit from my experiences on these programmes.
Now, as much as I love being busy and having lots of projects on the go, it can cause problems for productivity. So don’t bite of more than you can chew. If you are what I like to call “a juggler” you may be able to realistically work on more than one project, however, if you have limited time, money or skills, then you would be much better off dedicating your assets to one project and that will make you more productive!
5. Calm your mind…
My favourite, probably because I love a good cup of tea! (well I am British!)
Today, when my mind was jumping all over and I was not being productive at all, I gave myself a break. Not long, just twenty minutes. In this time I relaxed, I had my cup of tea, I calmed my mind of all the tasks, worries and stresses and just got some clarity. When I came back to work this afternoon, I got twice as much done.
I realised that this process of a little ‘me time’ during the day, is something I had been doing naturally for some time, but never realised how much more productive I was after it until today when I hit a brick wall.
So from now on, I will be scheduling this ‘me time’ into my working day. I may take a walk, sit and relax, meditate, but for twenty minutes I will simply ‘be there’ in the moment. Calm your mind and productivity will follow…
Hope you have got something from this post guys! Talk soon. Stacey x