Do you ever look at your list of things to do, feel overwhelmed by said list, and just shut down to the point of unproductive paralysis?? No? Just me? K, cool. Sometimes I’m plagued with this feeling, specifically after this last year since building a business from scratch. Today on LtL I’m sharing 7 ways I’ve found to be more productive for the everyday busy schedules. I’ve also thrown in a FREE calendar printable to get your 2019 started off riiiight.
So for all my busy bee, productive readers out there, this post is for you. I’m sharing a few ways I’ve read about or learned to help staying on track with your daily tasks and to-do lists.
7 Ways to Be More Productive
Color Coded Calendar: It’s no secret that staying organized is not my strong suit. I have about 3 calendars (if you think this seems counter productive, it is), and I finally changed my calendar routine and got on board with a color coded calendar. With all the great color coded calendars out there, I recently started using the Week Cal app and love it! I absolutely love it’s color coded options to keep life a little easier. Instead of opening my calendar app and just seeing a list of items, I can color code and put my mind at ease based on the color priority I customized. I’ve also heard really good things about the Google calendar capabilities too for the Google users out there.
Delegating: Prioritizing every daily task can seem daunting and honestly pretty impossible. But when you delegate those tasks based on their priorities it can make all the difference in your productivity. Just crossing things off for that day is so rewarding, versus getting 10 things partially done to then still have for another day. If there’s something that can be done another day, I move it on my calendar. It also helps to have a super helpful husband who’s willing to step in wherever it’s needed. Delegating and communication at it’s finest. 😉
Swipes App: This app I saw on someone’s stories one day and immediately downloaded it. I can’t remember who it was, but thank you kind stranger for sharing this productive gem. Swipes is a an app that allows you to make multiple to-do lists, per day/week/month. When you’re done with a task you simply swipe to show it’s been completed. Boom. Easy. This is great for those that like ‘checking things off their list’. It leaves you feeling accomplished and motivated for more. Check and check.
Time Blocking: If you haven’t heard of time blocking, it’s an effective way to stay focused on one task for a certain amount of time. This helps me on days I feel the list is too long and I need to prioritize what’s important for that day. Even if it’s just one hour, I will make that one hour more productive based on importance for that day. This really allows time with Brooks, life and errands to be more purposeful. If I have emails to return, photos to edit, or social media work to do I can time block that hour accordingly: 15 minutes for emails, 15 for social media and 30 minutes for editing. From what I’ve read, this time blocking dice is super useful for a lot of people! It’s also great for kiddos with tasks, homework or chores. I use time blocking for Brooks when we need to move on to something else (like cleaning up, Fire tablet time, or finishing dinner). You can find links to other time blocking devices here and here.
The Under 2 Minute Rule: I actually read this tip on a post by Amber of the Barefoot Blonde and loved it! When you break down a task in minutes it really helps you accomplish a lot more of those ‘tedious tasks’ during the day. Sometimes when I think about a ton of little tasks I get overwhelmed and may avoid doing them. Sounds sorta ridiculous saying it out loud, but it’s just a gift I have. 😉 For instance, making the bed, doing the dishes, emptying the dish washer, picking up (crap) around the house…all of these take less than 2 minutes to complete. They don’t have to be done all at once or even by yourself. I try to make some of these tasks more ‘fun’ with Brooks by turning some music on or singing with him (that he typically yells for me to STAWP, to which I don’t).
Busy vs Productive: Have y’all ever heard of the 4 Hour Workweek? It’s a book I started for some light reading this summer. While I haven’t finished reading it yet, I have picked up some productive nuggets along the way. One in particular is the busy vs productive mindset. Sometimes we have the notion that staying busy is the way to a productive workday. Granted I know that many people work the 9-5 schedule and may not have the option for a flexible work week this still may be useful. If you are done with your work for the day in 2 hours why waste the rest of the day just being busy for the sake of being busy? Instead the book talks about being productive in the least amount of time so you can enjoy the rest of your day. This is my goal every single day. It sometimes happens every week. 😁
Which Hat Am I Wearing: In a world where it feels like we can be pulled into so many directions this mindset is one of the most important to me and one everyone can strive for: being present. On days when Brooks isn’t in school I try to have my mom hat, then after bedtime, I try to be present and wear my wife hat. On days when Brooks is in school I wear my admin hat and try to have a ‘4 hour workweek’. When I’m with friends I have my friend hat, or my sister/daughter hat…you get the drift. No matter what stage of life you’re in, being present and nurturing relationships with the company you keep is one of the most ‘productive’ things we can do for ourselves.
Have a great weekend!
Lemons to Love,