Raise your hand if you wish you were more productive each day. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, work a corporate job, work for yourself, freelance, or whatever you might do to make money, we all have those days where our productivity has gone out the window and spend our time taking BuzzFeed quizzes (guilty!) instead of tackling our to-do list.
Whether you’re in a funk, stressed out, working multiple jobs, going through something, or just have a lack of productivity, setting yourself up for success can have a huge impact on what you get done in a day. From my own trial and error, I’ve put together a list of action items to have more productive days so you can kick some booty.
Pick out your outfit the night before
How many times have you left late for work, for a meeting, or for an appointment because you changed your outfit a million times, couldn’t figure out what to wear, or because you had a meltdown because you don’t have anything to wear and now you’re late? So many times, right?
Depending on your schedule you can either pick out your outfit the night before or you can plan out your outfits for the entire week every Sunday night. Granted weather changes, so make sure your outfit can work with weather changes by simply switching out the shoes you were planning on wearing or by adding in a sweater for chillier days. By having these outfits ready, you eliminate wasting time in the morning changing and you’ll start your day off more organized.
Make your to-do list in advance & add to it as you go
To-do lists typically take time to write out and are a great procrastination tool. Instead of writing a new one out every day, create a weekly to-do list on Monday mornings and then add to it as you go throughout the week. Even though it might be longer, it gives you a snapshot of the week ahead and gives you the opportunity to plan out your week and days more productively.
Take advantage of both paper & digital planners/calendars
For the longest time, I only used paper planners simply because I preferred having it RIGHT there and having the power to physically write out my schedule. Now with working full time and working on the blog as well as various other side projects, I have started to use a digital calendar (Google Calendar is my go-to!) so I didn’t have to carry my paper planner around in my purse each day. Using both has allowed me to have access to my schedule 24/7 and still gives me that fuzzy feeling inside when putting pen to paper.
If you’re *totally* against digital calendars, just put the important dates in your digital calendar so when you’re out and about, trying to make plans or schedule appointments, you don’t have to say “let me check my calendar and give you a call back.” You’ll have the information right at your finger tips.
If you’re *totally* against paper planners, think of how many times your computer dies, your charger breaks, your computer is just flat out broken, or you don’t have WiFi access – how are you supposed to rely on your digital scheduler then?! Keep a paper planner as a back-up in case you have to deal with any of these situations.
Schedule your day out in hourly chunks
Figure out what parts of the day you are most productive and schedule out your day around those time periods. From there, schedule everything out hour-by-hour to ensure you give yourself enough time to complete said task. If you don’t finish it in the given time period, move on to your next project and come back to the things you didn’t finish later.
Finish early? Use that extra time to take a quick break – check social media, grab some coffee, play with your pup.
Taking breaks and resting are essential for increasing productivity. Sometimes taking breaks isn’t possible because there’s just so. much. to. do. I get it, I really do. Even if it’s just a 10-15 minute break every couple of hours, it’s enough to rest your brain and allow yourself to re-engergize. Don’t run yourself ragged, things can wait. Your body will thank you.
I am so bad at planning ahead, but boy oh boy does it make a huge difference! Whether it’s one day, one week, or one month ahead, make sure to take the time to plan things out in advance so that when things come up (i.e. the stomach bug, food poisoning, a bad case of the Monday’s) come up, you’re already ahead of the game, have the important things done, and you can have a guilt-free day of relaxation.
It’s also important to plan ahead to keep the stress at bay. Whether it’s planning out your to-do list at the beginning of the week (wink, wink) or simply not over-planning your days, it makes things a little less hectic.
Create a playlist
Ahhhh, my favorite. Having a solid playlist of the songs that inspire you and keep you doing what you do best are so freakin’ important. There’s nothing worse than having to switch a song every 5 seconds because songs that frankly just irritate you, keep coming on. Depending on my mood I switch off between classical music and alternative rock because they’re both soothing but have enough rhythm to them to keep me concentrated. Put together a list of the songs that just make you want to write, do math, or whatever your profession is, and add them all together in Spotify to keep you going all day long.
How do you set yourself up for more productive days?