Do you spend more time planning your day than you do actually checking things off of your to-do list? Are you working from home and struggling to balance business and pleasure, or business and household tasks? With these 6 tips to staying on track you will be well on your way to being more productive in less time, while improving your overall health!
A morning routine
This is the cornerstone to having a productive day. Part of a morning routine is waking up at a designated time, if you are like me and you can sleep in every day then great, but don’t push past a certain time. Set your alarm for what works for you whether it’s 4am or 10am and GET UP when it goes off. Have a shower, breakfast, Bible time, and don’t slip pj’s back on. I’m not saying you need to get dressed in a suit but tossing on clothes you would be comfortable answering the door in is a great start, add in hair and a little makeup and you are mentally going to be ready to go.
Important things first
Getting your most important task done first will help you to feel accomplished and therefore encouraged to get on to the more menial things you need to tackle in a day. It is also an awesome way to know that if a child falls ill or something comes up you have already finished what was number one on the list instead of being rushed around and staying up late trying to complete it when you are weary.
Schedule your time
Another load of dishes or a basket full of laundry may be something you need to do each day while you are working from home. You would be surprised how much time it really takes to get these things done when you stop procrastinating. You can easily get all the dishes finished and put away in 15 minutes. Don’t believe me? Set a timer and get to work. When it goes off look at how much you have accomplished and take note of that so you can easily schedule it in and not be pulled down by procrastination. If something does take you a long time and you feel like there must be a better way, it may simply be that you have too much stuff. Decluttering, even a little bit, while you clean up, goes a long way to making regular tasks, like putting away clothes, go a lot quicker and more smoothly. And the bonus is when you get dressed the next day everything is in its proper place!
Unsubscribe and turn off notifications
If you like a Facebook page, follow someone on Pinterest or Instagram or are active on Twitter or Periscope schedule that in so you don’t get distracted. Don’t even open these time-stealing apps until you have time to relax for a bit. It becomes far too easy to be checking our notifications and replying to the next cute photo when we should be actively working. Shutting off notifications means we won’t be sidetracked by constant alerts on our phones, tablets or even PC. If you are getting trapped in the land of email take 5 minutes each day as you go through and purposely unsubscribe to emails you would normally not even open that are just making your inbox feel daunting. This may take you several weeks as every mailing is scheduled a little differently, but once you have finished your inbox should be full of things important to you and not full of time-bandits.
The idea of a home office is often a dream that turns into a catch all and therefore more anxiety and less work. That said, do your best to set up a little nook in a room that you need to be in throughout the day. I have seen some ladies using a tool tote with their pens, planners and other papers in them so they have all of their office supplies in a grab and go bag that works anywhere in the house. If you are blessed with a desk keep it minimal. Scan or take photos of papers you don’t need to keep and then shred the hardcopy and save the digital. Any papers you do need can easily be filed away. If you can purpose to work in the same area each day and not use that space for leisure you are going to be far more likely to use the time in that space productively while saving the more fun things for later!
Break things up
If you are working from home then you need to treat your work as a job instead of as a hobby. Blogging can be either or both and sometimes that line can become blurred depending on your current season. Setting up a regular schedule for posts, putting them in your planner, coming up with ideas ahead of time and taking the time to work is all great but what about when we spend too much time doing research or working and the house crumbles? Well that’s why we need to break things up. If you are a work at home mom you need to schedule your work time smartly and schedule in time for household tasks too or you will fall behind and end up spending the late evening playing catch up only to wake up feeling behind. Depending on the ages of your kids this may be a lot easier to schedule than during other seasons. Setting a timer for how long you are going to spend working can be a great reminder for you to take a break and it can also show your children when it is okay for them to take a break too and get ready for lunch or playing outside, etc. And, don’t put in overtime on evenings and weekends!
A night time schedule
Just as you see children thrive with routine, so do adults. Eat your dinner at roughly the same time each day and clean up those dishes so you can wake to a clean kitchen! It only takes you 15 minutes and will help you to start the day off right. Have a shower or bath to wash the day away, sit back with a good book, TV or check in on social media. Have a time set for bedtime and stick to it! You need to be getting around 8 hours of solid sleep each night, if you wake up at 6 each morning you should be going to bed no later than 10. If you are struggling to fall asleep, try reading a real paper book. The blue light emitted by our electronics has been shown to prevent our brains from realizing that it is as late as it is, so stepping away from the screen an hour before bedtime and getting into a book or your paper planner may just be the screen time detox your body needs to fall asleep when you lay down.
If you work from home or are a stay at home mom/wife/dad/husband, what are your tips to staying on track and getting things done? I would love to know your personal tips/tricks in the comments!!