1 Write down your plans
Write down your plans in to do lists. This was it’s out of your head so you can be more focussed and not get distracted by repeating all those tasks in your head over and over again. I use 3 different lists:
Dump – list
This includes everything that’s in my head at the moment. Need to buy grandma a gift, write it down. Make a destist appointment, write it down. Clean the fridge, write it down. Create a new blog post about productivity, write it down. Well, you get the point. This list includes Everything that pops up in your head.
To do today – list
This list will be the list you work off today. Now don’t add 10 things to this list. Keep it realistic. Do you have a full work day ahead of you? Add 1-2 big tasks and 2-3 small tasks. I like to keep my lists small to “only” 3 things. You can pick them from your dump list or might want to add something that came up that morning.
A day with kiddo’s at home? I like to choose 1 thing I want to get done that day. If I get more done from my dump list it’s all extra. Little kiddo’s might need me a lot and these days are also intended to spend on them.
2 Sleep sleep sleep
You could choose to keep working late in the night. And please do when you feel super productive and motivated to finish something. But in the long run it’s more important to be well rested than to make a lot of hours. Being well rested will give you the energy to be creative, to be more focused and thus finish your tasks faster. There’s always more work to do, always prioritise taking care of yourself.
Routines will help you get things done. There is all kind of routines you can create, two important ones: routines to get things done and routines to get in a certain mood.
Routines to get things done: we all have routines on how we do things. But maybe they’re not the routines you like or maybe they don’t work. Analyze what you’re already doing, what do you like and enjoy in them, and what might be switched to something more useful. For example let’s look at our morning routine to all get ready: we like to drink a coffee in bed before getting up, get dressed, go downstairs and have time to sit at the table and do breakfast. This worked because kiddos woke up at 6 for a long while. But now they’re sleeping until 7:30 and we have to change it because we can’t get it done without hurrying. The most important thing for me is we don’t have to hurry so we can start our days stress-free. So we might have to skip the coffee in bed or start putting clothes ready the day before so everything runs more smoothly. We all have to ability to choose how we do things, if something doesn’t work for you: find a way to change it and make it better.
Routines to get in a certain mood: Before I start work I created a routine to make myself a coffee, sit down and write down my to do’s for the day. This creates my work mood and doing this time and time again trained my mind to go into work mode. If I want to do some work in the evening I use the same routine and it quickly get’s me back into a work mindset. Although I’ll choose caffeine-free coffee because I like my sleep.
4 work without distractions
There are so many distractions around us to keep us from getting sh*t done. Yes, social media is definitely one of them but there are many more things we can do to not get distracted. Clean the space you’re working in. A clean space is a clean mind. Before I start to work I always clean be room. This might take me 30 minutes but it’s 30 minutes well spent. Another easy one: close all the apps, programs and tabs you’re not working on. Even better, make it a habit to do this at the end of your work day so you can start fresh the next day. But also do it when you feel overwhelmed during the day, just close it all and start over. The phone… still working on this one, but what works best is to just leave it at the other side of the room. Nothing that can’t wait for an hour.
5 Appreciate what you got done
The best thing you can do to be more productive on a daily basis is to appreciate the work you got done that day. That’s why you need short to-do lists. Even on days or weeks where there was “only” one thing on it. Be happy you got that done. Feeling good about what you got done is the best motivation to get back to work the next day.
Hopefully, these things will help you create a life you enjoy!