Get more done in less time
A lot of us feel like we're busy all of the time, but how many actually move the needle in ways that will propel us forward in life?
Often, we get stuck in the minutiae of daily life and allow constant distractions to fill our days - only to feel overwhelmed, anxious, incredibly busy and yet unfulfilled.
This needs to stop.
Don't get me wrong - I am guilty of this too, and speaking from experience. I feel the tug of responding to 'urgent' requests and notifications immediately, and doing the easiest tasks first rather than tackling the big, difficult ones.
These are quick fixes and not long-term solutions for productivity.
Why is productivity important? Because we only get one life and it is way too short to be spent focusing consistently on what's not important to us.
Here's how you can get more done at work and home in less time - so that you are free to focus on what is really important to you.
Set goals. If you don't know what's important to you, or where you're going, you're going to wind up just doing whatever comes at you. Of course, you probably set KPIs at work but why not in your own life as well (which is more important)? I specialise in helping people to identify what these goals are - what you really want - and how to get there in my 1:1 coaching.
Plan your weeks & days. This means getting out your calendar (I prefer digital but also have a printed weekly planner) and scheduling everything in - in advance. (I do this on a Sunday). Workouts, cooking, catch ups with friends, lunches, events, meditating, health appointments, and also when you are going to block off time to do the big tasks - both at work and in your own life. If you're starting a side hustle to find a more meaningful way to earn money on the side or eventually full time (which I will be talking about more over the coming months), these productivity tips are even more important to follow so that you can get more done in less time and stay out of overwhelm.
Do the hardest tasks in your most productive hours. I know that I focus better in the mornings, so I like to start my days with meditation, journalling, affirmations, working out, a healthy breakfast and time with my fiance Andres and kitty Moxie before diving into work. I like to focus on the most difficult tasks or biggest projects in the mornings and try to keep meetings and other distractions to the afternoons.
Turn off email and social media while you're focusing on your most important tasks. I find both these things to be the biggest time-wasters (although obviously essential - particularly with an online business and corporate role). However I receive hundreds of emails every day so could literally just spend my day doing emails and responding to social media notifications, and it can also be addictive because every time we get that little 'ping' of a notification we receive an endorphin hit. Which means we reach for more. Not good for those of us attempting to be disciplined in our lives... OR get a lot done!
Work in increments. This means working in blocks and taking regular breaks to replenish. I am a fan of task-based blocks of time. For example, if I need to work on something, I sit there until I complete it then take a break. (Unless it's a huge task - then I obviously break it down into chunks). Generally I can solidly focus for about 90 minutes before needing to replenish with a short break - but 90 minutes is actually a LOT of time to get something done if you are completely focused, in highly-productive mode and distraction free (for example, writing this post now takes me about 20 minutes - but I have had years of practice! If you're just starting out, or if it's a task that's quite new to you, it might take 20 minutes just for an outline - and that's completely okay! We all start somewhere - but make sure that you are kind to yourself and don't compare yourself with others, because remember - you're exactly where you need to be right now.