I am always on the lookout for ways to improve myself. I work full time from home on my own business and part-time outside of my home. On top of that I also manage our household due to my husbands very demanding job (lots of travel) and I have to find time in there for for friends, family, and myself. It can be so stressful trying to check all the boxes! Now I know that your life is so busy…..but busy does not mean productive! I can guarantee I run into hiccups in my day that derail me from my plan and don’t misunderstand me, I am so busy,….but I’m not getting done the things I feel need to be productive.
I’m sure you know as I do that there is so much to do in one day, but if you don’t do them then they won’t get done! So I have come up with 10 things I do to help make my day more productive and successful.
1. Prepare the night before-This is so important! Stop and think about the things that get in your way in the morning. Is it making coffee, packing lunches for kids or yourself, stressing out about getting your shower and makeup done, figuring out what to wear, and making sure not to forget to feed fido? Take the stress out of your morning! That should be your hour of getting yourself ready for your day. If you start your day off in a frenzy….the rest of your day will feel crazy. So do these things before you go to bed:
Make your coffee: Buy a programmable coffee maker and get your coffee set up to brew just before your alarm goes off. The smell of coffee will help you wake up and all you have to do is pour and enjoy!.
Pack your lunch and your kids lunch: While you’re cleaning up supper start making lunches. Portion out leftovers for the next day or put together sandwiches and snacks. Do this while your kitchen is messy and then you will only have to do clean up once. This way you will start your day with a clean kitchen and packed lunches.
Lay out clothes for the next day and take steps to cut down your morning beauty routine: I think I have wasted at the most 60 min running around my closet trying to find something to wear that day…..and that only made my morning more stressful! Pick out your outfit the night before and stick to it! You will find getting ready to be a snap and you will start wearing more of your closet then sticking to the usuals. Also, find way to cut down your beauty routine. Shower and do your hair the night before (dry shampoo will be so helpful making that style last). This will give you extra time to do your makeup and whatever else beauty routine you have. This app has helped me out so much with planning my clothes for the week.
Fill pet bowls the night before-This is pretty easy for you to do. Make sure your pets water bowls and food bowls are full before you go to bed. So in the AM you just need to let them out and put them away when you leave.
2. Dress for success- I am a huge believer in dressing for success. It is so easy to pull on sweats and be comfy cozy, but, this will change your mindset for the day too. If you dress like you want to lounge around chances are you probably will end up doing that. Even when I work from home I get up and get dressed for the day. If you dress like you’re ready to take on the day you will find yourself more productive. Save the sweats for the gym or wine-ding down at the end of the day 🙂
3. Get up early- I know this is a struggle for some people, but it will help you be more productive. Getting up early everyday (even your day off) will get you going and productive. On days off I try to get up by 7am. This allows me time to drink my coffee and get my mind set for the day. Plus you will start checking off your list earlier and allow time for yourself later in the day.
4. Plan it out-Plan what you want to achieve that day. Write out a list the night before or the morning of. Make sure you don’t overbook yourself and allow for small breaks for yourself and potential interruptions to your day. Write your list out from most important to least and cross off tasks as you complete them. You will feel more accomplished seeing yourself checking things off your list. Tackle the more achievable things first so when you get to the harder stuff you will have confidence in yourself to finish it.
5. Edit your phone and social media usage–The technology age has helped us achieve things by leaps and bounds. It is also a huge distractor and time killer and when you are trying to be productive in your day…..it can hinder you rather than help you. When you wake up in the morning, do not look at your social media. Scrolling through your Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest first thing in the morning will get you off track. Instead of thinking of the things you want to accomplish that day, you will be scrolling through other peoples accounts and the things they have achieved and you may find yourself feeling stressed at your lack of productivity or feeling a lot of FOMO. Not a good mindset first thing in the morning.
Turn off notifications on your phone for social media apps and turn your ringer off while you are trying to get work done. Though we try to rationalize having our phones on just in case of emergency…….most of the calls we get are not true emergencies. Whoever is trying to get a hold of you can leave you a voicemail or text. Set yourself an allotted time of day and amount of time that you will check your phone and media accounts. Deal with anything that needs your attention then put your phone away again. This will make a huge difference in your productivity.
6.Routine- Try to set a daily routine for yourself and stick to it everyday. Parts of the routine may change depending upon the activities for each day of the week, but try to keep a similar routine for each day and the order you accomplish it. It can be as simple as setting a morning and night routine for yourself (what time you get up, laundry or cleaning, exercise, when you check social media, etc.)
7.Set designated time for yourself-This is so important. When we get wrapped up in our days we tend to put ourselves last and feel guilty for trying to sneak time in for ourselves. Add it to your schedule and make it part of your routine. You have to take care of yourself to be productive. It can be setting an hour out of your day for a workout class, yoga, a hot bath, reading a book or magazine, or taking your pet for a walk. Give yourself time and you will find the mindset and energy you need to feel productive in your day.
8.Don’t be afraid to delegate-Even though you are wonder woman or superman….you can’t do it all (even Batman needed a sidekick!). Find people in your life you can depend on to delegate tasks you are having trouble getting done. Ask your spouse to help you with the laundry, the kids to help you with the pets, your parents or babysitter to watch the kids once a week while you run errands. Everyone can help you achieve productivity. Don’t try to wear all of the hats in your household.
9.Do the habits that tidy people do– So this may sound weird but there is a connection between how you maintain your living spaces and your mental health. If you live in a house with tons a clutter, dirty dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, or a smell you can’t seem to locate, chances are you probably struggle with thinking things out because it feels like your mind is cluttered. When you live in a clean space you tend to think better and find being productive easier because you aren’t feeling like you live in chaos. Here are some habits of tidy people:
–Every time you leave a room, leave with a purpose. If you are getting up off the couch fold the blanket you were using and adjust the pillows. Or grab the glass you were using to drink your water from and bring it to the dishwasher. Never leave a room empty handed.
–Tidy people make their bed. Every day. Your room with feel cleaner and you will sleep better because the sheets won’t be all twisted up.
–Do not go to bed with dishes in the sink. Every night you before bed make sure you load the dishwasher and hand wash the dishes that need it. You will start each day with a clean slate and a clean sink.
-Do not throw clothes on the floor. Any time you remove an article of clothing either fold it, hang it up, or put it in the hamper. This will help you with finding clothes and help you not feel like you’re living in a dorm.
–Diffuse oils or use a nice smelling wall plug. Clean smells help you to think better and can help you relax. I like to diffuse lavender and eucalyptus essential oil in my home. It creates and inviting and relaxing environment that I am able to work in.
10. Know your why and question anything asked of you-Your time is precious, so you should be confident in the decisions you make and the tasks you want to carry out. Tell yourself why you are doing what you are and remind yourself of how important it is that you finish that task. Having a why and an answer for it will help reinforce you carrying out your goal. With that, question anything that is asked of you. Ask yourself is that good for me? Will this help or hinder my productivity? If you feel that adding that task will harm your productivity, say no. You do not have to carry the weight of the world. You have created a plan for yourself, you are being productive, and you have to take care of yourself and your mental health. Do not stretch yourself so thin that you compromise the tasks you believe are important. You may be helping someone else check off their boxes, but you are not helping yourself.
I hope you find these tips as helpful as I have! Have a happy and productive week!