If this post was a movie, it would go a little something like this…
We open on a tight shot of a Macbook keyboard, and fingers actively typing away.
VOICEOVER: I used to make fun of the people who would sit at Starbucks and clickety-clack on their computers.
We pan out and see that I’m sitting at a table in Starbucks.
VOICEOVER: Now, I’m one of them.
Or, you know.. something along those lines.
Like many others, I find it really difficult to balance everything in my life at times. I find myself pushing tasks to other days, just so that I can enjoy a movie or read a book in my downtime.
And sometimes, it’s really hard to find downtime, and I feel guilty when I’m doing something I shouldn’t be, instead of something that really needs to get done.
That being said, I’ve come up with a list of five ways to be more productive, especially if you’re a blogger.
1. LEAVE YOUR HOUSE
Seriously, get out of your house. LEAVE.
There really is something behind the logic of leaving your house to get work done.
Even if it’s just going to a coffee shop that’s down the street from you or a public library, being somewhere that isn’t your immediate comfort zone forces you to have to get whatever blog post/assignment/reading done.
It’s easier to stay immersed in your work no matter who’s around you or what people are talking about, simply because you’re not thinking of other things that should be getting done (like the dishes, or vacuuming).
The downside to this, is that if you’re a people-watcher (like I am), you can get distracted very easily.
2. MAKE TO-DO LISTS
Not only do you see what needs to be done, but you can prioritize your tasks in the order you need to get them done in.
Plus, the satisfaction of crossing something off of your list – unlike any other feeling! There’s a sense of accomplishment of getting something done, even if it’s just a minuscule task like doing the dishes.
This is where I introduce to you, the bullet journal. I absolutely love my bullet journal.
Not only is it a daily planner, it’s my to-do list (hey, I just mentioned making one of those)! I can easily cross off what I’ve done, migrate or cancel what I can’t do or what’s irrelevant, and I can make any sort of lists/collections I want.
I’ve already converted a few people to using this method of planning, why not aim for a few more?
3. STOP MULTITASKING
Guilty as charged here: I’m always multitasking.
Correction, I WAS always multitasking, until I realized it actually decreases how productive you really are.
Focusing on more than one task at a time forces you to battle with yourself – switching from one thing to the other, thinking “oh, before I forget I should…” but then following that up with “shit, I totally forgot to…”. And let’s not forget the ever-so-common
What’s more important, getting the job done, or getting the job done right?
That’s what I thought.
4. SET A TIMER
Next time you need to get something done, set a timer. Depending on what it is, you can usually gauge how long it’ll take to complete.
I’ve gotten into the habit of setting a timer for myself for the tasks I don’t really want to do (like tidying my apartment), and focusing on only those tasks for 10, 15, or sometimes 20 minutes.
It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you give yourself a time limit to finish it in.
If you really wanted to, after your timer goes off and your task is complete, reward yourself with an episode of your favorite TV show, or 10 minutes of social media.
5. AIRPLANE MODE OR ‘DO NOT DISTURB’
This tip is most helpful if you’re a blogger or a student.
Most of the time, the little things I get distracted with are social media. Granted, social media is important to my blogging, but isn’t so important when I’m trying to get school work done.
Unplug while you get certain things done. Without the constant buzzing or dinging or tra-la-la-ing coming from your phone, you’ll be able to put more focus on the task at hand.
Plus, it’s always a good feeling when you turn your phone back on and have messages coming in. Definite ego boost.
The ‘Do Not Disturb‘ function is actually my favorite. I turn it on, and I still get all of my notifications, but if my phone isn’t active and in my hand, I don’t hear it.
The bonus part of this setting: if someone on your ‘favorites’ list calls you, it automatically goes through – you never miss an important call. That being said, if a call is important and they’re not on your list, it’ll come through if they call twice within a few minutes.
There are so many more ways to stay productive and keep your focus on what you’re trying to accomplish, but these five things just happen to be what works for me when I need that extra push to get shit done.
I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll need to find something else that keeps me motivated, but I’ll cross that bridge when the time comes.
What are some things you do to stay productive during the day?
Share your tips and tricks in the comments below, I’d love to try them out!