Okay, so I know what you are thinking. Twice as productive? I already feel so busy! Well I felt the same way. Can I ask you a question though? Busy with what?
Are you busy with meaningful tasks and getting things done that will contribute to your wellbeing? Or are you busy scrolling Facebook and watching tv? Don’t get me wrong, I love sitting in front of the tv and catching a show. I have built a business on Facebook, so trust me I scroll. It’s how much time I dedicate to those things that matter.
We also all have the duties that we cannot escape (and that we love doing). If you are a mom like me, preparing and feeding my children are must do tasks and I enjoy doing them. (you can read my story here) Cleaning your home, buying groceries, catching up on emails. All tasks that need to be done and take time.
Do you find that time flies by whether you have fun or not? I look at the clock and cannot believe the day is done! This happens a lot to me. Raising two kids, keeping connected with my husband, maintaining our home and running a business definitely makes my day cruise by.
However I was finding that at the end of the day, in my time of reflection (something I do everyday and highly recommend, we can chat about that later), I would always have a sense that I was not very productive that day. I would say to my husband all the time “what did I do today?” It was driving me nuts!! And scared me too, I am not in a position where I can waste away my days. Building a life of choice, your time is crucial.
So here is what I started to do. I started doing these 5 things everyday to ensure I was capitalizing on my time. Everyday.
Watch the clock.
What I have begun to do is to pay attention to the time and gauge how long tasks will take me. If I sit down to read through emails, I will look at the clock. Let’s say it is 10:30, I will say to myself “11:00, I have half s hour to action my emails.” Then I will periodically glance at the time. Once it hits 11:00, I will move onto another task or I will reevaluate the time I have given myself.
If I feel like I am getting a lot accomplished and want to continue, I will reset my time and give myself a new end time. Either way, by watching the clock, this does three things for me.
- It keeps me accountable to the task I am doing. if I know I have a time limit to get my emails done, I’ll usually stay focused on them for that time knowing I need to get them done by 11. This deters me from allowing myself to get distracted.
- I feel more in control of my day and my to do list actually gets done (most of it at least).
- I put time limits on not so productive tasks like scrolling Facebook, so that two hours doesn’t fly by and all I’ve done is seen what Barb is eating for lunch and 300 other posts.
Write it down.
Making lists and setting daily goals is honestly my way of staying sane in this crazy time wrap of life. I prefer to write my to do list the night before. That way I have a firm idea of what my next day will look like. I can also “schedule” my day and not feel overwhelmed when I wake up on the morning because I know I can fit everything in based on my list I made the night before.
And guess what? Prioritize people!
Be realistic with your list. I try to have 5 things on my list MAXIMUM! Please don’t make a list with 15 things to do in one day, because guess what? You probably won’t be able to get them all done! And then you will feel a sense of guilt and I will feel bad for writing this blog and telling you to make a list.
Check that list.
At the end of the day, I want you to reflect. Reflect on your day and what you accomplished. Take out your to do list and look at those check marks! You did it. And if not everything is checked off, that’s okay! Because guess what?! You can move that task onto the to do list you are making for yourself for tomorrow.
It’s important for you to reflect on your productivity. When I can see what I have done, I feel like I have more handle on my day and can account for most of it. This gives me an extreme sense of accomplishment and ease of mind when I knowing I did my best and had a great day full of action.
Talk it out.
Make sure your partner or people that are apart of your day knows your schedule. If you book a two hour meeting and need to be done on time, share that with the attendees to
ensure you stay focused. Since my husband works from home too, we will share our daily commitments with each other. If he has a webinar at 11, I will make sure I can be with kids during that time, so he can be 100% focused on that webinar. Sometimes we overlap, but we talk it out.
Take time for yourself.
I saved the best for last. Guess what? You need YOU time, so make it happen. Whether it is a 10 minute run, an extra 5 minutes in the shower, take time for yourself. I cannot stress this enough. No matter how busy I am or how quickly I need to get out the door. I will always take at least 5 minutes to do my makeup and mascara.
When I do my makeup, I feel ready for the day. My confidence is boosted, I have fun picking the eyeshadow colours I’ll use that day and my daughter usually joins me to watch. She loves watching me doing my makeup. That is something I do for myself.
So find that extra 5 minutes and be good to you. Sometimes, I can even sneak in a soak in the tub. I make taking time for myself a priority and guess what? It happens because I make sure it happens.
Nothing is perfect and as much as you plan, life happens and things can come up. I will tell you this though, ever since I started these 5 daily things, I feel more productive and my tasks get done. It’s a very rewarding feeling when you go to sleep after a wonderfully organized chaotic day.