5 tips to be more productive
Prior to my first book, ‘When I Wake Up,’ being published, I juggled a marketing job and three lovely children (now four!) with my dream of becoming an author. People often ask me how I managed it all, and to be honest there were times I wondered myself, especially between school drop-offs, work, meetings and children’s activities! My best advice for anyone trying to write a book, or wanting to further progress their career, is to persevere and to work towards your goal every day. What helped me was to reflect on my process and the routines in my day-to-day life. Here are five easy strategies I implemented to increase my productivity, and ultimately, get published.
Form new habits
Reflect over your daily routine: what works well and what doesn’t work so well? When do you have gaps of time that you could utilise? In the morning, during your lunch hour, or at night? Time-block parts of the day when you can focus on your
5 tips to be
goal. Don’t waste this time on social media and if you can’t find a quiet space, listen to music to block any noise out. For me, it’s not about when I’m the most productive. It’s about using the time that I have, regardless. So get into the habit of using any spare time to work on your dream. To make sure you have enough energy to do this, form healthy eating habits, do regular exercise and try to get a good night’s sleep (which can be a challenge with young children!). A car can’t run on an empty tank and neither can you!
Plan your day
You have probably heard people tell you to be efficient with your time. This is good advice and if you plan your day, it’s easier to work out when to squeeze in time for your goal. Creating a weekly schedule or morning to-do lists may work well for you. Even just a general guide for the tasks that you need to achieve! Try and stick to it but remember that day-to-day life sometimes has a habit of encroaching on your planned schedule, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
In order to focus on getting my writing done, I jot down any non-writing-related thoughts or important tasks that pop into my head while I write. That way, I don’t have to spend precious time on them, but I also know I have them documented somewhere to deal with later. After my writing is done. I will also highlight the three most important tasks so if I don’t have time to do all of them, I know which ones are more pressing. This keeps me focused and helps me feel less stress.
Measure your progress
‘What gets measured gets done,’ and setting yourself achievable goals is a great way to expedite your progress. Hold yourself accountable by telling friends, family or like-minded people what your goals are. Aim to work on them for at least half an hour each day. I was recently introduced to an app called Pomodoro, which is a time-management method. It keeps tack of how much time I actually spend writing every day!
Don’t be so hard on yourself
Do you feel disappointed in yourself when you don’t accomplish what you set out to do? This certainly won’t make you aspire to do more. In fact, it will probably make you want to do even less. If you do find yourself distracted, maybe go outside and get a breath of fresh air or have a drink of water, then come back to it, move on (rather than feeling bad about yourself) and focus. Just doing something – anything – towards your dream should make you feel good about yourself.
Remember, you need to enjoy the journey, but by implementing these easy techniques daily you will hopefully find yourself closer to your dreams - in a shorter space of time.
What are your tips for a more productive life?