It’s the end of the day and you’re exhausted. Work was hectic as per usual. And as you check your watch you realize there were still two things that needed to be finished by the evening but it’s too late. Do you find yourself wishing there were five or six more hours in the day? Do you feel wiped and washed out by Friday? Then this post is for you. I struggle as well, blogging, marketing, and working a day job can be a bit much, but with some of our helpful productivity tips I think you’ll be back on top in no time.
Now these aren’t some half-baked tips out of a jar. These are habits I’ve personally made it a priority to keep and use in my day-to-day routine. Life gets crazy, but by taking a breather and working through your daily battles and challenges you can come out on top and end the day feeling relaxed rather than stressed.
So let’s get to it!
Make a list
If you’ve got a lot on your plate there is no better place to start than actually outlining what you’ve got going on. So you’ve got a big day huh? Well write everything that needs to be done down. And this doesn’t just have to be work-related, you can jot down other things as well.
For example suppose I’ve got a busy day; I have a post to write, a meeting with one of my team members, I need to run errands, and book a doctor’s appointment. Sounds pretty packed right? Well how about I just make a list.
- Finish blog post
- Meet with team member
- Run errands
- Book doctor’s appointment
Looks more manageable right? It’s easy to get carried away when you are sitting in traffic mentally preparing for another grueling day, but by making a list and checking items off as you go somehow Mount Everest looks more like a pleasant hike than an adventurous summit.
Don’t even wait for the “next time”, when you get the chance today grab a piece of paper and a pen (or open a word doc or notepad if you want to feel like we’re in the 21st century) and jot down what you have to do today. It can be anything, but get a bulleted list going so you can visualize the day ahead and start things off right. Now let’s get to rest of our productivity tips.
On extremely busy days it can feel like your hair is on fire. We’ve all been there, heck I had one of those days last week. Making a list of what you need to do is the easy part, the challenge is prioritizing. How do you decide what to do first? And in what order?
They key to that, is the ability to assess the importance of each task you have and go from there. Back to my previous example, what should be done first?
Well I need to get my blog post up by 8:30am so I better get that done first. Not that it’s extremely urgent (if I miss the deadline no one will die (though some may be disappointed)), but it’s the closest immediate deadline and also fairly easy to complete. Next, I better make that doctor’s appointment, if I wait they might be closed and honestly it’s good to get those things out of the way. I’ve been meaning to meet with my coworker, so I’ll try to get that done mid-morning, and I can probably run those errands on my lunch break of after work.
It sounds simple enough, but that’s a list of four items, not 10 which is where prioritizing is deceitfully challenging. I encourage you to practice. Make a list of things you need to do today and order them according to urgency, importance, and difficulty and go from there.
Stay on task
So we’ve got a list of what we need to do, and a rank of the order things need to be done. Now it’s just a matter of staying the course. In today’s world it is extremely easy to get off task. With your phone as a door to the wonders of the web and instant communication with friends it can be hard to power through and get things done.
So don’t let it.
Turn your phone off or put it in a different room if need be. Get noise canceling headphones, and turn off social media so you have absolute peace and quiet with no distractions. In fact there is an even an app for that called Self Control which blocks certain websites for a set amount of time. You plug in the sites that cause distractions for you, the set time you are going to be working, and boom you’re distraction free with no access.
Pretty cool stuff right?
This is a bit contradictory to the above tip, but trust me it’s not. While you want to be distraction free, I don’t think you really want to sit down for eight, nine, or ten hours without getting up or taking a break.
At least I wouldn’t.
While being distraction free is crucial to getting the job done it’s also important to take breaks while you work. In fact breaking your day up into chunks of work, and a short break can actually boost productivity. Seriously.
When I’m at work or if I have a big project I need to push through, I’ll try to work for an hour, and take a 1o minute break. It varies, sometimes it’s 40 minutes, sometimes it’s an hour and a half but the key is that there is a short moment to help break up the day. Taking a brief rest helps you recharge, refresh, and focus on the tasks at hand while staying motivated to power through the rest of the day. Even taking a full day of rest when necessary can be a huge productivity boost, if you’re looking for a bit of productive R&R look no further than this post for some great tips.
Keep your breaks short and regular and you’ll find yourself sprinting through the day.
Finally, when all is said and done you need to treat yo’ self.
You’ve put in a ton of hard work this week. You crossed every item off your list, prioritized like a champ, and got into a strong groove. Now it’s time to put your feet up and relax.
While this may not quite fit in with the rest of our productivity tips, it’s important to reward yourself for a job well done because A) it keeps you sane and B) it helps you to stay motivated for the next time you’re in a bind. However you treat yourself is up to you. Maybe pop in a favorite movie, order some takeout, go out with friends… etc. But be sure to give yourself some “you time” for all the effort and keep on crushing it!
There is nothing stopping you now! Armed with our productivity tips, go forth and crush the workweek and give yourself a big pat on the back come Friday. Sure it may seem like there is a mountain of work ahead. But by breaking things down, prioritizing, and powering through with efficiency there is no reason why even the toughest jobs can’t be completed in record time.
When it comes to blogging especially it can feel like we wear many hats. You’re one part author, one part marketer, along with being a manager and host of other hats. With our tips, and our Blog Trackr app we hope to give you some breathing room so you can focus on what matters: you.