Tuesday, 17 May 2016

FIVE FAVOURITES: 5 Ways to become more productive!

I think we have all got to that point sometimes where we just want to scream! Aaaaaaaahhh!! Let it out!

Well, I completely understand. It's so hard when you have so many thing to do and so little time to do it, but unfortunately, worrying about it doesn't get the work done!



So, here are my 5 tips on how you can become more productive in your day and in turn, free up more time for you!

First things first though, what's most important to you? What is the one most important thing that you need to do each day that you are finding is not getting most attention? Is it spending time with your loved ones? Working out in the gym? Cooking a nice meal for dinner? Whatever it is, that is what we are going to work on. We also need to figure out how much time you want to spend doing this particular thing, then we can work on freeing up time by making you more productive. When you can do that, you can spend more time doing what you love!

No. 1 - Make more time!
If you don't have enough time in your day, why not try making more! Why not try getting up a little earlier in the morning. The 'Golden Hour' as some experts call it is 5am. Yes, I know you're probably screaming at your laptop right now, but it's so amazing when you wake up that early. Don't worry, I'm not saying that you need to start waking up at 5am, but maybe even just a little earlier can help. We are all more productive in the mornings (and that even includes you night owls out there!) so why not give it a go. If you normally get up at 7:30, then try waking up at 7:15am for the next week. Once you can do this, maybe try 7am and so on. You don't need to do this every day, maybe just try it for a few days in the week such as Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or if you can, Monday to Friday. You will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish in that time. By the way, this does not mean waking up 15 minutes earlier and then scrolling through Instagram for an extra 15 minutes a day! Put your mobile or alarm clock on the other side of the room to make you get up and turn it off. It's a great way to force yourself out of bed!

No. 2 - List!
So, we all know about writing lists, some of us (you know who you are!) may even write lists about writing lists! This is great, but if you are not getting anything done, it's not going to help you. So, a great tip is instead of writing a list of jobs, write a plan for your day. This is perfect to do either just before bed or when you first wake up. If you have managed to start waking up earlier each day, then why not try using this extra 15 minutes you've made to plan your day, job by job so you know what you need to do and how long you need to spend on it. For example if could be simple chores...

- excercise (morning run/yoga/gym) - 30 minute - 7am till 7:30am
- breakfast/shower/get ready for work - 1 hour - 7:30am till 8:30am
- go to work - 20/30 minutes - 8:30am till 9:00am and so on...

Or alternatively, you could just write a plan for the jobs that need completing at work in order of importance such as...

- email invoice to customer - 15 minutes
- call customer regarding new job - 15/30 minutes and so on...

If you can work in either 15 or 30 minute increments it will help with your productivity as you can actually plan how long each job should take. If you don't do this, it's quite easy to get distracted and do something else mid email for example. If you want to add the time to this (i.e. 9:30am till 10am) then do so. This plan needs to be strict, not loosely based around this or that time! Stick to it!

No. 3 - Give it your all!
When you begin one of your jobs you must stay focused. It's all very well getting up early, writing a plan, but if you get distracted and end up checking emails/sending texts etc that 30 minutes that you decided to spend on a task may run into 45 minutes - or even worse, it never gets completed that day! When you write your plan in the morning, you must stick to it. Allow yourself enough time to do each task and when you start each task give it your 100% attention. If you are working on your laptop, turn your wifi off and work offline if you can. Put your mobile onto airplane mode just whilst you start an important task or set a text so that you can just send it to somebody to say your are currently engaged but will call them back shortly. Make sure when you sit down to spend 15/30/60 minutes on a task, you completely focus all your attention on it - do not get distracted. If you are easily distracted, then keep your mobile phone/tv/other distracting device far far away!

No. 4 - Give yourself a break!
Your day should not just be work work work either. In your plan for the day, give yourself mini breaks every 30 to 60 minutes or so. When I say break, I'm talking 5 minutes not 30! Go and make a quick drink, walk outside the building and get some fresh air (literally 5 minutes around the block!), nip to the toilet or even just sit back and meditate. You can't just keep working without a break either, your brain will just end up getting distracted. After 30 minutes, our minds can start to wander, so allow it to. Just make sure you bring it straight back to work after 5 minutes and you should be back to feeling refreshed and ready to go again.

No. 5 - Get some help!
If you think you will struggle managing your time or planning your day, there are so many books, apps and programmes out there to help you become more productive. A lot of people like to use the Pomodoro Technique to help them work more efficiently (this includes setting a timer for your time bursts to keep you on track), there are many apps in the app store that can help with productivity too. Or, if you prefer the good old fashioned pen and paper, you can use something like The Productivity Planner book or even The Happiness Planner to help plan your day and work on creating a feeling of gratitude in your life.

Well, I hope this blog post has helped some of you become more productive. Why not give the tips a try and see how much time you can make for yourself!

Thanks so much for reading

Emmaline x

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