We could all stand to be a little more productive (and organized!) this upcoming year. We all have extremely busy schedules and it can be difficult to effectively manage your time. Stop feeling torn in every direction and use these tips to make the most out of your day!
Establish A Morning Routine (and stick to it)
Having a morning routine is a foul proof way to set yourself up for success throughout the daytime. Get into a morning routine and make it a non negotiable part of your day (unless of course it’s the weekend and you’re taking the day off!) Set aside a few moments where you can read the paper, watch the news, or enjoy a really great breakfast without feeling like you need to get out the door ASAP.
Use A Calendar
Remember in elementary school when your teacher made you write your homework in your planner? Same rule applies here. Use a calendar to keep track of appointments, make to-do lists, and stay on top of your hectic schedule. You could even color code your tasks based on their importance or their location. The best part? Pretty much EVERY phone on the market has a calendar so you always have yours with you.
This may sound like the last thing you want to do, but it is so beneficial to you and your health. Set aside a time of at least thirty minutes every day that is dedicated to getting up and moving. Working out is a great way to relieve the stress that builds up throughout the day, and can even boost your productivity throughout the day.
Image from Dirty Truth Reviews
Stop Viewing Time As The Enemy
Forget all of the negative connotations about time. You know, “time flies” or “time is cruel.” If you are ever going to be truly productive, stop viewing time as the enemy! Change your thinking and make a goal to be more positive about time. We all have the same hours in a day, it’s time to make time yours!
Block Out Your Time
Plan out your day in chunks of time so you don’t get overwhelmed or tempted to have a lazy day. For example, your schedule could go something like this:
8:30-9:00 AM- “Me” time, watch TV or read a book. Just do something that you love!
9:00-12:00- Go to work, clean your house, catch up on emails.
12:00-12:30- Lunch time!
12:30-5:00- Finish up your work
5:30-6:30- Gym time
By blocking out your time, it allows you to stay focused on the task at hand rather than worrying about something later on in the day.
Image from Well Made Clock
There is nothing less productive than a messy work space. If you are spending minutes at a time looking for your computer charger, or even your favorite pen, you are wasting valuable work time. Organize your desk, and you will find that you are a lot less stressed out, and you aren’t wasting any more time looking for a Post-it note! There are tons of great organization ideas online if you need some inspiration.
Don’t Over-Schedule Yourself
If you find yourself constantly stressed out about making your next appointment on time, or you are rushing to make that Girls Night Out, remind yourself that it is okay to say no! Seriously, if you think you may have even the slightest bit of a scheduling conflict, don’t even make the appointment. There is no sense in stressing yourself out when you could simply say no! It is proven that those who schedule commitments less end up being more productive throughout the day. Also, set aside a day of the week where you have no scheduled commitments, it’s nice to take a break and just relax!
If you are working on a huge project, give yourself some wiggle room when planning out your blocked schedule. This allows you to work slower if need be without worrying about not finishing or going over on your scheduled time. Things happen, and you won’t even be phased if something does when you have a bit of a “time cushion.” Plus, if you finish your task early, you can always use the extra time to take a quick nap, or just have some “you” time!
Make Time For Yourself
I cannot stress the importance of this. Scheduling time is super great and all, but not when you are completely forgetting to schedule time for yourself! Put aside 30 minutes to an hour each day when you do something specifically for you. Whether that be taking a bath or reading a few pages of your favorite novel, this is SO important. You will be more focused throughout the remainder of the day, making this an extremely productive decision!
Make Email Rules
If you are constantly checking your email, and get stressed when you see the number of emails increasing throughout your workday, stop checking your email! Okay, well, still check your email, but do so a lot less frequently. Pick two times of day where you check your emails and answer those requiring a response, and don’t check it any other time! Checking it at the beginning of the workday, and then again at the end is generally recommended.