So isn’t it funny when all of your carefully planned cogs collide and cause chaos and mayhem? I’ve had that recently where I have been so caught up in one part of my life that all the other parts of it get all jumbled and you end up feeling a little chaotic and therefore you’re ‘busy’ but not necessarily productive?
Here are 8 tips on being productive rather than busy:
1. Make a list of all of the things you want to achieve and schedule your week, I always categorise my lists; admin, technical, marketing, life, projects so that it makes it really easy to identify what I need to achieve. You’ll regularly find me, on a Sunday afternoon, with a mug of coffee, a weekly planner, my calendar and my to do list and I will block and allocate a time to do each task so that my week is planned rather than mayhem. You end up achieving a lot more and being more focused about what you do rather than jumping from task to task.
2. Automate tasks that you don’t need to necessarily do manually, I regularly have my grocery shopped delivered to my door rather than going out to the shops, book in the gardener to come over once a month and give the garden a good tidy up, put meal plans together to make life simpler – no umming and arring in this house!
3. Don’t wile away your hours on social media, invest in an app that tracks your time on the socials to see how long you actually spend looking at ‘inspiration’ on Instagram. I recently heard about site blockers that you can install on your desktops which can and will purposefully not allow you to access certain websites for however long you specify. Imagine not being able to jump onto Facebook at the drop of a hat?! Scared? I dare you!
4. Take a break! What do I mean? We all know that you can’t sit at your desk all day and actually get all of your work done in one fell swoop, taking regular breaks will allow you to let your mind wander, get some fresh air, stretch your legs and be back to your old self in as little as 10 minutes – so take the opportunity, then come back to your work with a clear head.
5. Start your day with the hardest task or the task that you’ve been putting off, it’ll help to just get it done early on when you’re at your best, then you’ve got the rest of the day to finish off, not worrying about that big looming task.
6. Close all your browser tabs – I checked this morning and I had a record number of 46 tabs open!! This meant I was jumping from one task to another as I came across the relevant tab – I had kept them open as reminders to complete something but it simply wasn’t happening – so now I have bookmarked and saved them to return when its time to complete said task… How many tabs do you have open, let me know in the comments?
7. Have a natter – its so useful talking to another person, either pick up that phone or arrange to have an informal chat with a colleague or someone else. It could be to ask an opinion on something specific or just a little chat about the weather – it all helps to refocus your centre and think about something else – make sure you’re present though, its no good if you’re thinking about your client meeting later or what you’re having for lunch!
8. We all want to be the expert at everything, but alas we are not – there are some things that we just aren’t wired for. The best thing to do is acknowledge it and find an expert to come in and take over. We all have our expertise so hiring in or getting a colleague to help out on something because they know more than you is perfectly acceptable.
Sometimes its really difficult to accomplish what you need to, your to do list is ever growing and you’re setting your goals high, and you just need to perform. It can get too much and no matter how hard you try to list, categorise and get things done, sometimes productivity just stops, overwhelm happens. The key is to know how to wipe that slate clean, pick yourself up and start again. Do you have any other tips that you also think are relevant? What do you do to be productive rather than busy?