When I was in my big time corporate role- I traveled constantly, but also spent a large amount of time working from home, for over 7 years. Even before the pandemic hit. During that time, I have experimented with different strategies of how to be productive with the time I have, to get stuff done, WITHOUT burning out. But not only that, to make sure I was focusing on the items that would move the needle towards my goals.
Now that I own my own coaching business, I am so glad I learned that skill set- becasue when you work for yourself-it requires a lot of dedication, drive, and discipline.
I wanted to share my strategies with you that I have learned for increasing productivity.
Let me first start by outlining the biggest things I see, that get in the way of accomplishing tasks
This is the #1 biggest time suck. Distractions from our environment, phone, thoughts, ect.
2. Emotional Avoidance
Typically, the MOST important task=the most uncomfortable/most procrastinated on. (The beauty is once we start working on this task, anxiety & other emotions will start to shift away)
3. Too many tasks
Typically, the more options we have, the harder it is to choose what to do (think of scrolling through Netflix-and how long it takes to make a decision on a movie or show-too many options).
4. How you write down your tasks
We often write down a task without thinking of all the steps that need to happen. For example; you write on your to-do list; preparing a presentation. But when you get to it, there are so many pieces that need to fall into place first. This can be divided into smaller tasks- like find neccesary images for presentation, quotes, or even doing research.
Those are the biggest items I see that feeds into the procrastination loop.
Here are tips on how to begin shifting this.
- Create a distraction-free zone
- Cell phone: Airplane mode, disable app notifications, log out of social media apps, put your phone out of view, even block out time on your cal
- Interruptions: Let people know you will be occupied with work
- Set up the environment: Have water, snacks, tea, coffee on hand, music if that is your thing, anything that helps you to focus.
- A Better “To-Do” List
- What are the top 3-5 most important tasks (MIT) for the week (if you finished these, you would be thrilled!)
- Looking at the 3-5 MIT- break these down into smaller steps
- Start Each Day…
- Looking at your 3-5 MIT list, and the smaller steps (or even better do this the night before) but writing down your most important tasks for the day that will help you finish the 3-5 MIT for the week (above).
- With your hardest task first. Your first task should be the hardest & most procrastinated upon (that if you only did that one for the day, you would still feel awesome) we only have so much brain power and our decision making abilites fatigue later on in the day.
- Focused Time Slots
- Focus without any distractions for 30 minutes, then take a 5-10 min break, REPEAT
- Decide on a clear task that will take you 30 min to complete
- Only do 1 task per session- no multi-tasking!
- Set a timer for 30 min or use an hourglass
- Take a break 5-10 min- yay!
- If there is a task that feels emotionally charged, ask yourself why? What is it about this task that is triggering me? Often we make tasks to feel bigger in our mind than they are in reality-it is OKAY to feel this way- heck I do still now and then, and I realize it is typically some part of me I don’t want to face or a task that is making me move outside my comfort zone. Lean into this- and know once you start & complete this- those feelings, anxiety, and fear will dimish.
Throughout the process, remember to give yourself grace, compassion, and know this is a journey and it will get better with time!
Ready to make this your best year yet? Sign up for 1:1 Coaching through Life & Mindset Coaching! Click here to schedule a free 30 minute call with me!