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Going from working in an office setting to working from home in our tiny apartment, with limited surfaces, and a puppy was quite the adjustment. Some days I still wonder how I’ve gotten 130+ days into quarantine with only a limited number of meltdowns. And while no day is ‘perfect,’ I have finally been able to find what works for me to help stay organized and increase my productivity, and I could not be happier!
If you’re like me and are balancing 364839493 things (a 9-5, side hustle, ‘social’ life), I hope these tips help you find your groove so you can get shit done.
Keep a Schedule
I am not, or will ever be, someone that can just roll out of bed and sit down at my desk to start working. I need my ‘me’ time in the morning and I sure as heck do not want to start working the instant I wake up.
If you’re the same way – Finding a schedule that works for your mornings is crucial. Whether you’re getting up and doing your hair and makeup, and getting dressed, before you start working or you are simply waking up, brewing coffee and eating breakfast, and maybe showering before you sit down for the day, having a schedule that you follow each day will make you feel productive even on days when your work output is a little less.
Utilize a Planner
Whether it’s digital or paper, having a planner to reference throughout the day will keep you on schedule and help ensure you don’t miss any phone calls, meetings, or appointments. It’s also a good way to keep your life as a whole organized and avoid the stress of double booking yourself!
I use both a paper and digital planner – go big or go home, right? I like using both so that if I’m out and about, or my if my planner is in another room, I’m able to still get the information I need from digital planner.
When it comes to a digital planner, I simply use Google Calendar and even have a separate calendar that Chris and I share, which is extremely helpful for keeping our schedules straight. For a physical paper planner, I cannot life without my Golden Coil planner! It’s 100% customizable, the paper is nice and thick so ink doesn’t bleed through, and with several cover options, it’s easy to pick a planner that reflects your personality.
Create a Solid To-Do List
Raise your hand if your to-do list is a mile long at all times 🙋🏻♀️ I’d be nowhere without a to-do list and honestly, probably wouldn’t get anything done. Outlining everything you need to tackle all in one place will allow you to adjust your day, make a plan, and get shit done.
I’ve been using this notepad trio for around six months now and I’m obsessed! I love that the sheets can be ripped off and fastened in my planner, have checkboxes, and that each pad covers all aspects of my life – general to-do’s, grocery shopping, and projects around the house. Generally, I write out my full to-do list on the to-do notepad, break down my tasks by day in my planner, and fastened it into my planner with a book dart.
In addition to creating a physical to-do list and my planner, I also utilize Asana! If you haven’t tried it yet, it is a GAME 👏🏻 CHANGER 👏🏻 I have separate projects for the things I’m currently working on and love that when working collaboratively, I can add a different assignee to the task, add in a due date, and any other comments/notes!
New to Asana? Check out this beginner’s guide!
Time Batch Emails
Opening an unruly inbox is stressful AF and nobody’s got time to answer hundreds of emails, right as they come in. If you do this, you’ll be answering emails all freakin’ day. Instead, giving time batching a try!
Plan to check your emails 2-3 times a day (morning, noon & night!) for an hour or so. This will help reduce distractions throughout your day, will manage expectations regarding response times, as well reduce the feelings of stress and overwhelm when logging into your email.
What are your tips for increasing productivity?