Whenever I see articles that are named something incredibly clickbaity like '15 ways to get all your work done in 30 seconds' you know I'm going to click on it even though I know it's never going to be that good. I'm sure like most people I am always on the lookout for new ways that I can be that extra bit more productive. And here are some things that I'm trying to do at the moment in the hopes that I'll get my to-do list ticked off before 9pm.
SEPARATE WORK PROFILE ON MY COMPUTER
For so long I've just had one user profile on my computer and that is where everything lived. Every single piece of work I was doing as well as then all the personal images that I shoot as well and my e-mails etc. And logging onto that everytime I wanted to use my laptop for something that wasn't work related meant I was faced with a lot of projects constantly in my face. It might seem like an odd thing to do but splitting up my digital workspace into work and then personal is something that has really helped as I know when I log into my work profile that is when I have to focus and then personal is just for fun. I've particularly found this helpful at night when I want to watch something on Netflix or YouTube and I don't have to my inbox on the background which then leads me to check them late at night.
TURNING OFF MY E-MAILS AND HAVING TWO HOUR CHECK INS
My inbox is where my income comes from so it's important that it's organised and kept up to date. But it's also something that is incredibly distracting when there are things popping up throughout the day so I have to turn it off and just regularly check in every couple of hours. I work this into my daily schedule where I not only check in with my e-mails but also make sure that I'm replying to them promptly. Something else that I've done for years is disconnected my e-mails from my phone. Of course, if I was away from my laptop for a long period of time I would turn them on but in general not having multiple notifications distracting me works wonders. E-mails are part of my work day and they cannot be ignored but they can often turn into a big time suck.
WORKING THE HOURS THAT WORK FOR ME
If you're self-employed or even at university you will know the general time frames that are pushed onto us to work in. It's funny really that if you don't work 9-5 that people seem to believe that you don't work at all which of course just isn't true. For years, I've felt the pressure to work these hours for others to take my work seriously and that's just ridiculous. No-one needs the approval of complete strangers when it comes to how they make their living but especially not with the hours that they choose to work. For a while, I've known that I work best early in the morning so on most days I work from around 5am to nearly 10am before I take Josie out then have lunch before I sit down at my desk for the afternoon. And that's just what works for me, for some that wouldn't work at all but those hours right now are the best for me. It might change at some point I'm sure and that's a large part of being your own boss. You do what is right for you at the time and then when it's not you find another way to get everything done and that's ok.
THE ONE NOTEPAD RULE
We all know that I love stationery, I mean how times do I have to mention that? And something I can be quite guilty of is spreading my work across multiple notepads which isn't something that I like to do anymore. I've always said it's nice to keep things separate and maybe one day I'll go back to that but as of right now I'm keeping all of my work in one journal as well as all my life admin tasks too. I use one page a day for a to-do list and then split my list into work and life and that's working really well for me right now. Just like my work hours the way that I like to plan my day constantly changes and it's just finding what works in the moment.
PODCASTS AND MUSIC ONLY
I could lie to you and tell you that I never watch things whilst I work but I do and it's something that keeps me company especially if I've been by myself for a while. Which is why I don't feel that badly about it. But I know when I watch things I don't tend to focus as much, I still tend to get everything done which is great but I feel like I can be even more productive when I listen to a podcast or music instead. And listening to podcasts is something that I always find helps with my writing style too. I'm currently really enjoying the 'Hey, It's Ok' podcast from Glamour, the episodes are about half an hour long which makes a change from my usual podcast episode choices.
SMALL THINGS I'M DOING TO BE PRODUCTIVE
- Always getting dressed.
- Using my desktop a lot more than my laptop.
- Doing one task at a time.
- Putting my phone in another room so I'm not tempted by it.
- Always making sure I have a big bottle of water on my desk.
- Using a good pen [sounds ridiculous but it makes all the difference in the world for me].
- Keeping my desk tidy and clutter free.
- Forcing myself to have regular breaks [time to cuddle Josie really].
- Blocking distracting websites, ahem Twitter.
- Not leaving tasks half way though, see them through until the end.
- Making sure my desk is where I want to be by making it as nice as possible without spending anymore money on it.
Do you have any tips to be more productive?