Making Your Work Day Really Work For You
Something I cannot bear is having an unproductive work day. Lately, I've been having a few days where I get to around 6pm and wonder where my day has gone. As I work for myself and don't have a 'normal' work environment it's all too easy to slip into bad habits. Even if you don't work for yourself I think this is still an easy trap to fall into, so today I wanted to talk to you about getting your work day to really work for you so you end the day on a complete high.
DO THE DULL BUT IMPORTANT TASKS FIRST
I can't even try and pretend that this is an exciting way to start your day, but by getting these menial items ticked off your to-do list first you can go onto the tasks you really want to do. It's so easy to write these tasks on your to-do list and then get to the end of your work day and realise that you've not even thought about them. There are some things that I cannot bear to do, but they just have to get done and even just sticking on an album that you love can ease the pain slightly.
The environment that you choose to work in plays a large role in how productive you are. If I try and work in a space that has any clutter I'm instantly distracted, so I always make sure that I tidy my desk up throughout the day which is easy when you have a tiny space like mine. I've written an entire post on how to make yourself a productive workspace in this post here if you fancy reading some more pointers on the subject.
DITCH THE DISTRACTIONS
For me, this means leaving my phone in another room or somewhere where I'm not tempted to just sit and scroll through social media. If my phone is by my side I cannot help myself but check up on social media and go through my e-mails when I don't need to so by leaving it elsewhere I don't think even think about it. Sometimes if I really want to get stuck into whatever I'm doing I will disconnect myself from the internet entirely so I can focus and not have 20 internet tabs open at once.
MAKE A PLAN
When you have the freedom to start your work day whenever the hell you like this is when things can easily go downhill. By having a plan in place, it helps you to avoid wasting time as you're aware of exactly what you need to do that day. This could be in the form of a to-do list or you could go into a lot more of an in-depth if you wanted to break down the tasks even more. Even though I don't believe in having a typical 9-5 work day as I work better in the evening I still like to try and stick to some sort of structure.
GIVE TASKS A TIME LIMIT
Sometimes I get really wrapped up in tasks and then I end up spending the entire day on them when really they should have only taken a couple of hours but sometimes things work out that way. So this is when giving tasks a certain time limit works really well. If you know something isn't going to be able to be completed in a certain time scale then just give yourself an hour or so to work on it and then leave it alone for the rest of the day.
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
I used to be terrible for working without a break, I stupidly believed that was going to result in a more productive day when in reality it wasn't. My break times alter every day, but now I make sure I stop for lunch and have around an hour to make myself a proper meal so that I'm giving my body the energy it needs for the rest of the day. Then I'll take another break at 4pm just to have a from my screen and potter around (read: play with Bella).
SET YOUR OWN RULES
If you're self-employed you will know how easy it is to believe you should be working a 9-5 work day like everyone else. For a long time I thought that was something I had to do too but I don't. I'm my own boss and I can set my own hours because that is the glory of being your own boss. It doesn't mean I work any less than anybody else or that I'm lazy, I'm just making my work day suit me and ever since I stopped trying to work to everyone else's routine I've been so much happier for it.