Happy Monday everyone!
Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Today we have a guest post from the lovely Amy from The Charming blog on productivity. I’ve known Amy for a while now and she is absolutely an inspiration to me. She’s incredibly creative, designs beautiful blogs, and very down to Earth. If you aren’t reading her blog, you should be! You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook, too.
Hey friends! My name is Amy and I blog over at The Charming, where it’s very much general lifestyle from home, recipes, fashion, technology, and wellness. The blog is one of my many passions including traveling the world, photography, and cooking dinner for my husband. I’m relatively low key but have dreams of changing the world (nursing and public health is my other job). Perhaps I’m a little crazy then, but I’d still love to meet you!
1. Do your ABC’s
The ABC method is a popular method in the business world. There are so many different other ways to organize tasks – and I’m sure you can create your own spin! But the ABC method essentially tells you to write down all the tasks or goals you have to accomplish be it that day, the next day, that week, or whenever. Then prioritize by marking items “A” if they are urgent and need to be done first, “B” if they aren’t too important but do need to get done sometime, and “C” tasks as things that would be nice to get done. You can further prioritize by adding numbers, eg A1 and B3. According to BrianTracy.com, organize according to what tasks will have the greatest to least (or none) amount of consequences should you not complete them.
My husband says he does the ABC method before he leaves work, but he does it for the day ahead. That way he writes down everything he needs to do the next day so he’s not bringing it home worrying about what he maybe has to do the following day and also so that when he goes to work he’s better prepared for the day.
When we were moving this summer, I marked boxes and furniture using this method. A items needed to be the first loaded on the truck on day one to move in, B items on Saturday and Sunday (days 2 and 3), then C items sometime the following week. I even went further as there are some D items that still remain at my parents house (like seasonal things that we just didn’t consider a priority to bring over yet.)
If you like to do things electronically, I use to-do management apps on my phone. The one I have uses the typical exclamation mark system (!!! > !! > !) that email programs use and then it color codes and reminds me according to the task’s priority and scheduled reminder time. I like having a dedicated to do list on one of my phone’s pages (having an Android phone makes this wonderful because it’s a dedicated widget on a screen all by itself). My app will remind me, and then remind me again at a reasonable interim until I mark the task complete. The app also tracks missed calls and will remind me to return them if I want to.
2. Get Your Sleep
Go to bed and wake up at same time and only get your recommended hours — if you’re exhausted midday then power nap but don’t overdo it .
It’s important to do this not only because your body is on a routine so it eventually learns the rhythm and helps you not feel so tired all day long, but also because then you’re not wasting hours if you have a particularly hectic schedule. On the other hand, a healthy sleep routine is also vital to help you better achieve your schedule. Our bodies require sleep in order to do functions, like repairing itself, that it cannot do during the day because we’re too busy doing other things. This will help increase our immunity and our overall energy so that we can tackle our hectic schedules.
3. Drink Water and Replenish
Not only are you getting what your cells need to metabolize and hydrate your body and all the yummy health stuff, but you’re also filling your stomach as you drink. This has a twofold purpose: (1) this can offset hunger so you don’t eat more than you need to, which can slow you down both physically and mentally (and emotionally if you’re trying to lose weight); (2) hunger itself can slow you down because if you’re hungry you won’t work as quickly and mind fully. And if you’re waiting to eat until a dedicated break it can be a less productive time. In which case, drink water, have a healthy snack, or just go eat!
4. Set Goals and Start Early
I always would start an assignment/paper/project in school the day I got it because I knew life happens. If something happened and I couldn’t work on it for a while I’d feel okay because at least I started and I’d pick back up as soon as I could. Or maybe I just was really in the mood to procrastinate. Sometimes we need a mental health break and if you’ve already started and have set goals on how to finish, why not take a day off in the middle?
5. Being Productive is (kind of) a Sprint, Not a Marathon
What works really well for me is to be really dedicated and work hard for a set amount of time and then have “off” time (or a break from the those tasks.) I will work for an hour then maybe take five minutes to just do nothing productive. It helps me have the mental energy to go strong for another hour right after that. Sometimes, I’ll even be productive! I like to check emails and social media in my mini breaks. But it’s just nice to just focus on something else for 5, 10, or even 30 minutes sometimes.
And if that’s not enough to make you feel productive, maybe picking up a planner or new book from Barnes and Noble may help! Amy has been sweet enough to offer one lucky reader a gift card to do just that! Enter below :)