IDENTIFY WHAT Is STOPPING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY
First of all you need to be able to identify what is stopping you from being productive. It is very rare that I will procrastinate throughout the day because to be honest I just really fucking love my work. But when I am not being productive, it is normally because one of the following reasons: I don't feel confident in the task, I am second guessing myself, it's a part of my job that I don't enjoy or it is a time of the day where I am wrecked.
KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES
Sometimes we misuse our time for things that don't really matter to us/our business so this is where it helps to make your priorities clear. Is emails at the top of your list, your customers, your admin, or creating? For me I know that my customers and current clients come before everything else. That means that all of their work is completed before I look at social media, personal work/content or future emails etc. This helps to give yourself a clear guide on how you should be allocating your time.
BE AWARE YOUR WORKING HABITS
I think the longer that you work for yourself or study, the easier it is to be aware of how you work and what affects you. Pay attention to what times of the day you work best, in what environment, do you work better at a cafe or in a communal space, do you need music playing or does that distract you? Spend some time thinking about that and if what you're doing currently isn't working for you switch it up. That might mean not sitting at a desk from 9-5 because 'that's what people who work do' Try working at night instead or only sit at your desk when you have productive work to complete.
MAKE TIME WORK FOR YOU
You'll start to notice pretty quickly what times of the day you're most productive. Utilise those by having clear objectives during those times of the day. In the times where you're brain moves a little slower, do activities that take the pressure off. I find that I hit a wall mid-afternoon so I will either push my lunch back till then or go for a walk.
ELIMINATE YOUR DISTRACTIONS
(If you can that is. You can't eliminate your children or the fact that your fridge is close by) That might mean putting your phone in another room, noise cancelling ear phones, not listening to talking/songs while writing copy or emails.
BREAK EVERYTHING DOWN IN A LIST
Sometimes work can become overwhelming and you can find yourself procrastinating easily. I personally find lists to be the best way to break it all down into actionable steps that make even the daunting tasks seem easy enough to tackle. Instead of just "EMAILS" write Email back _____, Send Quote through to _____, Follow up on invoice _____ . This way you will tick things off a lot quicker and feel like you're actually getting somewhere.
DO WHAT YOU DON'T WANT TO DO FIRST
If you can, do the thing you are likely to put off doing first. Once you get that one thing out of the way the other tasks in your day might seem a lot easier to accomplish. For me that can be chasing up an invoice, or doing my taxes. These are the things that I can often leave to the end of the day and therefore not get done and roll over onto another day.
POST IT NOTES
I love my post-its. I often put them onto the front of my desktop for notes to myself that would otherwise slip my mind. It also helps me get those things done quickly because they make my desk look messier than I'd like.
What are your best tips on staying productive? j x