With so much to do and so much information vying for our limited brain space on a daily basis, it’s often difficult to stay in #girlboss (or #boyboss) mode at all times. If you’re anything like me, you’re feeling like CEO material one day and the next you’re melting into a puddle of procrastination on your kitchen floor. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. To assist you in taking care of business so you can take over world, here are five tips to help you stay focused and productive.
Make Realistic Lists
Assembling an achievable group of tasks is the difference between being able to cross off all your to-do’s for the day and having a list so big and so intimidating that you can’t look it directly in the eye as you enter the room. Big is for dreams and goals. Keep your day-to-day lists little and realistic. Maintain a master to-do list on which you write down every last thing you’d like to accomplish then chip away at it by moving items to your daily to-do lists as they need to be done. Doing so will keep you from feeling swamped and give you so much satisfaction as you work your way to completion.
Take Smaller Bites
Some people can do it all – at once with no breaks and a limited caffeine intake – whilst the rest of us are left overwhelmed, out of time and wondering what went wrong. Here’s the answer: we bit off more than we can chew. As the saying goes, you eat an elephant (or perhaps a life-sized gummy elephant?) one bite at a time. Tackle what you need to do in either small increments of time (i.e. hour-long work/study sessions and 30-minute cleanup projects) or one task at a time (i.e. one section of a room) and keep at it until the entire job is complete. And please, don’t eat an elephant.
Make Immediacy Your BFF
Whatever it is, when it comes to you, you must do one of two things – get it done or write it down. It’s that simple. Want to text someone? Pick up your phone. Need something from the store? Add it to the list. Have a brilliant blog post idea? Jot that down too. Must make an appointment? Do it now! The acts of forgetting and procrastinating are productivity killers and can ultimately lead to you not doing, doing poorly or having to redo something that would have otherwise been easily achievable if you’d done it – or noted it – when you first thought of it.
Embrace Your Downtime
Have you ever opted to rest despite knowing you’d like to do something productive? Or sat down for a brief break but spent the entire time thinking about what you need to do next? Well, don’t. You’ll never be completely relaxed if you’re stewing over what you’re not doing and therefore relaxing becomes not only useless but counterproductive. Start operating in either full speed ahead mode or full stop mode and your mind will thank you for it. When you decide to rest, rest fully and completely and enjoy every second before resuming your must-do’s and to-do’s.
Practice Midday Meditation
This is going to get real hippy dippy for a moment but stay with me – it works! If you struggle with staying focused through the afternoon or transitioning from one activity to the next (i.e. work to home life), meditation is an amazing way to refresh your mind and refocus your thoughts so you can finish up your day. It may be tricky at first but the more you practice, the better you’ll get. I’ve recently taken up meditating right after Hendrix and Sadie’s nap time has begun (while Ella is at school, of course) and just before I start to work on my blog and it has been a total game changer!
How do you stay focused and productive? Let me know below!