I've always been an organised person. I've always had lists. Many lists! Always looking for ways to be more productive.
I've prided myself on getting through my To Do list daily, ticking off each item in turn and ending the day with nothing to do but relax.
And then I had kids. Things changed. Now there is just SO much to do, all of the time. There is always something to pick up or put away or clean or rearrange.
My work as a writer is great on one hand because I can organise my working day to suit myself but at the same time, so much of it centres on new ideas and pushing myself further and there is always something to do. There is always a LOT to do all of the time.
So, as organised as I am, I no longer get everything done each day but I've learned some things that work to do as much as I can. Here are my ways to be more productive:
1. Find your 'best time' of the day to get things done
For me, this is first thing. I'm so much more productive in the morning and I try and get all of my tougher To Do items done then.
This has changed over the years, I used to be a night owl but these days I get more tired throughout the day and by evening, I'm only good for watching TV.
2. Prioritise the hardest tasks first
Put the jobs you don't want to do or the ones that will take the most time to the top of your list. If you're anything like me, you'll put these off so often otherwise that they just won't get completed!
I try to do the things I don't enjoy doing first so that as the day goes on, I'm getting to the tasks I do like.
3. Experiment with your To Do list
I'm currently using a Family Wall Planner, an online iPhone calendar, a written To Do list and a personal written planner. I'm determined to find what works best for me and don't intend to keep using all of these! So far I'm finding that having a written To Do list on my desk, right next to my laptop is working best of all.
It's a good idea to give a few options a go, without spending a fortune on stationery, to see what works best in making you more productive.
4. Minimise distractions
Perhaps you work better with the radio on, or the TV in the background? Or perhaps you need complete silence so you can concentrate on the task you're doing?
If you find you're distracted by noise, your phone beeping or people calling/texting, then turn those devices off. Set aside a couple of hours in the day to focus only on what you need to get done. The world will not end if you don't check your social media accounts every hour!
I found I was spending hours and hours on social media, just browsing, not even chatting to people! I was getting nothing done so I've tried to minimise this to only a couple times per day on some channels so I'm not too distracted. It's working so far.
5. Finally, a Tidying tip!
My husband laughs at me for this one but when I'm at home and moving from one room to another, I always try to look around and see what I can take with me to the room I'm going to. For example, if I'm leaving the living room to go to my daughter's room, I'll pick up the shoes (and socks, and clothes) she's kicked off and take them with me to put away.
I'm definitely not perfect, I don't always remember to do this! It isn't rocket science and won't change your life majorly but every little helps, right?!
What are your tips on being more productive in work or at home?