I work in a busy law office with a to do list that is often scary long. Add to that a side job, this blog, and trying to maintain an active social life and I am one busy girl. I have never been one to procrastinate (procrastination is one of Jessica's traits that drives me insane) but even I need some help staying focused and checking items off of my to do list. Below are 11 tips that have always worked for me.
TIP ONE // Set specific times to check emails and social media. Constantly checking emails and social media can quickly take up a lot of time. Having set times to check and respond to emails and social media will keep it from always looming over your head.
TIP TWO // Focus on 3 tasks per day. Each evening make a list of 3 big tasks you want to complete the next day. Keeping your list at a manageable number it will prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
TIP THREE // Get your most important task finished first thing in the morning. By getting your most important task done at the beginning of your day no matter how crazy the rest of your day gets you can still feel like a success at the end of the day because you got something significant finished.
TIP FOUR // Set a deadline and do not break it. If you do not have a deadline to get something done you can push it off until tomorrow.
TIP FIVE // Use a timer. Set the timer on your phone to give yourself 30 minutes to focus completely on one task. After which you can take a 5 minute break to prevent yourself from becoming bored.
TIP SIX // Use apps to block distractions. As noted above it is easy to get wrapped up in social media, emails, or browsing various websites. I cannot even begin to tell you how often I have gotten sucked into Pinterest and then an hour has passed before I know it. There are plenty of helpful apps out there that block distracting websites during work hours. Find one that you like and use it consistently.
TIP SEVEN // De-clutter your work space. It is so much easier to stay focused when your work space is organized.
TIP EIGHT // Set up a mini reward system. It is okay to bribe yourself sometimes. We all need the occasional award especially after completing something you were really dreading.
TIP NINE // Get a good night's sleep and wake up early. It is nearly impossible to be productive when you are exhausted. Be good to yourself and get the rest you need. I have also found that waking up early does wonders for my productivity level. It is so much easier to get things accomplished when most of the rest of the world is sleeping.
TIP TEN // Take a break when you really need it. But use those breaks to get something productive done such as a workout, tidying up, or running an errand.
TIP ELEVEN // Know what works for you. Pay attention to what works for you and use that knowledge to up your productivity. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you get bored easily? Do you need a quiet place to work?
image via: Knotted Tassel Necklace, edited by Sunny Days and Starry Nights