So Lindsey and I totally feel like frauds writing this post because our collective productivity game has been off recently. To be completely honest, we are what you might call yo-yo producers (like yo-yo dieters.) We struggle to commit to the productivity habits that actually help us feel like we are living our best life and making progress towards our goals.
So this is as much for us as it is for you! They say people teach what they need to learn, so here goes!
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5 Tips for Productivity
1. Cube Timer
Okay, I heard multiple highly organized/successful people talk about this one before I took the plunge. Even at just $15 it can seem steep for something that you likely already have multiple devices with the same capability in your home. But this is a timer like no other.
There are no bells and whistles, no notifications or fancy apps to distract you. Let’s just be real here and admit that we have the attention span of squirrels these days and take back control. This little clock helps me to stay on task, and I actually feel challenged to beat it.
And when it goes off, I just reset it and move on to the next task. I joked to my husband that I used to spend 10 minutes on my phone for every 20 minutes of cleaning our house. With this bad boy I just leave my phone somewhere and get down to business.
BONUS! My kids love the cube timer too. Where a timer on my phone did nothing to get them moving they love beating this and it’s annoying alert seems to carry more authority than I do. Haha! Seriously, never have I ever said “Time to turn off the TV” and gotten as quick of a response as this timer does. It’s a beautiful thing!
2. Brain Dump
I’ve done multiple versions of this but my fave for organization is getting all of the tasks out of my mind and onto paper. This is not a traditional to do list in that, I’m 100% not basing my day off of whether or not I accomplish everything on the list. I did this today and ended up with over 50 tasks that were just floating around in my head. And all the while I was putzing around the house, not knowing where to start.
The list gave me small tasks and direction for what needed to be done. One day I was more productive in just one hour after doing this than in the 6 hours prior to doing the dump. And can I just say, checking things off the list and/or acknowledging forward movement in a task is so good for my soul.
3. Declutter Your Space
Clutter in my home just creates this underlying note of constant stress for me. I don’t work well, parent well, or live well in a messy space. Setting my Time Cube for 30 min and returning things to their place/throwing things away at least once a day is so helpful for staying organized in life.
Just yesterday morning I chose to do this to my front room before I even attempted to get any work done. It worked like a charm! My decluttered space led to calm, tranquility, gratitude, and productivity.
4. Create Routines
I have long since held the limiting belief that I am not a creature of routine, nor could I ever be. But lately I’ve noticed that I do have some routines, they are just not healthy for me (ie, snoozing my alarm, reaching for my phone first thing, not grounding myself with positive, hope-filled thoughts in the morning). So I am currently focusing on creating healthy routines.
The morning routine is the easiest place to start for me. But if organization is your goal there are so many other routines that you might consider examining to see if they are serving you and your family well. For example, I know that I have been cheating myself and my family by not getting up earlier than them. Our morning schedule is the most predictable so I could plan for this but haven’t made it a priority.
I know that my mood, productivity, and organization all suffer when I don’t cultivate this routine.
5. Don’t Break Commitments to Yourself
This one might seem like it lives on a different list at first glance, but just think about it for a minute. How often is a commitment that you have made to yourself the first thing to go when things don’t go as planned?!
Say you don’t get home until far later than you expected but you had planned on getting a workout in. What do you do? I for one usually skip the workout in favor of some Netflix and munching.
Or say you have a bad habit of staying up until midnight even though you are completely unproductive between 10pm-12pm. You commit to yourself to simply start a habit of going to bed earlier because you know that that self care is essential to your productivity. Then you break that commitment within a weeks’ time, because for whatever reason it is “hard” to go to bed.
Here’s a recent scenario for you.
I broke the commitment to myself to get this blog post up last Thursday because “I didn’t have pictures for it.” The post was 80% written and I’m repurposing a photo for it anyway. Instead of keeping my commitment to myself, I instead broke the commitment and proceeded to beat myself up about it. Even to the point of feeling blocked and not getting up a post the following day either.
The perceived “easy way out” vs the 20 minutes it’s taken me to finish this was NOT worth the two days I wallowed in feeling like a failure.
Breaking commitments to ourselves is a surefire way to sabotage our own productivity. Commit to not doing this anymore today! And if you break a commitment, forgive yourself and make it up to yourself. Don’t let it define your ability to grow in this area and have a domino effect on the rest of your commitments to yourself.
We want to hear all about your best productivity tips so please share below! Were any of these already on your list?