If your anything like me then you fully understand how being sidetracked while working is so easy! Kids running in and out of the room, my husband can't find his socks (not joking!), my phones keeps sending me notifications and even worse when you get that email notification from Netflix that they added a new season of your favourite TV show!
Five hours later and I have binged watched Netflix, browsed on YouTube and even listened to a few podcasts. It seems that I'm very productive but just not to what really matters at that moment! So what I did to get work done more efficiently is come up with a few steps every time i need to batch create my content
It may seem like common sense to many but surprisingly not many people do this. Put aside a specific time block every week to write your blog posts or create your pins for sharing on pinterest or if you batch your content like me then that means a few days out of a specific week of each month. How can this make you more productive? Its simple! Think of these few hours as a very high paying client. You would never want to cancel or reschedule that appointment would you?!
Now take that mind set and transform it into your work!
One thing I have noticed over the years is that I start doing one task and end up finishing another one which as usual means I didn't do shit of what i was planning to do that day. Another tip is to categorize your work. Lets take an example of if I ever decide to build a course. There are so many aspects that go into it such as the images, icons, freebies, landing page, info page for the course and so much more. What I do is start by outlining what the course is about and what the modules or stacks will be about. Then i come up with ideas for the freebies. After this I go on design mode, I start with the layout of the freebies taking into account my branding so as to keep things consistent. Have no idea what your branding looks like?
After the freebie layout comes the icons I might use in the course itself. These Icons not only will be used in the website but throughout the freebies as well as the video content i might be giving out. Having a consistent look is KEY to having a memorable brand! The way I categorize all of these parts of a course is by having an image of a drop-down menu in mind where everything is connected and I can't jump to the next part without finishing the current task. Categorizing makes sure that you get the job done and done right!
Ever slept in a bed with biscuit crumbs? Then you know how annoying that is! Same goes with the space I work in. Seeing as I work from my home, those pesky bread crumbs could be dirty laundry, kids toys, dishes that seem to have a life of their own in the sink. I can't work in such conditions. So before my allotted time for work, i make sure that i have everything in its place so as not to have my mind wandering over to the sink or the living room. I want to be as productive as i can be while i work and having Dr.Dottie staring back doesn't cut it for me!
How many times have you fallen down the YouTube rabbit hole? (Raising both my hands!). In my defense, I usually go there for research and end up listening to Pink and watching her new music videos! I love her!!!!
Anyway back to us mere human beings, so what I do to avoid this distraction is cut off my WiFi. If i don't need it, then its off! Then I use an app such as StayFocusd or Impulse blocker as an extension on my browser meaning it will limit the amount I spend on websites that are deemed as time wasters. These babies keep you focused!
Whoever can work on an empty stomach is a super hero in my book! Before you start work, make sure to have eaten a healthy meal or snack because having the munchies while solving the worlds nuclear problems is as unproductive as you can get. The same way you are advised to never go shopping for food on an empty stomach is the same principle that is applied when you're ready to work. Keep yourself nourished and healthy snacks close by so as not to waste time making a full blown meal.
6. Pop-up notifications
Your phone should be far away from you! Keep it on silent for all notifications expect for those people who you really need to keep in-touch with. I do this not only when I'm working but also before i go to bed. This keeps distractions at bay but also gives me the peace of mind that my family members can reach me if there is an emergency because the phone is set to ring just for them (my favorites!).
This tip depends highly on how you tackle things in life. Do you handle the difficult tasks first and take on the easy ones like dessert or do you take on the easier tasks to build up momentum for the harder tasks? Whichever type of person you are, prioritize your tasks from 'very important and needs to be done like yesterday' to 'not so important that it will make the Queen step down from her position' type of task (just saying). In this way, you tackle your most important work first so that you don't scramble on the last minute because you forgot to feed your dog for the past 2 days! (please don't be this kinda person).
8. Plan ahead
Knowing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how it should be done sounds good right? And that's the trick to a high performing person. They plan ahead. Sometimes months in advance! Create a content calendar for your business. It can be on excel or a downloadable where you can jot down the hows, what, when, who's and whys of your tasks. And just because I don't want you to waste your time searching for one, get access to the free download below.
9. Make a playlist
Music makes the world go round. At least my world. So this tip will be fun! Make a playlist of your favorite grooves to listen to whenever your working. I have playlists that range from 30minutes to 2hours maximum. This not only keeps me working but also tells me when to stop and rest so I don't have to continuously keep checking my phone which will lead to distractions that lead to going over to YouTube to watch your favorite bloggers latest shopping spree that leads to watching baby twins poking each others faces and end up squealing over Dr. Pimple poppers latest video! (Yup its disgusting but oh so addictive!! You've been warned!)
And we are done!!!!!! Give yourself a well deserved pat on the back and a glass full of wine, better yet the whole bottle. Why not? You bought it!
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