Be More Productive.

Yesterday was a bit rubbish if I'm honest, I just haven't really got a lot done which makes me feel a  crappy and stressed. However I decided rather than dwell on this, I took some time to think about how my productive days have been different, and in turn what I do to become more productive.

  • Have a routine - I've just left my job so my routine is a bit up in the air. I'm still looking to establish a routine of when I'm spending my time writing blog posts, filming and editing videos and job searching. These bigger things take a bit more work when it comes to getting into a new routine however, there are small things I can do each day to make me feel ready to get shit done. Simple things like making sure to get dressed in the morning and put on some makeup. Although on days I'm staying home all day the temptations to stay in those cosy pj's are strong, it's hard to get in the mindset to get things done. Pyjamas are great, but in my mind they mean it's time to chill. When I get dressed as soon as I wake up, it's way I tell myself it's my time to be productive, when I put my pj's back on in the evening, I think I can stop blogging and worrying about job applications, instead it's time to lay in my bed with a book or Netflix and switch off from that.
  • Workout - There's something about moving my body, which motivates my mind. I am not at all fit, but I try to go for the odd run occasionally (it's going to become a more regular thing soon, I promise), I find there's nothing which makes me feel like I can conquer the world quite like a little exercise, when I say conquer the world, I mean my to-do list, of course. I find especially when I go for my run first thing, the rest of my day tends to run smoothly as I started the day off on the right foot. 
  • Write lists - When we're trying to remember everything we need to get done, our minds often become scrambled and we become overwhelmed and do nothing. I like to write short to do list. I keep them short, because if they're too long, once again I get overwhelmed and achieve nothing. I also find myself often writing lists on my phone or in notepad throughout the day, as inspiration and things to get done cross my mind, that way I don't forget, and my day doesn't get too interrupted as I tend to have my phone, or a notepad handy. I have to do lists, ideas lists, shopping list.. lots of lists as I find they just let me know where I'm at with things, without my head feeling like it's going to explode with things I'm trying to remember. 
  • Allow longer - Things mainly always take longer than you expect. I found the other day I editing this video literally took hours, I'd only expected it to that a fraction of the time, and then felt disheartened when I realised I'd not crossed anything else off my to-do list. Don't always expect to get lots done, if you allow yourself twice the amount of time you're expecting something to take,  your 24 hours of the day won't all seem to disappear and your to-do list has become a little more realistic. If anything you gain time when you get things done much faster than the time you allowed. You can always add things to your to-do-list when you crossed other things off, but this way you save yourself the disappointment you might feel when you realise you didn't cross off as much as you first expected to. 
  • Finish things - I have a bad habit of starting things, getting bored and moving on to something else, thinking I'll go back to that later, however when the end of the day comes, I've crossed nothing off my to-do list, and I, therefore, don't feel a sense of achievement. It makes sense to get everything done in one go, maybe with the odd break. It becomes easier to figure out where you're at with things when you're going down your list, rather than dipping in and out of things.
  • Write it on your calendar - I'm a lot more likely do to things if I write them on my calendar. I find it far too easy to sack something off if it were just an idea in my head - if it's write down, it's there on paper for a reason. I've also started using my phone and laptop calendar more recently - I still have my paper diary, because I'm a pen and paper kind of girl, but I always have either my phone or laptop on me, so it's easy to add things in without going to get my diary, and I can check any upcoming plans whenever, and I won't forget new plans or things to get done.
  • Work in a clear space - I don't have a desk, I sit on my bed, laptop on my lap as I write blog posts or apply for jobs. Although my space isn't the most practical, it's what I've got to work with. I find how I treat this space really affects what I'm getting done. Today I have no problem perching on my little single bed as I type away as this blog post as I spent some time recently cleaning out my bedroom, and rearranging my bits, so everything is looking quite neat, there's no clutter, there's no distraction, the space around me is pleasant and is not taking up any of my attentions. In contrast to this, on days my bedroom is messy, I find there is too much to look at, to daydream about and I probably just need to pick up my dirty knickers from my bedroom floor before I can consider thinking about something else, let alone getting things done. I also find tidying and cleaning to be very therapeutic, it's help to clear my mind, which allow inspiration, if I tidy my room the night before I want to get a lot done, I find not only do I have a nicer space to work in, but I also have a fresher mindset to work with.
  • Figure out what works for you - This is fairly self-explanatory, everyone is different, some people like working in silence, some prefer the background chitter chatter of a cafe, some people like to take a lot of breaks, some people like to work solidly for hours. Everyone will work differently, it's important to figure out when you're most productive.
  • Put your phone away, or at least on airplane mode - I don't even want to think about the number of hours I've spent scrolling through twitter and Instagram, not even really gaining anything from it. Sometimes I'll pick my phone up without thinking and next thing I know I can't put it down until I've watched every single snapchat story. If it's out the way it can't be a distraction. 
  • Think ahead - Make sure you check your diary at the start of each week so you know what you've got planned. If I've got plans with a friend one day I like to make sure I've scheduled my blog post, that way I can enjoy seeing my friend and won't need to worry that I wanted to upload a blog post that day. It takes some thinking ahead to see when it is a realistic time to get things done which won't interfere with social plans. When it comes to things like applying for jobs - if I see something advertised that I can't apply for right away because I'm busy I'll write down the closing date for that application and make sure I've done the application at least a week before that date.
  • Prepare the night before - charge things, clear memory cards, lay out clothes, write your to-do list. Luck favours a prepared mind after all. It's little things which take time away from your day, if you worry about them the night before, you can just focus on getting stuff done the next day.
How do you make sure you're staying productive?
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