The answer to the question of how to be more productive – whether at home or work or school – is a holy grail for many of us.
We are running around endlessly like the proverbial hamster on the wheel utterly exhausted as we juggle too many different demands and overwhelmed by the feeling that we’re not really getting anything done.
And in our desperate need to be more productive we try all sorts of time management tips and techniques from fancy project planners to complicated productivity apps in the hope that they will help us plough through our mile long to do list …
… but however hard we work the end is never in sight.
The simple problem for many of us women is that we are overwhelmed by trying to do too much and balance too many needs.
But it is actually possible to be more productive at work and home – and working at home – by changing our time management mindset.
Having got to a crunch point of feeling utterly overwhelmed I found this mindset shift helped me get more important stuff done in less time and to enjoy what feels like some balance in my life.
That doesn’t me my life – and home – aren’t a bit crazy and chaotic a fair amount of the time but my business is growing, my home is ticking over and as a family we just have more time together to have fun.
But what is this big secret of how to be more productive?
Well to be honest, it’s a whole load of little secrets that I’ve tried to share in a big list of productivity and time management tips below.
But fundamentally it’s about getting out of the mindset of projects and crazy artificial deadlines and to do lists and endless emails for the sake of emails and feeling virtuous about working half the night to utter exhaustion when an awful lot of what we’re doing is a waste of time.
So if you want to be more productive and reclaim your life for more fun, less chaos and more living do check out these simple productivity tips.
How To Be Productive Every Day At Home, Work and School
- Time blocks : there have been whole books written on time blocking but simply focusing our energy on one area of work for a set period of time against the clock – without multi-tasking – helps us get stuff done.
- Balance : but we need to block out time for different areas of work and home including rest. Deep diving into one project at the expense of the rest of our life isn’t a sustainable way to be productive. We need balance.
- Micro habits : we can very often achieve more by consistently repeating tiny activities daily than by chasing the latest bandwagon project.
- Rhythm : we can rarely stick to tight schedules in the real world but regular weekly or monthly time blocks get us into a rhythm.
- Looping : looping is to rhythms what planning is to projects but much more efficient. A simple meal loop helps us cycle through meals we love easily with no need to handover our free to time to meal planning.
- Practise : repeated micro habits and regular rhythms let us practise skills. Every day practice helps us be more productive every day …
- In the zone : … and together balance and habits and rhythm and practice can take us “into the zone” where our productivity sky rockets.
- The right habits : we just need to be careful to stick to the right habits (sending endless emails is not one) …
- Slack : … and leave slack in every day and every week and every month both to take the hit of the unexpected and to give us time to reflect.
- Keep an eye on our shadow : we all do strange things for strange reasons under stress and we can work very hard wasting our time. We need to use slack to stand back and ask – honestly – why am I doing this?
- Energise ourselves : … and build time into our time blocks to energise ourselves. That could be exercise. It could be a chat with our mum. Or hiding away from the world with a book. Whatever works for us.
- Swallow frogs : facing up to that thing we’re putting off is a well known tip for being more productive. Avoiding stuff drains our energy and time.
- Swallow tadpoles : But it’s even more productive to gulp those problems down as tadpoles before they’ve grown in frogs. To get into the habit of facing up to our fears & we need to practise it in the rhythm of our days.
- A stitch in time : Because it is true, a stitch in time does save nine.
- Ditch … don’t delegate : However sometimes we do need to stand back, recognise the problems are unimportant and ditch them. And if they are unimportant we don’t want to waste someone else’s time delegating!
- Don’t dive too deep … at first : deep skills and deep knowledge are intensely valuable but it’s too easy to waste months of our time on the unimportant if we dive in too deep at first …
- Come up for air : … or if we never come up for air to ask why am I doing this? Is it really important? Could I let it go? Or do it differently?
- Clear clutter : it’s impossible to see the wood for the trees in our work and home life when we’re drowning in clutter, so gently practise decluttering daily and watch your productivity soar.
- Reuse : our obsession with everything new steals too much precious time for reinventing the wheel rather than reusing what we have.
- Patterns & templates : reusable patterns and templates can sky rocket productivity but we need to be patient and practice hard first. Doing the wrong thing quicker doesn’t help us, it’s still the wrong thing.
- Walk away : sticking to something and patiently realising the productivity that comes from practise and sinking too much time into the wrong thing is a balancing act. Sometimes we need to walk away.
- Walk on it : but sometimes we just need to step away and go for a walk and mull it over as we stroll along or stride out and come back with fresh eyes.
- Accept good enough : and sometimes that means accepting that something is good enough and that if we’re going to keep that balance in our lives that helps us be more productive in the long term we need to do the best we can in the time we’ve got …
- Rest : … and then we need to rest because real rest – not just sleep – as part of our daily habits and weekly rhythms is the final big secret to being more productive every day and to reclaiming our lives.
I do hope these simple tips get you thinking and asking questions about why you are doing what you’re doing so you can ditch the bad habits that are draining your time and discover how to be more productive every day.
Do let me know if they work for you.
And for more ideas on how to enjoy a simpler life check out these posts:
- Self Care For Exhausted Parents
- Stress Relief Activities
- Natural Head Ache Remedies
- Surprising Ways To Sleep Better
- Slower Happier Parenting