By Samia Anwar
During this pandemic, we are using technology more than ever to learn and develop new skills. We can be more productive because virtual meetups don’t require time to commute or waiting time for people to join meetings physically. However at the end of the day, due to the excessive use of technology, we feel drained thinking how less we have accomplished. Research identifies that small changes lead to big improvements in performance. We may need to redefine productivity since everyone is trying to figure out new ways of working.
Below are some of the ways that kept me productive and have helped me regain control of my day for the past couple of months.
Win the morning, win the day
Each person achieves productivity differently however waking up early in the morning is the key. If you think the whole day is just not enough to get all done on your plate, try waking up just an hour early. Give yourself time, get ready, and win the day.
Tip: Dressing up earlier in the morning helps you stay on top of things.
Write down your goals and priorities
When things are written down, you instantly feel less burdened and more motivated to get it off the list. A simple notebook, planner, or notepad on your phone would serve the purpose. Whatever you use, try to use only one tool to record your notes to not lose track of the day.
Identify the most important task of the day and do it
For some people this may be, responding to the emails first, or getting a workout in their busy routine. Once you get the biggest task done, you feel the drive to get more work done.
Tip: Do the most dreaded task first.
Turn off distractions
Timing yourself for even the smallest chores and tasks helps you to realize the pockets of time you unintentionally lose each day.
Tip: Try the Pomodoro technique and witness the world of difference in your performance. A simple google search or videos on Pomodoro technique can be your best friends.
“Every increased possession adds increased anxiety onto our lives.” Randy Alcorn
Anxiety is linked to decreased productivity and increased stress levels. Try to keep your work station clutter-free for maximum efficiency. Our homes are functioning differently these days. Build a structure that works for you and your family.
Tip: Try to create different zones for each activity to get things throughout the day.
Don’t do it all at once. Try to break down the big tasks in small steps. For instance to reduce chaos in the morning and serve breakfast seamlessly, emptying your dishwasher at night helps a ton. If you do your laundry on Saturdays, it helps to sort out the loads on Friday night so all you have to do is toss your laundry in the morning.
And the most dreaded task for many is what to cook for dinner. Planning for a meal at least a day ahead makes the work easier. Meal planning had helped me immensely ever since I started working from home for my husband’s business.
Tip: Ask family members for their favorite dishes to fill up the weekly menu.
Adequate nutrition can raise your productivity levels by 20 percent on average. You’ll be better able to focus and accomplish tasks when you’ve eaten properly.
Tip: Drinking water can improve productivity by 14% each day as water strengthens cognitive powers.
Make someone your accountability partner or join a support group.
Holding someone accountable for your productivity can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing and boost your motivation. Set a day of the week to tell that person what you’ve accomplished.
Tip: People with an accountability partner are 85%-95% more likely to accomplish their goals.
Choose one task and automate it
On average, office workers receive 200 emails each day and spend two and a half hours reading and replying to those emails. A good way to attain the zero mark in your inbox is to sort out junk mail from priority responding mail. For acknowledgment emails, type out canned responses so that you aren’t using the same three words every time.
Tip: Likewise many apps allow you to schedule posts ahead of time for your business or personal needs on social media platforms.
Learn to delegate chores
Ever wonder why it is easier to stay productive at the workplace compared to the household. Considering the chain of command at the workplace, learn to delegate chores to family members. Your partner or kids can sure take care of the cleaning or meal prep when you are busy with something more important. Remember, one person can NOT do it all.
Tip: Use clear communications about who does what following a to-do list posted in an accessible place to all family members.
About the Author:
Samia Anwar is a work from home mama turned into a Professional Organizer by choice. Her passion to help other women makes her write some useful tips to stay on top of clutter every now and then. For ideas and inspirations, find her @organize4ever on Facebook and Instagram.