8 Ways I've Boosted My Productivity Despite Living Through The Trash Year That Is 2018
Hi Queens! So #RealTalk, 2018 has been a disaster…
And if you're like me, then I'm sure you have lost many hours to mindlessly scrolling on Twitter as you watch the world continue to fall into a flaming dumpster pit.
But at the end of the day, we have to remember that there's no amount of scrolling that will reverse this nightmare we're in. So we have to keep finding ways to stay productive, and make those money/career moves.
So another fellow Boss Queen out here messaged me asking about what are my productivity tips and tricks since she is trying to keep busy with college, and writing a book, but isn't sure how to manage her time wisely.
So I put together a quick list of methods that I use to try stay productive over the course of a day.
Hopefully, it helps you reclaim some time for yourself, so that you can add some much needed self care activities into your day because with the times we living through right now... self care is SO much more important than it ever was before.
So let's help earn you back some more time!
I love to start my day with meditating. And meditation can be a really great tool in helping you develop focus, and stay in the present when dealing with your daily tasks. I know it may feel like you're wasting time when you first try it out, but I have to say in the past month that I have really committed myself to doing it every morning, I have been way more likely to accomplish my to-do list by the end of the day than before when I wasn't meditating.
But if my rave reviews aren't enough for you, science has also found that meditation really helps with increasing productivity, and reducing stress as well.
2. Choosing one task, and being in the present about that task
Meditation will help with developing this skill, but over the past few months that I have been working for myself, I have found that one of my biggest problems has been jumping from task to task, and leaving both slightly unfinished. So now I make a much more concerted effort to choose one thing that I'm going to work on, and be completely present in either seeing it to completion, or getting it to an adequate place to stop.
3. Making Lists
I've always loved making lists because I get so much satisfaction from crossing off a task. But I know that some people get anxiety about creating lists because they're afraid they might not be able to cross everything off their list at the end of the day. So to that I would say take a breath. It's totally okay not to have everything crossed off on your list -- that's what tomorrow is for.
But if the idea of making a list still makes you anxious, I would suggest that you limit the amount of tasks that you put on your list so that it forces you to focus on completing those first few before you add anything else. I also love to make segmented lists. So I have a list for Yes Queen tasks, a list for home up keeping, and managing specific projects likeReal Talk Love Therapy, to name a few.
One of my FAVORITE list making apps that I discovered this year is called Wunderlist, and it is hands down THE BEST list app I have ever used. It has desktop and mobile version that sync up. So you'll never miss out on an opportunity to check off a task or write down a new idea!
Here's an article to check out about how writing out lists can help your brain development (even if you don't finish them).
4. Breaking up the day into chunks (ie. before the gym/after the gym, before lunch/after lunch, etc.)
So I actually did a productivity webinar a couple months back that suggested thinking about my day in chunks. So instead of making a list of tasks that had to just be done by the end of the day, the webinar suggested that I break up my list up into chunks of time based on significant events that mark my day like going to the gym or eating lunch. So then I'm only thinking about what I need to accomplish before lunch or before the gym, and reducing the amount of time that I think I have so that I'm less likely to procrastinate.
Since breaking up my day like this, I've also seen drastic improvements in what I'm able to accomplish each day.
5. Making SMART goals
So SMART is an acronym that I developed to help people think about how to set goals that won't discourage them. So when I think about setting a goal for myself, I like to make sure that my goals are both small and specific, because creating big goals often times leads to overwhelm and lack of completion because people aren't sure where to start. I keep my goals small and specific so that they are easier to attain, and thus this motivate me to keep going.
But let me be clear I do not set easy goals. I make sure that my goals are challenging enough to motivate me to keep going, but not so hard that I get discouraged, and give up. This then leads into the next part of the acronym which is motivational.
I like to make sure that my goals excite me and challenge me so that I feel motivated to see them through. Without motivation to see your goals through to the end, you'll most like give up on it half way through.
Next I like to make sure that my goals are actionable, and that they require that I take some form of action to complete them, as well as making sure that they are actions that are within my will, and that my success is not dependent upon an outside force.
You always want your goals to be things that are within your control because you can't control the actions of others. Depending on another person could impede the amount of time it takes for you to accomplish your goal, and potentially discourage you from seeing the goal through to the end.
Next, I like to make sure that my goals are reasonable so that I do not discourage myself from seeing it through to the end. So for example, it would be pretty unreasonable for me to set a goal of having 10,000 email subscribers by the end of the year. But it is much more reasonable for me to try and get at least 500 subscribers by the end of the year especially as a new business. Part of how you can help keep your goals reasonable is by doing your research, and seeing what are the standards in which other people have set for reaching either your goal or a goal similar to yours.
And the last thing I like to think about is keeping my goals timely -- making sure that my goals can be completed within a time frame that will allow me to still be invested in, and motivated to complete my work.
6. Eating well
So don't get it twisted, I still have a good treat every now and then, but I really try to eat clean for about 90% of my meals. Ever since I did my Fitness Genes journey last year, and started eating food that my body told me it needed to run efficiently, I would say that this has been a HUGE part of how I've been able to be so productive. It wasn't until I really started eating clean that I realized how much eating junk had been affecting my ability to get stuff done.
Check out my blog, Unapologetically Thick and Fit, to learn more about the types of food that I like to eat.
7. Making time for self-care
So a lot of people when they think about self care, they think about spa days, or Netflix or other very indulgent, time-sucking activities. And while these are forms of self-care, they are not the only forms of self-care. When I think about self care for myself, I often do activities like meditation, cooking, mini dance breaks, working out, and reading to name a few. What I like about a lot of these forms of self-care that I participated in, is that they are either activities that have other health boosting benefits, or things that I would need to do anyway, so it doesn't make me feel like I'm wasting or losing time
8. Making myself understand that I can't do everything in a day
So #RealTalk, saying that “Rome wasn't built in a day” is probably one of THE most tired-ass cliches in the history of cliches... but I have to admit, it is a cliche for a reason. All great things take time, and I've had to work really hard to keep that in mind as I go throughout my day, and set out my goals. Anything that I do I want to do it the best that I can, and oftentimes that takes time and patience.
So just remember if you don't get everything done that you set out to do, IT'S OK. You're a human. And as much as we like to quote Beyoncé in times like this, we have to remember that Beyoncé has a FULL TEAM of people that are dedicated to ensuring her success. Many of us just have ourselves. So just do the best that you can, remember to factor in time for self-care, and know that there's always tomorrow.
I hope you found these helpful, and if you have anything that you like to do to increase your productivity that I didn't mention, please feel free to write it down in the comments or hit me up on social media (@dayshaveronica or @ yesqueenlife).
Keep those crowns up, Queens!
In love, peace, and unapologetic fierceness!