With the recent pandemic, you may find yourself with more time, empty calendars and unplanned days while others may be busier than ever juggling multiple roles at once. Whether you are lacking productivity with less structure in your day or are looking for a way to fit in just one more thing before the day is over, try these tips to help better manage your time and increase productivity.
-Do the most important things first. Create a to-do list with your proritizes for the day at the top. Spend your day getting those high priority tasks done. Even if you aren’t able to get to everything on your to-do list for that particular day, at least you got the most important ones done.
-Get rid of distractions as much as possible. Put your phone on silent. Ignore your emails. Turn off the TV. Arrange for a family member or friend to occupy your kids for a few hours. If you want to actually get things done, it’s important to shut things down in order to be free of interruptions and focus on the task at hand.
-If you need to complete similar or related tasks, consider grouping them together and completing all at once. For example, if you know you need to pay bills, order a gift, and register for an upcoming event, do these three activities all at once while you are online. Respond to emails a few times a day rather than consistently throughout the day. Also, group running errands together so you only need to make one trip rather than multiple.
-Try to automate or streamline your process for tasks that need to be done on a regular basis. Mealing planning and food prep are ways to make grocery shopping and mealtimes easier. Consider developing a two-week meal plan rotation or purchase a meal plan through an inexpensive service. Use the features of online banking to automate paying bills. Consider subscription-based services where a particular item you normally buy once a month will be automatically sent to your house. Put together a cleaning bucket or caddy with all the supplies needed to clean the house. That way you can go from room to room and quickly get the tasks done.
-It’s OK to say no sometimes and avoid being overcommitted. What are your goals and where do you want to spend your time? Before saying yes to a new commitment, ask yourself if it’s inline with your goals. Doing too much means you’ll get less out of each activity and often times neglecting another. Make a conscious decision on how you want to spend your time.
-Self-care is important for your productivity. Getting regular exercise and eating well gives you more energy. Sleep, rest and taking a break will improve your concentration and focus. Plan some alone time every day, even for only 15 minutes, to allow yourself to be recharged and ready to complete your responsibilities.