Whether you’re juggling a full-time career, being a mother, taking care of yourself and your loved ones, starting a side hustle, navigating a commute, maintaining friendships, or any or ALL of the above, it’s no secret that we feel more pressed for time than ever. Let me lighten your load with my favorite productivity hacks for getting a LOT done, even in short pockets of time.
I have used these tips when balancing a full-time career and building a business, while running a daily blog and working full-time, and while scaling my business, starting a podcast, and traveling nonstop as a digital nomad. These tips WORK and I am so excited to share them with you!
Must-Try Productivity Hacks
1. Do the Most Important Thing First
Picture a bucket, a pile of small pebbles, and a pile of boulders. If you put the pebbles into the bucket first, they pile up so much that there is no room for all the boulders to fit on top of them without overflowing out of the bucket. However, if you put the boulders in first, you can pour the pebbles in, and they will fall between the cracks so everything fits nicely.
The time in your day is similar. If you start with all of your small tasks, you burn your energy so that you have none left for the hardest, most-important task at the end of the day. Whereas, if you get through the thing that NEEDS to be done, or requires the most brainpower, you can effortlessly then switch to all of your small, mindless tasks and finish them with ease.
Working with the same hours in a day, and the same tasks, but doing them in a different order, makes all the difference. Try doing the most important thing first, and let me know what you discover!
2. Batch Similar Tasks
Switching between tasks takes more brain power than you may realize. Instead of jumping between calls, social media, and invoicing, try batching each of those tasks to one time block — or, better yet, day of the week.
You can even batch INSIDE tasks. For example, instead of writing a social media caption, finding the perfect photo, choosing your hashtags, and publishing, try writing ALL of your captions for the week ahead, THEN choosing ALL of the photos, then scheduling ALL of your posts. This subtle shift makes SUCH a difference because your brain can focus on one type of task, then another, versus switching gears repeatedly in a short amount of time.
Another hack you can try is time-blocking, where you block off hours on your calendar for various kinds of projects. I began doing this for my YouTube videos and podcast episodes — blocking off one day per month to batch all of the episodes for the month, and it made SUCH a difference compared to recording a new video and new podcast episode every week.
3. Leverage Do-not-Disturb
This tip isn’t fun, but it is effective. Whenever I need to get focused, I put my phone (and laptop) on do-not-disturb mode, or I leave my phone in another room altogether. The temptation is too strong when you see a notification to ‘quickly’ check. But we’ve all been there; before you know it, you’ve spent 15 minutes scrolling Instagram before resurfacing and realizing your window is gone — time for lunch. Instead, try good ole DND mode, then reward yourself for making headway on your project with a few minutes to catch up after.
Another similar hack that’s SUPER effective is turning off excess notifications on your phone. For example, I don’t receive alerts when someone likes my Instagram photo or even messages me over the app. Instead, I check the app when it’s best for my schedule, instead of getting pulled in every single time someone messages me. Same goes for Facebook and most other apps on my phone. I can’t recommend this one enough!
4. Outsource What Doesn’t Require Your Time
Another thing to check is whether you can delegate anything else. Many of us resist delegating because we know we can do things ourselves, but your time has a cost. That hour that you spend on something (which someone else could do for you) is an hour that you could get a new client or make a hundred dollars (or a few) serving an existing one. You could recharge to protect your mental health or hit the gym to improve your physical health.
Look at your to-do list and consider: Could someone else do this for me, or is this REALLY an area where my brain (and ONLY my brain) is essential? Consider outsourcing things like housekeeping, yard-work, meal-prepping, or even childcare for parts of your week. Also look within your business to identify tasks that you are hanging onto that you could teach someone else. Yes, you could do those things yourself, but that requires you to also keep more tabs open in your brain… and we all know how that goes for computers. The same is true for us.
So, which tip are you going to give a try?! I challenge you to implement ONE right now (like yes, spend 5 minutes and try one) so it’s locked into your brain. Regardless of which one speaks to you, I hope it helps you carve out more time to build your dream, write your book, start your side hustle, play with your babies, or create YOUR version of your biggest, brightest life.
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