As my kids have gotten older and our daily routines shift, I often have to change up how my days will go. I’ve learned to make lists upon lists, and prioritize my days so that at the end of the week, I have something to show for it instead of saying “what did I DO all week?”
Lists, Lists, Lists.
I make a lot of lists. Grocery lists, to-do lists, goal lists, etc. There is nothing better than crossing something off a list, and I’ll be honest, I have put completed tasks on a list JUST so I could cross them off right away. I’m not alone. You do it, too! I started making so many lists, that lately I have just been putting a small notebook in my purse– that way, all of my lists are in one place.
Plan it out.
I live for a paper planner. Even with my iPhone and iPad, I prefer my paper planner. I fell in love with Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner over the course of this year, and ordered her weekly version (which is now sold out) for 2015. I like to be able to see an entire week in one glance. I also ordered this planner exclusively for my blog and photography business. It’s also helpful to plan finances, budgets, etc so you can adapt to an emergency situation. A revolving line of credit can help if you have a small business that needs inventory, advertising funds, or something unexpected. Kabbage can deliver funds in as little as seven minutes and can keep you afloat should you need it!
Flexibility is key.
Even the perfectly laid plans sometimes derail. In the midst of planning and organizing, give yourself the grace to be flexible. Things can be rescheduled and if you need a break, take one! Working yourself into the ground benefits no one– so know when to say when. Plan your days with room for a little cushion, and you may not feel as overwhelmed.
Filter out the distractions.
I work best with a little music in the background and good lighting. Figure out how you work best and filter everything else out. I try to get my kids busy on a quiet activity (coloring and drawing lately has been their favorite) so that I can have 20 minutes at LEAST of general quiet time so I can think. I turn my phone down and try to focus. Coffee is a necessity, too!
Carve out time just for ideas to unravel.
Have some ideas but never seem to have the time to see if they can manifest? Make some time for that! I am more productive if I have some creative energy flowing through my veins, and I have to consciously make time to see those ideas through, at least on paper. It helps that I have some pretty creative friends that I can bounce ideas off of, so I try to schedule some phone calls and get my creativity rolling! Brainstorming is sometimes more fun than it is work!
How do YOU stay productive?