Ever have those days where you feel like you can’t get anything done? Where with every tick of the clock, your list continues to g.e.t.l.o.n.g.e.r.?
Here are 5 tips that I’ve been trying to practice in order to boost productivity, bolster creativity, and create more margin:
Doing only one thing at a time may seem impossible in our culture. However, when we choose to be present, we will be better stewards of our jobs, families, and friendships.
Try this: Challenge yourself to keep one tab or application open at any one time. When speaking with your spouse, friends, or kids, be intentional to focus on them and not juggle other tasks at the same time.
2. Disable notifications. (Seriously).
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the buzz of my phone or the bing of a new email, I switch gears to respond to the distraction. By the time I’ve travelled the rabbit trail of texting a friend and responding to a handful of emails, my mind has forgotten whatever I was working on.
Try this: Disable notifications on your phone and computer for a set amount of time. We use Google Voice to help set times when a phone will ring through and when it will straight to voicemail. Commit to completing an entire project in that window before turning your devices back on. Sometimes, I need to move my phone into another room from where I’m working to stay on task.
3. Turn off Wi-Fi.
For some whose work revolves around the internet, this may not be an option. But for writers, shutting off Wi-Fi for a few hours can allow for uninhibited creativity. When I sit down to write, I often begin by fact-checking online, which quickly leads to web-surfing, Facebook checking, and email responding.
Try this: Attempt a technology-free evening, disabling Wi-Fi on your computers and cell phones. While working on a task that doesn’t require internet, disable your Wi-Fi and see how much more you accomplish.
4. No Interruptions, please.
Working from home definitely has its benefits—where else is it acceptable to where your PJs to work? However, I can quickly find myself distracted by the phone, doorbell, and letting Hershey out. I’ve found I need to carve time in my schedule to have a no interruption work time.
Try this: Hunker down in a space in your home or office that has a door. Put a note on the door and let your co-workers (or family members) know that you’d like no interruptions until a set time. If you work in a noisy area, download a white noise app on your phone to keep the distractions at a minimum.
5. Take a quick break.
It may seem counterintuitive, but carving a five minute break between projects can help you clear your head, ready to restart. During a busy day, I make an effort to get outside with Hershey for a quick walk to reset before I move on to the next project.
Try this: After you finish a few things on your to-do list, take five minutes out of your current setting before you switch gears on the next project. Take a walk around the block. Jump on a treadmill. Grab a coffee at the shop down the street.
By your boosting your productivity, we can check more off our lists—not to do more or be more. But to create margin in our lives. To allow ourselves to be more fully present. To bolster our creativity. To find more time to be with others.
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What tips, tricks, or methods have you found to boost your productivity so that you can have more margin in your life?