Staying on top of our workload and the many hats we have to wear in our jobs is tough - sometimes there just never seems to be enough hours in the day to get things done. This is where maximising your productivity comes in, and I'm no expert but managing my freelance work, ALO, and this blog has meant I've had to find ways to be super productive whilst managing my many daily tasks. Productivity looks different for everyone, but today I'm sharing four steps I've found to make all the difference to my workflow...
Take more breaks This may sound counterproductive, but I've found taking more breaks throughout the day actually helps me avoid procrastination. I shared my ideal daily routine recently here, and as you can see my day is paced out quite nicely with a few breaks built in and these make all the difference when it comes to staying productive throughout the day. Explore when you start to slump and build in little breaks throughout your daily routine - even if it's just 15 minutes here and there, it will help you avoid burn out.
Prioritise your workload This is a super important step I've found - the only way to tackle your big to do list is to organise things from most important to least important. I've spoken more in depth on ALO about building A Productive To-Do List, and I've found breaking down bigger projects into smaller more manageable tasks helps things feel more do-able. By prioritising what has to be done that day, you won't overload yourself and you will give yourself enough space to actually get your work done. I tend to prioritise my workload on a weekly basis so I can spread tasks out throughout the week - each day I have a most important task, and then two or three smaller tasks on my list to tackle as well.
Single task After years of believing multi-tasking was the way to go, I've actually found that single tasking is the best way for me to maximise my productivity. I shared 10 Ways to Single Task on ALO which goes into the process in more depth, but the general idea is to focus on just one task at a time with as few interruptions and distractions as possible. For me that means throughout my work day I try and focus on just one thing at a time, whilst staying off social media, only having one tab open on my browser if possible, and building a focused to-do list where I have set tasks and time frames to work to each day. Being more present with your work and giving 100% of yourself to each task can lead to a better workflow and a more focused approach to your daily tasks.
Have a process The best way to streamline your daily tasks is to have a process that guides you each time. For example that means every time I create content I have a creative process for building content, and when I'm working with freelance clients I have a process that I keep them involved in every step of the way so the project runs as smoothly as possible. You can build a process for your various tasks in many different ways - for some of my weekly tasks I have a tick box system that runs through things step by step, and for other tasks I've just been doing them every day for a while now that I've found my feet in a good routine. My best advice is to put aside some time to build a formula that works for you that then makes tackling tasks moving forward much easier. So many of our daily tasks can be streamlined - whether it's thanks to email templates, super useful apps and web applications, or just being more open and inclusive with our clients or team members when it comes to how we work.
What about you - what's your best advice for productivity?
This months Spotlight Advertiser
Five of this months Large Advertisers