Gooood morning friends!
This quarantine situation is a bit whack right?!! I have no idea how we are already in week 4, but man have we had to adapt FAST! From learning-from-home for the kiddos, to figuring out how to take care of our mental health.. we have a lot going on. I have tried to share resources that you may find helpful during this time, and one question I get the most is:
HOW AM I STAYING PRODUCTIVE AT WORK?
Back story: I am working from home as a psychologist, so I am able to see clients remotely via video or telephone. My husband and I switch off work hours, and my in-laws live with me so there are blocks of times when we can both be working while my in-laws help with childcare. We are beyond blessed and I am aware of that. Regardless, there have been times where Liyana has walked into a therapy session, or our cat has decided its a good time to jump on my laptop and disconnect the call. GASP. I know.. so I need all the productivity hacks I can have to maximize the time I get to work.
Here are my TOP three productivity hacks to getting anything done while working. I will say, another unstated one that needs to be done is to get in some breaks and exercise while you are working. That boost of energy is SO essential!
If you are looking for some other resources, I have a guide for toddler activities HERE, and some things you can bake with your kiddo’s or even by yourself if you like!
Fun fact – I was nicknamed a AAA battery when I was younger because my initials were AAA and also I never ran out of power. Well, guess what – I do run out of power! Some days, I can barely change out of my pajamas and I forget to brush my hair.
Other days, I steam roll through my to-do lists and get stuff done! We are all human and no one is perfect. And neither am I!
For the days that I do get stuff done, I feel SO good (and tired) by the end of the day!
On those days, I use these THREE tips to keep me sane and help with punching things off the list.
1.Make a daily task list with your THREE must to-do’s for the day. If the “to-do’s” seem too big, break them down into smaller attainable goals.
Now I will be upfront – I got this idea from Jenna Kutcher. Everyone, including me, makes lists. Its just that, these lists can get TOO long and INTIMIDATING! Raise your hand if this is you. It definitely was me, and time was passing me by and nothing was getting done. When I heard this on the Goal Digger Podcast on one of the episodes, I was intrigued to try it out.
The key is to identify THREE things that you have to get done, and not touching ANYTHING else until those three things are done. So for me, for today my top three are:
1. Finish report 1
2. Start Report 2
3. Record stories for a collaboration
Sounds easy right? Well I am doing the second one right now and I will NOT be checking my email or anything else (except instagram LOL) until the list is done. Hopefully. I say hopefully, because I ain’t perfect.
2. Batch your work!
I talked about this in my recent instagram post – but honestly, I cannot stress this enough! Block off times in your calendar or day book for when you want to get something done. SO if you block off two hours for one task, then you JUST focus on that one task such as for me this morning it was blocking off an hour to finish the final draft of a manuscript.
Our brains are NOT designed to multi task and there is a pretty significant switch cost on productivity. Batching your time to focus on ONE task, OPTIMIZES your productivity and REDUCES your switch costs.
3. Use Pomodoro Intervals
If you don’t know what the Pomodoro technique is… I highly recommend reading more about it HERE . In summary, it is a time management technique created by Francis Cirillio in the 80’s where 25 minute time intervals are used to maximize productivity. You set your timer for 25 minutes, shut off all distractions (i.e. all browser tabs.. and I also put my phone on airplane mode so no emails/messages/notifications can come through) and I just power through the 25 minutes. Our brain’s have an average attention span of about 20 minutes. It is NOT humanly possible for your brain to focus on any task for more than 20 minutes. So the 25 minute Pomodoro Interval is 25 minutes to give you a few minutes to get into the grove of whatever you are doing and then when you find that you are running out of steam, your time is already up! Once the timer is up, you take a 5-10 minute break. Check your socials.. but not email (remember, NUMBER ONE) or do a quick downward dog. And then get back to it!
After every interval, put a check mark on a piece of paper. Once you have done 4-5 25 minute intervals, evaluate how far you have come!
You can use any timer – I use the one on my phone or you can also use this popular timer. My only hesitancy with this one is, that it is open in your browser… making you more susceptible to opening another tab. And we all know how that goes right?
So if you make your top 3 list, assign 2 hours to each of the top 3 and THEN apply Pomodoro Intervals to each of the two hours – I GUARANTEE that you will feel like you just climbed a mountain (your brain will hurt.. but the adrenaline rush will be so worth it!).
Thats all you guys! Honestly, try them out and let me know if they work for you!!
Also sources for items in the pictures are below 😉 As always, they use affiliate links so if you purchase anything from these links I receive an itty bitty commission at NO extra cost to you. Thanks for helping me run Mint Candy Designs.