After one of the busiest times of the year followed by all the pressure of staring at a blank canvas as we start 2019, you might have found yourself in a bit of a pace of go slow as we reach our mid month milestone…
Drowning in your ‘to dos’ is not a nice feeling.
For me, I find they pop up in my dreams in extreme ways and no one needs their sleep disturbed which is why I want to share these systems I use and have developed to create the best possible balance in my life…
Wherever you are and whenever you are reading this I’ve written it to help you dip into being your most productive self – kind of like a greyhound on a beach run. Run first, chill later.
Firstly, some self enquiry questions…
- Do you ever find yourself walking round in circles exhausting yourself and then wondering where the times gone?
- How do you use your evenings?
- Do you have those same one or two things on your ‘to do’ list for weeks on end?
- Is your ‘to do’ list so long you daren’t even write it?
- Is someone else in charge of your ‘to do’ list or do you have full control?
- Do you know what your monthly and weekly goals are?
- Do you count down the days until the weekend?
- Do you often feel like a rabbit in the headlights?
- How is your mental health generally?
Self inquiry gives us the answers to know how we feel before we start – if you feel wobbly that’s ok – just honour the wobbles and know where you are! I’m not going to respond to the questions above in this post but if you want to drop me an email feel free…
Ready? Let’s have a look at some productivity tips… take three deep breaths before you read the next part….
I use these productivity hacks to keep on top of my work load and my life admin. I can get things done quicker and get that sense of satisfaction of feeling everything is done at the end of a day and make time in my week for coffees with friends, time with my son, blogging, personal projects, spa sessions and have an empty laundry basket too! I have designed my life this way and you can too.
When you’re head is buzzing with big and small tasks and you feel frozen with how much there is to do…
Post it notes (or small pieces of paper) and a pen
Write one task per note and then order them in groups of categories, topics then priority… this works particularly well for tasks over a week or a couple of days. Once you’ve completed a task scrumple up your note and put it in the fire or compost!
Also check out this post I wrote on why I don’t make lists.
When you need to complete something quickly (and you don’t really want to do it)…
The pomodoro technique
The technique is basically to work hard at tasks you decide before hand for 25 mins, take a 5min break then go again up to 3 more times until your tick list is done!
I’m working for 3 clients at the moment and the LAST thing I feel like doing is switching my laptop on on Saturdays however, life admin doesn’t disappear on its own and I got a letter on YELLOW paper from L’s school reminding us about something that *sometimes* keeps me awake at night so I knew I had to get it sorted.
However, I am pleased to report in two pomodoro sessions every single thing was done! Complete! Finished! Over! Or you can use an app with trees on it too.
Check out the 2minute task rule – ie if something would only take 2minutes that means you could do 10 of those things in just 20minutes! When I locate the original source I’ll post it but Kayte from Simple and Season mentioned it on her recent podcast with Jessica Rose Williams.
Hows the House?
Women quite often tell me the cleaning is the last thing to get on and I totally get it – I am guilty of watching a cleaning video from the sofa to try and get inspired by honestly who has time for cleaning right?
Well there’s a bigger answer here about environment and how you treat your environment and how it loves you back (totally recommend Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy) but my 4 best hacks here are;
- Create habits – I put a wash on every single morning when I wait for the kettle to boil – usually on a fast cycle (15mins), then spin (12mins) so by the time I’ve drunk my coffee it’s ready to hang out. I also empty the washing basket into our laundry room every time L has a bath. I don’t think about these things I just do them. I also clean the shower every-time I’m in it – who’s idea was it to get double glass panels! haha
- Make more than you need – last week, Dave cooked once and we ate two meals from it (over 3 nights) and froze some too. The slow cooker is your friend! Overnight oats anyone?
- Do online food shopping – this has saved me so much decision making time – now I just put my order into a new basket each week, pay £1 for delivery and we are all set. I still go food shopping if we fancy something or I’m passing.
- Make a plan – I have a mood board and notebook for our home design and being inspired by changes I want to make helps motivate me to do bits and bobs of jobs and cleaning when I’m here and designing the ultimate feel and look I want to create.
I’d also really recommend you follow Gemma – the organised mum and look at her 30mins per day cleaning routines – she’s awesome!
For more ways to connect to your most creative and productive self why note sign up for my monthly notes from the sea where you’ll be the first to receive a seasonal self development workbook each season.
Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear how you get on in designing your own life or if you use any of these tips.