Do you ever go to bed at night feeling like you’ve run around all day spinning your wheels and getting nothing done?
I do. Some days I feel like I’ve been busy all day, but I can’t look back and pinpoint anything that I’ve actually accomplished.
Even on the days I manage to knock a few things off my list, I always feel there’s more I could have done, better ways I could have managed my time.
As a busy woman, I’ve had to learn how to make my time more productive so that I don’t look back and wonder where my days went. So if you’re anything like me, read on for a few tips on how to get more done, every single day.
1.) Find out when you’re most productive.
This one may take a little trial and error. After never considering myself a morning person, I learned that waking up at 5 am allowed me to get a whole lot done before my day job. I found out that I actually enjoy waking up early.
Don’t be afraid to give it a try, even if waking up early sounds like torture. If after a week or two you’re dreading that morning alarm though, it’s probably safe to say that 5 am is not going to be your most productive time of day.
If you do your best work at night, commit your most important tasks to late at night. If you have bursts of energy in the middle of the day, use those.
2.) Use your productive time(s) wisely.
Now that you’ve decided when your most productive time of the day is, use that time very wisely. Don’t fill your best hours of the day with meaningless tasks, such as checking your email, catching up on TV shows, etc.
If you run your own business, use that time to work on the projects that will advance your business even farther. If your goal is to improve your homemaking skills, use that time to establish a cleaning routine, meal plan for the week, etc.
Use your productive times of day to work on your biggest goals and get more done.
3.) Create a master task list.
Sometimes I have so much to do that I don’t even know what to do. Did that make sense to anyone else? I’ll get some free time in between work and dinner, for example, but I don’t know what I should be working on in that spare time.
Create a list of things that need to be done that you consult anytime you’re stuck wondering what to do. Spend about 30 minutes writing down all the tasks and should-do’s on your plate. Next, write out your list by order of priority with the most important tasks up top. Post it by your computer, workstation, desk, etc. so that the next time you’re wondering what to do, you won’t have to look very far for inspiration.
4.) Identify your time stealers.
When I examined the things were eating up a lot of time in my life, I discovered two huge ones (both attached to my smartphone): Facebook and email. I could easily spend an hour just trying to get caught up on emails throughout the day, and most weren’t even that important. And as much as Facebook is completely boring, I almost think it’s an addiction to sit and scroll through my news feed. It’s just something that’s there that I can “do.”
The reason I think I’m addicted to these things is because my smartphone is so accessible. I can access the internet from my bed, I don’t need to turn a light on, etc. The convenience is just too convenient.
Figure out what your “go to” is when you’re bored or when you have some time on your hands.You may be shocked to see how much time you’re spending on social media, checking email, etc.
5.) Cut out (or cut down) your time stealers.
Once you’ve identified what is stealing the most of your precious time, it will be easier to eliminate it. When you feel the urge to scroll through Facebook, for example, work on something from your task list instead. Even using half the time you were using on your time wasters will drastically improve your productivity throughout the day.
If you realize you spend on average two hours on your phone every day, then you can give yourself at least one extra hour to get things done from your task list just by ignoring the urge to scroll. Eventually you can work up to more than that, but addictions are hard to break, so give yourself some grace.
6.) Increase your energy.
Procrastination is so much easier when we’re tired. If you find yourself struggling to stay awake or needing caffeine to get you through the day, start making a few health fixes to up your energy levels.
Make it a habit to drink lots of water, spend a few minutes exercising each day, and add some fruits and veggies to your plate. Small changes add up huge over the long-run, so keep improving your health until it becomes the new norm. You’ll be surprised at how much energy you find yourself with.
7.) Squeeze it in, whenever you can.
Finally, every time you have a few spare minutes, dedicate that time to working on your goals. Those minutes here and there will add up throughout the day, allowing you to get more done.
Think about all the times you have a few spare moments. Is it when you’re picking up the kids from school? When you’re on your lunch break at work? A few minutes in the morning before anyone else wakes up and you have the house all to yourself?
Pick something off of your master task list that you can do little-by-little. If planning this week’s menu seems like a daunting task, take a few of those spare minutes in your day to decide on breakfasts for the week. Then next time you have a little time, choose snacks or lunches. Then all you’ll have left to figure out is dinners, 7 meals compared to 21.
Break down some of those big tasks into smaller tasks you can attack little-by-little, every time you can find some time.
8.) Don’t forget to rest.
Bonus tip! We can get so focused on maxing out our productivity and trying to get every single thing done that we forget our bodies need to rest. This can quickly lead to burnout and stress, making you even less productive than before.
Please remember to give yourself some time to rest! This means not sacrificing the amount of sleep you need (if you can help it) just for the sake of productivity. Getting enough sleep is crucial to your health and energy levels. Take care of your body and rest when you need it.
To sum up, here’s the tips we covered to get more done every single day:
- Find out when you’re most productive
- Use your productive time(s) wisely
- Create a master task list
- Identify your time stealers
- Cut out (or cut down) your time stealers
- Increase your energy
- Squeeze it in, whenever you can
- and Don’t forget to rest
What’s your favorite tip? Do you have another piece of advice for getting more done every day? Share your wisdom and let us know down in the comments!