The top productivity tips I use while working at home so I can focus on impactful tasks that move my career forward.
Oh, productivity. The number one thing I hear from people is that they don’t have time for some of the steps I’ve taken that have been crucial for my professional development as an entrepreneur.
I totally get it. Life is CRAZY these days. I don’t remember time moving this fast when I was growing up.
I do feel, especially as a millennial, that there is this immense amount of pressure to do it ALL. Have the career so you can make the money to travel, workout, do hot yoga, buy all of the clothes you see on Instagram, make time for all of your different friend groups. Oh and don’t forget about your family. Or heaven forbid your significant other. PHEW.
So, how do you get past all of the noise?
My days now look drastically different than they did a year ago. ESPECIALLY a year and a half ago.
When I started working from home, I would wake up, immediately stressed out, throw on Jared’s old sweats and get right to work. I’d spend the entire day freaking out, half getting work done, half cruising the internet, always disappointed with what I accomplished for the day.
SO, here’s what I’m doing differently.
Making a Conscious Choice to Change My Habits
Changing my habits during the day started with a choice. I think I really reached that point this fall. I was so overwhelmed, I knew something had to change, and I figured I’d start with feeling like crap about my productivity during the day.
I made the choice to slowly start shifting these habits I’d created. I decided to listen to the advice I’d been given and give up the crummy excuses like, “I don’t have time to sit quietly in the morning”. It’s important to note that these changes slowly happened over the course of 2 years, so give yourself some grace if you’re embarking on this change, too.
Time blocking is my favorite tool to use for when I look at my to-do list and it’s literally a mile long & I I’m not sure where to start.
I start by picking out the “have to’s”. These are tasks like completing or submitting client work, writing a post that goes live the next day or getting the images ready. So, things that have a very near time stamp. I know how long most of my tasks take me. If you don’t, the next time you work on a project, set a timer to get a rough estimate.
I then schedule my tasks into my Google Calendar which I normally keep on weekly view. Here’s what it looks like:
Then, I fill in my schedule with other tasks, making sure to set aside personal time & time for impactful tasks when I can.
This has been one of my most transformational aspects of my day. I now wake up an hour to an hour and a half before I need to be working.
I get up, wash face, brush teeth – all that jazz. I then get some lemon water while I throw in a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, make the bed and pour coffee.
I then move to getting ready, making breakfast and I finally sit down to do some personal development and journaling. I’m currently finishing May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein. I jot down a gratitude list and my mindset shift like CRAY CRAY.
If you don’t have a morning routine, this sounds like insanity. And I understand that some people, like my husband, have to wake up by 5am to make it to work on time. So, it can be something really small. BUT, if you’re a solo entrepreneur like me, DO THIS. You have the time. No bull****.
AH, real clothes. When I first started working from home, I took it as an opportunity to wear sweats and no makeup all day. This might really work for some people, but I’ve always really enjoyed working with makeup (it feels like painting to me) and fashion.
Getting dressed (this could even mean putting on a cute workout outfit or a tee + jeans!) is crucial for me to feel like I’m a professional and I mean business. Yes, it takes effort, but it’s worth it.
Accepting What Works For Me
I still sometimes stress over the fact that I don’t wake up at 6am and get my workout over with first thing in the morning. I’ve you’ve ever read one of those “Top 10 Things High Earning Professional Do Each Morning” posts, waking up early and working out first thing is on it.
I’m a night owl. Sometimes, I enjoy working until 10 or 11pm and I love having a workout to look forward to at the end of the day. You don’t have to have the same routine as everyone else to be productive, and that’s OK!
This is one of the most important pieces of my puzzle. I have business coaches. I work with Nicole and Dan Culver and 95% of my productivity habits have been learned from them.
Investing in myself guarantees that I’ll stay focused and driven. When I signed on for intensive coaching this fall, putting a large amount of money toward coaching felt intimidating. But, it keeps me focused and full of fresh ideas so I can continue to perform at a higher level.
If you’re interested in seeing what Nicole & Dan have to offer, click here to get on the waitlist for their coaching group Shift University.
Scheduling Personal Time
If you’re a reforming workaholic like me, it might benefit you to actually put personal time into your schedule. Block out the date night time, or even time to eat lunch, even if it’s 10 minutes.
Write down things that make you happy (like spending time outside, taking a bath, grabbing a coffee) and put it in your schedule so you can’t plow through the day and stand up from your desk feeling bleary eyed and miserable.
Let’s GSD (get s*** done)!
I hope this is helpful for you! You’ll see that most of productivity really comes from being realistic with your time and taking care of yourself so you can keep performing at a high level.
I’d love to know YOUR favorite productivity tips – find me over on Instagram and let me know what works for you!
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