Easy & simple productivity hacks you can start today: how to make the most out of your time
Since becoming a mum, I have started to value my time so much more. I can't fluff around at the gym anymore, I can't waste time scrolling. When Luca sleeps is when I work, clean the house, workout and etc etc. So I have really had to find ways to maximise the windows of free time that I have. Whether you are a uni student, in school, a busy mum or simply feel like there's not enough time in the day - here are some easy ways to become more productive with your time.
+ Write out your day the night before
I write my to-do list the night before. This way, I can go to bed knowing exactly what I have to get done and can wake up with no surprises, feeling like I am already ahead. This gives you a clear structure of what you have to do and when you have to do it. What I like to do and what you might like to do is write this list in order of priorities, with the most important tasks to be done first.
+ Pre-write your workout before getting to the gym or follow a plan
This is huge! Prior to having Luca, I would go to the gym and spend ages deciding what exercise I was going to do next, how many sets, how many reps etc. Now, I go in with my entire workout written out. I'm currently following my new fitness plan which will be released this year and it so sooo helpful just opening my Books app on my phone and knowing the exact workout I'm doing. If you're not big on writing your own workouts, I would recommend following a fitness plan/guide. Whether thats my Tone and Cut plan or my Level Up program or really any other program! If you know you're not great at programming, following a plan is perfect.
+ Set timers
I have recently started a new practice which is setting timers when I have a lot of different tasks to do. For example, if I have emails to get through, I will set a timer for 20 minutes and start working through them. I leave the timer on my phone open next to me so I can see how much time I have left. After the 20 minutes is up, I will move onto something else. It is great because you know you only have a small window so it really motivates you to smash it out. Let me know if you try this, it has helped my productivity exponentially!
+ Divide your day into two halves
I have recently started doing this and have been loving it. I have a lot of different facets and dimensions to my work so splitting my work day into two separate halves means I can focus and hone in on certain tasks. I have my attention on my project I am working on (fitness program & book) for one half of the day and attention on brand deals, content creation, emails etc in the other half of the day. If you are studying, I did this when I was at uni too! I would split my day into first half: two different units/subjects and the second half: the other two units/subjects I was studying. It worked well because I really was able to take my Statistics hat off, then put my Developmental Psychology hat on. It gave me clear direction.
+ Know what your time wasters are
What are the biggest culprits for you? What do you waste the most time doing? Is it procrastination? Social media? Have a think about your personal time wasters and be aware of what they are. Having downtime is great and so refreshing for us - we need to rest! However, if you are trying to be productive with the time you have, perhaps try saving your Netflix for the afternoon or setting a timer where you only scroll for 5 minutes then get back to work.
+ Schedule breaks
Have you ever opened a social media app and then closed the app, realising you just wasted 30 mins? Same. A scheduled break is where you give yourself permission to stop and waste time. Set a timer for 10 mins and don't feel guilty! Scroll, call a friend, do whatever you need to. It helps break up your work and gives you a little bit of rest before diving back into work.
+ Utilise the 'do not disturb' feature on your phone
Guys. I have only just started this and I don't know why I didn't start sooner. Do not disturb is the best feature ever. Years ago, I turned off all my social media notifications and that was one of the best things I ever did! I found it so distracting seeing my notifications pop up. If there's anything urgent, your friends will call you. Everything on social media can wait.
+ Know your peak productivity window and utilise it
Okay I saved one of the most important for last! I know that I am an AM person. I work best between 6am and 12pm. When I was at uni, during exam season I would wake up at 5 and workout and then study from 6:30am until 9:30am before my classes. This is when I was the highest functioning, my brain is the sharpest and I am the most alert, awake, focused and have the highest attention span in the mornings. When the afternoon hits, I feel tired and less motivated. I try to do all of my hard tasks in the morning and the easier mindless tasks in the afternoon. So know what your productive window is and use it to your advantage.