What a funky start to my first week back at work full time postpartum! Thanks to some icy winter weather here in the DC area Monday, what should have been a traditional day in the office turned into an afternoon at home with both of my kids after daycare closed early. Although it wasn’t the first day back I had prepared for, God knew I needed one more day with both of my kids.
The winter weather extended into Tuesday morning, waking up to iced over roads in our neighborhood. It was too dangerous to go to OrangeTheory, so I enjoyed a few hours of quiet before the kids woke up and then was able to feed Kinnick before heading into the office. Again, another treat! Today should, knock on wood, be my first traditional day back in the office. It comes with mixed emotions, but it’ll be good to get a full day under my belt.
While life is a little hectic, and unsettled at the moment, being productive with my time is an absolute must! Today I wanted to share 5 insanely easy tips that have helped me to stay productive, now more than ever. Life is full of curve balls, but I find that these tips help me to accomplish what needs to get done.
1. Organize yourself with a brain dump – I create a “brain dump” list every single day! Getting everything out of my head and onto paper is key for my production. My mind is always going, making it hard for me to focus on one project or task if I’m consumed with everything else on my mind. Getting everything onto paper gives me the space to be productive and to not worry about the things to come.
2. Get up earlier – Give yourself more hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to get done. If you wake up early and finish all of your tasks, you will then have even more time to do what you want! Getting up early is hard at first, but like any other habit, it gets easier with time. Going to bed earlier may seem obvious, but I think it’s about finding what works for you. I have a really hard time going to bed super early, but I also know how much I treasure those quiet hours alone in the morning before my family wakes up. If going to bed a little bit earlier means I get those alone hours, then I’ll do it! The body will adjust, it just takes time.
3. Create a timeline – I feel strongly that people should start their day with a brain dump instead of a to do list, but once you’ve done that, now it’s time to create a timeline for the day. I like pulling important items from my brain dump and then determine when I can accomplish those tasks. Days don’t always go as planned, but I am more productive when I follow these steps.
4. Take breaks – The most important part of being productive is staying relaxed, so giving yourself breaks is very important. Allow yourself time to call someone, make a nice lunch, walk your dog, read a book, etc. Limit the lengths of your breaks and then get right back to your tasks at hand.
5. Turn off electronics – Probably the worst thing I can do if I need to get stuff done is to have electronics around me. Social media and the internet in general are just way too distracting! Shut off your electronics and get stuff done! If you must use your laptop just tell yourself to only use the sites you need to complete your task and then close it down as soon as you finish. I often hear people say “I don’t have the time” but we all know we have enough time to read blogs, scroll through Instagram, and watch the latest clip from Ellen. I think there’s a time for those things, but if you need to get things done, turn off (or silence) your electronics.
These are just a few tips that have helped me to stay productive. Every day is a new adventure, as seen through the start of my week, but I truly believe that the right habits can lead to a more productive life.