I’ll be the first to tell you if there were 30 hours in a day I still would wish there was more. I think everyone wishes there was more time in the week, but #bossbabes especially would melt at the idea of having an extra hour to work, spend time with their family, or sleep (what is sleep anyway?). But since we have yet to figure out how to alter the time-space continuum, we have to create habits that best utilize the 24 hours we are given.
So, how do we do this? How do we maximize the time we have every day so we can have productive work days and quality time off with our family & friends (& sleep)? While I will be very honest and say that time management and productivity are things I battle with each and every day, I have found some tricks that help me stay on task and get shit done.
Find a productive working space.
This is a game changer. While I totally respect the hustling mama working at her kitchen table while her kids are eating lunch, let’s be real – productivity is not going to be high and focus is limited when you have kids, a dirty kitchen, and food staring at you. A key to productivity is being able to plug into your computer, put your blinders on, and focus.
This workspace might be a local coffee shop full of busy workers, a quiet office in your house, or maybe a professional co-working space. Find what works for you and embrace it.
Remove all distractions.
We all know what distracts us. For me, it’s social media, my phone, and currently, wedding planning (#2monthstogo). You probably don’t even know how much time you are wasting every day scrolling through social media or perusing the sale section on your favorite store’s site. Unfortunately, as people who do the majority of our work on a computer, it is impossible to remove the distractions of website blackholes. But being aware of your triggers is a start.
If your phone is a trigger, put your phone on “do not disturb” mode or even put it in a different room. If your kids are a distraction, consider the possibility of hiring a nanny for a few hours a day to allow you to work.
Utilize a timer.
One of the things that I do to assist me in staying on task is to set a timer for 50 minutes at a time. I work for that 50 minutes uninterrupted then I get 10 minutes to get up from my desk, grab a snack, or scroll through Instagram. This allows for calculated and measured pre-set distracted time as a reward for having a productive 50 minutes of time.
You can even utilize an online timer (simply Google, “online timer) so you don’t even have to risk looking at your phone!
Set consistent working hours.
As #bossbabes, we thrive on this thing called “freedom”. Freedom to set our own schedule, freedom to take breaks as we please, freedom to do what we want. But there is such a thing as too much freedom. When we don’t give ourselves boundaries, our “freedom” can turn into “getting no work done”.
To prevent this, set daily “office hours”. Hours in which you will be consistently at your desk, doing the work. Now that doesn’t have to be 9a-5p. Maybe you are most productive during the evening so you want to work 1p-9p. Or maybe you are an early bird and want to work 6a-3p. Whatever it is, create your schedule, block it off in your calendar and stick to it. Of course, the freedom of working for yourself means that yes, you can take that extended lunch break to get your nails done every once in a while. Or schedule that important doctor appointment. But make sure that you are earning those extended breaks by getting the work done first.
Time management is a learned skill. It takes time to practice and, more than likely, you will never be perfect at it. The most important thing to remember is to get shit done. No excuses, just get it done! Think of the reward in enjoying your time off with your loved ones and other hobbies.
Have you downloaded my FREE 31 Day Guide to Opening Your Work-at-Home Business? In it, we discuss how to set up your business and prepare for things like making money and taxes. CLICK HERE to download.