Easier said than done, right? It can be hard. We are pulled in a thousand different directions on any given day. We have careers, families, obligations, deadlines….. And some days it can feel overwhelming. When you are overwhelmed it is difficult to stay productive. I will by no means say that I have it all figured out, but there are a few things I have learned that have helped me stay productive even when I have a million things to do.
First thing is first…. Keep it organized! Without organization, you have no idea where to start, what needs to be done first and you fall into that miserable trap that I like to call overwhelming inertia. You know what I mean. The one where you just give up on doing anything and never change out of your PJ’s all day. That gets us all nowhere and leaves us feeling bad about ourselves. If you keep things organized you will be able to accomplish plenty in a day. My favorite way to stay organized with baskets and bins. It keeps the clutter hidden and makes everything look neat and clean.
Just to piggy back off of keeping it organized, I also say to write it down. I am old school and keep a paper planner. Something about physically writing things down helps it stick in my brain. And my planner is the bomb!!! I use the Day Designer and in addition to keeping me on track each day, there is also a month at a glance, columns for each day with hourly time management, to do list area and note taking space. It is awesome! And I just love checking things off of my to do list and seeing how much I get done. It is also good to see how much time certain activities take up. As a blogger, I noticed that I was on social media a TON! But now, I block off an hour each day to post and comment and it doesn’t eat up my whole day.
Surround yourself with inspiration. Does your space make you feel like you can take on the world? Or at least your daily to do list? It should! Surround yourself with inspirational pictures that motivate you or just pretty things that you like to look at. I am a huge fan of a vision board. I have one for work and one for personal. When I am designing for a client I pin up pictures of things I like and fabric and paint samples until I see it all come together. For personal, I have places I’d like to visit or clothes I’d like to purchase. And I always have pictures of my kids. Because they inspire me every day.
Sometimes looking at pretty things isn’t enough. You need to tell yourself things. I read motivational sayings often. I keep them around my office so that I read them throughout the day. It helps that they are pretty and sparkly, too!
Here is the toughest way to stay productive. Honestly, it is terribly hard if you are a pleaser. Learn to say no. If it isn’t important, doesn’t make you happy, or you just don’t have the time for it, say no. Otherwise you may find yourself in the state of overwhelming inertia in your PJ’s again. After taking on way too much last year I learned to say no. I feel so much more free! It is great! And nobody is angry or upset. It’s all good.
Lastly…. Breathe. Just breathe. There is no harm in taking a minute to yourself to relax and recharge. It will help you stay more productive in the end. A 15 minute cat nap or some silent meditation helps a ton!