I’ll be completely real with you guys. Some of the time I feel like the LEAST productive person in the world.
I take on too much, can’t get it done, have a mental breakdown, and repeat!
If you’re reading this, you can probably somewhat relate.
But while this sometimes FEELS like the case, I know it’s not. The truth is, most of the time I’m a productivity machine.
I work 2-3 jobs including regularly posting to this blog and social media, eat healthy, exercise, stay on top of adulting tasks and chores, pay my bills on time, take care of two pets, and make time for friends.
Sure, I’m not always “perfect” at balancing these things – whoever says they are is just plain lying – but gosh darn it I do a pretty good job.
And how do I balance all of this? With my own little productivity hacks! So let’s dive in!
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5 Unique Productivity Hacks
Productivity Hack #1
Have nonnegotiable goals.
Sure, we all have a lot of little goals. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Consider your work. For any job, you’ll have certain criteria you need to hit in order to meet your role’s expectations expectations.
Once I transitioned to self-employment, I quickly realized I needed to create these criteria for myself. Otherwise I’d slip into a routine of never getting things done.
You can use this same technique in all areas of your life where you want to increase productivity. Create nonnegotiable goals that you MUST get done.
For example, my current nonnegotiables are:
1. Post two new blog posts every week, one on Wednesday and one on Saturday
2. Post to Instagram at least once every other day, every day if possible.
3. Pin to Pinterest manually in the morning and in the evening (I took a course that emphasized this and other strategies, and my numbers have already more than doubled in two weeks).
4. Don’t exercise less than 4 days per week (at least every other day even when I’m super busy).
Knowing these are my main goals helps me organize the rest of my day. Unless there’s an emergency, I will absolutely get these things done. And knowing that helps me stay mentally motivated, because no matter what I’ll be moving my blog forward and staying healthy – two things that are super important to me right now.
Write out a list of your nonnegotiables and try it out!
Productivity Hack #2
Make to-do lists.
And I don’t mean just any to-do list. I mean one that you’ll actually get done because of this strategy.
First things first, perform a brain-dump. I really don’t like that word, haha. But it’s the best way to describe it! Write down everything you need to do or remember. This is something you can literally do right now.
Once that list is done, it’s time to make your actual to-do list. Because chances are there are things in that brain-dump that can wait.
Start by writing down your priorities – the things that you NEED to do today. After that, you can start adding in the other things it would be nice to get done today. But be realistic about your time!
If it stresses you out to have things left on your to-do list at the end of the day, make a separate little list at the bottom of the page titled, “If There’s Time.”
Productivity Hack #3
Block schedule and set timers.
I’m very new to block scheduling, but I already love it.
What it means is this: you make a schedule with blocks of times allotted for each task.
For me, it could like something like:
7:00 – 8:00 AM – Wake up, morning routine
8:00 – 10:00 AM – Write
10:00 – 10:30 AM – Pin to Pinterest
10:30 – 11:00 AM – Quick cleaning sesh
11:00 – 12:00 – Work out
For the longer spans of time, you don’t have to set a timer unless it really helps you. For tasks I don’t particularly enjoy or want to do (such as cleaning), I like setting a timer. It helps to know the time block is steadily ticking down as I grudgingly straighten up.
Obviously the most important thing here is to stick to your schedule. Once the block is up, move on. If it’s a task you absolutely have to finish in that time block, like homework or a project, give yourself plenty of time!
Productivity Hack #4
Cluster things that can be done at the same time.
Sometimes this one takes a little planning, and sometimes it can happen on the fly.
This is a productivity hack I learned from nursing. The basic premise is that if you can batch tasks together, it saves you tons of time in the end.
Working in a cardiac ICU, we had tons of tasks to complete. And with multiple patients, that really added up. So what we’d do is complete several things every time we entered a room.
For example, say I needed to draw labs at 3, give a medication at 3:30, and perform a full body assessment at 4. Simple! I go in somewhere during the middle of those times and perform all three back-to-back.
And since I mostly worked nights, my patients were very grateful I did that too.
So let’s say you’ve been meaning to file/throw out some mail on your kitchen counter. When you walk over to do the dishes, tackle the pile of mail next to the sink too.
Likewise, let’s say you’re planning to run to the grocery store. You also need to mail a letter and return a recent in-store clothing purchase. Do all three at once! Travel takes a ton of time out of our days, so batch these things together when you can.
Productivity Hack #5
Tackle two at once.
I learned this trick from washing dishes at Starbucks.
Without giving you too many uninteresting details, the last step of dish washing at Starbucks is sanitizing. You put the clean dishes in a sanitizer mix, and they must stay submerged for at least a minute.
So our tactic is to go do another task while the dishes are being sanitized, such as bringing more dishes back, restocking, etc.
An example of using this at home may be starting a load of laundry, then completing other tasks while the laundry washes. You could unload the dishwasher, vacuum, clean the pet’s food bowls – whatever!
I find it helpful to tackle these similar projects at the same time. Embrace the “productivity” mode and just go!
BONUS TIP: You could also try out a productivity planner such as this best-selling one from Etsy. Planners help you get and stay organized, so they can be an incredibly helpful productivity tool!
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Are any of y’all working on any projects or to-do’s that inspired you to read this post? Share in the comments!