As a full-time working mom who also runs a growing photography business, I have to find pockets of time throughout my day to complete the tasks that, whether they are big or small, need to be done. It can be so difficult to find the energy and motivation to not spend that time scrolling through social media or playing another level of Candy Crush or watching the latest episode of your show on Netflix or playing Play Doh with Reagan.
I have found a few things that help keep me focused and on task for those times when my mind would wander (and get lost) if I allowed it when I should really be working. They help me focus and knock out goals, even if it is a little at a time.
- Airplane Mode
It’s hard to adjust to being “unplugged” and out of reach sometimes, but it is so good for your productivity, I promise. With no distractions and no notifications dinging at you every time a new comment pops up on Facebook, you can knock out projects faster and of better quality.
2. Clean and organize your workspace.
A clear workspace is essential for me. I know there are people who say that they thrive in a messier atmosphere, but it’s been proven that tidier workspaces are good for focus. Plus you don’t have to waste time looking for things that you need if you know that they are where they are supposed to be. Give your stuff a “home” and make sure that the item makes its way back there every time you use it.
3. Set timers.
Give yourself small increments of time to work. Small deadlines can produce big results because it forces you to work, work, work to get the task done, instead of dawdling around until the motivation hits you.
4. Use unexpected chunks of time.
Take your work with you. You know that 15 minutes that you spend in the carpool line or the doctor’s office waiting room? Use those moments to work. I know it’s a small amount of time to really get in “the zone,” but those few minutes can add up quickly. I always have a notebook ready whenever I am out and about. Even if you are just brainstorming throughout the day as you run errands, you are doing work
5. Give yourself a reward when you complete a task.
Good work and behavior is rewarded in a traditional workplace setting, so give yourself little treats as you accomplish some of the things on your to-do list. I tend to use candy as my reward. Skittles or Skor candy bars because they are my favorite. Gimme all the candy!
There are plenty of other ways to increase efficiency and productivity, but it really helps to find what works for your lifestyle. Leave your own tips in the comments!