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How to Stay Productive




Staying productive can be difficult, especially when you work from home! On top of this, balancing all the tasks that must be met during the day can become overwhelming. Cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, taking care of children, walking pets, doing laundry, and running a business often clash together. So how, in the middle of everyday life, can you stay productive? And not just a stressed, half-finished kind of productive.


 

Productivity is not just staying busy, it's not just running yourself until you drop, and it's not doing things with the leftover energy that you may or may not have. True productivity is finishing projects, meeting goals, and staying organized. However, to do this, you have to set doable goals for yourself. You have to make a daily list and check things off as you go, even if that means adding unfinished tasks to the next days list and doing them first.


So many people think that working from home or being a stay at home mom is easy. However, I've found that it's just as tiring as when I had a full-time job. The difference, is the level of stress that I had during my full-time job and the level of stress that I have now. During my full-time job, I was always stressed out. I had people over me who where constantly pushing me to do things outside of my pay. I found myself working after hours, bringing work home, and going in on my days off. That is stressful! Now, working from home, I still have stresses. However, these stresses are ones that I place on myself. I stress about fulfilling orders, finishing all the tasks I set for myself that day, and I stress about cleaning the house before a friend comes over.


Both situations have stresses, working for a company and staying home, but one situation was emotional draining, frustrating, and took a toll on my mental health. While the other was, and still is, healing, rewarding, and calming. Even in the middle of a sea of orders, I may feel stressed and pressed for time, but it's a good and healthy stress.


Regardless of whether you're running a small business, wanting to start a small business, or just trying to find fun things to do for your kids to stay busy...productivity is so important!


So, how can you do it? How can you stay productive and actually finish the tasks that are there waiting for you every morning?


There are four things that I do to try to stay productive. Yes...I said "try", because life is LIFE. Some days everything on my list gets checked off, while other days I only check off some. The important thing is to breath and understand that it's okay. Realizing that it's going to be okay if your list is not completed, is the first thing that you should know. If this happens, just add those tasks to the top of the nexts days list and do them first.


So our first way to stay productive is...


MAKE A LIST!


It doesn't matter if you're a business owner or a full time mom, or both! Making a list can save your day. I know I'm not a mom yet, but trust me ladies, I understand. You're under appreciated, busy, and just trying to get through the day. This is especially true for mom's that have their own small business! For all my business owners out there, I feel you...I get it...it can be overwhelming at times. So start doing something that's easy. Make a list!


When making your list, put everything. Not just your business task or your grocery list, but everything!


My list often looks like this:

Most Importnat

Other

Complete oldest orders

Create blog image for next week

Create Instagram Post

Create social media posts for fall market

Go to DMV

Call Insurance Company

Get food for the week

Wash the dog

Do todays blog

Make apple pie before apples go bad

Print labels for soaps

Wash sheets

Respond to emails

Change out wall plugs

Now this is way prettier than the list I normally just write on my dry erase board, but you see I have two sections. One titled "Most Important" and the other titled "Other". This is the second thing that you need to do if you want to be productive.


PRIORITIZE!


I know this seems so unnecessary, but trust me! Having a list like this is so important when you're trying to stay productive.


As you can already tell, I try to do everything in the section "Most Important" first and any time I have left goes to the section "Other". The tasks that I don't finish, even if they were just in the "Other" section, then become a priority the next day. This is important to understand. If you keep those unfinished tasks from the "Other" section, then they will most likely be pushed off for days. It's best to just finished them the next day.


So how then, do you decide what to prioritize? It's easy! Prioritize everything that you absolutely have to do! Let's look at my "Most Important" section again.


We have:

  1. Complete oldest orders. This is a priority, because your clients are expecting you to send them the items they have purchased in a reasonable time.

  2. Create Instagram post. This is a priority for me, because I set days that I want to post on social media. It's a personal goal that I gave myself for my business.

  3. Go to DMV. This was on my list, because I needed to change my address on my license. However, this can be anything from doctors appointments to payment reminders. These are time sensitive.

  4. Get food for the week. This one is an obvious must. Regardless of if it's buying food for the week or just buying food for that day, I like to place it in my "Most Important" tasks.

  5. Do todays blog. This would be on my list every Friday, because that's when I post my blog. I put this as a top priority, because I have subscribers that expect it.

  6. Print labels for soaps...whatever else you need to do that will better help you the following day. I always try to get all of my ducks in a row before I actually start the full project the next day. So I would print labels and get my packaging ready the day before I know I'll need to pack up a product.

  7. Respond to emails. This is a big one. People need to have a response! If you want happy clients that keep coming back, respond to their emails!

Now I know everyone's daily tasks will be different, so try to meet the goals you've set for yourselves and prioritize things that can't be pushed off.


Remember, finish what you can and then breath. Stressing over things you haven't finished will only hurt you.


BREATHE


This is something that seems so natural, yet we often forget that breathing doesn't just mean "taking in oxygen" to survive. It also means taking a break. When we constantly fill our days with lists and full schedules, we forget to take a second to do something good for ourselves. Staying productive doesn't just mean finishing tasks, it also means taking care of yourself so that you can do the task to the best of your ability.


What I've realize, now that I am self employed, is that it's important to slow down and breathe. Our health, both physical and mental, is tied to the amount of stress that we place on ourselves. That's why it's so important to take a few minutes every day to refresh ourselves.


For me, this looks like taking 10 minutes out of my day to have a cup of coffee or tea. This doesn't mean drinking your coffee or tea while you're folding laundry, emailing clients, or driving to the post office. This means, sitting down, BREATHING! You can also take a second to breathe by taking a walk, sitting outside, reading a book, or stopping to listen to your favorite song. Then, once you've finish your drink, walk, or book, head back to whatever you had planned for the day.


Just remember, overdoing it and placing too much on yourself can cause problems for you, the people around you, and your clients.


DON'T MULTITASK


Finally, don't multitask. I use to pride myself on being a "multitasker". I could focus on so much all at once and I really believed that everything I was doing had my full focus. Yet, it caused stress and half finished projects. This isn't fair to you or the people around you, including your clients.


When you try to multitask, you don't actually do two things at once, but instead you’re quickly switching your focus between the two things.

Every time you switch your focus, you have to re-focus on the second task. This "re-focusing" often takes a minute or two to get back your speed, so in the long run you're actually slowing yourself down.


When you've made your list and prioritized your tasks, start by finishing one task at a time. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and it will give you finished projects at the end of the day. It's better to have some tasks completely finished at the end of the day, instead of having everything only half finished. Then, remember to move your unfinished tasks to the top of your list tomorrow. This will help you avoid multitasking and it will allow you to produce more finished projects.


Just remember, you can't do everything all at once and you can't stop everyday tasks from rolling in. So set yourself up to succeed!

 

I hope you've enjoy this weeks blog! Tune in next Friday for more!


Bye for now friends!


Talia Gutierrez

Owner | Creator of Shea Scrubs
















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