December 17, 2018 5 min read
Something that I constantly think about is TIME.
How much time will it take me to answer these emails?
Do I have time to grab a quick coffee / go to the gym / finish this one last task before picking up my son?
I must say, after starting my own business, I have quickly learnt the importance of time and how to take more control of my schedule.
Fast forward to becoming a mother and I’ve now tried and tested various hacks that help me to achieve optimal productivity when needed.
Below are six of my favourite productivity hacks. I hope they give you the power to produce your best work and get the most out of your time too!
My morning, unfortunately, isn’t brunch dates and early morning yoga classes, it’s running after my now 18-month old, chugging a large sized coffee and consulting my daily to-do list.
I am definitely a sucker for a good to-do list - and I write one almost every day.
But here’s the hack; I write all of my to-do lists the night before.
It’s the last piece of work I see when I’m winding down for the night and the first thing I review to get me motivated in the morning. Having my to-do list ready to go the night before frees up time for me to focus on any priorities first up in the morning and, most importantly, gives me peace of mind that (at least the start of) my day is sorted.
I am a task-oriented person. Notice how I said "task", not "tasks"? I happily take on a lot in life, but I much prefer to focus on one task at a time.
For me, multi-tasking never results in a great product - when I take on too many things all at once nothing is ever completed properly. I am much, and I mean much, more effective when I write a list, prioritise the tasks, estimate roughly how long each task will take to complete, then systematically work down the list completing one item at a time. Getting something done right once is the most productive way I can spend my time.
My father has always been a big fan of Warren Buffett. Given this, many of Mr Buffet’s life pearls have found their way into my upbringing. Mr Buffet definitely has a few aces up his sleeve when it comes to productivity and prioritisation. His simple, yet effective 5/25 rule is a winner.
Here’s how it works:
This process helps me focus on what is critical on any given day / week / year. It also helps to reduce stress and ensure that I don’t feel overwhelmed with too many tasks on my list at the one time. Once your top 5 tasks have been completed, go back to your original list, add new tasks that may have popped up in the meantime and reprioritise the full list again, circling the next 5 to create your new priority list to focus on.
Like anyone, I work best when I’m well rested, energised and can take a step back and reassess. The timer aspect of the Pomodoro technique keeps you accountable to your work load and much more focused on the task at hand. The 5/10 minute break after each block clears your mind, ensures you return to the next block of 'focus' with a fresh set of eyes. A great app to accompany this style of working is FocusBooster.
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