Do you ever feel like you’re SUPER busy and doing a ton of things but really never getting anything done? I’ve been there. It’s a constant struggle for me, personally, since I wear about 5+ different hats every day.
You’re probably thinking ‘FIVE? Syd come on, what in the world!’ It’s ok! I love it! I wouldn’t have it any other way, either. But since I have worn 5 hats for most of my adult life, I have some tricks to keep you truly being productive and efficient so people will now ask YOU how you manage to do it all.
Wife, Dog Mom, fitness instructor (I teach a few different classes too, so different hats within this category as well), Blogger, Co-Owner of Syd & Michelle Social Management, and more. It looks like a lot. Let’s dive right in to my top 5 tips for productivity, other than bulletproof coffee!!
Read more about my bulletproof coffee and an easy DIY time saver here!
5 Tips for Productivity.
Tip #1: Take care of yourself first!
You’ve heard the saying ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’… and this is 100% TRUE! If you take nothing away from this post other than this tip, it alone will help you survive even the busiest of days! Whether your self-care time is getting a manicure or turning your phone off and taking a bubble bath, or even sweating in a dark room with loud music, DO YOU BOO! Schedule this ‘me time’ weekly, daily, whatever the frequency is that you need it, do it. Then watch the efficiency and selflessness in your daily life come into fruition! For me, sometimes this takes form as a workout where I can disconnect, getting my nails done, or even just binging on Gossip Girl.
Tip #2: Meal Prep!
This is critical!!! Our species hasn’t figured out how to avoid the necessity of eating (not without attempts though — I will have to rant on meal replacement shakes at another time), so ensuring that you have easily accessible meals is crucial. That way, during your busy days/weeks/etc you have grab and go meals that aren’t greasy gross fast ‘food’. Keeping you on track in your busy life, AND in your fitness goals. Personally, I set aside Sunday afternoons — about 5 hours to menu plan, shop, and put together prepped meals for the week. That seems like a lot of time, but doing it all at once allows me to free up MORE time during the week — less clean up nightly, less opportunity to fall off the clean eating wagon, and frees up MORE time to spend with my hubby!
Follow my Meal Prep Pinterest Board, here.
Tip #3: Use a Planner! or 4…
Whether yours is electronic or paper and all the fun colorful pens, use one. Hell, use THREE! Whatever keeps you organized and visualizing your plans for the week. Do it. For me, I utilize my iCalendar so i can see ‘what’s next’ on my schedule on my Apple Watch, 1 large planner for ALL my responsibilities and appointments, and for each of my Social Management accounts I have another smaller one. Are you thinking that that’s a TON of planners? It is, but it’s working for me. I reference each every day — the large one (here: https://www.erincondren.com/lifeplanner-learn-more) to see the crazy happening this week, and the smaller client planners (monthly planner, here) so I can laser focus when it’s time to work on their accounts. That way, when laser focus time comes, I’m not distracted by my over packed large planner. (If you didn’t read my ADHD blog post, I have the visual version of ADHD which is SUPER fun…)
Read about how I manage my ADHD without meds here.
Tip #4: Use a Timer!
Actually, as I type this, I have a timer going for 30 minutes! 30 minutes of blog time daily, 1+ hours daily for client work depending on their contract, and then 30min – 1H studying for my fitness classes I teach. Then the home maintenance stuff comes into play — for these tasks I make it more of a race against the clock 5-15 minutes to: fold the laundry, clean the bathrooms, wipe down the kitchen, vacuum up the dog hair… etc. That way, I have to stay on task and I don’t get sucked into something else. And also of course at least 30 min to play with/walk the dogs. My Apple Watch as well as Alexa (Amazon Echo) has actually helped a lot with this timer thing. All I have to do is yell at Siri or Alexa to start my timers and there it goes! Not fiddling with my iPhone and getting sucked into other notifications! Need an Apple Watch or Alexa? Scroll to the bottom for my favs!
Read my top tips on building a business here.
Tip #5: Put your phone on Do Not Disturb!
This is a huge help. You know how your phone lights up every time you get a notification? How distracting is that?! For me, VERY! It’s just the distraction that de-rails me for hours on end, and with my schedule, I can’t have that. Make sure to set a timer when you figure this out, since we know playing on the phones can lead down a rabbit hole of distraction. There is a way you can make it so your kiddo’s school phone calls still come through and other important contacts can still reach you — so dive right in and set that up! This also goes for Facebook, Instagram, etc. log out of those browsers! For me, since social media is my job, I have made another account that has only my social management coworkers as friends so that I have zero distractions when working on client accounts. (This was also a fun extra tip for you if you also are a social manager, content creator, or virtual assistant!)
My BONUS tip for you about staying productive with the busiest schedule ever is:
YOU CAN SAY NO!
This really never resonated with me until I started building my own brand. When it comes to branding, you want to be sure to stay true to your values, your color scheme, and what makes your brand stand out from all the other brands. But, this doesn’t only apply to logos and business models. This applies to your human life as well. If something doesn’t match up with your goals or go along side your pursuit of your goals, WHY are you going to spend time putting forth effort for it? Of course there is always the situation of helping a friend or family member, but that task would fall under your morals and what makes you you. Be true, be you, and just say ‘NO’ to things that don’t align with the frequency at which you want to vibrate all the amazingness you have to offer the world.
This blog post was requested by some amazing members of The Dynamic Life Collective — where we talk life hacks, product dupes, how to deal, and probably more donut and unicorn memes than a normal human can handle in a life time. Have a request for a topic? Need something answered? Join us in the group! We would love to get to know you! 🙂
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