Part Three || How-To || October

Welcome to part three of this month's How-To series -- How-To Be Productive!! Couldn't tell from the picture or the title, huh? I know -- I'm so sneaky. Wednesday I kicked off the post with the two ways to jump start productivity... jump back and read Part One if you'd like. Then yesterday I unleashed two more in Part Two. And today here's the final three -- enjoy!!!



|| plan out what you need done + how much time you think it will take ||

This doesn’t have to be a time table of when you will do certain things and at the exact length of time you will do them, but having a rough estimate of how long it will take you to look up something or write up an email can help filter little activities into the breaks of your day. Having a master list of what must be done can help you pin point ‘big ticket’ items that need completing by a near deadline. This also helps you realize how much time you spend on meaningless tasks like checking facebook for the thousandth time or refreshing the instagram feed. These little tasks aren't bad by any means if you derive joy from them, but they do impede your productivity by keeping you away from your task.

Planning out what needs to be completed can help them from scrambling in your brain and creating a knot of events you’ve scheduled. It doesn’t have to be a fancy planner or crazy calendar – I keep my list on an oversized note card clipped to a clipboard. Just find what works for you and see if keeping track helps you stay on task.

|| be organized + try not to get behind ||

This keeps right in line with the point above – having that master list helps you stay organized, keeps your thoughts close, and the time structure will remind you when to get things done and not get caught behind. Staying organized also helps limit the ‘what am I doing this week’ fuzz where you scramble through your thoughts to pick out the promises you made to meet up and the meetings you scheduled with a prospective client. Hopefully, we can all understand that getting behind can be stressful and that stress inhibits our optimal production and capabilities. If you do get behind, try not to stress. There are many things that can help ease the mind and kick-start your drive again.

Organization really isn’t for everyone – but sometimes its easier to fall behind when we don’t know exactly what we are doing or what our next step will be. See below if that stress bug comes biting …

|| if panicked or getting behind, here are some tips to help ||

Okay, try not to stress! Take a deep breath, five deep ones to be exact, close your eyes and zone into the moment, into your space, feel the seat you are siting in and your surroundings. Are you comfortable? Are you hydrated? Are you ready to work? Adjust your placement until the above answers are yes. Try playing some soothing instrumental music or music that fades into the background and allows you to work harder; try changing into comfortable clothes; make yourself a mug of calming tea and try to stop the overbeating of your heart and overwhelming brain process by being right where you are this moment; perhaps prepare a light snack (i.e. pb + apples, hummus + carrots or pretzels, etc). If these steps don’t work, try taking a break, calling it for the day, packing up and going somewhere to walk, be creative, or just plain not think – lose yourself in a book, a tv show, a quick yoga practice. Find your center and then return – you’ll work harder, I promise.

Try not to get stressed -- even when you get behind and it feels impossible to catch up. Stress chokes us up and getting anything done well impossible. Just take some deep breaths. Everything is working out exactly as planned. Calm yourself down a little, regroup, and get back to the action. You're going to do great!

Remember, productivity is in the eye of the beholder – don’t let another person’s terms of success keep you from feeling accomplished. If you wrote that newsletter and it took you two months, appreciate all that it took to get done: the research, the drafting, the finalizing. Be proud that you finished. It can be so hard not to compare ourselves to others, but in terms of our own success, this is the most important. Only you can define your success. Just you. So sit down with a glass of water, a cup of tea, surrounded by little quotes that motivate and your to-do list, and work hard and strong until you are done (you get to choose when that is too, woohoo!). I bet you are more successful than you think. Happy productiveness!

Feel like you could be more productive?

Do you utilize these tips already?

Did any surprise you (from yesterday or Wednesday)?

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