Wondering how to boost your productivity when you’re working from home? Turn being busy into productive and start taking back your day! Being busy versus being productive. It’s not sexy, but it’s something we really need to talk about. The alarm clock goes off and from the moment your feet hit the floor, it feels like you’re treading water, trying to stay out of your Inbox and ahead of all your to-dos. Bouncing between phone calls and holding your breath that the next meeting will get canceled so you can finally get some real work done.
Those days turn into weeks. The weeks into months… And the next thing you know, the year has gone by and what do you have to show for it?
We all have your own version, and now, with our various work from home situations, the opportunity for distraction and interruption has only increased. Things may have slowed down, but that sense of overwhelm, yep it’s still there. Our goal is to work smarter, not harder, so here are 3 steps to boost your productivity, avoid having a mini-meltdown, and start taking back your day.
1. Take inventory
If you’ve never taken an inventory of your time and where it’s going, that’s the first place to start.
For the next 2-3 days, note every minute of what you’re doing – Zoom meetings, phone calls, meals, even bathroom breaks, and random conversations. Logging your activity for a baseline can help you determine where your time is being wasted – and help you fix it. You can use a desk pad to make this super easy, grab a desk pad like the Getting Stuff Done desk pad, and make a note of everything you’re doing and where your time gets spent.
2. Identify your focus
The Project Book will help you finally get a handle on your day. Use the timed weekly overview to plan what you need to get done, then use the Project Management section to break up your to-dos and combine it with the timed to-do list to stay on track. Use The Project Book to review your list of daily activities and organize them into one of the following four buckets:
“I love what I have to do, and I’m great at it!”
“I don’t like what I have to do, but I’m good at it.”
“I like what I have to do, but I’m not good at it.”
“I don’t like what I have to do, and I don’t do it well.”
Then, ask yourself, “What is the best use of my time?” If you’re reading this, you’re probably already very familiar with the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule. It states that 80% of your desired results come from 20% of your activity. If that’s true, then we need to be fiercely guarding that 20%. Focus on your strengths, delegate the rest.
SHOP THE STORY
3. Know when to ask for help
Your goal is to focus on only the activities that you love, do well, AND are the best use of your time. It’s important to consider that while you may love what you have to do and do it really well, there might be someone else who can do it better, faster or cheaper…and allow you to tackle another higher income-producing aspect of your business. If you need to balance a busy day, use the Stress Less journal to help you work through and process feelings of overwhelm.
What’s your biggest challenge right now? The one thing that keeps you up at night that you dream of fixing? Maybe it’s your inbox gone wild, the website updates you need to make, that Blog post you want to write. Work through it all in the Stress Less journal and you’ll feel a lot better.
By Tamara Smith