as someone who works full time and is a soon to be working mom it’s important to me to know that my time is being used wisely, productively and efficiently. this holds true both with my job at the office as well as that of being a wife and soon-to-be mother and keeping my home together. there are always so many distractions that can keep us from getting what we want to accomplish done and i constantly find myself trying to better my organization, time management and productivity. here are a few of my tips and practices for how i stay focused both at home and at the office.
- have a clean work space: i find it very hard to concentrate and really focus on what i am doing when i have a messy workspace. this can be difficult for me at work as being in merchandising i always have multiple samples cluttering my desk. this holds true at home too. i always find myself picking things up before i can really get down to business. before i start my day i like to make sure things are as organized and tidy as they can be; now this isn’t always up to my “clean” standards, but you have you work with what you can. make sure your space is orderly enough for you to focus on the work at hand and not on the surrounding mess.
- create a to-do list: when i have a list of what needs to get accomplished throughout the day or week i find myself being more organized and it helps me to eliminate some distractions. while there are many great apps, programs and planners that can provide you with lists and reminders, i like to go old-school here and am a post-it note queen. every morning i make a list of both what needs to be accomplished at work, as well as a separate list for errands i need to run or tasks i would like to complete at home. these lists help me to stay on track and it’s always fun watching them get crossed off one-by-one.
- figure out your goals and prioritize: this goes hand-in-hand with to-do lists in my opinion. it is just as important to figure how much you are able to get done in a certain amount of time as it is to list out all the tasks that need to get done. it is essential to prioritize your tasks by urgency and complete them in that order. you must remember that it’s not always about the quantity or number of things you can get done, but the quality with which you complete them as well. what makes the most sense with the time you have? what is most important to complete? if you aren’t good at prioritizing in the work setting meet with your manager and go through your list of to-do’s with them to determine in what order you should work on things.
- quit checking your email: i am constantly at fault for overchecking my email and feeling the need to respond to everything right away. email can be a huge distraction when trying to get a project done. when i am working on a big project or important task at work i try to keep my email minimized so as not to constantly glance at it. a good tip would be to set aside a few times throughout the day where you are focused on checking and responding to emails. doing this allows you to give your full attention to other things you may need to get done and not get sucked in to being in your email all day.
- take breaks: in my opinion this is the most important tip to staying productive and focused throughout the day. get up and stretch, grab a drink from the water cooler or go out to lunch; in other words get away from your desk. if you’re at home, take a moment to go for a walk or watch a little tv. most days i eat my lunch at my desk and feel like I am never truly getting a good break. on the days where i run an errand or physically get away from my desk for a while i find myself rejuvenated and ready to focus and work hard; this in turn helps me work better for the rest of the day.
i find by employing these 5 tips my day is not only easier and more organized, but very productive and i feel much better about my accomplishments. variations of these tips and methods are also extremely beneficial for someone starting out on a new venture, whether it be starting a new job, working in your home or starting a new business. if you are trying to take your business to the next level or give it a jump start, check out kabbage.com. kabbage provides small business loans and prides themselves on helping entrepreneurs increase productivity in order to achieve their goals.
this post was uncompensated all opinions and tips are my own.