7 Ways to Have Your Most Productive Week Ever
I’m all about systems and productivity. I’ve picked up and honed my skills as a way to create order and gain a little control over what can be a chaotic and hectic life! I run a part-time VA business, work a full-time job, and I’m at my happiest when I have a thriving social calendar.
Systems and automation are key to balancing it all! Here are my top 7 tips for becoming a productivity badass, just like me.
1. A central calendar is a must!
Personally, I prefer to keep everything in my bullet journal. I carry it with me everywhere and it holds my calendar, my lists, my ideas and is a creative outlet. That said, the idea of spending the time to create a bullet journal spread doesn’t appeal to everyone. Find what works for you!
Calendar bonus tip:
Give yourself buffer time! Schedule time to breathe, to get stuck in traffic or to stop for a coffee. Allowing room for these inevitable life happenings will keep your stress levels way down! Though to be honest, I could use some work in this area myself.
2. Prioritise your to-do lists - but keep them in one place.
Try breaking up your tasks into categories of things that you absolutely must complete, tasks you really should get done, & the items you just want to cross off your to-do list. This will help you to organise your day and spend more times on the things that are going to improve your quality of life.
You need to pay the bills, you should walk the dog and you want to get outside to go on that hike. Simply having these lists will help you to focus on what really takes up your time - bringing me to my next point.
3. STOP! Wasting time.
When you are building a business it’s vital to find the time to either do more work AND find ways to do the things you love outside your business. Since we all have just 24 hours in the day, entrepreneurs need to watch where their time goes!
Start paying attention to how much time you spend on your phone, watching TV, or running meaningless errands. There’s an app for that or 7. I recently deleted my Facebook app because I was wasting time on it. Now if I really want to check in on Facebook and get on a computer, saving me hours a month of checking something just to get rid of the little red bubble telling me that I have a notification!
Learn to say no by creating a ‘Stop Doing’ list. Sometimes we need a little reminder that we are not obligated to check our emails or social media 30 times a day. Or that it’s okay to not go to that event with your friends - the one where you’ll have too much wine and get nothing done the next day.
4. Find your “prime time” & Reward yourself!
Much to my husband’s dismay, I am most productive early in the morning. This is when I have the energy to tackle my inbox, my housework, and more. He tends to be more motivated in the afternoons and evenings. When is this time for you? Make sure to set yourself up for success by using this time to get your hardest work done.
Unfortunately, we can’t always do work just when we are at our best. So put little rewards in place to motivate yourself. Whether it be a glass of wine (or in my case whiskey) at the end of your day or treating yourself to a massage when you’ve hit your monthly goal.
Sometimes you can have every automation and time-saving system in place imaginable. And somehow, you still don’t have enough time to enjoy life outside of work. That’s when it is time to give some of your work away. Sometimes this means hiring someone on full-time, but more often than not the busy season will pass - making your best option a freelancer. Want to see more about what a virtual assist or virtual PA can do for you?
6. Make your apps work for you.
We all have multiple apps, tools and software that should work together, but don’t. That’s where Zapier and If This, Then That come into play. Both create automations between the tools you use every day to make your life flow more seamlessly than ever. Ready to have your days become easier? Check them out.
7. Batching isn’t just for business hours.
I’ve found that making the time to eat well, get the right gifts for the birthdays of those who are important to you, sort the bills, and keep a clean home is nowhere near as difficult as it is often made out to be. Over time I’ve implemented systems to get all of my work done in batches - usually on Sundays so I can enjoy my damn weekend.
Probably the most time-consuming task in my household is setting us up for success in the food department. Eating nutritious, filling foods when you are running a million miles an hour can seem damn near impossible. I’ve solved this problem through the following:
Ordering our groceries online through click and collect. Tesco brilliantly saves all of my usually ordered food to make the process practically painless.
Each Sunday I spend 2-3 hours in the kitchen prepping all of our breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for the week. This means that even when we are at our busiest we have food that is going to give us the energy to keep pushing forward.
Having a meal rota spreadsheet - I keep all of my meal planning and all recipe links here. And when I get bored I just add a tab and find new interesting and relatively healthy meals on Pinterest.
Bonus batching tips:
Take one day to buy birthday cards and gifts for the next few months. Keep them in a spare cupboard. This will keep you from spending hours searching for the perfect gift for birthdays, anniversaries, father’s day, etc. I tend to keep an eye out when I am in shops and buy things I see on sale to add to a present bank. Which means we always have a few great gifts on hand just in case!
While some people find it easiest to clean a little bit each day or to deep clean one room each day of the week, it is really important to my mental health to start my week with a clean house. Very little in this world makes me breathe as easy as when my home is spotless. So my husband and I team up and spend an hour each Saturday morning to clean the house, which makes it easy to keep up on the little messes throughout the week.