I am a perfectionist and extreme list builder. There is nothing quite like the feeling of checking off that task, feeling accomplished and ready to tackle the next thing. The scramble for more and more checked off was getting me nowhere and I’d reach the end of the week frazzled and unsure I actually accomplished anything worthwhile.
However, as a mom of five and a business owner I had to make a change. I have found a new approach to my week that not only helps me feel more in control, it allowed for flexibility, and for me to actually live my life.
Before I share my tips and secrets to a more productive week without the overwhelm, I want to point out a couple of things.
Notice how I mention a more productive WEEK, this isn’t about getting everything done each day. Instead think about the week as a whole, balance over time and not just over 24 hours. (Women, I highly recommend reading “Do Less” by Kate Northup as she talks extensively about living in a 28 cycle and not a 24 hour cycle.)
Okay ready to dive into the tips? Here we go:
Productivity Tip #1: Begin the week with intention.
Before just diving head first into the week, start with a plan. Spend 5 minutes (I like to do this Sunday evening) looking at what the week holds. Take note of important dates, meetings, birthdays, events, or deadlines.
Then review your monthly/quarterly goals. What steps can you take this week to make forward momentum on those goals? If you’re hoping to show up online more frequently, maybe that means setting a goal for the week to pst 3 times on social media. Or if your goal for the quarter is to declutter the house, pick a room/closet/drawer to focus on this week.
What baby steps can you take this week to move the needle on those goals? Write them down as goals for the week and even schedule time to accomplish them.
Bonus Tip – Look at the weather forecast. If there are certain days that are going to be nice, consider schedule that time for family time and other days that are rainy more for those indoor projects/tasks.
Productivity Tip #2: Ditch the giant to-do list and pick ONLY 2-3 things to focus on per day.
We tend to make lists that are 4-5x longer than we can actually accomplish in one day. Plus, those lists are things that aren’t helping towards the weeks goals anyways.
Instead pick 2-3 things for each day to focus on for the day. Those are your must dos, where you spend your time and when they are done you can feel done and accomplished.
Of course you can have other smaller things below, or reminders. However, consider those as extras/bonus tasks only. They can be done tomorrow without any guilt.
This will not only help ensure you’re focusing on those things that. will move that needle, but that you can feel accomplished each day.
Bonus Tip: Write the bonus tasks on a post-it note that can easily move to the next day.
Productivity Tip #3: Get to know your best times of day for certain tasks.
Create a schedule that works with you, your body, and your family. If you create/write best in the morning, schedule time. That could mean getting up early a few times a week to focus. Or if you’re a night owl, then plan a couple days that week to not binge Netflix after the kids go to bed and instead get some work done.
I know that once my youngest is down for a nap, I have time to get work done, however I also get those mid-day sleepies. I don’t use this time for creating content because a tired brain is just wasting time trying to swim upstream.
So see when you work/create best and use that time. It might mean making adjustments in your scheduling, getting childcare, waking up early, or spending your evenings differently, but I promise it is worth it.
When we work with our bodies and our rhythms we can accomplish so much more in a shorter period of time. Win-win!
Productivity Tip #4: Celebrate your accomplishments for the week no matter big or small.
At the end of the week, evaluate what you got accomplished and celebrate! Didn’t get everything done you’d like? That’s okay. As you move to tip#1 again for the next week, you can see maybe you need to figure more time for a project, or more time for you. Then take a break, bask in the movement towards a more productive week without the overwhelm of trying to do it all, all day, everyday.
Head back up to Productivity Tip #1 and start preparing for next week!
Do you have more tips you’d add to this? Share them in the comments.