There are a ton of productivity apps out there, philosophies too, but what if I told you that personal habits can make all the difference? Don’t get me wrong, app technology is one of God’s greatest gifts to men but there was a life before apps and I happened to live in those times. I experienced College & my first job pre-the apps we are so hung up on these days. If anything, those experiences prove that the "small things" can make a huge difference to our productivity.
Here are 5 hacks that have helped me make headway in stressful times.
Sometimes old is better than new:
There’s a part of me that loves finding new ways to do things but if I’m being honest, it isn’t always helpful. I’ve wasted time hunting down masks, my purse, keys even my phone because I didn’t stick with the simplest rule of organization – Mark your spot & use it.
Especially if you’re not the most organized, if you know what I mean. Use your spot for stashing grab-n-gos i.e pens, keys, errand jewelry/purse, delivery tips, your go-to notepad and phone. I have to credit my husband for this nugget though. He has this whole ‘spot’ thing on lock.
Using Google Calendar:
‘Use’ the people around you if you must, I do! Syncing Google Calendar with the Hubs means we have fewer scheduling fails, can plan for family events, and also remind each other not to miss our individual stuff. Especially now that we’re juggling facetiming nephews with workshops, courses and naming ceremonies. These are crazy times.
1 Simple thing at a time:
My tasks used to seem so overwhelming that they would make me stop everything altogether. Like, just toss it all away. I would wake up in the morning, remember my personal projects, my 9-5 tasks and homeschool and it would snowball into a mini freak-out. Until a wise man told me that it didn’t have to be that hard and that I was overlooking the simple things. He was right because his solution wasn’t complicated or some app with a premium subscription. All I needed to do was work on the simplest tasks first so my to-do list looked less daunting. Sounds basic? That’s because it is.
You know how people say Less is More? Well, (sometimes) Basic is Best.
Track your energy:
It’s only weird when it doesn’t work. And it does, I swear it. Everyone has the time of day when they are at their most energetic/hype/buzzed. For me, that time is at night after 9pm. Anyway, I know Social Media hypes up the morning-energy people but don’t force it. If you can track the times when you feel most energized as well as the activities you do on your most drained days, you can knock off a major chunk of your to-do list. I created an energy tracker you can download here.
Don’t feel ashamed because you have to move your tasks to the next day or the next week. Review your To-do list at the end of the day, celebrate the ones that got done, be honest about why you couldn’t get the others done and set realistic deadlines for them. Guilt will grind you to a halt if you let it.
And because some of us are gung-ho on productivity apps, I’ll share one I use and can swear by - Forest App. I love its simple graphics and that it draws attention to the importance of trees & realities of a earth that's changing. The app's countdown timer to keep you focused through the set time and it plants a tree if you are successful. If you go on to another app without returning quickly enough to Forest, your tree withers and dies.
FYI: NO REAL TREES ARE HARMED BY USING THIS APP, LOL.
How have you been able to stay focused? Have you tried any of these hacks but with little or no success?