With so much happening right off the bat at the beginning of the year, I have to make sure that I stay focused in order to accomplish some of the major goals I have to meet. Right now, my biggest focus is on getting my store up and running, which still involves creating graphics, reshooting photographs and listing the inventory. It may not seem like a lot, but the number of hours that have to be poured in are more than I have available. I’m making it work, though, and thought I’d share with you guys my five essentials for staying productive!
1. Schedule your time wisely. Having ADHD, this has always been a huge struggle. My life binder has 2-page calendar spreads from Let’s Celebrate Love on Etsy, and I use these Post-It Flags for events or tasks that can easily be moved on my schedule. Each color flag represents a different topic and each ink color signifies a different type of task to complete (bills, payday, due dates). I always make sure I include a time, if possible, and not schedule more than 2 or 3 things in one day.
2. Avoid distractions. Turn the phone on silent and flip upside down if you can. Choose this time to charge the game controllers or game systems to full battery. Play some instrument music rather than music you might be tempted to sing along with and search for similar songs of. In this case, I recommend the instrumental hip hop station on Pandora. Ask you family/roommates/significant others to not bother you for at least a full hour so you can have some peaceful work time. You’d be surprised at home much you can get done.
3. Try to have all your resources in one spot to avoid further delays in your project’s progress. We tend to take unnecessary breaks in our projects because we don’t have all of our ducks in a row. Sometimes, you can’t avoid it. Be sure your printer is stocked full of paper and replacement ink cartridges are at the ready. Have extra writing paper, pencils, highlighters and pens for jotting. I got lucky and was able to get all the paperwork I needed for getting my business documents in order in one day, but because I didn’t have my new lights in yet I have to wait until this weekend and next weekend to shoot the photos for the store. Sometimes, funding can also a resource you need to gather the things required to start a new business. I was lucky enough to have saved up for this venture over a long period of time, but not everyone has that option. Kabbage is a great financial resource for getting loans for your small business. The application process is fairly easy, and the great thing about them is that they have mobile apps for you to watch your loan process, request another loan, or pay yours off! Be sure to check out their media reviews lower on the first page.
4. Take breaks when you can, but not for too long or take too many. The last thing you want to do is burn out on working. It could leave you unmotivated to continue your project. For every 2 hours you work, allow yourself a 10 minute web break to check your social accounts, email, or get a snack. Don’t count bathroom breaks, because that’s not really fair. If you’ve been working for 8+ hours straight, give yourself at least a 30 minute break to walk outside, take a lap around the house, get something to eat, or just watch a TV show and zone out on the couch for a bit. Pushing yourself to accomplish goals is one thing. Pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion is another.
5. Give yourself rewards for accomplishing certain tasks as an incentive to finish. The gold star sticker system works. The rewards I give myself are small, but help keep me motivated for taking on the next big project. Sometimes, it’s sushi. Other times, it can be a new outfit. Be proud of yourself and show yourself some much needed appreciation for all the hard work you do!
What are something you do to keep yourself productive? I’m always looking for looking for new ways to stay fresh and keep moving forward.