What is your biggest challenge in being productive from day to day? Could it be the lack of motivation, lack of focus, or not being organized. Getting organized can be a major issue for many people and is usually the culprit for not getting things done. Organization affects how we think, feel about ourselves, our surroundings, and our ability to focus and be productive. As an entrepreneur, organization, whether you like to do it or not, is a necessity if you want to keep your sanity while you succeed.
Have you considered how much organization affects your ability to be more productive?
Being disorganized can cost tons of time and money and is the master of inefficiency. People spend tons of time looking for things when they could be using their time towards something more valuable and profitable. When you spend time looking for things it affects the output of your mental capacity and can ultimately lead to a non-productive day.
Disorganization comes in all forms from papers, emails, voicemails, meetings, tech devices, and just having too much stuff.
I want to share with you a few things you can do to get more organized and focused so you can be more productive and just get stuff done.
Clear Out Your Mental Clutter
Mental clutter can affect us in so many ways and have an adverse affect on our productivity. Unfortunately, in today's busy society, people have learned to function with mental rather than taking the time to get rid of it. Mental clutter can cause:
I'm sure you don't want to experience any of that. When you have so much to do as an entrepreneur, mom, or corporate worker, you can't afford to become best friends with mental clutter. You simply have to find a way to let it go. So here are a few ways to help you get rid of it.
Even if you don't have time to do this every single day, find time to squeeze it in when you can. Journaling is like giving your brain a detox. Write out all of your thoughts, emotions, fears, successes, or whatever is on your mind at that time, write it out!
Do a Brain Dump
I'm sure you've heard this phrase before. Well, that's because it really works. Brain dumps are a bit different from journaling. Journaling is more unstructured free flowing thoughts versus a brain dump is more thought out. If you have a lot of ideas floating around in your head, you need to extract those ideas from your mind and put them to paper or your preferred digital system.
Take Walks and Focus on Your Breathing
There are so many benefits to doing this. Take walks and focus on your breathing helps to clear and oxygenate your brain. Do this at least once a day on your break to refresh your mind and prepare for your day or next set of tasks.
Get Some Sleep
Don't you love this one?! Your brain needs to rest from the fast pace of business, work, and life. We live in a chronically sleep deprived society You may feel like you're being super unproductive, but trust me you're not. When you allow your brain (and body too) to get the proper rest, your mind is more sharp and ready to focus on your daily tasks.
Get Rid of Digital Clutter
Digital clutter if left unattended turns into digital distractions which then creates a huge drag in your productivity. It also affects your brain's ability to focus and process information.
Turn off your cell phone and desktop notifications
Use an app like Rescue Time to monitor how you spend your time online throughout the day
Use Unroll Me to reduce inbox clutter
Determine if you need every single app on your cell phone. Delete the ones you really don't need or barely use
Clean up your Desktop
Set a Power Hour
The Power Hour idea conceived by author Gretchen Rubin is when you give yourself one hour per week to tackle those nagging to-do's. These are tasks that have no deadline and no accountability. You can use the Power Hour for things like:
Calling family and friends
getting rid of digital and paper clutter
Organizing your closet or office space.
I love the Power Hour method. Giving myself one hour to get certain things done forces me to work quicker and accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. It also gives me the sense of accomplishment and helps me better manage my chores throughout the week. My Power Hour (actually I have more than one because I have small kids) is on Monday. Getting things done like loads of laundry and light cleaning give me the room I need to focus on my blog and business the rest of the week.
Theme Your Day
Theming your days can really give you a productive boost and increase your focus. It allows you to know ahead of time where you need to channel your energy and focus. To set a theme for the week, categorize your tasks and decide which day you want to focus on them. If and when a new task pops up, you can add it to its designated day or tackle it immediately if you can do it in two minutes or less.
Theming your days is very similar to batching, but on a larger scale. I like how Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, describes how he themes his day.
- Monday - Management
- Tuesday - Product Development
- Wednesday - Marketing and Communications
- Thursday - Partnerships and Developers
- Friday - Company Culture and Recruitment
- Saturday - Day Off
- Sunday - Reflection Feedback and Strategy
For creatives, a themed day may look much different from a big company CEO. A themed day for a creative entrepreneur might look something like this:
- Monday: Content Creation and Product Development
- Tuesday: Social Media Marketing and Affiliate Marketing
- Wednesday: Client Consultations and Email Management
- Thursday: Administrative and Calendar Management
- Friday: Vision Planning and Close Outs
- Saturday: Rest & Relaxation
- Sunday: Weekly Goal Planning
I don't theme my days so much as I do my week. Since I'm a full-time working mom of two young kids, my days can get sporadic, but I know what I'm focusing on for the week. Depending on my kids' school activities, projects, and homework, I'll decide which days are the best for me to work on my business. So weekly themes work best for me. I have a content creation week where I only focus on creating content for the month. This is a game changer for me to stay organized and be productive.
Use a Planner System and Plan it Out
Using a planner is absolutely essential to get and stay organized. Take time to plan your days, prioritize your to-do's, manage events, and schedule the appropriate time to get stuff done. Write down what needs to be done on a certain day and commit to it.
Look at your planner daily and often to stay on top of your schedule and to make sure you focus on the right tasks.
I'm a big fan of paper and digital planners and currently use both. Choose the right mix that works best for you and your lifestyle and get organized.
So those are a few ways you can get organized and be more productive. What has worked for me the most is using a paper and digital planning system. What I need to work on more? Clearing out my mental clutter more often.
Over To You
What do you do to get organized and boost your productivity? What tips have I shared resonate with you the most?