Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stress - Free Productivity :: Part 2

Last week I wrote about being overwhelmed, and how I was in a constant frenzy of trying to “get things done”.  As promised, I’m sharing a few simple changes that helped me. 

1. Chill Dude.
I am pretty type A in how I hate wasting time, plan a million things, try to do things efficiently, and so on. I recently read an article describing the type A person and was exhausted just reading it! I finally realized I don’t have to be a perfectionist about every little thing. I don’t always need a list. I needed to chill! So, that was step one. It's amazing how much it can help when you let yourself off the hook.

2. Work smarter, not harder.
By August I was working one less job. Even though I only worked 9-11 hours a week with that job, it is amazing what a huge difference it made when I didn’t have it anymore.  Now my mornings and weekends were “free”, which gave me the time to grow my business.

3. Start the day the best way.
Waking up early, reading my Bible, and working out first thing makes my entire day so much more productive. I forced myself to start getting up at a decent time. The later I sleep, the lazier I am throughout the day. Early morning is also about the only time I can read my Bible without my mind racing in a thousand different directions. Working out first thing gets it out of the way and gives a feeling of accomplishment. I like that a lot. 

4. Make a Schedule.
I started to structure my mornings very strategically.  I have a fairly strict schedule that I hold myself to.  It does change a bit from week to week, but the general idea is the same.  I have time slots for responding to emails, returning calls, editing photos, or working through books.  I usually try to plan everything out the night before.

5. Keep Learning.
I’m not good at reading books. I can think of a million other things I rather to do instead, but I bought and started working through business books. I’ve been learning so much, and I’m getting better at the book-reading thing! 
Podcasts are my new favorite way of learning. I used to watch (more like listen to) shows while I edited or worked on spreadsheets. With podcasts I can keep learning while I work. 

So there you have it! Now obviously I realize not everyone can quit a job or have their mornings and weekends free to plan, but find ways to be smarter with your time. Try to get to bed a little earlier so you can wake up a little earlier. Don’t stress when you can’t do it all. Remember people are more important than your to-do list!

If you have something to add...I'd love to hear it! 

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