We all fall victim to procrastination sometimes – there’s no shame in admitting that! Whether its reading instead of writing *nods head in shame* or staring at your never ending email inbox and never replying, or wasting time on Pinterest *nods head in shame again*, it can sometimes be a challenge to stay focused! So today I’ve decided to write you all a post on how you can stay on track without pulling your hair out! How does this work? Well, as it turns, out, the simplest activities and changes to routine can you make you more productive than ever!The most effective and healthiest step you can take beforehand, is making sure you are well rested and making sure you’re not working on an empty stomach! Being tired and being hungry are the biggest distractions when trying to work! Once you’ve taken this approach, read on for my top five simple tips for staying focused.
1. Do a brain dump
Those of you who are unfamiliar with brain dumps are probably thinking how disgusting this sounds! Well, a brain dump is simply depositing your thoughts so that they are documented safely for later use, while clearing your mind. Every night before you go to bed, take a piece of paper or a notebook and write down write down anything that comes to mind. Absolutely everything, whether it’s a song that’s stuck in your head, your biggest life aspirations, or what you want to add to your food shopping list tomorrow. For example, last night, I wrote down a song that was stuck in my head, some ideas for blog posts and a list of tasks I need to do the following day. This helps to clear your head before you go to sleep, otherwise your mind will want to keep on working late into the night. The following morning, look over your brain dump and categorise them into lists; to-do lists, reminders, random thoughts.
2. Make an (Organized) To-Do List
Making an efficient and organised to-do list is something I should have started a long time ago, but I’ve only just brought this into my working life! There are many ways you can create an effective to-do list. You can use sticky notes, buying diaries and planners, and using list-making apps (the app Any.do) is a personal favourite. However, my personal favourite method is to have a planner pad (not a book) that you can hang on your wall!I bought a planner board from Asda for a small sum of £2.50 and it’s been amazing for motivating me to get things done. Every week I fill a page with all of the things I need to get done. Some of their options have sections of things you need to get done urgently, things you’d like to buy, and a simple to-do list. It also has a section at the bottom for adding fun little doodles!
Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking is not the way to get things done efficiently. Many people think that multi-tasking will help them be more efficient because they’re working on more than one thing at a time. This mind-set is great for helping you to get small and effortless tasks done, but truthfully, you really aren’t getting stuff done as productively as you could. It will help much more to simplify your to-do list by learning to single-task. Try to handle one task at a time, focus on that project and do it to the best of your ability. Once that one is complete, then you can move on to your next project/task. So close all those tabs you have open and focus on one task at a time!
Light is important when you’re working. It helps the brain to become more active, and simply – helps us see! If you work in a dimly lit room, you will strain your eyes and it will make you become more tired. I like to open my curtains and my blinds and work near a window to get as much natural light coming into my room as I can. It will also help to purchase a table lamp. This way, you can focus the light directly at your work. Focusing light on your task also prevents you from looking around for something else to do.
5. Have Everything Ready
If you’re planning a day of hard work, have everything ready! If you’re going to need snacks, get snacks beforehand, and make sure you pour yourself a glass of water before you start, too! Nothing wastes more time than having to get up and leave your desk just to do little things like grabbing a glass of water. Set yourself up before you sit yourself down, otherwise you can waste a whole hour messing around looking for things you forgot earlier. And the one I’m worst for? Stock up on paper and pens, and find your charger before you begin working! I’m constantly waiting for my laptop to be almost dead, taking myself away from my work to find my charger, then returning to have lost my train of thought. If you set yourself up first, you can dive straight in!Also, if one of the items on your to-do list is getting your blog or your small business off the ground, there are many fabulous apps and websites you can use to help you get the ball rolling! Kabbage.com is a great app that helps you grow your small business by supplying small business loans.
I hope you enjoyed these suggestions for staying organised, and that they were helpful in some way! Let me know how you stay productive in the comments down below!