It seems like the more I try to tackle my days, the busier they get. Why is that? Honestly, productivity is something I struggle with. Not because I don’t love my work or am not passionate about the things I share with y’all, but because #BrightonBrain. If you watch my Insta Stories, you know exactly what I’m talking about (remember that time I spent like a whole week obsessing over Nick Saban? and then that other time I got all into studying Catholicisim and the Reformation? lol). The point is, there are TONS of distractions out there and I want to find a way for us all to conquer them! I mean really though, who wouldn’t love to get more done in a day? So. Let’s DO THIS! The sooner we talk about all of these things, the sooner we can start getting stuff done!
1. Your phone/the internet
I’m 100% guilty of this one. My phone is probably my number one distraction (other than my brain). Whenever I have any random thought, I hop on Stories to tell y’all about it or I Google it and start reading about whatever it is – sometimes for hours. When it comes time to really focus and have solid work time, I think turning my phone onto airplane mode is a great solution. And maybe put it away instead of just sitting there next to me. Kind of like an out of sight, out of mind type of thing.
It used to be that everyone would brag or write on their resume about being able to multitask, but now it’s like something to avoid. This study and many others out there, say trying to do too much at one time actually hinders productivity. Ever since reading these, I’ve tried to focus on one thing at a time. And I actually really think it makes sense because instead of half thinking about two things when I give my complete attention to one, I feel like I do a much better job. Who would have guessed?
3. Not having a routine
I’ve read about a million articles and books about the importance of routine. And not just when it comes to helping productivity, but just to make you feel better. I totally agree that when I follow my usual routine I feel happier and get more tasks done throughout the day. Having a routine doesn’t necessarily mean being a morning person either, so don’t think that just because you’re a night owl you can’t accomplish this one. I think it’s really just about finding a schedule that works for YOU. Lately, planning out my day the night before has really been making a huge difference for me. I revisit this in the morning too and make adjustments, but just the process of “zooming out” really helps keep me focused.
But speaking of morning routines, have you read this post about morning routines?
4. Lack of work-life balance
Sometimes I sit down in the morning to get to work and the next time I look up it’s already dark outside. The days go by so fast when you get lost in work, meetings and emails (UGH emails. More on that below). Even if you don’t have a family, it’s still SO important to not lose yourself to your work. We all need breaks, so go spend time with friends and take time to not think about anything work-related. Your brain will thank you.
Do you ever have a big, lingering project and you just keep saying to yourself that you’ll work on it later because you’re almost afraid to get started? Happens to me way too often. Why is this a thing? I always think I’m never going to run out of hours in the day and then all the sudden it’s past six and I haven’t even gotten to half the things I wanted to do. I think focusing on a routine and scheduling tasks throughout the day helps with this. Have y’all heard of batching tasks? If not, I think it’s a great to tool to combat procrastination.
Speaking of procrastinating, check out this post on 5 reasons WHY we procrastinate and how to beat each.
6. A never-ending to-do list
This goes back to having work-life balance. Sometimes we just have to accept that work is never-ending. Period the end. And that no matter how late we stay at the office or burn the midnight oil, we’re still not going to get everything done. Obviously, you want to make sure you’re meeting deadlines, but spread things out throughout the week. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to get everything done in one day. It’s okay – it will be there for you tomorrow (what I always tell myself). I FORCE myself to choose the MOST important things each day. It’s really had, but otherwise I’ll go crazy.
OK y’all. Email is a problem for so many people. It’s like a black hole that once you fall into, can consume your entire day – or more. Spend about 20 minutes in the morning checking and getting caught up on necessary things. If you’re not sure what’s necessary, set up filters so all the promotional emails get separated out from the ones that actually require a response. This is SO helpful for me because it eliminates that distraction. Then, the trick is to schedule little plots of time throughout the day to check (I literally set timers and force myself to focus on very important emails ONLY!). Just don’t schedule too many windows though. I know it’s important to be responsive, but most things probably aren’t as urgent as they feel.
I love getting out of the house and meeting with people. Whether it’s a lunch with friends or a business thing, it’s a nice break. But some days it feels like I spend all my time running from one place to the next, and by the time I get home I kind of just want a glass of wine. If you struggle with this kind of thing too, I’m going to recommend batching again. Try to schedule all of these out-of-office things for one day, that way you don’t have three days where you’re spending half of it away from your desk.
Ok! That’s it! Hopefully if y’all are struggling with something productivity related, I covered it, or there’s a solution in here that works for you. If not, tell me what your biggest distraction is slash how you’re dealing with it!
If you enjoyed this article on productivity (did you? want to see more? let me know in the comments please!), then you might be interested in these:
- 9 Tips for Using Your Time Wisely
- Let’s Talk Morning Routines
- 5 Reasons Why You Procrastinate and How To Beat Each
I think I wear some form of this outfit at least once a week. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with jeans, a simple white tank, and a lightweight jacket. It’s like my casual day-to-day uniform! And if I’m not wearing a jacket like this, then I’m wearing a cozy cardigan because of #ComfortFirst. I posted this outfit as part of my blog post about Productivity where I talked about 8 Things That Kill Your Productivity. I love learning about ways I can be more productive in life in general but also (of course) with my work. Learning about how to effectively get the RIGHT things done each day has slowly but surely become quite the passion project of mine. I hope to continue to build this content area on my site and write more articles on it – I just LOVE it and think everyone can gain something from posts like this.
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