Work smarter not harder, you’ve heard it before. I mean, everybody says it but let’s be honest we still glorify people who work non stop 24/7. But long hours does not equate to quality work. Not saying it can’t, but unless you’re a machine that kind of grind is not the most sustainable. There will be phases of life where you have to work longer, that’s okay. But what if I could give you some tips that might help to slash your workday and help you get more stuff done? Here are 10 tips to GYST so you can take a breather every now and again.
Jury’s out multitasking and jumping around from one task to another does not lead to better work. Hunkering down on one task and focusing does. Time blocking is basically scheduling a chunk or block of time where you are putting your entire attention on one thing at a time.
No multitasking, no distractions. I love this method but don’t get me wrong it doesn’t come easy. My mind is always in a million places and I am afraid of forgetting things when they pop in my head. I chase these to-do’s over and over again and it’s so unproductive. I learned to just have a notebook or use the sticky note app on my computer to write down whatever pops in my head and I’ll set it and forget it until later.
Anyways, time blocking and monotasking not only helps you be more efficient but so much less stressed. Your mind is clear and focused to work on this one thing and to get it done – life-changing.
When I think of outsourcing I hear all of those people who tell you to hire an assistant. If you want to scale and grow your business this is definitely important. If you have the money to outsource and hire individuals to join your team go right ahead but for all of you who aren’t there yet in your business or are still working your 9-5 while working on your side hustle outsourcing still works for you too.
You might not be able to hand someone some of your “work work” but there are other things you can relieve yourself from to focus more on your grind. For me, I hate grocery shopping (and cooking), like I really hate it. It eats up so much of my time so I have it delivered. There are so many services nowadays that will deliver groceries or deliver a meal plan so you don’t have to spend that time.
You can outsource your house cleaning, or getting your hair and nails done (get some work done in the process), I mean how much time has Amazon alone probably saved you from going to the store, yeah that counts.
This is huge and is linked to not multitasking. On my phone, I have disabled all alerts beyond do not disturb mode. I don’t get text notifications or email notifications. I use Screen Time on my iPhone so I get blocked on my social media platforms.
However, your phone is only half the battle. You need to do the same for your Laptop. I use either the Self-Control app or the WasteNoTime Chrome extension to create a blacklist of my vices and block all distractions for a certain time while I work.
Anytime I feel overwhelmed or like I’m running in circles working really hard and with nothing to show, I grab my planner. I’m so meticulous with my planner system it’s scary. But I swear if you sacrifice 30min to brain dump everything on your mind on a sheet of paper and then divvy up and prioritize your tasks into whatever planner system you use your mind will feel clearer and you will be able to work more efficiently.
When I say brain dump I mean it. Like write down every single detail from work, personal whatever micro-tasks to larger task to have. The more you dump the better you’ll feel. Like I mentioned earlier keep an ongoing list and as things come to mind as your working just write them down.
Speaking of Prioritizing, not all tasks are created equal. I ask myself every morning what three things must I absolutely finish in order to have a successful day. Some times I honestly don’t get to all three but I promise it’s a lot better than chasing these tiny distraction tasks that are unimportant and take up so much time.
I NEED a clean area in order to focus. I can actually feel the haze in my mind coming over me every time there’s clutter around me no matter how hard I try to push past it. Seriously though take 10-15 minutes to clean and tidy up.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee, get near natural light and light a candle. Find what kind of space makes you the most productive (and for what tasks because they aren’t always the same). Do you need to eliminate noise, do you need a window, what about temperature? It sounds like I’m being picky but trust me it’s your workspace, make it work for you.
I’m pretty frugal if I can do it for free, I will definitely try. But have you ever taken up so much freaking time doing something that could take seconds if you just paid for it? Time is money people. Weight how much time you’re wasting and if it’s really worth it?
Sometimes paying for a tool will make you more money in the end. Use things like Tailwind to just automate your Pinterest account, or Honeybook to manage the hundreds of things you have to manage with clients.
This also can be said for things you might be paying for but are cheaping out on. Trust me I don’t like spending money but there are things that are worth the investment. Test things out. I wrote a post on 5 of my favorite resources for your business thankfully some of them are still free.
This was a hard one for me to learn. When I worked in an office I prided myself in getting stuff done all by myself. I pushed it so hard that if someone asked me to do something I would always say yes, honestly I freaking volunteered half the time.
I wanted to be this one-woman wonder. But I burnt out and being burnt out didn’t make everything go away. Ha, they were still there and I still had to do them. This doesn’t mean you say no to everything but really, it’s okay to be a little possessive with your time.
If it’s not going to help you, or it’s going to waste your time, whatever the reason is it’s okay to say no. This also goes beyond work-related things but just life in general.
It’s okay, sometimes you might have to say no to social activities to get things done or gosh because you freaking need a break, alone. Any introverts? P.S. If you’re an introvert nothing is wrong with you, you’re amazing.
This is a really great test to see how productive you really are. I use apps like Forest and Flora to do the whole Pomodoro method where you work in 25min chunks with a five-minute break four times and on the fourth round, you get a 15-minute break instead.
When I started this I felt a little crappy because I had to be honest with myself that I was actually wasting a lot of time. Sometimes we think we’re being really productive clocking in 12 hour days until we realize how much time we actually spent scrolling through FB, or eating lunch or running that “quick” errand. Keeping yourself honest is the first step.
So yeah, be honest with yourself but also realize you’re human. You weren’t meant to work non stop. Some of us have a higher tolerance for the amount of work we can do compared to others and that’s okay because we’re all different.
Don’t compare yourself. Know your limits and don’t push yourself too hard. Staying up until 2 am working and getting up at 6 am to work is not going to be productive. Trust me it’s hard to put things down but your mental health is connected to your physical health.
Take care of your body. It’s better to put that laptop or phone down give your mind a break and continue the next morning with a clear mind than to keep pushing through.
A refreshed mind can do wonders. Furthermore, talking about your humanity, give yourself a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself. If one day wasn’t the most productive it’ll all be fine, trust me. The world won’t stop. You worrying about how unproductive you were yesterday or even an hour ago won’t help you be any more productive now.