4 Productivity Hacks for When You’re Busy As F***
posted on August 6, 2018 | by Chelsea Becker
Even though I’ve deemed this the decade to do less, that doesn’t mean I don’t have weeks (or months) when I feel overwhelmed. As the saying goes, when it rains it pours, or when you’re busy, you’re busy AF. I had a overwhelming busy July, with the launch of this site and other work, and found myself essentially treading water all month long. But over the past couple years running my own business, I’ve learned how to utilize productivity. There are certainly ways to turn productivity on overdrive so that you can keep living your life – and utilize your time as much as possible. Wanna know how I do that? Great! Keep reading!
The Pomodoro Method
I’ve been using this method for a few years and seem to go through waves with it. But when I’m feeling insanely busy, it’s always a go-to. Essentially, the technique suggests that you are in deep focus mode for X amount of time, then you have a short break. You can choose whatever variables you want, but I like 35 minutes on, 5 minutes off.
During my 35 minutes, I close all other tabs, turn my phone on Airplane Mode and I’m super focused. Then during the 5 minute break, I go to the bathroom, get some water, stretch, whatever. I don’t use my break for any other technology as it’s supposed to be a true break for your brain. (I wait until lunch to go through Instagram – which is a productivity hack in its own.) I’ll do the Pomodoro method over and over until I’m done with my day or a huge task. It really works!
Reset & take breaks
This is something I started doing over the last few months and it’s made such a big difference. Since I’m a morning person, I always thought it was smart to jump into work right away. Without really having a morning routine or resetting. Big mistake – huge.
Now, I spend an hour or two in the morning walking my dog, working out, or even meditating. I don’t look at work or my phone until after that reset – when I actually feel refreshed. It’s amazing what resetting your mind does for your productivity when you’re ready to jump in – so think of your morning routine as a way to cleanse your system (as cheesy as that sounds).
Breaks throughout the day are just as important! Even though it might feel like breaks are the opposite of productivity, your mind literally needs a break to work at its capacity. If not, you’re essentially spinning wheels that need a tune up. Whether you sit outside, read a book or take a damn nap, keep taking breaks – even on your busiest days.
Do what you don’t like first
I’ve always heard to do the hardest task first, but what that really means is do what you’re dreading most. Because if you keep putting off what you don’t like doing, you’ll not only think about that dreaded task over and over (wasting brain space), but you’ll likely fill your day with other distractions that don’t actually matter. Get the shitty task done first (whether personal or work related) and then breeze through the rest of your day!
I’m the freaking queen of batching tasks – it’s almost like a cool slash nerdy game to me. If you were to look at my calendar (I use Google cal), you’d see a bunch of color coordinated boxes throughout my day. Each of those colors represents a client, a type of work task, or personal chores. And you’d also see that I batch colors together.
So if I know I need to run to the dry cleaners, Target, and the grocery, I’ll block out a couple hours at once to do all that. Because if I have to leave my house, I might as well do everything at once (to save time). Same with clients or work! If I know I need to be in the brain space to write a few blog articles, I’ll do that all at once. Then I’ll take conference calls on a different day when I can compartmentalize that type of performance.
Batching tasks will literally change your life and your productivity levels – not to mention peace of mind. I’m happy to do a full post on this so let me know if you’d be interested!
OK now your turn, please! What productivity hacks do you rely on when life gets cray?