So this week’s conversation is going to take a slightly different approach from previous ones and you may be wondering how and why. I’ll tell you. Our guest speaker is none other than my humble self! Let’s face it, you’ve probably wondered if Ola ever gets to face any of the challenges she brings other women to talk about. Well, I do too. So I felt it necessary to give you an inside scoop on the tips I’ve used over time to balance my routine as a mother, a career woman and my passion project.
So here are my top seven tips on being more productive as a woman who has a lot on her plate.
#1 Plan Ahead
There is nothing as fulfilling as knowing exactly what to do at every point in time. And this is the feeling that planning your day/week ahead gives you. You can do this either the day before or at the start of each week. Personally, I do both. So in the evening before a new week begins, I take out time to write down every task I wish to complete for the week. And prior to a new day, I equally write out the most important things I wish to accomplish for the following day. This has helped me to be super productive and efficient.
Focus can be sometimes hard to achieve especially when there’s so much going on around and within us. But to be more productive, you need to focus on the most important tasks. To train your focus for each day, write down the three most important tasks that if accomplished will move you a step further towards your goal, then focus on these. Also, learn to categorize your activities into; urgent ones, important but not urgent, ones you can delegate and ones you shouldn’t spend your time on. If you do these, trust me, you’ll have more than enough time at your disposal to invest in other productive activities.
#3 Have A Consolidated Schedule
I see no point in having different schedules when you’re the same person that will do all the tasks in the end. Having a consolidated schedule gives you a big picture of your activities for the week because every single one of them is in the same place. This helps you not to forget your top priorities for that week/day. And while you’re drafting out your schedule, ensure to include time for yourself, what I fondly call a “selfcare”. This could either be in the form of meditation, praying, exercising. Or whatever it is that lets you focus solely on you.
#4 Remove all distractions
I can bet most of us fall victim to this particular one, especially with the easy accessible to social media. Can you recall the number of times you’d wanted to listen to a podcast before going to bed only to end up watching series of YouTube videos from one single link a friend sent you? I guess not. The best thing you can do for yourself is knowing when you’re most productive and removing all forms of distractions during this time. Good news is, there are apps that can help you achieve this. One of such apps is Tool Freedom which helps you set the amount of time you’re permitted to be on the internet after which it shuts your phone down. Another app you could use to prevent distractions from emails are Inbox pause and Boomerang. This will help you to be more proactive in executing your top tasks
#5 Learn To Prioritize
This is similar to point two. You should be able to differentiate tasks that require your immediate attention from those that can be done later. While prioritzing, you should answer questions like; what does success look like to me at the end of the week? What is the output I want at the end of the week? This helps you not just to be busy but productive.
#6 Box your Activities Into Specific Timelines
Here, Parkinson’s law applies. You’ll complete any given task based on the amount of time you’ve marked out for it. So if you give yourself 3hours to complete a 30 minutes task, you’ll most definitely complete it in 3hours. So learn to set specific timelines for any given activity you set out to do and you’ll achieve maximum result. I’ll borrow you one of my favourite quotes here, “done is better than perfect”. Think about it.
#7 Don’t Beat Yourself Up
So ladies, I won’t lie to you. There are days I don’t meet up to the standards I’ve set for myself. And there are other days that I leave some tasks to the last minutes. I admit these shortcomings but I don’t beat myself about them because, hey, we’re all humans! So if you feel like you’re not meeting up to expectation, it’s okay to feel bad. But don’t get yourself all worked up. Being conscious of it helps you work towards improving on it next time.
If you apply these tips to your daily routine, chances are that, 9 out of ten times, you would have achieved one or two things on your to-do list. That alone, is way better than not having anything done at all.
So, I wish you all the best as you set out to be that productive woman you’ve always wanted to be.
You can follow the link to watch the full video on YouTube