In the daily grind of shuttling kids around, juggling work and doing household chores, it’s all too easy to lose focus and productivity when you are constantly being pulled in so many different directions. Here are some tried and true tips to help you stay more present and focused so you get get more done:
In the Morning
Instead of browsing Instagram or Twitter first thing in the morning, start with a great mind opener that jump starts your brain, reading. Absorbing information from a book, magazine or newspaper engages your mind and gives you your daily dose of knowledge.
Set your intentions and priorities for the day. This doesn’t necessarily mean making a tangible to-do list, but perhaps just choosing three goals or setting intentions to guide your productivity throughout the day.
Ask yourself two questions, “Is this a task that can only be done by me?” and “Is it important?” If you answer with two nos, prioritize other tasks on your to-do list before this one, or better yet, delegate. Not only are you removing a task off your plate, making room for priorities, you’re empowering someone else by showing them you trust them and find them capable to finish this task themselves.
Meditation or mindfulness is great anytime throughout the day but an exceptionally great way to start your morning. Even 10 minutes of guided meditation, stretching, breathing or just a quick moment to clear your mind and relax before your day has kicked into high gear is an excellent way to welcome your day.
The benefits to exercising in the morning are plenty. You get it out of the way, leaving room for other priorities, you increase your focus throughout your day by arousing your body earlier rather than later, it boosts your metabolic rate and improves your overall mood. Opt to work out at at gym with multiple locations around town so that it’s convenient no matter where your day takes you.
In the Afternoon
Avoid distractions, especially in the afternoon after lunch when that 3 p.m. slump hits. Push yourself to stay on task and be productive even during the most difficult time of the day. After lunch, reward yourself with a 10 minute break to walk around the office or browse Facebook as long as you stayed on task for the first 50 minutes of the hour.
Track and monitor how you use your time throughout your day. Spending way too much time checking email or scrolling the Internet? Take note of this and intentionally fill your time with tasks that rank higher on your priority list.
Listening to ambient or instrumental music is great to keep you focused and on task. Avoid listening to your favorite sing-along songs since you might imagine yourself at a karaoke bar and lose sight of your goals.
We all have those moments where we think, “hmm I wonder how much a family trip to Disney World might cost?” or “I haven’t spoken to Jessica in forever, I should shoot her text.” If you’re presented with a thought or idea that might be distracting, write it down on a separate to-do list for when you give yourself a 10 minute break or later at night when you’re winding down and distractions are welcome.
In the Evening
As your day comes to an end, avoid procrastinating and leaving today’s tasks for tomorrow. Especially if it takes less than two minutes, stop putting it off and do it now. You will never regret checking one more thing off your list tomorrow.
Tidy up your space before sleeping. Waking up to a clean kitchen, bedroom or office will usher you into a more productive and efficient morning where you’re not faced with last night’s dishes or yesterday’s paperwork piled onto your desk.
Make a quick schedule for tomorrow. Even the slightest planning for the next day will ensure no time wasted and helps you maximize the waking hours of your day for ultimate efficiency and productivity.