how to · Lifestyle

How I Stay Productive

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It can be difficult to dedicate a lot of time to things you love when you have a full time job, unless of course you love your job (the dream!).  If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you might know that I’m researching a book, a project which I’ve undertaken on the evenings, weekends and pretty much any other spare moment that I have. I want to ensure to dedicate a good chunk of my time to it, alongside any other creative projects and past times, so I’ve structured a routine that helps me stay focused. These are the 6 things I do to increase my productivity:

I wake up early

This is pretty essential if there’s any hope of me getting anything done. Some weeks, I have to work in the evenings, so a lot of my productivity takes place in the morning and early afternoon. Since I work into the night, I try to wake up early enough to be productive, but not so early that I cannot function later in the day. It isn’t easy to find the right balance, but it is a small price to pay in order to achieve my goals.

I use the Productivity Planner to structure my time

This planner, created by Intelligent Change, is ideal if you are a freelancer or working from home. I use it to help me divide time between this blog, researching my book, and anything else that I know I need to achieve that day. The Productivity Planner uses ‘the Pomodoro technique’, in which you divide your tasks into blocks of 25 minutes, known as a ‘Pomodoro’. The idea is to estimate in advance how many Pomodoro it will take you to complete a task, and then try to keep within that time frame. I find that it makes me more efficient, and allows me to look back on my day and feel satisfied with what I’ve achieved.

I create an environment that is quiet and comfortable

I almost always set up my work space at a table or a desk, and put on some classical music. I find that anything with lyrics makes it far too tempting to sing along, which is a pretty unwelcome distraction when you’re trying to concentrate! There are some great classical playlists on Spotify; one of my favourites is ‘Music for Concentration. I also find that I am most productive when solitary, unless whoever is in the room with me remains exceptionally quiet!

I take a lot of tea breaks

I keep my breaks quite brief, no more than 10 minutes to ensure that I don’t lose focus. It’s also crucial for me that I don’t spend any of this time watching TV or YouTube. I can get easily carried away, and before I know a whole hour will have passed by. However, a quick breather is a great way to keep my mind sharp, plus it gives me the excuse to drink a whole lot of tea.

I take notes as I go

It is usually in the midst of a task that I will be best poised to decide any further steps I need to take towards my overall goal. For instance, when I am researching my book, I find that plot points will begin to form in my mind. I am excited, because my story is starting to take more shape, so I make sure to note down my ideas right there and then, before they get away from me! It’s important that I always have a notebook to hand.

I take a ‘lazy day’ every once in a while

At least once a week I make an effort to unwind by doing something relaxing and leisurely. As much as I wish I could dedicate all of my spare time to creativity, it wouldn’t actually be very productive to do so in the long run. Taking a day to watch some Netflix, go on a walk or two, and catch up on my reading helps me to recharge and prepare to plunge right back in.

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One thought on “How I Stay Productive

  1. These are some really great tips! 🙂
    I have been so unproductive lately, so I’m really going to have to try out some of these things! I do already try and get up a bit earlier on days when I’m working later (although it doesn’t always work out!), but I think I need to try and use some sort of planner to organise my time, and what I’m going to work on when, whether it’s my novel or my blog. I’ll definitely check out that intelligent change one, and I think I’ll give my desk a tidy so I can sit there and work instead of sitting on the sofa, because that does always make me more productive too. It’s like your body just knows you’re there to work, when you’re sat in a proper chair, and not slouched around!
    I’ve been listening to music more when I write recently as well, and it does actually help! I always thought music would distract me, but I have been listening to classical music too, and I’ve found that nice and relaxing.
    Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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