Women wear many hats. We’re mothers, wives, sisters, friends, workers, and students. We make things work by multi-tasking. Whether we’re driving to the office while applying our mascara or sipping our morning coffee while cradling a baby, this constant juggling can impact our emotional and physical well-being.
In fact, studies have shown that our brains aren’t equipped to handle numerous tasks at once. Multitasking actually leads to a reduction of productivity by as much as 40%.
So how can women work smarter, not harder? Whether you’re a planner-loving gal or prefer digital time tracking methods, we’ve got you covered! Manage your time like the girl boss you are with these five expert tips.
Pre-Plan Your Day
Instead of hitting the snooze button a million times, get yourself stoked for the day ahead by allotting some time in the morning to define your daily goals and intentions. List three actionable goals that you want to complete during that day. Don’t make lofty goals that you won’t be able to tackle within a day’s time. Instead, narrow down your daily priorities into three achievable tasks. These can be tasks that feed into a bigger goal (i.e. working out for 30 minutes to get healthier), or scheduling an important appointment that’s been sitting on your to-do list. Once you’ve crossed off these three tasks at the end of the day, we guarantee you’ll feel pumped!
Use the Time Blocking Technique
Many successful people, including Elon Musk and Bill Gates, have replaced their to-do lists with a time blocking system. Time blocking is the practice of planning out every minute of your day in advance and dedicating specific “blocks” of time for particular tasks and responsibilities.
Time blocking is designed to help you focus more. By scheduling every moment of your day, you can focus on a single task instead of juggling five different ones. For instance, you can block off 8 am to 9 am for your daily workout, 9 am to 11 am for your morning routine, 11 am to 12 pm to answer emails, and so on and so forth.
Don’t forget to schedule a few blocks for “free time” or quiet time. Schedule blocking doesn’t mean you need to be busy or productive in every moment. Need a template to get you started? We love these:
Recognize Time Wasters
Have you ever logged onto Twitter or Instagram to check your feed and then realized three hours have magically passed by? Many of us can fall prey to time-wasting activities. The first step to nipping these bad habits in the bud is to identify what we waste our time on. Use your phone to log your screen time and try decreasing that time going forward. Many apps like Instagram also have the ability to “snooze” notifications for a certain amount of time, and I love the iPhone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature!
Time-blocking apps and to-do lists can be pretty boring. If you’re not motivated, you may find it tough to concentrate. Instead of wasting even more time being unproductive, use it to inspire yourself.
Print out beautiful quotes and images and keep them in your planner, on your desk, or add them to your vision board. Watch a motivational TEDx video or listen to podcasts that discuss time management tips. You can even take a walk in nature to recharge.
A procrastination phenomenon that we’re all familiar with is doing nothing at all or engaging in useless activities. Take some time to surround yourself with motivating pictures or podcasts to kick procrastination to the curb for good.
Learn How to Say No
Saying yes to everything can suck some serious time from your weekly schedule. Learn how to say no to plans or projects that don’t fulfill you emotionally, intellectually, or financially.
It’ll become easier to say no the more you do it. Never feel guilty about saying no. It’s better to say no from the get-go than to cancel plans last minute.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload or responsibilities, there is no shame in asking for help. If you’re a busy business owner, hiring a virtual assistant is one way to clear administrative tasks off your plate.
With these simple but effective tips, you can cross items off your to-do list without feeling the stress!
Do you have any tips to add to this list that help your productivity? Drop them below!
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