Are you task-rich but time-poor?
How can you make better use of your time and be more productive?
I am a wife of a hard-working husband, a mum of a 2 year old and a busy homeopathic practitioner. To top it off, I live in London, a huge cosmopolitan fast-paced city.
I am the very definition of someone who is time-poor and task-rich. I simply do not have enough hours in the day to complete all the things I need to do.
Since having my daughter, it has become even harder to get things done. The brilliant thing about toddlers is they are so present. They have no concept of rushing, consequences or the future. They are simply in the moment and wanting to play, explore and learn.
This is wonderful to watch, but when you’ve got an inbox full of emails, a basket full of washing and 3 missed calls on your phone; it can be the most frustrating thing in the world!
I do not have time to procrastinate. When my daughter is at the childminders this is the time that I work. I can’t stay late at work, I can’t start early, I can only work in the hours that I have available. This means I need to be super focused and prioritising my to-do list.
Sometimes, (like today) I use the childminder for an extra day so that I can get more things done. But it’s amazing how long things can take to do! Even just writing a few emails can suck up to an hour of your time. Suddenly a full day doesn’t seem enough at all.
I am by no means perfect at managing my time, but I thought I’d share some tips on how I keep myself laser focused and more productive.
I recently started to play music in the background when I am working alone. As I write this I am listening to something on YouTube that I found called Study Music Alpha Waves. It has transported me to times where I’ve been lying down having a massage but interestingly I don’t feel fatigued, just relaxed and capable
Using essential oils
I was recently gifted a Neal’s Yard Remedies diffuser for my office and I diffuse various oils depending what I am doing. When I see clients I use Neal’s Yard organic Geranium as it’s an uplifting and balancing oil which helps stabilise emotions without making you feel drowsy. When I need to get work done alone, I use the Neal’s Yard Focus blend as it helps you tackle difficult tasks with renewed clarity.
Writing tasks down you need to do before you go to bed
Writing down what you need to do for the day ahead before the day begins helps you a) reduce anxiety before you go to be sleep and b) ensures you wake up super focused and aware of what you need to get done.
Turning off notifications
Constant noises or flashing from our phones, browsers and other devices mean we lose productivity instantly. Our brains are not designed to focus on multiple tasks. In order to stay focused you need to turn off any devices that might distract you
Set yourself up in advance
If I have a number of Skype appointments that day and remedies to send to clients, then I usually set up a packing station so that I can’t get distracted and make a mistake. I have my remedies, envelopes, packing materials and stamps all in the same place and I do it all in a particular order. This helps me stay efficient and means I’m not working from multiple work-stations in the house and going up and down the stairs.
Simplify your life
This could be a whole blog post in itself! Remove things in your life that no longer serve you or bring you joy. Unworn jacket in your wardrobe for the last 2 years? Give it to charity. Unpacked boxes from when you last moved? Sort them and throw stuff away. Clutter is like excess fat; it has no real benefit and drags us down. Clutter requires more energy because you need to constantly tidy, wash or clean it. Clutter can make us feel stressed and prevent us from achieving our goals as it acts as a barrier to productivity.
I hope you found some of these tips helpful. Do you have any tips of your own that you would like to share? I am always looking for new ideas to help me focus better, I would love to hear what works well for you!