It’s super easy to start a day with the intention to get quite a lot accomplished only to find that by 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon you’ve hardly gotten anything done that you had wanted. Where did all of that time go? What exactly have you been doing? Why, oh why, didn’t you get more of those things done that you wanted to this morning?
It is so very easy to get distracted from what needs doing when we are constantly interrupted and today’s constant connectivity makes it easier than ever to allow ourselves to be distracted. Especially when there are things on our list that we don’t want to do or find difficult to do.
So what is a creative business owner to do? Set up routines that get you in a frame of mind to be productive.
Get up and get moving. Getting a little exercise in the morning will do wonders for your ability to focus. It doesn’t have to be more than a 30 minute walk to help you feel calm, confident and focused. You’ll work off much of the nervous energy that keeps you bouncing from one task to another.
Get dressed for business. The first thing to do is to get dressed for business. Get showered, put on some make up, if you wear it, and put on shoes. Even if you don’t normally wear shoes in the house you can designate a pair for INSIDE shoes that will never be worn outside. Putting on your “game face” will send a message that it’s time to focus on work.
Eat breakfast. Just like you wouldn’t send a child off to school without a good breakfast you shouldn’t send yourself to the office or studio without breakfast.
Create a list. It’s much easier to get distracted when you don’t have a list of 3-5 things you really want to accomplish for the day. Create your list before you get started on anything else, or better yet, create the list the night before so that you can turn over the steps to accomplishing the tasks while you are walking and getting dressed.
Create a routine. Creating a working routine works for those of us easily distracted just like a bedtime routine works for those who have a hard time getting to sleep at night. Light a candle, turn on lights, gather supplies, read a passage in a favorite book or write in a journal. Whatever little rituals you need to tell your brain that it’s time to be productive.
Use a timer. Set a timer for 60 minutes and plow through the email inbox or start listing items in your online store. Timers are especially helpful for tasks that you may not want to do. Tasks that are mundane, difficult or seem overwhelming. Set a timer for 15 minutes just to get the ball rolling. Once you get going you may find that the task isn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be. Also use a timer for “play” time. Are you a Pinterest addict? Set a timer for 15 minute breaks throughout the day to do the things you enjoy. This way you get a little play time mixed in with your productive time and the timer insures that you aren’t spending an hour playing in stead of 15 minutes.
Eat lunch away from your desk or studio. It’s easy to take some time out for a healthy lunch when you’ve gotten a lot done in the morning. Be sure to walk away from your work, sit outside if you can, or call a friend. Keep lunch time to 30-60 minutes to avoid blowing the afternoon though. You’ll feel refreshed, your eyeballs will thank you if you’ve been on the computer all day and so will your back. This is also a good time to decide what to have for dinner, take anything out to defrost if needed, or make other plans for the evening activities.
Plan for tomorrow. Before you shut off the lights in your studio take a few minutes to plan for the next day, write up a To Do list, check your calendar and do a quick tidy up. Leave your office or studio in a way that you’ll look forward to walking back into it tomorrow morning.
Do you consider yourself to be a highly productive person? What rituals do you use?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
You can find more of Vicki’s article right here on her profile page!