The new year is upon us which means a new year of creating new art, making new products, and chasing after new goals! If you’re like me, you recently wrote down a few business and personal goals for this coming year and now you’re beginning the hard work of remaining productive in reaching them. I have written a list below of five ways I use to stay productive as a creator and small business owner! Read below to learn how you, too, can remain productive, and use your time efficiently to reach your business and personal goals this year!
1. Routine MATTERS.
This list isn’t in order of importance by any means, but I cannot express enough the importance of routine. Practicing a routine begins in the morning. How you start your morning will affect the rest of your day. Did you get enough sleep last night? Did you actually eat a whole, nutritious, meal for breakfast this morning? These two things alone will help your brain be able to focus more on those important tasks throughout the day!
A few ways that you can introduce routine into your life include:
- Getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Eating a healthy breakfast in the morning.
- Schedule your day and stick to it!
- Scheduling certain tasks on the same day every week.
- If working from home, get ready in the morning
- Also, if working from home, set a time for your work day (ex: 9am-5pm)
2. Write it Down
I don’t know about you but I remember things and can visualize my day so much easier when everything is written out. No matter the process you use, writing out your schedule for each day, week, or even month, can help you prioritize tasks, manage your time, and remain on track throughout the day. This can be done by writing in a planner, having a desk calendar, bullet journaling, using the notes section on your phone, or even using a digital calendar like Google Calendar.
I personally, am not a huge fan of technology so I prefer to write out my schedule and my day in my planner and journal. Seeing a list in front of me and being able to physically check things off that list throughout the day encourages me to stay focused and productive.
3. Prioritize Tasks.
Prioritizing tasks each day can help you efficiently use your time and energy throughout the day. Each day, you can categorize your to-do list into three groups. Group one are top priority-things like fulfilling orders, checking emails, or scheduled meetings! Group two will be things that are important but can be pushed out if necessary- things like completing inventory, designing a new product, or editing your website. Group three will be things that are the lowest priority, meaning they can be rescheduled completely if time runs out- things like learning a new app, researching new materials, or online shopping for unnecessary new items for your shop.
Once you have your list grouped into three categories, now you can better manage your time so you can complete the most important tasks first!
4. Stress Management.
Balancing running a business, possibly a 9-5 job, and your personal life can be a lot to handle at times! It is incredibly important to manage your stress by knowing your limits and understanding the telltale signs that you need a break! Whether it’s taking a time out, delegating some tasks, or prioritizing what matters, these are all possible ways to manage your stress.
Some of my favorite ways to manage stress include:
- Practicing yoga every day!
- Having one day a week that is my “day off”
- Taking 30 minutes each day to be outside!
- Hiking through the woods!
- Having one or two trusted people to talk to when things get hard.
5. Prioritize YOU
As you prioritize your to-do list, and schedule your day, make sure you schedule time for yourself as well. Like I said above, it is important to have a routine. Working from home has taught me the importance of learning when to “turn off work for the day”. When I set a schedule for myself and stick to it, I then have my evenings to practice hobbies and spend time with my loved ones and friends.
Prioritizing you can include things such as:
- Having a set work schedule
- Learning when to say no
- Making time to be present in your relationships
- Exploring a new hobby
Following these five points have helped me so much the past couple years in chasing and reaching my business and personal goals and I hope they help you too. Let me know in the comments below, how you stay productive in reaching your goals!