Time to Read: 3-5 minutes
In the fast-paced world we navigate daily, mastering productivity is not just a workplace necessity but a key to thriving in all aspects of life. As a boss babe juggling various roles, I've curated a set of tried-and-true productivity hacks that have become my secret weapons. I'll share my go-to productivity tips that have not only transformed my work life but also spilled over into my roles as a wife, family member, and hobbyist. If you have any additional tips you'd like to include, please do share them in the comments!
Plan Your Day with Purpose
The secret to a productive day lies in intentional planning. Take a few minutes each morning to pen down the thoughts racing in your mind. This simple act not only declutters your mental space but sets the stage for focused productivity throughout the day. If you're not familiar with The Artist's Way, its a wonderful book for anyone looking to unlock their creativity. One of the recommended habits is writing three pages first thing in the morning. It doesn't need to make sense and it doesn't need to be full words. It's simply an exercise to clear your mind. I've recently started practicing this habit followed by an intentional list of what my day will look like. Setting clear intentions for the day with nothing bubbling in the back of my mind.
In those unexpected moments of downtime, having a list of tasks that can be accomplished in 10-15 minutes is a game-changer. Whether it's responding to emails, making a quick call, or organizing your workspace, these bite-sized tasks keep the momentum going. In honesty, I also include quick calls to family members. Having it written reminds me that every day is a good day to let loved one's know they matter.
Focus, One Task at a Time
While the allure of multitasking is tempting, the real productivity magic happens when you focus on one task at a time. For longer projects, break them down into manageable chunks. This not only ensures better concentration but also enhances the quality of your output. If the task looks like it will take more than 90 minutes, break it down even more. On that note, my personal rule is to only have one task in the day that takes a maximum of 90 minutes, and I do it first thing in the morning. Everything else is broken into smaller bite sizes.
Health is Wealth (and Productivity)
Prioritize your well-being alongside your to-do list. Establish boundaries for self-care, dedicating time for activities like exercise and socializing. A brisk walk, for instance, not only boosts your physical health but also enhances creativity and reduces stress. I'll talk on that more later.
As a recovering workaholic who's dug their way out of burnout a handful of times, our bodies were not meant to burn the midnight oil for long periods of time. Many of you likely learned this for yourselves but for those still hooked to making their job a lifestyle, I encourage you to think of self care as a tool to being more productive.
The Power of Three
Transform your to-do list by creating a daily trio of "Must Get Done" tasks and nine additional items in order of priority. This streamlined approach prevents overwhelm and ensures you focus on what truly matters.
Prior to doing this, I found myself feeling chronically behind and didn't realize how much that attributed to long work hours, intense anxiety, and feelings of imposter syndrome.
Now that I have my daily list, I've started to include health based check-ins. A raindrop for every glass of water I drink and a gold star whenever I take a full hour lunch.
*Have you ever tried giving yourself a gold star like in elementary school? Ladies, it's the most delightful feeling*
Conquer the Morning Challenge
Make it a goal to tackle the most challenging task within the first 90 minutes of your workday. I touched on this earlier as well. I first came to try this method after learning about Andrew Huberman's, an Associate Professor at Stanford in Neurobiology, daily routine. If you're familiar, he builds his routine to maximize the human body (health, happiness, productivity, etc). Reward yourself with a well-deserved break and a caffeine boost. This strategy minimizes procrastination and prepares you for potential interruptions later in the day.
Harness Your Hormonal Cycle
Did you know the average workday is built around the male hormone cycle? Ever since I discovered this, not only am I dreaming of a society catered to women, but I defiantly work based on my menstrual cycle whenever possible. Tailor activities to different phases—reflective periods, brainstorming, pitching, and organizing. It's a holistic approach that considers both your productivity and well-being. The same tactics can be used for women in peri-menopause and menopause as well. To learn more please see my list of recommended reads below.
- The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried, MD
- In The Flo by Alissa Vitti
- The Hubermann Lab Podcast Episode 150 - Dr. Natalie Crawford: Female Hormone Health, Fertility & Vitality.
*On My To-Read List:*
Inserting this here for anyone who'd like to join me on the health and optimization journey.
- Brain Food by Lisa Mosconi, PhD
- The Women's Brain Book: The neuroscience of health, hormones, and happiness* by Dr. Sarah McKay
- The Adrenal Reset Diet by Dr. Alan Christianson
Time Blocking for Balance
While the unexpected is inevitable, adopting a time-blocking strategy adds structure to your day. Use color-coded categories for different aspects of your schedule. These are flexible guidelines that provide a sense of organization amid the dynamic nature of our lives. Here's an example of what my standard Tuesday timeblocks look like:
In a world where time is of the essence, these productivity hacks empower you to navigate your roles with finesse. Let's remember it's not just about conquering tasks; it's about crafting a life of purpose and fulfillment. May we unlock the doors to success together!