Even with having all the time in the world, it can be hard to get things done when you don’t take care of yourself. Here’s 4 productivity boosters that have nothing to do with your to-do list.
I was on an afternoon zoom call with my sister (something we made a habit of while social distancing) when she said something in passing that I thought was super profound.
She said, “you know, even though I have ALL DAY to get things done now, it still seems like I only have so much capacity to get things done.”
She is so right.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I’m in a constant battle with myself to make myself work harder, longer, faster…etc…
Hey, I’m competitive! I don’t always think it’s such a bad thing. I’m obsessed with learning, goal-setting, habit-changing, and overall becoming the best freakin’ human I can be.
But what she said was so powerful.
I think many of us have loads of goals in our mind that we would do if we “just had the time.”
Why time isn’t the only thing you need to be productive
…But if you were one of those people who was suddenly blessed with an abundance of time thanks to covid-19 and social distancing, how many of those things actually got done?
For me, a lot of them did! I labelled all the things, cleaned out my cupboards, painted my end tables and dresser, spruced up my website.
…so yes, I’m proud of how I used my time.
But did I get SO MUCH MORE DONE than I did before quarantine?
I still felt held back by exhaustion.
I still felt the limits my mind and body put on me.
I still had days where I got nothing done.
I still had days where I felt pressed for time despite having nowhere to go.
I still felt stuck on projects that I had insisted I just needed “a little more time” to get done.
…okay are you feeling throroughly depressed yet?
DON’T the point is coming.
The BIGGEST thing that I learned from quarantine about productivity is how much the to-do lists, the planning, the free time are only one small piece of the puzzle.
..and there are other equally important aspects of accomplishing your big dreams.
For me (who is the type of person who gets stressed out sitting down to watch a movie at night because I’m thinking about all of the things that would be a better use of my time) this was a HUGE relief.
Important truths about productivity
- You don’t need more time- Okay, so this is only partially true. Obviously, those of you who work full-time, and mom full-time are definitely feeling the time crunch. I guess a better way to say this would be, that most of us can’t get more free time. So while helpful, it’s not the thing to focus on. Focus instead on taking care of yourself so you can use your limited free time more effectively.
- You do need self-care– Other activities are just as important to my accomplishing my dreams and getting things done as the items on my to-do list. Even with unlimited time, my mind and body are NOT capable of spending all that time working. So there is absolutely no more room for guilt or shame about taking a break so that my brain is rested enough to get something done tomorrow.
So what has helped me the MOST, what other things can you add to your day to make you more productive within the hours that you are choosing to be productive.
During quarantine I discovered 4 productivity boosters that I needed (always, but during this time more than ever) to help me lead a more productive (and more balanced) life.
4 Productivity Boosters you might not think you need
- Adequate Sleep– Prioritizing sleep is hard, expecially as a mother, but it’s one of the best productivity boosters. Make sleep a priority and watch how you are still able to get as much done and remain happier as a mom.
- Exercise– I talk about this all the time. Exercise is hard to schedule because you feel like you barely have time to shower and brush your hair, how can you exercise. But again, when you prioritize this you will be shocked to see your time and energy open up and find that it’s the most worthy investment.
- Leisure time and social interactions– Don’t fall into the trap that taking time to just hang out, chat, or be is a waste of time. We all need to refill our cups, and if we don’t nourish our relationships all of the other things we fill our days with will feel meaningless and empty.
- Meal Planning– Sometimes it might feel like meal planning is unneccesary and a waste of time (especially during quarantine where many of us have had extra time). But the time-saving element of meal planning is only ONE of the benefits. Meal planning answers that important question of what’s for dinner which allows you to be more productive knowing that that basic question is answered.
I hope that this episode allows you to give yourself from grace, helps you to realize that the things you do to refuel your tank have a direct impact on how effective you are at work and allow you to work smarter instead of longer. Rest, exercise, leisure time, socializing, and meal planning are such valid ways to spend your time, even if they don’t seem directly related to your goals, they are!
Next week I’m inviting my friend Megan to talk to you about hosting holiday meals and parties, hopefully we’re getting ready to start introducing a little socializing back into our lives and I know her tips will be so helpful! I can’t wait to share!
Until next time, happy planning!