If I asked you what you need to get done this week, chances are your to-do list would be pretty long and be focused on more than one aspect of your life. You might need to pay bills, go grocery shopping, close out a client file at work, create graphics for this week’s blog posts, schedule your well woman and the list goes on and on. I don’t care what anyone says I’ve found doing one thing at a time is more productive than trying to do multiple things at a time. Often I receive comments asking me how I do it all I’ll be honest by saying first of all that I don’t do it all I’m not a mom. I don’t have to worry about feeding another human being, picking up another human being or clothing another human being right now. Although sometimes I have to play mom to my friends (and let’s be honest vice versa). It is just me, so first kudos to all the moms out there. That being said, I do have a lot on my plate a lot of people wonder how I freelance, work full-time, socialize, have a romantic life, deal with family and run my blog regularly. Simple, I focus on one thing at at time. I plan and then I prepare for the plan to change.
Find little pieces of time for little pieces of work
One of the biggest things I do is find small bits of time to get things in. I might get my fitness tracker steps in by walking around the coffee table during commercials while I watch TV. Heck even right now I’m using the talk to text function on my phone to write this blog post while I’m in the bathroom (gasp sorry for the visual).
I’m not saying that I am this hardcore workaholic who never takes a break, I’m saying when you have a lot to do you have to find time to get it done. We all get 24 hours a day to work with, so maximize them.
If I’m meeting a friend for dinner and beat them to the restaurant I might answer emails on my phone or call my mom to catch up, I don’t just sit there and play angry birds for twenty minutes.
The big thing about being on the looks out for little slices of time is to not take on a huge task that is hard to pick and put down quickly. Responding to tweets while taking a poo is not the same as trying to create and format your annual survey.
Break things up
I am the first to admit that it is easy for me to get overwhelmed. By nature, I am a very anxious person so daunting things can be extra intimidating for me. I also am a super go-getter and always have a ton of ideas of things I want to do (hence my to-do list never gets shorter it just changes. I cross out one thing and add two more things).
A few months ago I was dealing with some serious blogger burnout, I would go to have work sessions and get hardly anything done, then I realized it was because I was trying to do WAY too much. When I decided that instead of trying to create an e-course, start a podcast and create an e-product all at the same time I needed to put them in a list. Start with the e-course, then focus on the podcast, then focus on the e-product. This I would be better off and more productive. Instead of spending 10 minutes of each thing and switching as soon as I got into a flow I could just spend the whole 30 minutes on one thing and get a lot more done.
Think of a brand that has multiple divisions they didn’t start it all overnight, all at once. Did you know that Maybelline started in 1915 as a result of the founder seeing his sister Mabel mix petroleum jelly, coal dust, and ash to make her her eyelashes and eyebrows look darker after getting them singed in the kitchen? He didn’t wake up one morning and create a full line of makeup. It builds over time.
Cut out the noise
You have to know what is just hype, distraction and a waste of time. This is really something you see with social media and friendships. I’m learning now to cut out the crap. You have to be on social media nowadays if you want any online brand to succeed, it’s just the way of the world but if all you’re doing is hanging out on Facebook you’re doing nothing for yourself but wasting time and running in circles.
It’s the same with the people in your life. It sounds bad but if the people in your life aren’t on the bandwagon they are just standing in your way. If your “best friend” gets mad at you because you can’t drop everything and go to Sunday Funday because you have work to do, then they don’t support your mission and are just standing in the way. You have to be able to know when to say yes and not feel bad for saying no.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times, little by little becomes a lot. I focus on one thing at a time. If I have 10 browser windows open all I’m doing is going back and forth instead of moving forward.