I don't know about you, but an unproductive day is one of my biggest annoyances! I have been desperately trying to find a routine that I can get into that will help me be more efficient with my time. For years while I worked my nanny job, I had found a routine that I liked. I quit my nanny job last year and am now full time self-employed. That means full time working from home (for the most part). As excited as I've been about that, it's also been pretty tough to figure out. I easily waste time when I have a full day at home.
Over the last few weeks I have tried several different things to see if I could get into a grove. I don't feel like I've "got it" yet, but I have found a few things that are helping. It all starts with the beginning of the day.
1. Early Rising
Everyone hates that advice don't they? I do too. I actually can't sleep past 7:30 or 8:00 if I try, but I don't love getting up really early. I've found that even if I wake up 7:00, I feel behind on the day quickly. It takes me a good 30-45 minutes to start thinking clearly and feeling awake, and starting off at 8:00 is just too late.
Recently, I've been setting my alarm for 6:00 so that I have 30ish minutes to wake up and get started. Adding that extra hour to the day has made SUCH a huge difference.
2. Respond to Emails/Texts
I find it very hard to get going when I have an inbox full of emails waiting on me. I almost can't be productive if that's hanging over me. Right after I read my Bible, I start hitting the inbox and phone with emails and texts that came in over the evening. This is also when I do any "busy work" that I need to do.
I've found that doing this first thing helps me feel like I'm starting "fresh" and caught up.
Over the last several years, I've seen just how important it is for me to get a daily workout in. I made it part of my routine, and loved it. After taking my pre-license course for real estate last year, I got into the horrible routine of NOT working out. I was no longer close to my gym (it was 45 minutes away since I quit my nanny job) and I hated going to the basement for a workout. Around thanksgiving I was absolutely swamped with work. I was working 16 hour days and just trying to keep up. I didn't have time to stop and workout so I didn't.
I gained weight, ate awful, and felt gross. I was grumpy because my clothes didn't fit (dresses were my best friend), and annoyed that I wasn't making time for something I knew was important. I finally decided that was it, and I HAD to add it back in. It wasn't a new years resolution, it was a habit I needed to get back into.
I found a program to follow that I could do in the basement, and decided to do it first thing before I got busy. However, I hate waking up knowing I have to workout immediately, so that's why I read my bible and do a little work first. Working out gets the blood pumping and makes me feel like I can take on the day! My perspective is so much better, and I'm much more creative when I'm doing it regularly!
If you work from home and get really tired of it, you might try going to a co-working space. Getting out and being around people is so helpful. I try to go to my office (my real estate brokerage) once a week for this. It helps so much mentally to be around people and talk with them.
So, that's it! That's how I start my mornings which really does set the tone for the entire day. Now that I am in this morning groove I am SOO much more productive.
In case you're curious, this is about how my mornings go now:
6:00 - wake up (I have that 30ish minutes to get going).
6:30 - read my Bible
7:15 - Start responding to emails/texts/busy work
8:00 - Go workout/get ready for the day
9:15 - Start on the rest of my work.
Now my next project is to figure out how to structure the other part of my day to use my time best! Any ideas of what works for you are welcome, so please, if you've got some suggestions, leave me a comment!
Alright, that's all for now! Enjoy a photo that really has nothing to do with this blog post...it just makes me ready for spring!