If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent an inordinate amount of time working both on and in the business.
I’ve been spending a lot of time working on video tutorials. As you know, I’m doing all of my creative work on Canva and as a Pro user I was recently made an affiliate marketer as well. If you’ve been uhming and ahing about going Pro, really, don’t wait. It is SO worth it!
As an affiliate marketer, you can sign up to Pro using my link here. Please know that I do earn a small commission when you sign up to Pro.
There are a number of people to whom I am connected that have admitted that they have sent incredibly long hours working.
But is that really the best for productivity?
As a creative designer I work when I have clients needing designs or any type of visual content.
To think that the more hours we put into whatever it is that we’re doing is making us more productive, is just simply not true.
The hour I take in the mornings having a quick browse through social media to see what is happening in the world, can make me more productive later in the day. The hour plus I take to go for a walk through the neighbourhood with the man-eating dog on a leash will do me better than take away from my productivity.
It’s not a waste of time making breakfast and sitting down and eating with the family. It’s not a waste of time to go for a sanity walk in the garden. It’s not a waste of time to watch a video on YouTube.
About those productivity hacks:
1. Energy Levels
If you’ve got no energy you can’t be productive. Right?? Right!!
The question begs to be asked: When are you at your most productive?
The answer depends on when you should do the stuff that requires the most creative productivity.
I can’t be creative at night even if my life depends on it. Night-time is for relaxation and chilling out. So, my most productive creative time would be in the mornings, right after I have scrolled through social media.
There is no shame in admitting that this is the time that I will spend in bed with my laptop on my lap putting designs together. Or even putting content together for later in the week.
This may also be the time that I declutter my emails.
2. Declutter Emails
When you’re in the service offering industry (like most of us are) we (ok, maybe only me) sign up to a lot of emails to gain access to the free download & the hacks and the guidelines, etc.
I recently learned that if you create a “rule” in Outlook to scan the mail for the word “unsubscribe”, it will automatically dump the mail into a folder you can name unsubscribe. Pretty original, right?
The point I’m trying to make here is this folder can be your dumping ground leaving your main box uncluttered & filled with the stuff that you want to have in there.
Considering we spend nearly 30% managing emails, it is small wonder we have godsend people such as VA’s who will manage our emails for us
3. Say NO
Oh yes, this is DEFINITELY a productivity hack worth employing!
No is also a full sentence in and of itself. No justification required. Just say no.
Do you find it hard to say no?
There is so much around us that is just ‘noise’ that to say NO really just saves your own sanity and makes you more productive with that which brings you joy.
How many commitments are you able to side-line that bring you absolutely no joy at all?
Say no to time-wasting efforts, say no to energy leaching endeavours, say no to regrets.
4. Work Fewer Hours
What? No!! I could never!!
Of course, you can. It’s easy. Set yourself creatively productive time and stick to it.
When it’s done, it’s done. You will find that your creative productive time would be so much more productive.
Not that you’re rushing through your day’s tasks to get it done and out the way, on the contrary, you’re doing yourself a favour by limiting your creative time so that you may be more creative instead of hitting the burn-out that is so prevalent at this time.
Are you more productive while chasing a deadline? Please be aware that to be forever on the chase will result in fatigue setting in at some stage and the crash that follows that may be quite severe and difficult to recover from.
5. Take a Nap
Much has been said around the fact that taking a power nap during the day will improve alertness by 54% and performance by 34%. This improvement is with a 26-minute nap.
So, if you’re part of the populace whose energy levels take a dip 8 hours after waking this is a good time to take that quick 26-minute nap.
It’s cited be beneficial if you are like to have a lack of patience and need less stress, better reaction time, increased learning, more efficiency, and better health.
6. Pomodoro Method
I have mentioned this in a previous blog post as well, but it definitely needs mentioning again.
This hack costs you nothing. No financial outlay to go and buy a little timing device. You already have one. Your mobile phone.
The Pomodoro Method calls for breaking up your work into several segments followed by small break intervals. This keeps your creativity going, and you don’t feel bored/exhausted as much.
7. Eat Breakfast & Lunch
Seriously, eat your breakfast and when it’s time to have lunch, don’t make it a working lunch.
Waking up with low blood sugar and then not breaking that overnight fast may be counter productive to your energy levels that I mentioned elsewhere.
Coffee is great for that initial boost in the morning, but you’ll thank your foresight when you follow that up with a healthy nutritious breakfast.
As for lunch … well, like I said, don’t make it a working lunch.
Just like your body needs the fuel you’re about to provide it, so your mind needs the time to relax and take in a bit of a change of scenery. Even if it is just a trip to the kitchen to sit and eat your sandwich at the kitchen table.
8. Clean Desk
At the end of the day, clean your desk.
Pack away the stationery, hang or roll up your headphones. Stack your books.
Close your laptop, push in your chair.
Sitting down at a cleared & clean desk in the morning is less distracting. You know where everything is. There’s order to the day.
Bring the creative productivity and let’s make sweet music! Or design, or we write.
You know what I mean!
Daily exercise improves your workplace productivity greatly. You’re more alert and have increased energy.
One way that exercise can help boost your productivity levels is through alertness. When you exercise, you are also increasing blood flow to the brain, which can help sharpen your awareness and make you more ready to tackle that creative project you’ve been putting off.
Regular exercise can help curb feelings of anxiety and depression. And let’s face it, working from home when you’re used to the hustle and bustle of an office environment can be stressful in itself.
10. What’s the End Goal?
Think about the positive consequences of getting to the end of that project you’ve been procrastinating about.
This should give you some extra motivation to get productive! This is one of the most popular and successful strategies used by many to help them overcome a difficult task.
Think about the rewards you will get by the end of it.
Regardless of the hack you employ to get you productively through your day, you know that you will feel that much more empowered for actually taking the time to employ something that works.
Instead of sitting at your desk, endlessly scrolling through social media and getting that “oh shit is that the time” when your bit of client work is due.
What other hacks do you have that have added value to your productivity? Let me know in the comments below.
Another productivity hack you could take on board is to outsource your design work to me. So instead of taking the time to learn Canva and spend hours and hours trying to get the design JUST right, you could just let me manage that for you.
After all, it is the business I have built for myself. So, pop me a mail and let me know how I can make your day tat much more productive.