My 5 Tips for Productivity
work from home
You’ve probably heard the saying “don’t work where you sleep,” but some of us don’t have a conventional job. As a traveling photographer I would get NOTHING done (laundry I’m lookin at you!) unless I stayed home to work. Co-working spaces can be wonderful if you have access to one, but for those who don’t I put together a list of some ways I stay productive in my own corner of the world! Photographers, designers, boss babes, this one’s for you!
Step 1: Learn your Energy Times
Not everyone (myself included) is most productive in the early morning. As you adventure into working from home, I encourage you to track your energy. Keep track of the times of day when you start dragging your feet; when completing even simple tasks gets the procrastination light in your brain to go off. There should also be a window of time where you are killin’ it brainstorming and checking things off that to-do list. One of the ways I became a business babe was learning my personal energy schedule. I know that might sound a little crunchy, but learning your energy – how to use it and how to protect it from burn out – is one of the most VALUABLE tools. For me, 11am is when my focus starts to hit and I get sh!t done. I’ve frequently read about how to become a morning person, and most articles insist you get up and get it done, but that’s not real for me. I end up trying to push myself to do something over and over and not getting anywhere because my energy time hasn’t come yet. Not everyone is created equally when it comes to productive energy. Take the time to get to know YOU and what works for you! At the end of the day it doesn’t matter when it happens, so long as it does. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for your schedule. Respect yourself and your business enough to honestly evaluate your prime time and build a schedule off of that. It’s life changing.
Step 2: Meal Prep
I know, I know- why meal prep when you can Chick-fil-A it up!? I love nuggets more than your average human, but meal prepping has changed the way I dominate my work day and here’s why: What you eat defines your productivity. Let me explain that more. To get a lil scientific- we all know food = energy. If you are feeling sluggish during your workday take a look at what energy fuel you’re putting in. While it’s delicious and less demanding, fast food just won’t cut it for the daily work flow. Calorie overload on harsh carbs and sugars will trigger a crash. Yes- it saved you some cook time and some dishes, but here you are, being non-productive in a McDouble coma wondering just how you will ever move from the couch back to your workspace. Pay attention to what you grab for when hunger sets in!
Meal planning for me has been a total game changer for a lot of reasons. First, I can prep on weekends/evenings meaning it’s no time off during my productivity window. Second, I’m being intentional with what I’m putting in my body, rather than going off the whims of my stomach. This allows me the opportunity to balance my meals with healthy things and treating myself to the occasional sweet treat. Personally, I love making grain bowls. It’s super easy to cook up a bunch of quinoa or brown rice ahead of time and then just roast up veggies or throw in some grilled chicken. It can be a different combination of veggies and protein every day!
You get out what you put in. Find foods that you enjoy AND the ones your body needs. It will help your productivity through the afternoon carb dives you’d get from junk food. Oh and did I mention it’s a practical way to get that bikini bod poppin’ while slaying your work day!?
Step 3: Batch Work
Such an intimidating phrase but a LIFE SAVER. Batch work sounds scary but I promise it’s not. There is a lot of misconception around batch work. It is not working fourteen hours straight on one project until it’s literally perfect, or that gallery is delivered. Batch work is simply picking a bite size chunk of work and scheduling it one or two times a day so it doesn’t interrupt your bigger projects. It’s basically streamlining the day to day activities. To give a practical example, I set aside time to batch emails. I could check my inbox every hour and answer any inquiries I see, but that’s honestly a waste of time. Instead I batch them! I’ll check my inbox once in the morning and once in the evening. That way I’m not distracted by the notifications and interrupt my editing flow! Not to mention batching works for meal prep too!
Step 4: Routines
For the creative and freelance babes out there the word “routine” might send shivers up your spine. It’s not that bad, hear me out! Consistency helps eliminate anxiety. When you ditch the normal commute and 9 to 5, at first you’ll probably kick back and have a very “emotional” work schedule. You’ll get it done when you’re in the mood. Having a routine eliminated my mood-driven work schedule and maximized my productivity. I put my routine in my calendar. I have a morning and an evening routine. It helps me center myself for the work day, and makes me have a little self-care so I don’t become a work-a-holic.
For example my morning routine consists of :
- getting dressed (if i’m in my pjs imma kick back and Netflix it up)
- practice gratitude, meditate, or read the Bible. Getting my mind and heart ready for the day only increases my productivity and happiness.
- make my bed. Guys, I cannot stress this enough, don’t work in your bed. It will affect your sleep schedule and signal your brain towards nap time. If my bed isn’t made, it looks too cozy to resist. So tuck in those blankets and get it done!
- Wash my face. Cold water to the face is refreshing, good for your skin, and helps you become alert and get into that work flow!
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what your routine is specifically but it’s so important to have one! Make yourself a priority and build some healthy habits!
Step 5: Be Kind to Yourself
YOU are incredible. YOU are talented. YOU WILL KILL IT! Starting a business and working from home is no joke. A lot of times people will treat you like it is. It’s so much harder to be productive in your home than in an office, so be gentle with yourself. You are learning how to be a disciplined boss babe, and you will get there. It might be hard now, but trust me – take the time to learn yourself and invest in YOU and your productivity will bloom.