How to structure your work day
I used to be terrible at having productive work days. When I say just about nothing would get done, I mean it. I would constantly be distracted and everything would be half-assed.
This is NOT the usual for me anymore. I have found my space to do my best work and have called myself out for the things that I know distract me during my work day. For example — my phone is my worst enemy. I keep that thing flipped over and behind my computer where I cannot see it at all costs.
Let’s dive into a discussion on how to structure your work day. With these techniques in place you can crank out some incredible work and not be pissed at yourself for lack of focus.
Find your space
Make a time limit
One of the most important things you can do for yourself during your work day is to prepare ahead of time. One thing you should absolutely prepare ahead of time is where you are going to do your work. I like to find somewhere that has a lot of light and windows. It is important to not make yourself feel like you are trapped anywhere. If you are someone who needs more activity going on around you in order for you to get productive, I suggest going to a coffee shop. This can provide valuable creativity boosts from the people around you. My favorite in my area is the Malvern Buttery.
Once you find your space, set your time limit. This does not mean per task, but for your whole work session. I like to do this because giving myself a sense of time helps me feel like I have a sense of structure and balance. Not only this, but setting a time helps me set realistic expectations for my work hours.
Make your to do list
Here it is… the dreaded to do list. Or maybe you love a to do list? For me, to do lists can seem very scary upon first glance. Quick to do list tip: make different to do lists for each type of task. For example, you family to do list DOES NOT go with your work to do list. Your side hustle list DOES NOT go with your current work list. Keep your lists separate.
How to order your to do list
Start with your most timely — What has to get done today or ASAP?
Answer your emails — One thing that is of most important to me is timeliness with professional emails. If you do not have someone that can check emails for you, make sure you are schedule time to be on top of your work.
Create a time in your to do list for learning. What I mean by this is make sure there is time scheduled in your work hours to read or listen about what you are preaching. For example, I know on Tuesdays and Thursdays I am going to spend my learning time listening to the Rise podcast and Rise Together podcast.
take your breaks
Take a damn break, girl! This does not mean take a break so you can watch The Office or scroll through Instagram. This means you are finding time for your body to rest and absorb all the information you just threw at it. Some good examples of resting are going for a walk, calling a loved one (this is a great time to answer any family/friend texts and calls), or journal. Not only does taking a break help you absorb, but it can give you some new found energy after sitting for an hour or two. I suggest you take a break every hour. Again, this break does not need to consist of more then 10 minutes. This is just a boost for your day.
When you are all done with your work for the day, do a check in with yourself. This is honesty time. Ask yourself if you have done everything you set your mind to for the day. If the answer is no, do not freak out! Think about if you 1. let yourself get distracted or 2. put too much on your plate for the day. It can only be one of those two things. Secondly, give yourself a god damn pat on the back for getting your work done and do not sulk in your sorrows about what you did not do that day. Every work day is a chance to start fresh and push even harder.
Don’t get distracted — let’s leave our phones off ring and not right next to us. Mark down when you expect to get calls and only check it during a break period for emergencies.
Don’t jump around and do one thing at a time
Hydrate! See what Rachel Hollis has to say about it.
Don’t overload yourself. I am not asking you to be superwomen!
Make sure your work day is during the point in your day when your energy is thriving! If nights are not your thing for getting work done, avoid them at all costs. If you have munchkins at home and when they go to bed is your only time to get your work done, then push through and work in the evenings. Make it manageable for you.