SERVING VOLUSIA COUNTY…
Caregivers carry a lot on their shoulders. They are constantly juggling caregiving duties, family time, work responsibilities, and home life. It is so easy to fall into habits that make you less productive and less efficient with the hours you have in the day. As the to-do list grows longer, it is time to step back and reevaluate how you spend your time. The key is not to work harder to check off the endless to-do list, it is too work smarter to make the most of the time you have.
Here are 5 tips for increasing your productivity without draining yourself in the process.
- Get an early start- You have heard the expression “the early bird gets the worm”, and there is definite truth in that. Get up and get moving early when your mind is fresh. Plan your most challenging tasks for the morning and try to get them done before lunch time. Checking off the big items early will help you feel an early sense of accomplishment and even relax the rest of the day.
2. Make a plan- Try spending 10 minutes at night creating a to-do list for the next day. Prioritize the tasks in order of importance and highlight some goals for the day. Try to set a limit of only 3 key things to accomplish that day, so not to create additional stress. This also helps you from picking only the easy things off your list and pushing the more challenging projects to another day. Writing a list the night before will help you have a head start on getting things done the next morning and be more focused on important tasks, rather than distractions.
3. Stop the multitasking- Doing 5 things at once isn’t a good thing. Research has shown that jumping from task to task actually makes you waste time because you have to redirect your focus each time you switch tasks. Not only are you spending more time on these tasks, you are also not able to give your best effort, resulting in poorer work. Instead of multitasking, pick one task, focus on getting it done well, and move on.
4, Cut out the distractions- Nothing kills your productivity worse than all those ever present distractions. Television, social media, emails, and text messages are all trying to grab your time and attention. It is amazing how quickly you can fall into the distraction trap and end up with nothing accomplished. Allot certain times during the day for screentime and limit social media browsing to the amount of time you want to spend by setting a timer. If necessary, turn off your phone notifications that alert you when you have new emails or messages, so you aren’t tempted to check them as often. Clutter can also be a big distraction. Clear your work space or house as much as possible so you can be free to focus on what is most important.
5. Know when to quit- You have a limited amount of mental energy, and once you have reached your peak energy level, it is only downhill from there. Don’t put off important tasks to the end of the day when you are most depleted and will end up spending more time on it than you would have if you tackled it earlier in the day. You also have to take breaks to recharge. Get some fresh air and sunshine, exercise, eat a healthy snack, drink more water, listen to music, take a power nap, or call a friend. Reward yourself by setting a goal to finish a particular task before you take a break. It gives you something to look forward to, as well as an additional push to cross an item off your to-do list.
By increasing your productivity with the list of things you NEED to do will free you up for the things you WANT to do. It will leave you with more time to spend with spouses, children, family, and friends. And remember, being more productive sometimes means saying “no” to additional activities and simplifying your life.
“Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin gets spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you." Carl Sandburg
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