Sunday, 24 July 2016

How To Be More Productive

There are weeks when I feel like I've achieved nothing more than successfully managing to go to work and back.  In an effort to maximise my productivity, I've been managing to set aside time (even just 10 mins) to do something productive.

Travel To Work:
For years, when my job involved travelling around Scotland for a living, I bought Spanish language CDs and stuck them on in the car.

I managed to learn another language just by driving a route that had to be done to make off to wherever I was visiting on a particular week.   

I downloaded mine from Audible and it's amazing how quickly I picked up the language AND how interesting it made an often slow and boring journey.

These days, I have a half hour drive to work, but I've already started with Welsh lessons.  It's a commute I have to make 10 times a week - I might as well get something useful from it.   

I also often blog in the car.   Only when I'm a passenger, mind.   This helps me edit posts and spell check before I schedule them while pretending to listen to whatever medical horror story Les is recalling on the way to Bangor.   



How To Be More Productive: Bike Blogging
My bike isn't nearly this cool.   Nor does it go anywhere.  
Bike Blogging:
If I go running, I obviously can't blog at the same time as that would be a recipe for complete disaster.   However, I also own an exercise bike and, over the past few months, I've started taking my iPhone and using the Blogger app to write posts; note down ideas; or even just do some scheduling.

It's amazing how much more I'm getting through and how the time flies when I'm not constantly looking at the clock on the display, desperate for it to move quicker.  

I am also known for doing a spot of step  aerobics during football games and am the master of the 15 minute half time cycle.   

Find a way to incorporate study, reading or ANYTHING into your exercise routine and you'll benefit twice as much.  Also: it makes the actual exercise way less horrifying.   

Bed:
Buzzfeed is my bed companion, and I usually spend an hour chilling out and catching up with world events and the newest dog accounts across social media before I attempt to sleep (I just have to...).

I now set aside 10 minutes of this chill out time and write ideas for posts in my Evernote account; make a to do list for the following day; or just download that new album or book that I want.  

I then quickly check Twitter and FB notifications to see if I need to respond to anything before heading back to Buzzfeed or catching up with what Doug the Pug got up to that day.       

It's a tiny fraction of my day but it's interesting just how much I can get through if I focus and spend 10 minutes less smiling at dogs.


How To Be More Productive: Cooking
watch your fingers... 
Netflix and Cooking:
Yeah, so it's not *quite* Netflix and Chill, but it does make a sometimes boring nightly chore somewhat more interesting.

I stand up my iPad on the kitchen counter and delve into House of Cards or Silent Witness to catch up on the shows I don't usually have time to sit down and watch during the working week.

Do be careful with this one, though.  I have managed to burn a curry during a particularly tense episode of Homeland and gruesome episodes of Whitechapel aren't the best to watch when preparing raw meat.

Get up 10 Minutes Earlier:
OK, so this is not often something I actually do.   I have trouble getting out of bed at all, so moving earlier than absolutely necessary is a tough one for me.    However, I have managed it a few times recently, and it's amazing to find how it not only boosts my general mood for the day because I'm not running around like a crazy person, but it also gives me time to go out to the garden or have a coffee before I leave the house.  

Even if you don't actually want to get *out* of bed, just setting your alarm for 10 minutes earlier and, say, looking at dogs dressed as humans on Buzzfeed before you force yourself up will also do wonders for your mental health.    Trust me, I've tried.


Do Chores in Stages:

We all have chores that we hate.   Mine are...well, all of them.  If I know I've got a wardrobe to clear out, or some involved weeding to do, I will tackle it in increments.   The thought of coming home from work and spending several hours raking through old clothes; sorting out which one to keep and which ones are for charity, before keeping them ALL, doesn't appeal to me.   Therefore, it never gets done.  

If I dedicate 15 minutes a night a few nights a week and set about it bit by bit, I find it much more manageable.  I also don't hate it nearly as much.   Knowing that I only have a certain amount of time to dedicate to it makes it way less overwhelming.    I often find that once I've started, I end up going over my allotted time and getting way more done than I thought.


Do you have any productivity tips?



Suz x 


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