Are you struggling to find a productive groove this autumn season? You’re not alone! Below, our Features Editor Carrie Waller shares her perspective on battling perfectionism and finding ways to be productive amid the chaos in her fall-time freelancer lifestyle.
Many of you have probably heard the widespread rumor that 21 days is the magic number for forming a habit, and I can officially tell you that the statistic is spot-on. It has been exactly 37 days since I last updated you on my quest to add productivity to my daily routine, and I can honestly say that I’m well on my way to feeling more organized and more on top of my game than ever before.
While I wouldn’t say that I have my work-hours hustle down pat, I have learned a lot since enforcing my newly adopted habits. Dare I say it, but the shift into a more organized and productive freelancer (and human being, for that matter!) has actually started to feel natural. Both my work and my personal lives have benefited from the changes I’ve made to my routine, and in case you’re looking to add a productive pep to your own step, you’ll find my top three tried-and-true tips below!
3 Tips For Boosting Productivity
1. Set An Alarm
In my introduction to this personal challenge of mine back in October, I mentioned that I was going to start setting an alarm so that I had more time in the morning to hit the ground running. This change in routine has been absolutely imperative for my mid-season success. I now get up at 6 a.m. and, although I still lay in bed for a solid 20 to 30 minutes browsing social media on my phone and reading through the emails that came in overnight, I no longer feel guilty about it. If I’m up and in the shower by 6:30 a.m., then I can be at my computer working—homemade, balanced breakfast by my side—at 7 a.m. Cracking into my to-do list earlier has single-handedly transformed my productivity. I couldn’t recommend this trick more!
2. Enforce Office Hours
One new idea that was spawned from my early rise in the morning is a steady shut-down in the evening. Admittedly, this change in my routine is more for the sake of my personal life and having more time to spend with my husband around dinner time, but I feel like my professional productivity has gained quite a bit from the change, too. To put the new rule into play, I added a quick message to my automatic email signature line, which details my office hours so that correspondents know when to expect my reply. Having official office hours keeps me moving steadily through my to-do list because I know that I only have so much time to get it all done.
3. Sign Up For Trello
Another promise that I’ve made good on since my last post is signing up for a project organization service. In the end, I went with Trello because, consequently, our team here at Glitter Guide started using it to coordinate back-end items ahead of our new site launch. After learning the ropes (this post on getting your blog organized with Trello from Elle & Company gives a great breakdown of the features), I opened my own personal account and have been putting it to work organizing my pending projects, published items and other freelance to-do’s. This one is taking a little longer to adopt because I’m so used to that fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants mentality, but I think that it will stick by the new year. I’m also looking to start building a tiny team for myself in the new year, so Trello will come in handy for keeping my small staff in-the-know across the board.
As I mentioned before, I truly feel that it’s easier to tackle a challenge together, so I’d love to hear about the productivity-boosting strategies, apps and programs that have worked for you! Do tell in the comments.