With everything going on in the world, it can be extremely difficult to stay focused and productive. Six months ago, I felt myself slipping. I was working in my bed with my laptop and not moving from nine till four. Re-watching T.V series. Throwing my life away basically. It was horrible.
I quickly realised that I was losing all motivation and I had to change something. Although the world isn’t in the same position, it’s important not to lose hope.
I decided to get out of bed and change my life around. Which is why I got into blogging.
I’ve created a list of 16 things you can do to have a productive week and keep the positivity flowing.
Focus on one thing at a time
It’s easy to get stressed with the endless list of tasks that needs completing. From housework, to work and that doesn’t include social life or anything else you have to do throughout the week.
Take your time, there’s no rush. Finish a task before you start another one, to ensure you don’t have a bunch of half-finished tasks, but you feel like you’ve completed nothing.
Prepare over the weekend
Ever get to a Monday morning, and you have to think of everything you have to do and it just becomes too much, so you end up procrastinating for the rest of the day?
Yeah me too.
Start planning your week on a Saturday or Sunday. Set aside an hour from your weekend to get everything set up for the Monday, to ensure you have a productive week.
I find my most productive time to do this, is a Sunday night. This also allows you to plan your week and add anything you have planned that week. Lunches, meeting friends and family.
Create a visual plan
This one is a life savour. If you’re on my socials, you’ll know I send regular updates of my visual plan above my desk.
This is just as simple as bits of paper, with coloured headings and post-it notes of things I need to complete throughout the week for:
- Confessions of an Anxious Gal
- My Instagram
- Goals for the year
- Content ideas
As you can imagine my desk is filled with post-it notes. I find this the most effective way to stay productive because I am constantly looking at this post-its to remind myself what needs to be done.
When the tasks are completed, I put the post-its in the bin.
Be selective with plans
I am the worlds worst for agreeing to plans and then instantly regretting it. I find it difficult to say no if I’m in a positive mood as I’m like, woo, yeah amazing let’s do that fifteen-mile cycle, then it gets to the day and I’ve not thought it through my time table and I have a million and one things to do.
It’s okay to say to no to plans. Explain to friends and family that you have to be selective with plans in order to have a productive week.
This also referees to yourself. You might want to spend three hours on Tik Tok, but is it the best thing to do? Probably not.
Create smaller and reachable goals
I always believe in reaching for big and ambitious goals, but there’s a difference when setting weekly goals.
For example, my realistic weekly goals are to post 5 pins each day on Pinterest and create two blog post a week.
An unrealistic goal would be, I want to manually pin 40 pins each day, along with creating 6 blog posts each week.
I mean that would be amazing, but it’s just not going to happen.
Set realistic goals for yourself to avoid disappointment and lose of productivity because you feel like you’ve not accomplished anything.
Learn your routine and what works best for you
Everyone is different. Some people are more productive in the morning, some people at night. Learn your own schedule and work around it.
For example, I know I work best at night after work. I therefore don’t blog before then. I tried to blog before work and my posts were filled with mistakes and my writing wasn’t as good.
Learn what works for you. If you work best doing the washing after the dishes, then keep that routine to keep the momentum going.
This also links in with getting up in the morning.
I know myself, once I am awake, I have to get out of bed straight away or I will struggle to get out, resulting in me feeling more sluggish and low mood.
Keep your space tidy
Having a messy workspace can have a big effect on productivity.
I ran a poll on Instagram to see who found it harder to be productive when working in a messy space. As you can see from the results below, most people find it harder to be productive if the space isn’t clean.
Keep your area clean. You can do this by cleaning your space every night for twenty minutes. This will stop it from building up and becoming unmanageable.
Have some you time
Being productive throughout the week doesn’t mean you can’t have some you time. Pick a night that is just for you and self-care!
I tend to pick a Friday night. I’ll turn my laptop off after work, and either make food with Lyle or play some games with the family or watch something for me.
Do something that is enjoyable to you that doesn’t involve stress.
I’ve listed below things you can do to let off steam:
Meal Prep for the week
It can be difficult cooking throughout the week and eating well whilst trying to get stuff done. Opting out for a quick packet of noodles is what I usually end up doing.
To make sure you eat well, you can spend a few hours on one of the days and meal prep for the week. This will save you the cooking time.
I like to do this with cold pasta or leftover dinners.
Automate what you can
The amount of apps and websites out there to help make your life easier is endless.
For example, I use Tailwind (sometimes) to help automate my pins when I’m too busy to pin manually. This costs me £12 per month.
I use Planoly for Instagram, this automatically posts my Instagram feed posts when I am too busy to do so. This is free!
I also use spreadsheet formulas to calculate my outgoings and income. I know there are a million apps out there for finance, but I haven’t found one I like just yet.
Get your sleep
Staying up to 2am every night will knock your body clock. Make sure you are sleeping for at least seven hours. I always go to bed between 11pm and 12pm and wake up at 8am, I know I need eight hours, find what works for you.
Lack of sleep will affect your productivity and create a low mood.
I also wouldn’t recommend going to bed at 2am and waking up at 10am. Try and start the morning early to ensure you have enough time for getting everything done.
Start earlier rather than later
I’ve mentioned this in the “get your sleep” section, but I thought I would touch on it separately.
If you’re awake at 8am, start tasks around 9am. Don’t leave this until 12pm. By the time it gets to 12pm, you’ll feel sluggish and this will impact your mood. Get a head start, and start working as soon as you can.
The quicker you start, the sooner you can finish.
Do the tasks you dislike first
I have only started doing this in my adult life and my god, it makes life so much easier.
As a teenager, I HATED doing the dishes, it was the worst chore I had. I would spend my whole night dreading doing them. I would then do them around 9pm, and be mentally drained after and then sleep straight away.
My parents would always say, just do them straight away and that’s them out the way, oh how I wish I listened.
I now do all the things I dislike first so I’m not contently thinking about doing it and dreading it. This overall helps me feel more productive throughout the week as my mood isn’t low.
Put the phone down
Ever get sucked down the rabbit hole of, just ten minutes on Tik Tok then I’ll start, then four hours later you’ve not moved?
Yeah me too.
Put the phone down and concentrate on the task. When I write blog posts I really try not to touch my phone as I like to stay focused on the topic.
Tip: I use Youtube for music when I’m working on blog stuff, as I need something to listen to. If I come off Youtube to skive, the music stops.
Review the previous week
Reflect. You’ve probably learned by now I LOVE reflecting. Look back over the previous week and see what the good points and the bad points were.
Then you can work on improving. If you found that you were too tempted to use your phone and procrastinate, set your phone to do not disturb and put this into another room.
If you find you’re too tempted to watch TV, put the remote somewhere else in the house or have someone do it for you.
Learn from what you struggled with, if you struggled to do tasks at night, fill your morning with the tasks instead to ensure they get done.
Celebrate your achievements
Celebrate what you’ve achieved! If you get your tasks done and had a productive week, give yourself some credit and take some you time. You deserve it!
It’s hard to stay productive, so celebrate the wins, as it boosts your mood and always makes me feel more motivated to get my tasks done the next day as I love the feeling of achieving something.
I honestly get asked all the time, how do you manage to have a productive week. Following all these steps, I work my normal forty hours at my day job, my blog, my Pinterest, two Instagram accounts and my Facebook community!
If I can do it, so can you.
Be kind to yourself, it might not be every day you are going to be completing all your tasks and having time to spare. Remember your mood matters too, so find a balance that works for you.
I find it helps me mentally to stay busy 99% of the time. Just remember not to burn yourself out.