How To Be More Productive During Chaotic Times: 5 Simple Strategies.

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The Remedy to Chaos

Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.

Struggling to regain mental focus in a world full of distraction? Desperately trying to fight chaos and take back control of your life? Tired of procrastinating?

If your answer is YES to just one of these questions, then continue to read this post because I’m sharing 5 simple strategies to embrace chaos and maximize your productivity levels without scarifying your work-life balance.

PS. Grab your FREEBIES!

5 Step Formula To Staying Productive In Chaotic Times

  1. Plan Your Work In Advance
  2. Manage Your Time Wisely
  3. Manage Your Energy Levels
  4. Create A Favorable Environment
  5. Adopt the Right Mindset

Grab this FREE printable workbook that will help you to ditch the procrastination habit and make your productivity skyrocket!

1. Plan Your Work In Advance

Set SMART Weekly Goals

When setting your weekly goals look at the big picture, think about your major, long-term goals, and break them down into small achievable steps. Then schedule each of these steps into your weekly agenda so that you know what to focus on. This simple strategy will help ensure you work steadily and consistently to get closer to your success. 

Establish Non-Negotiables (top priorities, MITs)

Your success in achieving your long-term goals and mastering your to-do list lies in setting the right daily priorities and getting them knocked out in the early morning, as soon as you can when your mind is fresh.

When setting your daily priorities, your daily Most Important Tasks (MITs) focus on choosing 3 to 5 daily activities that lead to your key goal or goals so that you know you’re focusing on the right things and you’re moving toward your main goals. 

Create a realistic to-do list

write a realistic and manageable to-do list that will guide you through your day in a productive manner. You want to feel in control of your time, not overwhelmed by your workload- And a practical to-do list will provide you with peace of mind. So when writing your to-do list, make sure it’s not too long. A great way to do that is to use the 1-3-5 rule that not only helps you to avoid planning fallacy but also maximize your productivity levels. This rule states that you should keep your daily to-do list to just nine items:

  1. ONE big thing
  2. THREE medium things
  3. FIVE small things

Schedule Realistic Deadlines

Most people are afraid of tight deadlines because they think that stress and pressure to get things done in a short amount of time will make them unable to focus on their work. But, the opposite is true: a little bit of pressure makes people more productive, self-disciplined and focused on their goals. Furthermore, tight but realistic deadlines force you to use your time more effectively and practice good time management skills. There is no time for procrastination.

Plan Your Meals In Advance

To avoid standing in front of the fridge and deciding what to eat every single time when you’re hungry you should develop a habit of planning and preparing your meals in advance. That simple practice will not only help you to follow a nutritious diet but also saves lots of money, especially if you’re slowly becoming addicted to Uber Eats.

Create A Mind Map of Your Goals

Creating a mind map of your professional monthly projects will help you visually collect knowledge, consolidate information from different sources, create crystal clear ideas, narrow down your goals, and redirect your focus on your top priorities. 

When creating a mind map don’t over plan. Choose from 2 to 3 (maximum 4) work projects. Then set individual mini-goals for each main project and write your ideas, activities, or question that will help you to get a crystal clear vision of how you’re going to achieve these goals. 

“The Laws of Goal Setting Universe” Workbook: The Formula For Success In Setting & Achieving Goals” is a 100-page workbook designed to help you create a crystal clear vision of your future, set the right goals (in alignment with your vision and purpose), create a successful mindset, and develop smart tactics (habits, routines, rituals) that will help you achieve your objectives faster and more easily.

2. Manage Your Time Wisely

The Eisenhower Box

The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as Urgent-Important Matrix is a simple decision-making tool that will help you prioritize tasks and manage time effectively. The Eisenhower Matrix consists of four quadrants; 

  • DO – urgent and important tasks that need to be done immediately (ex. finishing a client project, paying bills)
  • DECIDE – important but not urgent tasks that aren’t your top priorities but you should schedule them to ensure that progress is being made (ex. strategic planning, personal development, new opportunities)
  • DELEGATE – urgent but not important tasks that need to be done but they can be done by someone else (ex. responding to some emails, meal prep)
  • DELETE – not urgent and not important tasks that don’t add value to your life (time-wasters, distractions, unnecessary decisions, non-critical choices)

The Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle, also known as the rule 80/20 developed by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto states that 20% of your actions (and the activities) produce 80% of the outcomes. That means that if you manage to identify that 20% correctly you will spend more time doing the right things and as a consequence, you will better results in less time and with less stress! 

The 20/80 rule can be applied to pretty much every area of your life, it’s just more visible in regard to work and career. So if you want to boost profitability, enhance effectiveness and increase efficiency, the best way for this is to take advantage of the 20/80 method.

The Parkinsons Law

According to this principle stated by a famous British naval historian, Cyril Northcote Parkinson “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. This means that if something must be done in a month, it will be done in a month and not a moment sooner. To avoid this trap you should set tight (but realistic) deadlines. 

Time Block Your Schedule

Time-blocking or calendar-blocking is an extremely effective technique where you define specific time blocks for particular tasks, activities, or events. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task so that you know what to focus on and how much time do you have to get this thing done.

This simple time-management method will help you to develop laser-like focus, build momentum and put yourself in motion for success. Not to mention that if you dedicate each time block to a certain task you will reduce the likelihood of mindless social media scrolling, binge-watching Netflix, or overeating of boredom.

Batch Similar Tasks Together

Batching similar tasks together such as responding to emails, making important phone calls, doing meetings, doing errands, or getting administrative work done is a simple strategy to develop laser-like focus, maximize your productivity levels and increase your efficiency at work. 

Use Productivity Apps

Best Productivity Apps In 2021

  1. Asana work management here
  2. Notion the all-in-one workspace here
  3. Trello – project management app here
  4. Any.do – get seriously organized here
  5. Todoist – task management software here 
  6. FocusList iOS / Android – productivity app that helps you get more DEEP work done
  7. Y Productive here
  8. TickTick: ToDo List Planner, Reminder & Calendar (Android / iOS)
  9. Hours – Time Tracking App Online here
  10. Toggl – Free Time Tracking Software here
  11. RescueTime: Fully Automated Time Tracking Software here
  12. Google Calendar

This workbook (53 pages) is designed to help you maximize your productivity and increase your effectiveness without sacrificing your life balance.

Whether you work from home during the Coronavirus Pandemic or thinking about starting a side hustle, this workbook can help you build a more thoughtful work-from-home strategy, bring structure to your workday and create a healthy work-life balance.

INCLUDED:

– Tips for Working from Home Effectively
– Tips To Stay Organized & Motivated
– Tools for designing your own schedule, rock your to-do list and create an ideal daily routine
– Time Management Tips (The Eisenhower Box, The Pareto Principle worksheets included)
– Yearly, Monthly & Weekly Goal Setting (+ Goal Progress Index)
– Yearly, Monthly, Weekly Planner
– Daily Plan & Schedule
– Monthly & Weekly Organizer
– Time blocking method schedule
– Daily Routines for successful entrepreneurs
– Work Task Checklists
– Powerful Work-Breaks Planner & Checklist
– Yearly, Monthly, Weekly Project Planner
– Creative Worksheets
– Password Keeper
– Healthy Meal Planner
– Flow State & Mindful Motivation Checklist
– Professional Skills Development Tracker
– Healthy Habit Trackers

PERFECT FOR:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Small Business Owners
  • People currently working from home due to Coronavirus
  • Work from home Moms & Dads
  • Direct Sales & Network Marketing
  • Online Shops
  • & more!

3. Manage Your Energy Levels

Develop & maintain healthy morning & evening routines

Morning and evening routines are the keys to success in staying productive and work effectively during chaotic times. They guide you through the day in a planned and well-organized way. They help you to manage your time effectively, simplify your decision-making process and get things done on time and well without sacrificing your wellbeing. They help you to maintain high standards and a healthy work-life balance so much needed for leading a fulfilling life.

Start Your Day On A Positive Note

The temptation to check your phone first thing in the morning is real, especially if you use your smartphone as an alarm clock. When the alarm rings you grab your phone to turn it off and then you end up checking your emails, messages, breaking news for the other side of the globe, and of course, social media profiles for about half an hour.

The magic of the early morning is strong, yet so many people never take advantage of it. The first 20 minutes after you wake up determines whether or not your day will be successful, productive, and exciting. But if you give your full attention to other people’s lives instead of fueling self-focused behaviors you’re missing your chance of reaching your full potential. 

Maintain a healthy work-life balance

If you don’t want “work-life blur” to become a real issue for you, you need to set crystal clear boundaries between personal and professional life. And what better way to do that than by applying the rule of 3 to your daily routine? So split your day (24 hours) into 3 parts:

  • 8 hours for WORK
  • 8 hours for productive ME TIME
  • 8 hours for quality SLEEP

Mix energy-giving & energy-taking tasks

We love to think that we can be ultra-productive, insanely motivated, and highly energetic all day long to get at least twice the amount of work done than we’ve planned. While this Perpetuum Mobile kind of productivity would be great, it’s not within the reach of anyone. So instead of striving for the impossible ideal of non-existing 24/7 productivity mode, you should focus on managing your energy levels during the day.

The best way to do that is to balance your time with energy-giving activities and energy-taking activities so that you give yourself the opportunity to restore your energy and recharge your batteries after finishing a difficult task. So when creating your epic to-do list is try to mix productive (energy-taking) tasks with restorative (energy-giving) tasks. 

  • Energy-Taking Tasks: writing a report, administrative work, responding to emails
  • Energy-Giving Tasks: physical activity, Mindfulness practice, delicious coffee break, listen to a podcast

Take Frequent Breathers

There’s a tendency to think that taking frequent work breaks ruins workflow and triggers procrastination. When in fact, the opposite is true. Several studies have shown that taking regular breaks at work is a powerful strategy for increasing self-motivation, boosting productivity levels, and accelerating your results. 

Schedule physical activity

Physical activity is one of the best ways to accelerate your mental performance, enhance your thinking skills and boost your motivation. It happens because during the exercise your blood pressure and blood flow increase in the entire body, including the brain. As a result, you become more alert, attentive, and focused during the day.

4. Create A Favorable Environment

Eliminate distractions

We live in a world full of distractions where everyone and everything is fighting for your attention. Thus, if you want to stay on track and smash your goals you need to „starve your distractions, feed your focus”. And what better way to do that than by planning against distractions?

Brain Dump

A brain dump is an act of getting your thoughts on paper so that you can focus on what’s truly important and what pays you the most. This simple method is a powerful tool for decluttering your mind and freeing up mental space to avoid being distracted, confused, and overly stressed while working on important projects.

Organize your workspace

The benefits of having a curated workspace are undeniable. First of all, setting a designed workspace helps you to draw a crystal clear line between business and personal life. Second, having a home office space decreases the level of distractions to a minimum. And finally, a dedicated and personalized workspace can help you to reach a flow state and maximize your productivity levels without much effort. 

Choose wisely what to focus on

Our resources are limited. Time, energy, money, mental capacity, attention, physical space, willpower, talents are all limited. This means that if say “YES” to one thing you automatically say “NO” to another thing.  That’s why it is so important to choose wisely how you’re going to use all the resources you have so that you achieve your goals faster and more easily. 

Hold yourself accountable

Holding yourself accountable is more than just being responsible for your actions and the consequences they have – it means being proactive (actively creating your life) and taking action before you feel like it. Because waiting for motivation to strike you before you put yourself in motion leads to procrastination. And procrastination is the thief of time and a real dream killer. 

5. Adopt the Right Mindset

Done is better done perfect

Getting ready and have everything planned out to the nth degree is comfortable but not realistic. First of all, you never know what would be the outcome of your actions because there are many different outside factors you cannot control such as a political-economic system or a global pandemic we’re experiencing right now.

Second, you never know what unexpected opportunities are waiting for you around the bend. (they present themselves only if you keep going). And finally, it is always possible to change direction in your life and you shoulòd always keep that in mind. 

Everything in life is manageable. You can always figure out things as you go but first, you have to start. You need to take the first step in achieving your goal. There is no magical way your dreams come true only because you think about them intensively.

Switch your what-ifs from negative to positive

The human brain doesn’t know the difference between challenging yourself to reach your goals and putting yourself in dangerous situations. Fortunately, your conscious self knows that difference. So when your brain tries to stop you from succeeding you need to take charge and make a conscious shift from “what’s the worst that can happen” to “what’s the best that can happen”. In reality, your outcome is almost always somewhere in between. If you never try, you’ll never know.

Movement doesn’t mean achievement

Putting yourself in motion and staying busy doing a lot of different things does not guarantee you will get the desired results, nor does it mean you will get closer to your dreams. So don’t fall into the trap of taking multiple but random actions that will only make you work harder instead of smarter.

  • Be PRODUCTIVE, not BUSY
  • Figure out all the actions (manageable and absolutely necessary steps) you need to take in order to achieve your goal
  • Create an effective BUT simple action plan  

Don’t punish yourself for falling off track

It is 100% normal to get distracted and fall off track even if you’re truly committed to achieving your goal. When it happens instead of punishing yourself for not staying consistent and insanely self-disciplined you just need to bounce back.

Besides Self-shaming, blaming, and feelings of guilt will not get you any closer to achieving your goals. What you should do instead, is to give yourself a break, express compassion toward yourself, take a deep breath and bounce back on track!

Self-discipline is a skill

Developing rock-steady self-discipline is a process that requires time, effort, and patience. It will not happen overnight. So start small and don’t rush the process. Start with simple rituals and habits, then focus on creating your morning routine and track your progress. Make a self-contract for your goal of strengthening your self-discipline muscle and stick to it. Keep that promise to yourself and reward yourself for hard work and efforts. 

Grab Your Free Printable Workbooks

Stay positive

Be Mindful

and become your most productive self in the middle of chaos

xo Kate

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About Me

Hey, I’m Kate. I create content about reaching YOUR goalstime management,  personal growth, & living your best life, particularly for procrastinators, self-doubters, and dreamers (my favorite people!)

If I am not here it’s because I’m enjoying my creamy cappuccino in one of my favorites coffee shops… 😎

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