For women seeking to pursue their callings and thrive in their purpose, lack of productivity can be the roadblock to taking actionable steps toward thriving in their sweet spot. There are thousands of strategies, quick tips, and life hacks that present ideas on ways to improve productivity. But how do you know which strategies actually work or will work for you? Whether you are working remotely or looking to find ways to balance office life and home life, it’s important to figure out how to improve productivity without burning out.
The one thing humans cannot do is add more hours to the day. I mean, Joshua did ask God to have the sun stand still that one time, but as a general rule, we have to abide by the 24-hour day structure. Regardless of our limits, society continues to expect adults to increase productivity at work and at home. The truth is, there are so many ideas and strategies out there that you could spend every extra moment learning about productivity and never actually implement anything!
My goal is to try to offer a few ways to sort through all the information about improving your productivity so you can become more productive. Of course, no strategy is one-size-fits-all, so I’ll include multiple resources you can review and consider for yourself. As always, I believe your first filter should be evaluating the 5 Stages of Burnout. When we choose to establish boundaries and routines through the filter of stress-induced burnout, we will improve our chances of avoiding higher stages of burnout.
Tips to Improve Productivity
1. Plan Your Day
I use a block calendar to sketch out my weeks. This structure establishes personal and work boundaries around every hour of my day. However, when it comes to the details of work tasks, I still need to plan out the order of my tasks. I also spend time meal planning, so dinner isn’t a surprise. Each day I review what my kids need throughout the day so I can adjust my work tasks as required. I don’t plan this too far in advance because their schedules are pretty fluid. Finally, I check-in with my husband and confirm our shared Google Calendar is accurate.
2. Protect Your Focus – Set Yourself Up For Success
Know what you need to remain focused on the tasks you need to accomplish. If you need to concentrate on something, turn off the noise. If a too quiet space distracts you, find a music channel that increases your work pace. Not sure where to start? You may find the article These 6 Types of Music Are Known to Dramatically Improve Productivity interesting.
3. Align Your Work and Your Passion
Life Hacker says, “Enjoying what you do is the ultimate way to increase your productivity.” Read more about this on my post Support for Pursuing Your Calling Vocationally
4. Prioritize Your Tasks
There are many ways to accomplish this. I have found that when I spend the last few minutes of Monday reviewing my tasks for Tuesday, I open my computer on Tuesday morning and start working with fewer distractions. If I don’t know what my goals for the day are, I find that I waste a good 30 minutes poking through emails and my tasks trying to orient myself on the best way to accomplish Tuesday’s goals. My favorite tool for this tip is this simple paper pad:
We’re all capable of doing a lot of things in a day, but that doesn’t mean we need to complete everything placed on our list. Most people are surrounded by capable people willing to support them. In fact, those people are often paid to support them and might appreciate that you trust them enough to do the job you’re paying them to do.
6. Use Technology and Automate
I run around once a month or so looking for my keys. It used to happen a few times a day. Nowadays, I only hunt for my keys when our sixteen-year-old forgets to put the keys that don’t have a Tile on the ring back where they belong. Rather than digging through bags and pockets, I can pull up an app and follow the beep when my car keys with a Tile are “lost.” (Yes, we’re getting another Tile. It’s on the list next time I open Amazon) I’ve created a list of my favorite apps to help me stay efficient here.
7. Build in Margin
Expect things will take longer than you plan for, and prepare for surprises by building margin into your schedule. It’s important to leave room in your calendar for life. On the days you don’t encounter a surprise, you can look ahead and take on an extra task or catch up on something you have put on hold.
8. Seek Out a Mentor
Life Hacker suggests, “By modeling after those who have already achieved success, you will save yourself a lot of time and energy.” Read more about How to Find a Mentor here.
When you become more productive in your daily life and work life, you will find pockets of time to pursue new opportunities, develop new skills, and explore your calling. In my book, Lessons from the Sidelines, I share the stories of several women who pursued their callings and are thriving in their sweet spots.
Whether you’re a coach’s wife, the wife of a professional athlete, a pastor’s wife, the wife of a CEO, a military wife, or a college administrator’s wife, you have unique challenges to navigate that differ from the struggles of other women.
This Book Will Help You:
- Engage 7 steps to clarify your calling, identify your sweet spot, and implement strategies that will enable you to live on mission.
- Identify how the 5 Stages of Burnout can impact your marriage and your ability to fully embrace your calling.
- Tackle the unique hurdles of parenting in the public eye.
- Learn practical tips for getting through the harder parts of the calendar year.