Sometimes it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything you want to do, especially if you want to balance work, family, cooking right, exercising enough, socialising enough… We’ve all heard of the ‘work smarter, not harder’ mantra - and it’s true, the key to balancing everything lies in the ability to be better at managing the time that you do have, rather than working to perfect all the tasks mentioned above.
If you’re struggling to make the most of the time, these 6 steps can help increase productivity for happier and less stressful days.
1. Find a schedule that works for you
Some people are able to wake up at 6am every morning to go for runs, take showers, cook healthy breakfasts and be out the door by 7.30am. But what works for some may not work for others. The idea of ‘the early bird gets the worm’ is completely false - it’s actually much more beneficial if you find a schedule that works to your body clock. Whether that be bursts of productivity during the last hours of a work day, or at 8pm at night - learn to work out when your mind and body is most active and work with it, not against it.
2. Get a beautiful planner
With the advent of smartphones and smartwatches, adding things to do to your calendar has never been easier. But there’s still something therapeutic about being able to physically write things down in a planner and having it laid out week to week in front of your eyes, rather than having it stored in an out of mind cloud system. Using a planner also means that you’re able to proactively flick through it and prepare yourself for the day or week ahead, rather than waiting for notifications to be sent to your phone.
3. Get a beautiful watch
Once you work out your body schedule and weekly plans, invest in a beautiful watch and check it often - not obsessively, but think of it as a gentle reminder to stay on track. With the array of beautiful and minimalist watches to choose from, watches can be a great incentive as well a practical way to be more productive.
4. Start the day right
Start the day by making the bed every morning. This little task gets your mind in the positive mindframe of completing tasks and creates a sense of accomplishment that will carry on to the rest of the day. Eating a healthy, balanced breakfast or tropical breakfast smoothie will also help give that added energy boost to power through that busy day ahead.
5. Schedule in ‘me’ time
Whether it’s an episode of your favourite tv show or a little afternoon nap on the couch, scheduling in time to yourself allows you to take a breather from the world around you and is important for maintaining a healthy emotional wellbeing, particularly in stressful situations. Taking half an hour or an hour to yourself might feel like a waste of time when you could be doing something productive, but this ‘me’ time is essential to keep you from burning out in the long run. You’ll return to your tasks with a fresh mind and a renewed sense of motivation.
Heading out to the surf, mediating or going for a walk not only keeps the body active but also helps to clear the mind of its troubles and stresses. Take this time to focus on the way the air fills up your lungs and the way the earth is around you - whether that be the gentle ebbs of the ocean on your skin or the cool morning air in your lungs or the sunlight casting shadows on the pavement in front of you. You’ll return feeling calmer and more ready to tackle the things heading your way.