Over the past five years of running our online business, we’ve learned first-hand how important it is to have some serious productivity and time management tools under our girl boss belts.
Crazy time management hacks? You name it — we’ve tried it!
But we’ve finally found the tools and strategies to help us reclaim our time, schedules, priorities, and sanity!
Today, we’re walking you through four of our favorite proven time management and productivity strategies so you can find the best ones that work for YOU! It’s time to go from hot-mess to productive powerhouse!
So, if you’re tired of putting your girls boss goals and dreams on the backburner, are ready to commit to achieving your goals, and want to learn how to make time work for you, then keep on reading, girl
But first, let’s kick out procrastination & distractions.
Use A Website Blocker:
A website blocker works by making sites or apps inaccessible for a set period of time, removing the distraction all together.
Need to focus on writing? Set your website blocker to block all social media sites for five hours. So, even if you’re tempted to browse Facebook, your computer blocks the site from appearing!
Our favorite website blocker? Check out FocusMe!
There’s no need to do it alone, girl! Have a girl boss friend keep you accountable to your goals.
Every other week, meet up for a Girl Boss Brekkie to check-in with each other on the progress you’ve made on your goals! So, when you fall off the bandwagon, she’ll help you get back on track with a new plan of action. Plus, you’ll get the motivation and encouragement you need!
If you don’t already have a girl boss friend in mind, then attend a local female entrepreneur meetup to find one! You can also utilize Facebook groups, like our Bucketlist Bombshells Community, to find a virtual accountability partner!
Improve Your Environment:
When you’re working on your goals, surround yourself in an environment that motivates and inspires you! It’s important to make a conscious effort to create a space that excites you to sit down and get to work.
So, grab a comfy chair, your favorite candle, a motivating quote, a hot latte in hand and get your pump-up tunes playing. I promise you’ll be able to stay focused longer and feel inspired!
It’s also important to change up your environment. Have at least three go-to places that you like to work from. So, when you need a refresh, you have some options for a change of scenery. Your creative juices will keep flowin’ and you’ll be re-inspired with the tasks you’re working on!
Now that you’ve got your procrastination in check, let’s chat about the 4 strategies we use to make the most of our time and get tasks accomplished.
You’ll want to experiment and test each method to find the best one(s) that works for you!
SO, raise your hand if you currently struggle with:
- Procrastinating or waiting until the last minute to get something done
- Taking forever to complete a task that should be completed in less time
- Getting easily distracted by everything around you and losing focus
- Struggling to stay motivated to accomplish your tasks
- Trying to multitask to get more things done, more quickly
You’re not alone, girl! But we’re happy to report that these methods will help you combat those struggles and allow you to be more productive.
1. The Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro Method is taking your time and breaking it into intensely focused 25-minute chunks. Each 25-minute chunk is called a “Pomodoro.”
It works as training for your brain (just as fitness is for your muscles), forcing it to focus on a task fully for 25 minutes, then taking a 5-10 minute break. After every 4-5 rounds, you can take a longer 20-30 minute break.
Taking breaks is just as important as focusing since your brain needs to digest the information and detach from the task at hand. Sometimes during these breaks you may even get a bolt of creative ideas or breakthroughs!
Here’s what the process looks like:
- Start a 25-minute timer
- Work until the timer rings
- Take a short, 5-minute break
- Every four pomodoros (focus periods), take a longer break—usually 20-30 minutes
If 25 minutes of staying fully committed to a task is too difficult to achieve in the beginning, you can start with 15 minutes and then work your way up. Sooner or later, you’ll get to the point where you won’t even notice when the 25 minutes have passed!
We love that the Pomodoro Method gives flexibility. You won’t feel pressured. All you have to do is choose a task, set the time, and focus on completing the task!
Now, your task may not be completed in 25 minutes, but you might just be surprised by how much you can accomplish in 25 minute chunks when you’re solely focused on the task at hand!
Overall, the benefits of the Pomodoro Method come from the frequent breaks, which help your mind stay fresh. The focused time blocks also force you to stick to fixed limits, so you’ll be encouraged to complete a task more quickly, or, in the case of a large task, spread it out over a number of pomodoros.
Here are five great Pomodoro Apps that we recommend:
2. The MIT Method
The MIT (Most Important Task) Method is all about how to prioritize your tasks!
All of your tasks are going to lead up to accomplishing your one big project, but you have to figure out which tasks you need to be working on first and which ones you can deprioritize.
So if you’re a designer, before you can design your website, you first need to define your services and choose your pricing!
The MIT Method is all about focusing on the essential. Rather than writing out a massive to-do list and trying to get it all done, determine the 1-3 tasks that are absolutely essential and then relentlessly focus on those tasks during the day!
Once you determine your 1-3 most important tasks, focus on them first. This way, you make progress on essential items before you get bombarded by distractions or you only have a bit of time left in your schedule.
By focusing obsessively on your most important tasks, every timeblock (the time you set aside to work on your goals) is productive. You never feel as though you wasted the time you set aside for completing your goals! And that’s such a great feeling!
Choosing the most important tasks that need to happen first is going to make the biggest impact on getting closer to your big goals!
Personally, we like to combine the MIT Method with the Pomodoro Method to incorporate refreshing breaks and work in laser-focused chunks!
3. The Batching Technique
The Batching Technique is when you complete a series of similar tasks all at once instead of spreading them out over time.
So, say you want to write one blog post a week. Instead of writing, formatting and scheduling one blog post each week, try batching four blog posts for the entire month. This turns a weekly task into a monthly task!
The Batching Technique improves productivity because you’re focusing on one type of task and doing it in greater quantities. This will actually improve your ability to complete that task faster and more accurately. It also goes hand in hand with the concept of focusing on one task at a time!
Looking for other tasks that you can use the Batching Technique on? Try pre-scheduling social media content, writing weekly newsletters, and taking photos for your blog content!
4. The Big Wins vs. Small Wins Method
In the Big Wins vs. Small Wins Method, you’re playing off your feeling of accomplishment and gaining momentum from that. It goes hand in hand with the MIT Method.
With this method you have two options:
- Do the hardest task first so everything else feels easier.
- Do the easiest task first to build up some momentum.
The first option will immediately pay off as your remaining tasks will feel easy by comparison. This creates a snowball effect since you have such a running head start. The rest of the tasks will feel super doable and you’ll have a sense of excitement to dive into completing the rest of them!
The second option will help ease you into the work process, lowering the chances of procrastination. Using the small wins option, you’re still tackling your MITs, but you’re focusing on the ones that take the least amount of time. This way, your sense of accomplishment comes from checking off multiple tasks versus checking off one big task!
Don’t Forget to Celebrate
Although you’re now a productivity queen, we don’t want you to fall into what so many women do when they accomplish their goals quickly:
They forget to stop, practice gratitude, and celebrate!
It’s so important to reflect back on the previous month and write down 3-5 things you’re grateful for related to your accomplishments, no matter if they were big or small.
And once you reach a big milestone (like launching your solopreneur website) make time in your schedule to celebrate this huge win!
Whether you prefer a nice dinner out or a spa day, it’s important to take time to reward yourself for all your hard work and the sacrifices you’re making to create this dream life of yours!
Now, go test what productivity method works best for you and get to chasing those girl boss dreams of yours!