Productivity and Time Management Hacks

June 6, 2023

Schedules have never been busier for parents and singles alike. While there is no way around the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, you may be able to optimize your time. The productivity and time management hacks below will help you get more done in less time—and with less stress! 

#1 Reprioritize

After spending almost 2 full years at home, most of us realized that we weren’t investing our time in what mattered most. We committed to doing things differently once we returned to a more structured daily routine. As things opened back up, our schedules slowly filled back up. 

This isn’t because we forgot our priorities, but because we were eager to return to the activities we couldn’t enjoy the last couple of years. That leaves many of us right back to being as overextended as we were before. 

There is no time like the present, making now the ideal time to evaluate what is most important. Our spouse, partner, children, family, close friends—and ourselves. 

Don’t forget the last one ladies! You deserve time for yourself, including your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  

#2 Say No

In order to reprioritize your life, you must learn to decline things that don’t align with your priorities. Sometimes, this means you need to say “no” to activities and obligations you have always said “yes” to. 

Even the most independent women in the world have been conditioned to put everyone else first. You aren’t alone if you feel guilt or shame when you say no or don’t do what family, friends, or society expects of us. You may also feel the need to explain why you are declining, but you don’t have to do that either.

It will be uncomfortable at first, but it will get easier. Keep your “no” short and sweet, maybe something like, “Unfortunately, that doesn’t fit in my schedule right now.” 

And YES, this can include removing items from your schedule that are no longer aligned. 

#3 Delegate

We can’t discuss productivity and time management hacks, without covering the art of delegation. You can delegate in both your personal and professional life. 

Personally, delegation often requires asking for what you need from your family, spouse, partner, and even your kids. 

For example, assigning walking the dog, cleaning the litter box, and other age-appropriate chores to your children. 

Professionally, it means asking for help and empowering those around you to do what they do best, while lightening your load. 

Both personally and professionally, this might include outsourced help. With on-demand pickup and delivery, shopping services, and task management services outsourcing help has never been easier. 

With the right team in place, you can do it all! 

#4 Get Up an Hour Earlier

Getting up just 30 to 60 minutes earlier can set a positive tone for the entire day. How you invest this time may vary from one day to the next or may become an AM ritual. The objective is to accomplish something just for you before the rest of the house wakes up. Aka—no checking your email during this time. 

A few ideas of how to start your day off include:   

  • Meditation, gratitude journaling, affirmations, or other mindfulness practices. 
  • Yoga or an at-home workout to boost your energy and whole-body health.
  • Working on a personal project that you don’t have time for otherwise. 
  • Easing into your day with coffee, tea, and a non-rushed shower. 
  • Reading, journalling, daily devotions, or doing anything that brings you joy.

#5 Use a Planning System 

While it might just sound like another thing to add to your to-do list, planners are powerful productivity and time management hacks. 

You are sure to have a digital calendar or two, maybe even several calendars, including your personal and professional obligations, and separate calendars for each member of your family. Keep your calendars, and utilized their notifications and reminder systems, but also invest in a planning system. 

Planning systems minimize what falls through the cracks. They also ensure you take a strategic and intentional approach to everything from your weekly meals to your fitness schedule, wellness, and goal setting.  

Your planning system options are endless and include both digital and paper planners. While we live in an increasingly digitized world, many are returning to paper planners. This is because putting pen to paper improves intention, commitment, and focus. 

#6 Time Block 

Multitasking is inevitable, especially if you have children. However, you must also time block at home and work. Time blocking is also referred to as monotasking. It is the concept of focusing your undivided attention on one task with no distractions. No kids, phone calls, text, email, or social media. 

To optimize this time, schedule it at your most productive time of day. You can time block for between 1 and 4 hours per day. The longer you go, the more essential it is to take a quick break in between. 

Complete a challenging task during this time or a task you enjoy and want to complete without distraction. Without distraction, the quality of your work will improve and you are likely to invest less overall time. 

#7 Task Batch

Task batching is one of many productivity and time management hacks that optimizes your time. It is the concept of completing similar tasks at the same time. 

This could include:

  • Chopping and prepping food and vegetables for the next few days. 
  • Folding multiple loads of laundry at the same time, instead of one load at a time.
  • Making personal or professional phone calls in the same time block.
  • Checking your emails at set times 1 to 3 times per day, instead of as emails come in. 
  • Creating and prescheduling your professional social media posts for the week.  

#8 Unplug Daily

A recent survey showed that on average, Americans check their phones 344 times per day! This constant checking of your phone, or responding to every notification, can contribute to decision fatigue. 

Decision fatigue is the concept that you only have a limited amount of quality decisions you can make each day. Yes, you can continue making decisions all day long, but the more decisions you make in a day—the less likely you are to consider all your options. 

Unplugging can be extremely uncomfortable, as many of us check our phones on autopilot. However, it can help you focus better, sleep better, and improve the quality of time with friends, family, and colleagues. 

Consider unplugging:

  • The first and last hour of the day.
  • During meals, even when eating solo.
  • During meetings and conversations. 
  • For blocks of time on the weekend. 

Like anything, the productivity and time management hacks above take practice. Begin with one or two, and once they become a habit, move on to another. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day or off week. Just begin again fresh the next day! 

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