We live in a world where everyone is trying to be a #girlboss. Don’t get us wrong, we love this mentality. Yes to people feeling empowered, hustling towards their dreams and not stopping till they get there! We work super hard on Atlas, and we’ve all got busy lives. Most of us work other full times jobs while still producing this magazine… yes, we are mad. However, throughout the years that we’ve been working on Atlas, we’ve definitely learnt a thing or two on how to be more productive. So whether you’re a freelancer working from home, or you’re working a 9-5, these tips might just help you be a bit more productive in your day to day life.
Switch Your Phone Off (or at least put it on airplane mode): Oh my god, this must be one of our biggest vices, ever. It’s so tempting to check what’s going on on Instagram, to see what your friend got up to last weekend on Facebook, or have a quick scroll through Twitter. What tends to happen when you start, is you just can’t stop. We’ve all been guilty of this, and the best solution to the problem has simply been to switch our phones off. That might seem mental to you at first, because the FOMO is real, but we promise, after a few days you’ll have finished so much work that you’ll realise just how effective it is. You won’t even miss it!
Remove Your Emails From Your Phone: We get a lot of emails; sometimes hundreds a day. In the early days, we used to check them on our phone and then answer them on our computers when we got home. However, we quickly ran into a problem. We would read an email on our phone, tell ourselves we’d answer it later, and then get home to 10 more, read those 10, and forget to answer the first 10 we’d read while out. Recipe for disaster! So what did we do? Simply took emails off our phones. People can wait an hour or two between you going to the supermarket and getting home before they need an answer! Be smart and productive; remove your emails from your phone.
Keep Things Tidy: Tidy space, tidy mind? It seems so naggy and old fashioned, but it’s really true. If you surround yourself in clutter, you’re going to feel cluttered. Now we’re not saying that your desk (or workspace) needs to be #instaready at all times, but by removing the item which aren’t essential, your space will be less distracting in the long run. Think about what you use day to day, and have those things close by. For us, it’s our notebook, pens, a glass of water, our laptops, and maybe a nice candle burning!
Give Yourself A Timeline: This applies mainly to people who work from home, but it could apply to those of you working in an office as well! When you work from home, it becomes so easy to get bogged down with one task, and before you know it you’ve spent 5 hours figuring out “how to grow your Pinterest profile.” Although it might be very beneficial to your business to grow your Pinterest, it’s probably not beneficial if you spend 5 hours figuring out how! One way that we’ve found to really help us be productive with our time is to set an alarm. Sounds mad? We promise it works! If you know you’re someone who doesn’t notice the time fly by, setting yourself a time limit can really help. We’re not suggesting you rush through your work, but if you want to get things done, giving yourself an hour or two per task (depending on what it is you want to get done) and stopping when your alarm goes off can really help.
Write A List (But not one that’s too long!): Ah the wonder of lists! We’re obsessed with list making, be it for our personal lives, doing the food shopping or getting some serious work done. Having a list that you can refer to whenever you need to check what it is you need to get done can be seriously life changing. Everyone has their preferences, but we’ve found that writing one big to do list for the week ahead can be great. It can change week on week, depending on what we’ve got going on, but we write an “Atlas List,” and a “Personal List,” and cross off the tasks we’ve done as we do them. It seems so basic, but it works. If you need to be more focused on each day at a time, try writing a list the night before, and tackle it when you wake up.
Look Up The Bullet Journal System: If you’ve never heard of bullet journaling, you might want to get involved. It’s a rapid note taking system which we discovered at the beginning of the year, and it’s basically been a life changer. It seems like a very complicated system when you first look into it, but once you’ve understood it, it becomes really effective. We could try and explain it to you, but it’s probably easier if we just direct you to the official page. One tip though: there is an enormous, creative community of people involved in Bullet Journaling, and some of them are BEAUTIFUL. You can get a bit distracted by making a pretty journal instead of really using the system properly. Don’t let yourself feel pressure into producing a pretty journal; remember what it’s for — being productive!
Take Time Off: This one is probably what we find the hardest — just stopping. We’re all extremely dedicated, and we love what we do. Some days we’ve found ourselves working from 7am, and not stopping until 9pm at night. Sure, that’s great and shows passion and determination, but is it productive in the long run? Not really. What we’ve found is that when we set ourselves “work hours” has been incredibly beneficial. Some people are more productive in the mornings, others late at night. If you’re lucky enough to be your own boss, figuring out when you work best and then using those times as your “work hours,” you’ll be surprised by just how much you get done. And when your work day is over, just switch off. Stop working, relax and recharge. In the long run yourself and your business will thank you.