Hello. My name is Karah. And I’m a procrastinator.
But, really, it’d be awesome to have a support group for fellow slackers such as myself… haha… *nervous laugh*.
Okay, so I’m not really THAT bad. I could be much worse. But, when I’m faced with a massive to do list and very little time, it’s so tempting to put off the mundane and turn my attention to more exciting things.
Anyways, as a mom, I’ve found that waiting until the last minute and raising two spunky girls do not mix well. Who knew life as a stay-at-home mom could be so chaotic?! I mean, really! I thought I’d have all the time in the world to do what I wanted whenever I wanted!
Between endless laundry (my dearest husband cannot wear a single article of clothing more than once before needing to wash it. UGH!) and the countless house projects that I need to get to “someday”, it seems like I never have time to focus on the things I want to do like spending quality time with Phil, consistently working with Teeny on her reading, or even this blogging thing.
4 Tricks for Better Results
That’s where these four productivity hacks come in. I LOVE them. Seriously, depending on my need for the day I use one, a few, or even all of them to get. It. DONE! Once I started utilizing these tricks, I instantly noticed an increase in the amount I was able to get done each day. It felt so good! And, I’m excited to share them with you. Be sure to let me know what you think.
So, here they are! My top 4 productivity hacks for overcoming procrastination:
1. Note Card Planning
This hack is so simple and fitting for my personality (I’m literally addicted to school/office supplies *shrugs*) so when I discovered it, I was immediately hooked. Every night as I’m winding down, I take a 3×5 note card (get fun colors to make it more exciting!) and I write down my three most important tasks for the following day in order of priority, adding a little box next to each to check them off once they’re complete. Then, I make a short list of other tasks I could work on once I complete the first three. Most of the time I only make it through the most important, but some days, my note card is completely checked off and it feels great! I love this method because it’s so simple yet effective and I can slip the note card into my wallet or the back of my phone case to keep with me throughout the day. This helps to always have it reminding me of the things I’ve agreed with myself to do. Give it a try!
2. Power Hour
More often than I like to admit, I put off the important tasks for my day with the excuse that my house is too much of a disaster to focus on anything else. While this may be true, it’s not a good enough reason to waste my whole day in the name of “cleaning”. Once I realized that this was a serious problem for me, I started implementing what has been dubbed “The Power Hour”. Now this is not something of my own design, but I’ve used it enough that even Phil’s taken up to implementing “Power Hours” to help me get stuff done.
How it works: Make a mental road map of the tasks you need to get done (or write them down if that’s better for you), then set a timer for 60 minutes. As soon as you hit start on that time, go as quickly (and efficiently) through each task as you can, being sure to finish one before starting another. It always helps me to blast some 30 Seconds to Mars or Paramore while I’m having one of my Power Hours to keep me hyped. This hack has worked wonders for me!
If I can feel myself making excuses as to why I can’t do my important tasks, I give myself one hour to bust out as much cleaning and organizing as I possibly can. And, most of the time, I get my whole house picked up enough to allow my mind to focus on what’s most important.
3. Electronics Time-Frame
This next productivity hack was shared in one of my BYU-Idaho Pathway gatherings and I immediately loved it. The discussion was on ways to limit wasting time on electronics, something that I seriously struggle with. The idea is to schedule in a time to allow yourself to “veg” on Facebook or Instagram or whatever your preference may be (Netflix, anyone?) So, depending on your daily habits and/or needs, you’d allow yourself no more than two hours of tech time throughout the day, preferably not all at once. Then, as you get used to following a schedule for using electronics, you’ll gradually decrease the amount of time each day to a mere 30 minutes (or whatever you feel is an acceptable amount of time).
Taking it one step further, I also do my best to plan my “screen time” somewhere in the evening hours so that it’s easier to focus on the necessities of my day first. I know that if I get stuck on my phone or watching TV first thing in the morning, then my whole day can get away from me really quickly. Just knowing myself well enough to schedule screen time for evenings has saved me a lot of time. And I’m much less addicted to social media nowadays, which feels great!
4. “Five… Four… Three… Two… One… BLAST OFF!!!”
This next hack is the ultimate of all hacks. If you’ve ever heard of Mel Robbins, then you’ve heard of this little trick she came up with a few years ago that completely transformed her life. It’s called “The 5 Second Rule” and she’s got an excellent self-help book out about it by the same title that I highly recommend.
While I have not had the same results as she with this tool, it has still proven extremely effective in helping me throughout my days to stop procrastinating those things that I love to put off.
Because I loved her book and I feel that I will never do it justice to try to summarize, I’ll encourage all my readers to grab a copy of it for themselves (I chose to do the Audible version, but you can find the e book here and a hard copy here). Seriously, Mel’s energy as she recounts her story of discovering the 5 Second Rule is intoxicating. While you’re listening to her throughout the book, you’ll feel so much excitement to get out and do all of those things you’ve been wanting to do for so long. I cannot encourage you enough to read this book!
Anyways, the idea behind Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule is this: when you are hit with the thought or push to do something – ANYTHING – that will better you and your life in any way, no matter how fleeting the impression, stop immediately and slowly count down from 5 to 1. As soon as you hit one, you do that thing that you were impressed upon to do. No second thoughts; no allowing yourself to weigh the pros and cons; no “But now’s just not a good time”; JUST DO IT! You can even add in the interjection “BLAST OFF!!!” at the end to make your task feel more urgent when you start.
How this rule has helped me: I’m the queen of excuses as to why things can be done later. And, yeah, often times they can be done later, but later is almost never as good as right now. So, I decided to put this little hack to use in my everyday life. Instead of putting off doing the laundry, I “5…4…3…2…1…” in my head and just go get it done. Also, with my goal for blogging, rather than letting writer’s block take me captive, I apply the 5 Second Rule, set a time, and just write whatever comes to my mind, even if it’s pure nonsense.
Because this works!
Out of all of these hacks, “the 5 Second Rule” one is by far my favorite. I’ve determined this year that I will apply this so much more along with “courage” to my many ambitions. I can’t wait to see how different 2018 is going to be from my last 29 years of life.
So, there they are: my favorite productivity hacks. I must say that I’m still a procrastinator; I always will be. But, I definitely get A LOT more done now that I’ve applied these simple tools to my daily routine.
Now, it’s your turn. What productivity hacks to do you love and swear by? I’d love to hear them, so please comment or send me a quick email. If I get some good ones, I’ll do a part two. Or, if you read this post and decide to try out one or all of these hacks I’ve mentioned, I’d love to hear your experiences and/or successes.
I look forward to hearing from you!