I work from home and for myself, so being able to self motivate and be productive when no one is “making me” do it is definitely an acquired skill. Since I’ve been working in social media full time for the past three years I’ve definitely picked up some tricks on how to stay productive throughout the day to make sure I’m succeeding on the daily, so today I’m sharing my checklist that I try to go through every single day to make sure I’m hitting my goals. And if you want a copy of this that you can use daily to stay productive, check the link below for a free download!
I always like to start my day by getting the basics out of the way. This includes responding to messages I didn’t get around to the day before, cleaning up my work area, and looking through my emails. A clear inbox it a happy inbox! My usual is to go through all of my emails, delete the junk, answer the emails that can be responded to quickly, and then mark the most complicated emails as unread again to make sure I get to them later in the day when you need a break from a project.
Set a Schedule
Next up I always like to set a schedule for the day. Usually, I already have a to-do list written (from when I was stressing about everything that has to be done the next before), so I start there and prioritize. What has to get done today? What can wait until tomorrow? And from there I make a plan for myself. My day to day looks different almost every single day, so this is something that I do every day. If you have a more consistent schedule then you can probably do this on Sunday before the week starts and plan out the entirety of your week.
Pay Attention to Time Management
I’m planning on doing an entire post on time management (let me know in the comment if you’d like that!), but time management goes hand in hand with productivity. Spending too much time on small tasks can ruin your productivity for the rest of the day. When you’re making your schedule, try to set time limits, especially for small tasks, to ensure you’re using your time to the best of your ability.
Now it’s time to get to work! For me, this is content creation, but for you, it’s whatever you need to work on. Start making your way through your schedule and to-do list. Don’t worry if you don’t make it through everything. Since you prioritized tasks earlier in the day you’ll be sure to get all of your most important tasks done and the other small ones can get pushed to the next day if need be.
Don’t forget to take breaks every few hours. I’m so guilty of just working for hours and hours on end, but you’re actually more productive when you take breaks. Go for a walk, grab a coffee, close your laptop while you take your lunch. All of these are easy ways to take a break, clear your mind, refocus, and be more productive when you come back.
Reflect at the End of the Day
At the end of every day, it’s time to think back about what you got done and reflect on how productive you were. Every single day you want to do at least one thing that helps move you towards your goal. If you reflect at the end of the day on that then you’ll have a better idea of how productive you’re actually being. This kind of self-reflection is so important to grow in your career and in your life. It will help you better prioritize in the future and also help you feel accomplished at the end of the day.