Saturday, July 29, 2017

Back To School Productivity Hacks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #samsungtargettech #CollectiveBias 
This fall I will be doing something I have been dreaming of doing since I had my first child: going back to college and finishing my degree. Starting college is stressful enough when you’re 18 years old. But when you add ten years to your age, plus a full-time job, a spouse and a few kids, starting college (or going back) can be a major challenge. 
Whether you have a side job, are going back to school or just want to be more productive during the kiddos naps, I hope some of these tips will work for you as well as they have for me.
1. Prep your schedule

Being organized is essential to increase your productivity (and avoid stress). Keeping a planner and a planner app to keep you on track is key. At the start of each month, I  jot down all deadlines, activities and chores (then make additions every week), but making time to plan ahead definitely makes it so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Balancing working from home (on this site) while having little ones at home takes some work, planning, discipline and a lot of compromising (especially on days when I have to wake up at 4 am to meet a deadline or forgo an outing to finish up work). But, I can't complain too much, because I love what I do, and it allows me to be home with my babies!
I recently upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S8 (since Target has an amazing deal where you receive a $200 GiftCardTM with the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+. You can check back here for future GS8 or GS8+ promotions at Target) and it is doing wonders for my productivity.

I'm so glad I made the switch, not only has it been a simple transition but it has given me the freedom to get my work done wherever I go & on my own schedule. And, since it has the largest screen and most powerful processor, I know it can handle just about everything I throw it's way.
2. Time Block
I'm a big believer in time blocking. I use a highlighter to mark my days into timed sections: Clean at 7-8 am, Blog work at 11-12 pm, Park outing at 4-5:30 pm. This lets you devote a specific time of your day to a must-do task, while helping you to not overbook yourself.
3. Batch Process

Batch process is something I have been converted to this year.
It eliminates the need to context switch, and encourages you to complete a specific task in batches to increase efficiency. So, if you have meals you can make ahead, prep them all at once. Or if you have chores you need to get done, do them all at once. Doing things this way really helps to keep you focused, and saves you time & energy.
I often do this with my photography when I have multiple upcoming deadlines, I just schedule one day to take all the pictures, then another one to do all the editing and another to write the drafts. Breaking it into chunks this way just makes it much more manageable!
4. Schedule time for yourself

Don’t stop doing the things you love. Life is meant to be enjoyed. I keep a healthy balance with the 8/8/8 rule: sleep eight hours, work eight hours and play eight hours with family and friends.  
5. Surround yourself with all the right resources

Create a space that you can focus and get work done. As important as it is to eliminate distractions, it's also crucial that you surround yourself with the things that promote a good work environment. So, if pretty stationary makes you more motivated to work, or maybe having the latest technology at your fingertips makes you feel more empowered & capable of completing your tasks, then set those things in place- so you don't sabotage productivity!
One thing I've really come to appreciate since getting the GS8 is the fast wireless charging, because it doesn't slow me down and I can power-up without having to plug-in to an outlet (hello unlimited possibilities).
Ps. you can find the Samsung Galaxy S8 at your local Target store.

What are your biggest tips for staying productive?