How to Get Stuff Done and Be More Productive

No matter what your job is, we all struggle with motivation and time management once in awhile. I'm a freelancer and I work from home, sometimes this can be quite a challenge but over the years I have learnt some really useful productivity methods that make my working day so much more efficient and enjoyable.

Today I wanted to share my favourite methods in the hope that you will be inspired and energised to get all your jobs done fast! There's nothing worse than that feeling of dread when you have a project that needs to be completed so I hope that these various tasks and ideas will help you knuckle down and feel really positive about your work ethic. Please also feel free to watch the video that goes along with this blog post especially if you can't be bothered to read everything I've written here!

This stunning office was created by my favourite interior designer Emily Henderson
Timeboxing or Pomodoro Technique

My favourite way to stay motivated and on track is to use the time boxing or the Pomodoro method. This basically means that you work for a certain amount of time and when that time is up you take a break. I found my most effective time is working in 25 minute segments and then I give myself a 5 minute break. This works so well as you know at the end of your working time you will be rewarded with a break. If you're working for longer then yourself with a longer break, so if you're working for an hour at a time give yourself a 15 minute break. This might sound immature and a method used for badly behaved children but it really works! After my 25 minutes is up are use the 5 minute break to make myself a cup of tea,  do some stretches or to watch a short YouTube video et cetera.

Keep Things Tidy

Creating a pleasant and clean environment is really important. No matter where you work, make sure that your desk or workspace is really clean and tidy, stressfree and as pretty as you would like to make it. I personally like a very tidy workspace so I only keep my computer, notepad and some pens on my desk. Everything else is kept tidied away at all times! I also make sure that all my work is put away before Simon gets home from work so that our living room doesn't always feel like my office! You might want to buy yourself a few nice picture frames, fresh flowers, your favourite mug or whatever other decorative elements you would like to have on your desk. This will really help cheer things up.

Music or Silence?

I find certain music quite distracting so I prefer to listen to instrumental music with no singing involved! I obviously have a personality that gets easily distracted as I often find myself typing the words of the lyrics rather than whatever I meant to be writing about! I have a few of my favourite bands I would like to recommend you here but obviously choose what ever music you enjoy listening to you. Just make sure that you're not distracted! I really adore listening to 1920's and 30s instrumental jazz like Ragtime but I also listen to bog standard classical music as well. Two of my favourite modern bands are Balmorhea and Lullatone, they both make incredibly relaxing and ambient instrumental music that is fantastic when you need to concentrate.

Modern Bohemian Desk Space via Emily Henderson
Keep Hydrated

It's really important to make sure that you're well hydrated and you might also want to keep some snacks nearby if you get easily distracted when you're hungry. Like I mentioned before I stop every hour or so to make myself a cup of tea but I also have a large glass of water on my desk at all times. Try to snack on healthy foods that also give your brain a bit of a boost like nuts, seeds and fruit if possible. You might also want to avoid drinking too much caffeine as this can have an adverse effect on productivity, I personally feel quite stressed and jittery when I have too much coffee or tea.

Do The Boring Jobs First

Do the most boring job first, or at the very least try not to put it off for too long. I recently had a job which involved me filling in four very stressful looking forms and I put it off for weeks on end. One evening Simon very kindly offered to talk me through it and to my surprise it was really simple and we got it done within 15 minutes. This just goes to show that the more you put something off the more terrifying or stressful job can seem. The sooner you do something that you don't like the look of the sooner I'll be over.

Take a Break from your Environment

It's also really important to remove yourself from your work environment once in awhile. Obviously, you need to take breaks but it's also crucial to have time away from your desk. I usually take myself out at least once a day to either have a walk around my local neighbourhood, have meetings or just to meet up with a friend for coffee. I'm quite lucky that I have a few good friends who live nearby me who are also freelancers and they're always up for meeting up for a chat! You may also want to consider renting a studio space if you really don't enjoy working at home or find yourself getting distracted. There's a company called We Work that offer desk spaces for various different businesses so you might want to look at them, they have buildings all over the world so hopefully there will be one near you.

Enjoy watching the video! I hope you found these points useful and best of luck with your to do list.

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