pin-ponderings

How to get more done & be more productive when working for yourself - Part 1

Emma Goodson

If you work for yourself, especially if you work from home, you probably know that often it’s hard to concentrate and get things done. Usually there are distractions, either ones you make yourself (like scrolling aimlessly for hours on social media) or ones inflicted by others (like children, or dogs!)
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I've worked for myself for over 12 years now in some capacity, whether it has been whilst studying, working part time or even full time. And in that time, I’ve tried a lot of different productivity techniques, some that work and some that have resulted in an epic fail!
So, I thought it would be nice to share some methods I use to help myself get more done and be more productive with my time!
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Establish a routine.
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I must know what I’m doing all the time. I get anxious when I let one of my friends organise a day out or something because I hate not knowing what I’m doing at any given moment in time! There is probably a scientific name for people like me, control freak maybe? I get up at the same time every week day (I have a little lie in on a Saturday and a Sunday because I don’t go to the gym on a weekend) On a ‘school day’ I cycle to the gym to do exactly the same class at 6.30 for half an hour. It sounds boring but it’s a circuit class so the 8 – 12 stations change every day, so it doesn’t get boring! Exercising first thing in the morning really sets me up for my working day, it energises me and makes me feel good about myself, I find it really benefits my mental health and makes me feel less stressed about the day ahead. I then cycle home and have my breakfast, shower and get ready. I split cleaning the house up by room and do one room a day before I start work, I can’t stand the thought of spending a whole day cleaning the house! I then have dedicated studio time where I sew until my morning break and continue sewing again until lunch time. After I return from walking the dog, I’ll then start my afternoon tasks. I’ll crack on with these until 3 when I stop for a cuppa tea and a read. Back to work again until dinner, then either back to work for the evening or I’ll stop and binge watch something with Jordan. I always check my daily notes and schedule for the next day before I get into bed. And that’s pretty much my usual day! It may drive some of you crazy doing the same thing every day but knowing what I’m doing every day keeps me organised, focused and productive. It can sound counter-intuitive but developing a daily routine can help you feel more in control and help you make time for what’s important. 
Schedule your day the night before.
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If you want to be more productive when you work from home, planning out your day before hand really helps. Planning is essential to keeping organised and on track. I usually plan my week ahead on a Saturday, so I know exactly what I am doing each day. Then at the end of every day, I check my schedule for the next day, and add in any tasks that happen to pop up that need doing. I use Google Calendar as it syncs seamlessly between my laptop and my phone, and has a great drag and drop feature so i can easily move tasks around. If you stick to the schedule you've set for yourself, you'll feel accomplished that you've been productive with your time and got everything done that you needed to!
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Splitting your day up with different tasks.
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I get bored. Really easily. That’s part of the reason why I started my own business. I can’t sit still for very long, so I make things! To stop myself getting bored with the same tasks (like listing products online or editing photos) rather than spending the whole say doing the same thing, I split my day up into sections. Mornings are for making. I’m usually found at my sewing machine working on the next new collection. Afternoons are for something different, either answering emails, planning for the next collection, or writing blog posts! This helps me focus on the task at hand, because I know that if I don’t enjoy it, I only have to do it for a few hours or so then I can do something different. Variety is the spice of life as they say! Blocking different tasks throughout my day also helps me focus on one task at a time rather than multi-tasking and trying to do too much at once. 
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I have a few more tips & tricks to share with you, so stay tuned for Part 2!

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