Being a full time travel blogger is a lot more work than lounging in the pool all day. Not only am I traveling all the time, but I’m also writing blog posts, creating social media posts on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, creating graphics for said social media channels, creating material for my consulting business, consulting budding bloggers and influencers, pitching to brands for my marketing business, doing all kinds of research – you catch my drift. I work about 105 hours and week and it still doesn’t seem like enough.
No matter what your job is, I’m sure you feel like you’re constantly pulled in a million different directions. Whether you’re a full time mom or a budding entrepreneur, here are few tips that have helped me keep it together and feel a functioning member of society.
1. use a planner
Up until this year I used a “digital planner,” aka my phone’s calendar, which was not working. Because of social media, I have endless alerts popping up on my phone and the calendar alerts simply get lost. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I feel like having my to-do list on paper staring me in the face might help.
2. schedule a scheduling day
One day a week sit down and plan out your week in your planner. Of course unforeseen things will pop up during your week, but if you have a structure to start with its less likely that things will fall through the cracks. For me this includes writing a blog post at least twice a week (fingers crossed), scheduling all of my social media posts, shooting photos, consulting, planning trips, etc. I even go as far as scheduling house cleaning and grocery shopping since I have so much on my plate these days.
3. Complete Your hardest Tasks first
I am the queen of procrastination – every day is a struggle. Seriously. Though I haven’t been able to organize my time well overall, this tip really does help. If you conquer your hardest task first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will seem a bit brighter and you’ll be more likely to stay on track instead of having a difficult task looming over you.
4. Give yourself a time frame And then stop
It’s easy to get lost in a task. Maybe you hit a mental roadblock or maybe the task is just taking a lot longer than you thought it would. Either way, don’t neglect all the other tasks at hand because something takes a little longer than you thought it would. Move on to the next task on your list when time is up and then circle back after all of your other tasks are done. This way you won’t get hung up on one thing and you’ll still feel accomplished at the end of the day.
5.Listen to Classical music
It’s scientifically proven that classical music helps you focus. If you’ve never listened to classical before you may need to try a few different types before you find one you like. I usually have pretty good luck pulling up random classical playlists on YouTube. Hone in on that laser-focus friends!
6. Buy a filing folder / organization system
If you have a lot of stuff you might need a filing cabinet, but if you’re just starting out then a filing folder will be just fine. Whether you’re categorizing trip receipts, business contracts, or old to-do lists, having one spot for all of your important documents will help keep you sane. I even keep my passport right up front in mine. I’ve used my filing folder to keep track of moving documents, brand contracts, trip receipts and more. It’s worth the small investment for sure!
7. get 8 hours of sleep
In all seriousness I think I am the only person I know that regularly gets 8 hours of sleep. Most people I know get 4 to 6 hours a night, and that’s just not going to cut it if you want to be optimally productive. If your brain isn’t functioning properly, one task that should take an hour could end up taking up half of your day. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you aren’t effected by less sleep. You’re not special. Now, go to bed!
8. laser-focus on the task at hand
Looking at a to-do list can be overwhelming if you start to worry that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. If you freak yourself out you’ll stop being as productive. Focus on one task at a time and then move onto the next. Try to keep outside stimuli away – i.e. don’t pick up your phone or start browsing the web. You can lose hours without realizing it.
9. don’t spread yourself too thin
I’m completely guilty of putting more on my plate than I should. I have a tendency to schedule tasks back to back with no cushion between. For example breakfast from 8 to 8:30 and then answering e-mails from 8:30 to 9 – what time are you going to wash the dishes Nicole?!?! Schedule in 15-30 minutes between tasks. If you don’t need it great – you’re ahead of schedule.
10. schedule “me time”
No time to breathe? Make time. Schedule the damn time! We get so wrapped up in work and chores that we rarely remember to take care of ourselves. Our sanity is the only thing that’s going to get us through each day, so don’t push yourself aside. Get a manicure or a blow out, binge watch your favorite show on Netflix, or enjoy a nice meal and glass of wine – make a night of it. Do you boo boo.