• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Productivity: Is your routine working for you?


I’ve been working a lot on my personal routine lately. I’ve been suffering from a little bit of burn out and have had a hard time finding my stride, since I’ve also had a lot going on in my life outside of my online writing career.

As a result, I’ve been thinking more and more about what I can do to improve my routine, and I’ve been making it a point to pay attention to what works — and what doesn’t — when it comes to my productivity.

Here are my tips for adjusting your routine and improving your productivity.

Pay attention to your work routine

Part of what I’ve been doing is paying attention to my work routine. When do I get the most done? When is my work easier to do? When do I have the most focus? I already know that I work best in the morning.

After really looking at my workflow, I decided to try to schedule phone interviews and other non-writing tasks for the afternoon. That way, I have more of an uninterrupted workflow during the time that I am most likely to get work done. I’ve also moved answering emails (unless it looks urgent) to the evening. It’s the last thing I do before bed. Making these small tweaks, based on my workflow, has helped a lot.

I also pay attention to how well I work, depending on my location. I get a lot more done when I sit at my desktop in my dedicated home office space. Sitting on the couch with my laptop just doesn’t seem to be as effective.

By looking at my work routine, I’ve been able to increase my productivity quite a bit. I’m still battling burnout, but am getting more done in general.

Remember to stay flexible

Establishing a routine and a workflow takes a little effort and tinkering, but once you have it down, it’s usually possible to move things along smoothly. What’s hard is when a wrench gets thrown into the process.

Not too long ago, my son’s teacher sent out a frantic email, asking for parents to accompany the class on a field trip. I decided to go, even though that’s not really my thing, because I felt I should help out since I was technically available.

That field trip destroyed the four hours of my morning work routine that are most productive for me. So, what happens when you get off track? Unfortunately, I’m still not entirely sure how to deal with such situations gracefully. I tried to cram in extra work, and though I got some things done, I wasn’t overly happy with the quality or speed of the work.

One thing I’m starting to do: if I come to the end of my day’s work before the optimal productivity has run its course, I work ahead. Being able to work ahead a little bit, when you feel like getting things done, can provide you with more flexibility in your schedule. That way, when the unexpected does come up, the interruption to your routine isn’t devastating.