It’s difficult to gauge productivity measures when you are your own boss. Here are three metrics I’ve discovered aptly measure my progress and time management capabilities on the job and how I can do better the next workday. Reporting to you live from my couch here’s a step by step guide on how you can decide for yourself, did I do enough today?
1. What hours are you naturally more productive during the day?
Before I return to my binge-watch with my boyfriend at his studio apartment I ask myself did I fully optimize my available time allotted for the day? Sometimes it’s good to become familiar with your traditional circadian rhythm to find out what hours of the day you’re more productive. Maybe you need to sleep in, get in that mindfulness meditation or go for a daily morning jog before you can be productive. After eating a protein-rich meal when do you feel the most alert? Try to schedule downtime for the hours your body and mind naturally unwind.
Great time management skills can make for optimum productivity skills. Use these methods as fun “time hacks” to get the most out of your workday.
It’s also important to have a designated workspace and a designated “chill” space. A healthy work-life balance is even more crucial to productivity and your well being during quarantine times. Here are some ways you can set up your work from home office to feel that separation of work and play. Having some green plants, an outdoor space to work, and natural light helps too!
2. Triple-check your email
If you’re in the freelance game like myself I guarantee you that consistently staying up to date on your email correspondence is a game changer! Proper email etiquette and timely responses are paramount in putting you at the forefront of more dedicated employees. Check out more tips and tricks to send the right kind of emails to remind the folks that hired you you’re not just slacking off and turning in half baked assignments minutes before the deadline. Interestingly enough it’s better to wait to respond to emails once you’ve blocked out your tasks for the day which brings me to my next productivity benchmark. I also like to add more pressing assignments to a google document for the week so I don’t waste time sorting through too many email correspondences.
3. Buy a notebook or calendar to block time and goals that need to be met
Everything is constantly in flux nowadays. This new normal can be difficult to adjust to but physically writing down what you need to get done that day and crossing off each one at their completion gives you a sense of closure and physical reminder you’re ready to tackle the next big project. In lieu of a boss micro-managing your tasks for you, here you can replicate that sense of pressure to see, ok what needs to get done next?
Put priorities at the top of that list. I also like to add more pressing assignments to an organized google document on my phone for the week so I don’t waste time sorting through too many email correspondences. Consider this your organized workspace which also optimized productivity according to this recent study.
Once you cross that project off consider it a free pizza party your boss threw in honor of all your hard work. That kind of positive reinforcement reward-driven incentive model has proven positive results in any work environment.
I know this year has been all over the place so why buy a planner? I assure you buying a planner and making a to-do list will make you feel so much better about calling it a day. This productivity blog gets into more benefits of sticking to a to-do list next,
“One of the most important reasons for keeping a to-do list is the organization. Organizing your tasks with a list can make everything much more manageable and make you feel grounded. Seeing a clear outline of your completed and uncompleted tasks will help you feel organized and stay mentally focused.”