Most wedding professionals have a fairly flexible work routine as many of us work from home. With that comes many challenges including the ability to stay productive and manage your time. Work-life-balance is something that is hard to achieve when working from home, however there are plenty of tricks you can implement to help yourself stay focused, grounded, motivated and above all else happy with your choice.
I’m going to start by asking you a couple of questions. How did you start the day today? What is the first thing you did once you sat at your desk? (After the coffee and the breakfast.) Was it something useful and productive? Did you advance your business in any way? I have to fight my gut instinct every morning to jump on Facebook. I mostly use the website to keep up with my personal relationships and I do like to start out my day checking out all my friends updates, photos, etc. But I know that if I spend the first minutes of my day on Facebook, the minutes often turn into hours. It’s not the best use of my time.
That first hour of your work day is critical to how the rest of your day will go. Make the most of it. Give yourself this first hour each day to work on something without any interruptions: no email, no social media, no phone calls. Focus on your hardest task of the day or a project to work “ON” your business. So often we let distractions rule our workflow. Start the day on a positive note by having one hour of uninterrupted productivity. By starting the day with an ACCOMPLISHMENT you’ll start ahead, instead of feeling like you’re playing catch up all day long.
Rather than focusing on not having enough time, think about what you do have enough time for each day. Try starting work promptly. Half an hour or an hour wasted here on procrastination or distractions is costly. Remember if you value your time then other people will do the same, no matter you work from and when things get really pressurised and you’re tight for time, ignore email completely & shut it down. Try switching your email off for designated times each day for less distraction – works wonders for me.
Have set working hours & try to stick to them. Don’t let work creep into your lounge every evening. Schedule your social media and updates. You don’t have to be there all of the time. It is a HUGE distraction.
Try auditing your time for a week. Where do you spend your time each day? Where is your time going? Use the results of your audit to see where you can redistribute a little of your time. You can achieve a lot in 30 minutes so never waste it because it is a small increment of time. Take mini breaks when you need them during the day to recharge and refocus. We all need down time.
So here are my top 5 productivity and time management tips for wedding pros:
- Stop keeping To Do lists in your head. Write it down. Give your head some space.
- Get a different perspective. Open the window. Go for a walk. Get some fresh air. Make a coffee. You’ll be amazed how much this helps to clear your mind and give you the ability to refocus.
- Use a drive in the car for thinking & unwinding. Use it as time out & don’t jump on hands-free.
- Take a digital detox and go offline for 24 hours. Lock your smartphone or tablet away and see just how much you get done then.
- Keep it real and keep it flexible. Let’s be realistic here… nothing is perfect. Trying to perfectly control your day isn’t going to work any better than having no plan at all. I’ve lost count the many times I’ve had a day all mapped out only to have an urgent assignment or project crop up that needs my immediate attention. You WILL have interruptions. You need to have flexibility in your schedule or it won’t work.
Identifying the reasons why I experience periods of unproductivity has been really good for me. I feel less guilty. I beat myself up less. And, I’m able to work around the problem instead of trying to battle it.