How To Improve Your Productivity With A Busy Schedule

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Life can be very chaotic sometimes, especially when you're struggling with your organisation and not feeling productive. When you have a busy schedule, self-care and relaxation get pushed aside until everything is done. There are so many things to do during the week that productivity is non-negotiable. Here are some ways to improve your productivity, even with a busy schedule, so you can still have time to do nothing! 

Organise Your Time Wisely 

The number one way to improve your productivity is to schedule your time. Initially, it may take a while to get planning, but it is so worth it when you're meeting deadlines and smashing goals! Putting reminders on your phone or writing out a schedule is the key to organising your time wisely. When something important is written down, it finalises it and makes it seem like a more worthy task. The first way I'd recommend to organise your time is by using a planner.

I highly recommend the Master Mindset Diary as it gives you monthly and weekly overviews so you can plan your time better. There are also quotes, notes pages and a section to note down assignments! This helps keep me accountable and be less lazy. The second thing you can try is an online to-do list. I use an excel spreadsheet for planning blog content, but you could also use a chrome extension like Momentum Dash. 

Settle On Just One Task

Staying on a topic can be hard when your to-do list is filled with lots of tasks. You won't get around to doing everything on your list, and that can be demotivating. After you create a to-do list, you should schedule a time for each thing. Make sure when you're doing something, you focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking can make things happen faster, but it can also distract some people. I personally can't have Netflix in the background as I end up staring at the screen for too long. Settling on just one task at a time also helps you stay focused for longer. Blocking time and finishing something on your list is better than starting 10 tasks and completing none of them. 

Allow Breaks To Refresh Your Mind

Giving yourself time to take breaks actually improves productivity. Those who take breaks on average will complete more than those who don't, and the work is often of better quality. For every 50-60 minutes of work, take a 5-minute break. It's recommended that for every 52 minutes of work, you should take a 17minute break, but that's not always possible. You could treat yourself to a snack, take a walk around your room or even play a quick game. Having that little boost gives you a second wind and will motivate you to continue working. If you're on a roll and don't need a break, keep going, but take one when you start to burn out!

Put The Phone Down When Working

For most people, mobile phones are one of the leading causes of procrastination. Why work when you could watch Netflix or scroll through Instagram. You can keep your phone next to you, but switch it to silent. If you can't be next to it, try and put it in another room. There are also productivity apps which will lock your phone to avoid procrastination. Some will even allow you to grow a virtual tree when your phone is off! Turn your notifications off on your laptop and get to work! It may be tempting to turn over that phone, but think how good you'll feel when all your jobs are finished! Plus, those notifications will still be there when you come back.

Create A Work Environment

While some of us don't have the space for a home office, you should try to make a work environment. Sitting on a bed or sofa can make the work seem less important. It also encourages bad posture and procrastination. While you should opt for comfy clothes and a comfortable chair, try to avoid areas you associate with relaxation. If you work in your bed, you may find it hard to switch off properly, leading to tiredness. You could keep quotes on the desk as a daily reminder of your core values and mission. Decorative desk items can further enhance your workspace’s productiveness. If you don't have enough space, work at the table and add a cute plant to make things look nicer. Your working environment is important and determines how productive you'll be. Choose your space wisely! 

Find Successful People In Your Niche

Finding mentors striving for the same things you as you can improve your productivity. Healthy competition is a great way to promote productivity. For example, role models can influence our thoughts and feelings, so we strive to be like them. Seeing what others are achieving can push you to work harder so one day, you can be just as successful. Please note, tearing each other down for being successful is counterproductive. Use other people as inspiration, not as a success benchmark or an abuse target. You shouldn't compare your journey to theirs, but take it as a point of inspiration. Learn from how they did things and develop your own amazing habits and stories.

Find Your Own Motivation 

When I started my productivity journey, I needed to find my "why". You can't force yourself to do something as you'll loathe something you once had a spark for. I find listening that watching cleaning videos while I clean helps me to tidy better. I like listening to music while I list products on eBay as it makes me happy. I like watching TED talks when working as it inspires me to do something amazing. Finding out why you should take a leap can be difficult, but once you find a reason to start, you'll never want to stop. For example, my motivation for improving my lifestyle is because I was tired of waiting for others to do it. Find what pushes you to do better and create your own productive lifestyle. 

Take notes & Write Things Down

Take notes, make lists, doodle a little. It all helps, especially if you are into lettering or calligraphy and you can keep a pretty notebook. Having notes to look back on will help you to focus faster after breaks. Writing things down makes can also help you to remember things more clearly. It can improve your productivity as you'll remember all the things you have to do. I love using little revision cards to make themed notes with washi tape and pens to add colour. It's helpful to use flashcards when revising, but they can also be useful when you want to keep the same ideas together. 

Try To Find Your Real-life Analytics

No, not social media analytics! Find out what time of the day you are most productive, what room of the house gives you the most inspiration, which one of your loved ones gives you the most motivation, etc. Try to put all of these things together to find an environment that works best for you. If you can find out what works best for you, you can quickly increase your productivity by changing how you do things. For example, most people procrastinate while watching Netflix in the background or working in a bedroom. Keeping your phone on silent and working at a proper desk can help you to improve your productivity. I find that I also work best early morning. 

Know When To Call It Quits

If you force yourself to do something, you're going to loathe it. You can't be productive 24/7, so knowing when to stop is important. Differentiating between not wanting to do something and genuinely feeling overwhelmed or exhausted can be difficult. If you keep pushing yourself to do something you're not up to, you will not enjoy it anymore. For example, if you've been editing something for hours and you're no longer making progress, stop for a while. If you've been editing for 10 minutes and you're getting too distracted to even start, you could probably work for longer. You just need to find some motivation to do some work. You also need to have rest days to keep your mind at ease. Self-care days or just lazy days should be scheduled into your routine to avoid burnout.

Productivity helps to get things done and makes life a lot easier. But, it's important to know when to stop, and what is pushing you too hard. You can't be productive for every second of the day, it's not possible without a burnout. Even self-care can be productive because it's helping your mind and body to relax and reset. It's totally possible to have a busy schedule and be productive, it just takes a bit of organisation. What things help you to be productive? I'd love to hear what keeps you moving, even when all you want to do is watch another season on Netflix!

About The Guest Blogger

This blog post has kindly been written by Samantha Elizabeth, a Long Island high schooler! She is a small social media influencer and even runs a Youtube channel. She talks about productivity and lifestyle as well as a few other exciting topics! She loves to travel and try out new and exciting restaurants.

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  1. These are some great tips, and completely needed in a time where productivity is hitting an all time low for some people. I love the idea of ‘real life analytics’ - what a great outlook on it!

    Paige // Paige Eades

  2. I find just focusing on one thing at a time so helpful! Stops you just having 10 tasks half started and it makes you feel like you can cross things off your list!

    Katie |

  3. One thing I definitely need to start doing is putting my phone away when I'm blogging, it's so easy to get distracted with social media! x

    Lucy |

  4. Great tips! I've just started making a point of scheduling in breaks. I have a bad habit of just plugging through, taking no time to step away. However, when I force myself to take those breaks, my overall productivity by the end of the day is always better.

  5. This is a great post. I like to organize my time to stay productive. I like the point that was made to take notes and write things down. Sometimes I used a regular notebook or OneNote to write things down to stay organized.

  6. This is such a great post. I get distracted all the time, so think I really need to focus on creating a space and turning the phone off whilst I work! Writing things out is so useful puts onto the page your to-do list, doesn't it?
    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  7. Great post. I have a post I started a few days ago and I haven't finished it, this has gave me the motivation to work on it again tonight. Thanks 👍

  8. Thanks for sharing, these tips are really uselful to take things one at a time :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

  9. This is one of the best posts I've read about productivity! I definitely agree with taking breaks and creating a work space xx

  10. Brilliant advice! I need to listen to it for sure. I am currently sat with two laptops, trying to balance far too much! I have note pads everywhere to keep me on track!

    I really need to be more efficient with my time. I had 2 days ill last week though and it has completely thrown my routine out!

    Thanks for sharing x x

  11. These are all great advices! Focusing just one thing at a time is very helpful as well as writing down lists of to do, it always help me! I really need to learn to leave my phone out or end up getting more distracted than anything else. Thanks for sharing x

  12. Thank you for sharing these tips on improving productivity when busy, I'll be taking some of this advice on board for the busiest of days! x

    Lucy |

  13. Great post! When I have time in the weekends I try to schedule blog posts and videos ahead of time so I can focus on other things. And I agree with taking breaks when being productive! They’re so important because you’ll burn out faster if you don’t take breaks

  14. This is such a useful post. I'm definitely feeling like I don't have enough time recently but I know I need to start planning my time better as I've been lacking a bit of organisation and motivation. Thanks for sharing this.

    Tash - A Girl with a View

  15. These are excellent tips. Setting my phone away is critical to getting things done. I am not tethered to it like some people are, but I do have a habit of picking it up here and there, especially if I get an email notification. So I learned to set a certain tone for calls, so that is the only time I am allowed on my phone when working. Taking breaks and writing notes are also important for me, it helps me keep track of things while ensuring I get up and away from the computer here and there.

  16. Great post, multitasking can sometimes lower productivity.Thanks for these useful tips