Staying Productive When You’re Balancing A Lot

Posted on Posted in Organization

We're all balancing a lot and trying to seemingly juggle everything thrown at us.

From full time jobs, to families, to any part time side work, to exercise, healthy eating, and sleep. It can be a lot to handle. The urgent often takes precedent over the important. When you're busy & tired it's sometimes hard to take a step back and re-evaluate what is most important. But it's in those times that that is exactly what we need to do. And there are lots of tools our there to help you. Some that are helpful, some that might not be. Staying productive while trying to balance it all can sometimes be just plain overwhelming. Oftentimes its because you have too many ideas, thoughts, and to-dos running through your head.


Take 15 minutes and sit down with a piece of paper and pen.

Write down all your thoughts. Don't worry about organizing your thoughts at this point. Just get them all down on paper. The simple act of getting things down on paper and out of your head can help you start to clear out your thoughts. Once you have them down on paper you can either re-write your list by sorting your ideas and to-dos into categories. Or you can use an online program, such as Trello.


Use calendar blocking.

At the beginning of the week sit down with your calendar. Don't have a calendar, you can draw a week out on a piece of paper. Set up blocks of time throughout the week to work on certain projects. For example, set aside 9am-12pm on Monday to work on answering and catching up on emails and then 2pm-4pm to work on a blog post. By taking a step back and looking at your week ahead you can determine when things can get done and figure out what the most important tasks are.

Make sure that when you're setting up your schedule you're scheduling in breaks. These can be things such as making plans to meet friends for coffee or lunch, taking time to cook in the evenings, or scheduling an exercise class.

Tip: during the work day, set your alarm on your phone for 30 or 60 minute increments. When the timer goes off, get up and take a break for at least 15 minutes. Go outside and get some fresh air. Make yourself a snack. Once that 15 minute timer goes off, go straight back to work!

Schedule time to use social media.

Admittedly, I'm not great at this one. But social media really is a time sucker. By setting aside certain times when you are going to check social media, you won't waste away time scrolling through post after post. Set aside 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening to go through, respond to comments, like other posts, and catch up on social media news. We have friends that will delete the apps off their phone and only download them when they need to use them. This is another strategy you may be able to use if you don't need the added distraction!

What do you think about these tips? Are there any you would add?