Juggling between a full-time job and my side hustle (which feels like a full-time job, lol) is tough. Then there’s motherhood. And wife-hood. I also have to be a great friend and sister who listens and responds to text messages and chat.
How do I make it all work?
The calendar. And Pomodoro!
I’m not really THAT organized, but the situation I am in requires me to be.
- HAVE A TO-DO LIST
Before I go to sleep every night, I list down all the things I need to do on my Todoist account. Todoist is an online to-do list that you can sync on all your gadgets. I personally like the browser version (as anything work-related, I do on the computer). On this app, I make a list of EVERYTHING that I need to get done the next day. If it’s not on Todoist, it’s not going to be done.
Best thing ever: NO MORE TASKS FOR TODAY
Note: This is why when you message me in the middle of the day to ask me to “quickly” edit something or write something up, I usually say no. I’ve had a hard time saying no in the past, but I just have to keep my focus.
Other people I know like having sticky notes on their PCs or notebooks. That could work too. Whenever I do chores, I try to put up sticky notes on the refrigerator with a list of the things I need to do, in the exact order that I need to do them (e.g., clean upstairs bedroom first before cleaning living room).
- USE THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE
Everyone who knows me knows how easily I get distracted (with shiny new things like YouTube videos and memes and celebrity gossip) so I try as much as I can to stay away from those sites while I work. Pretty challenging since I work with social media sites! What I do is I turn on Marinara, a Pomodoro timer which comes as a Google Chrome extension. On my phone, I have the Tide app, which works the same way. These timers allow me to stay “in the zone” for 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. Learn more about the Pomodoro technique here.
- GROUP YOUR TASKS
In a day, I tackle several different tasks which require different levels of expertise. I group them together in blocks and assign them a time in the day. In the mornings, I get rid of all the mundane tasks that I need to do, tasks that don’t really require me to use my brain that much. These are the tasks that are routinely done: transferring files from one folder to another, organizing data, sending out computer-generated reports, cascading announcements to the team, sending canned messages to inquiries, etc.
As soon as caffeine kicks in, I am about ready to go through tasks that require my brain to actually function. Usually, this starts around 10:00 AM. I then write all copy and blogs/articles that need to be put in draft form. I do this until the afternoon.
Late afternoons are for reviewing and ensuring that all tasks have been done properly and correctly. Since I handle a team, I also need to check on their work.
So basically, it’s: easy – > hard – > easy
- TAKE BREAKS
Because your body and brain can only do so much. Let ’em breathe.
At the end of the day, what’s important is that you have enough time to enjoy the things that matter and to spend with people who matter: family, friends, loved ones.
As what Heather Schuck has said in her book The Working Mom Manifesto, “You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.”
Have any tips on how to get more stuff done? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org