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My blog has grown significantly this year, and I am so thankful to all my readers who have helped make that happen. With growth has come more and more daily tasks beyond writing.
Lately those growing daily blogging tasks have left my life a little unbalanced.
I strive in life to maintain balance. It is why I named the blog Snail Pace Transformations. I believe we can make and reach large goals in life without pursuing them at such an intensity that the other areas of our lives fall apart.
I want to be the mom and wife who can look back and say, when I was needed by my children and my husband I was 100% there. Yet, lately that hasn’t been true.
I have found myself nodding my head to whatever my family is saying as I am typing away at the computer, finding out later I missed something that happened in their life that was important enough to them to share it with me and therefore should have been important enough to me to have given my full attention to.
I needed to put a few boundaries around my blog hours so I could start being more present with my family. I also needed to increase focus and productivity so I could get more done in less time.
5 Ways I have Increased Focus And Productivity
1. I took full advantage of the time change
Instead of adjusting to the “fall back” time change, I simple started getting up at 4:45 instead of my regular 6-ish , each morning and going to bed at 8 or 9.
After prayer and devotion time this gives me a solid 1 to 2 hours to work before anyone is up. I try my very best to use this time to write new posts for the blog, although I do also put the final edits on that day’s post, post it, and share it on social media during this time.
2. I changed where I work at home
I love sitting in the family room in the early morning hours before anyone else it up to work, and had developed a habit of sitting there in the after school hours to work as well. However, this meant I was in the midst of the family action all evening long.
Although, I do want my children to know they always come before my work, this was allowing for too many interruptions.
So I started moving up to my bedroom after our homeschooling day is over and working there.
When my husband is not home, I work with the bedroom door open to show my children I am always willing to talk to them when they want to talk with me. However, since our bedroom is far away from the main living areas of the house, they really have to think about coming up to talking to me so I am interrupted only about the important things.
(please note this works for me because my children range from age 12 to 18, I know this would not work for moms with younger children)
3. I started working outside the home more often
I had a heart to heart talk with my husband about how I simply needed more focused time to work on the blog and we decided the best thing would be for me to stop hiding up in our bedroom to write when he is home and head out of the home and work.
I have tried several places, and found taking a few extra minutes to drive to a coffee shop not in our hometown works best. Here I can crank out posts at amazing speed. I am not tempted to get up and throw another load of laundry on. I am not tempted to run into the other room and tell my husband something. Plus my children can’t run into the room and ask me if they can have a snack, even though dad was right downstairs sitting beside them when they decided they needed one.
4. I moved the fluffy stuff to when I will be interrupted and the harder stuff to when I won’t
I had gotten into the bad habit of doing simple stuff first thing in the morning while leisurely sipping my tea. Problem was that was when I was the least interrupted, and yet I was doing the stuff that I can easily be interrupted while doing.
Now before I sit down to work I think to myself, will this be a time when work will be interrupted often, or will it be a time when I can focus without interruptions for 30 minutes or more. I have a mental list of what work can be done while being continually interrupted and what is done best with no interruptions and try to stick to doing these things in the proper time slots.
5. I returned to taking Sundays mostly off the blog
I was doing well with taking Sundays off the blog except for 1 hour in the morning to do absolute essentials but then summer hit. In summer we are out of the house more during the week, and we go more places on Saturday as a family which is my normal BIG working day. I had to work on Sundays so I could take all the other time off during the week.
However, when fall returned I never went back to Sundays off. I kept trying to play catch up. Working 7 days a week was wearing me out and causing me to be less and less focused in what time I had to work, which was causing a vicious cycle of never catching up.
I have now returned to doing essential only Sunday morning, and then leaving the blog alone for the day, and it feels great! I return Monday focused again.
By implementing these 5 things my focus and productivity has drastically increased these last few weeks. I now feel like I have returned the blog to it rightful work hours and have gained my family time back.
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