I’m a busy person. And I enjoy it. I don’t like to complain about being busy because most of what keep me busy is my choice. On top of a day job I maintain this blog, do freelance writing, some speaking events, cook, socialise and sort of keep house. I never switch off. My mind is ALWAYS working.
Last weekend, I was pretty sore and so I stayed home for most of the time, apart from going out to breakfast and picking up a few groceries on Saturday, and meeting up with friends for a late lunch on Sunday. Still, I got stuff done – completing six pieces of writing (five for my blog and one commissioned piece) and drafting the content for the blogging course I’m creating. I also workshopped the course graphics with a friend. I was proud of my productivity. And on Wednesday morning I got up really early, excited by potential, and worked for an hour and a half before I set off for my day job. Productivity plus.
People have asked me for some tips for getting shit done. Here’s what I know and do:
Lists and tools
✓ I make to-do lists, checking the items off as they’re done.
✓ I have about 10 blog posts in draft. These are all made in my iNotes, and they sync across my iPhone, iPad and MacBook so I can access the notes anytime.
Writing and social media
✓ I do a lot of writing and work in bed or on the couch! This is probably not great for posture, but I feel rested doing it this way!
✓ I work up to writing big things by writing smaller things. So I might start with replying to an email-interview or an easy post like this list post.
✓I batch write. I spend a night writing multiple blog posts – often over a bottle of wine.
✓ I write a blog post and create the social media posts (text and images) at the same time. Then I can just copy and paste these when the post goes live.
✓ I often rework Facebook statuses into blog posts – copying and pasting these (and relevant comments) into iNotes and then expanding on what I’ve written for a long form post.
✓ I bookmark news items and blog posts that I want to refer to or share later, and then paste the links into the relevant note if they will be used for a blog post.
✓ I do social media in bed from 6.30 – 7.00 am, checking posts, scheduling posts.
Around the home
✓ I have a cleaner – the money spent means I have time to do the other stuff.
✓ I try to prepare one big meal for weekday lunches on Sunday – sometimes in the slowcooker. I cook easy stuff in the week. Adam helps a lot with food preparation.
✓ I eat well and get lots of sleep. I should exercise more.
✓ I multitask. TV time at night is spent writing, replying to emails or making social media posts. I often listen to podcasts or music while writing too.
✓ I learn by listening. My attention span for long reads is so poor now that I find that I learn more by listening to podcasts.
✓ I make the most of day job lunchtimes by making the phone calls that need to be made in business hours.
✓ I make the most of my commute by scheduling social media posts. There’s not enough time to read a book or listen to music. Sometimes I write on the train.
✓ I don’t keep a calendar for stuff outside my day job. For some reason I just remember it all. I do break my day into chunks during my day job – and this works well for that stuff because it often involves meetings with others or doing things for others, but I don’t follow such a schedule when I work for myself.
✓ I make time to do what I love. Lots of people tell me they wish they had more time for writing. I recommend setting aside time to write 15 minutes a day. And then if you enjoy it, build that time up.
There are things that I am not great at – like keeping up with invoices, keeping an immaculate house or just switching off and stopping – but I love what I do and it doesn’t feel like work.
How do you get shit done?