Fall back into a productive routine

by
Sara Dudenhoeffer
Published:
September 6, 2022

A new school year can take some pressure off of parents who work from home, giving them space to reform their daily work schedules. It may also herald in chaotic mornings and stressful afternoons as our students get ready for school and need support for their afterschool activities. 

Prepping the night before and creating a morning routine can make your Back-to-School mornings less stressful

Even those without children returning to school can take advantage of this time of year as an opportunity to refocus. As summer fun winds down and many clients and colleagues return from vacations, we’re ready to get serious about productivity again. 

Productivity isn't really about falling into any old routine. Productive routines that use our time and energy efficiently don’t just happen. They’re created on purpose. 

Here are 6 tips to help you get the most out of your workday:

  1. Utilize scheduling tools

Many apps can support your productivity

 A scheduling app like Doodle, Rallly, or Calendly can make all the difference in how productively you manage your time. 

  • You can also utilize Google’s Calendar app, which can connect directly to your phone’s calendar whether you have an iPhone or Android. 

Be sure to leverage the mobile versions of your apps; access to your calendar from all your devices simplifies scheduling and prevents accidental double booking. Consider colour-coding your calendar events to further organize your work and personal schedule.

  1. Create a morning ritual

Even if you work from home, establish a routine that involves getting up at the same time each day, getting dressed, and enjoying a morning ritual. Having that routine of getting ready for work is important. It tells your brain that it’s work time. 

 A morning ritual will prepare you physically and mentally for your day. Be it simply taking the time to make your favourite hot drink or perhaps a 20-minute yoga session, give yourself some quiet time before rushing kids out the door, starting your commute, or sitting down for work.

  1. Take breaks

It may sound counterintuitive, but taking multiple breaks throughout your work day can increase your productivity. 

  • Physical inactivity actually makes you tired, so get up and walk around between work tasks. 
  • Also, make sure you take a proper lunch break. Don’t just eat your lunch at your computer while you continue to work. 
  • Take time to refresh your brain. If you can, take a walk outside and get some sunshine. 

To stay fresh for your afternoon, your brain needs time when it isn’t constantly thinking. 

  1. Use to-do lists

To-do lists help you stay organized so that nothing gets missed. Plus, crossing off tasks you’ve completed can be satisfying. It’s like that little gold star your teacher would put on your chart back in grade school. 

 Here at Virtual Gurus, our clients and VAs have access to Teamwork, where they can create task lists and stay organized to maximize productivity, but you can also use:

  1. Create separation when working from home

Maintaining work/life balance can be particularly challenging when we work from home. Creating and maintaining separation is necessary for your mental well-being as well as for your productivity. 

If you work at home, have specific work hours each day when you’re not available for personal errands. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you’re available. Even if you’re the family member who picks up the kids from school or gets the groceries, you still must set boundaries. 

It’s surprising how quickly a day can pass where nothing gets done for work because managing your household is also a full-time job. You also need to set an end time for your work day. Log off to relax and enjoy your time at home.

  1. Adjust as needed

Life is constantly changing. You are likely a creative thinker as a business owner, leader, or virtual assistant who knows how to adapt to evolving work demands. Keep in mind that your work routine should do the same. If something isn’t working, tweak it. 

Want to optimize your productivity?

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Sara Dudenhoeffer
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