During this corona crisis, many people are struggling with anxiety about all of the unknowns or the depression regarding all of the changes. Then you add on all of our responsibilities of having to work from home, home school children, etc.
I will admit I think the only thing that has saved me during this time is my ability to create a routine. I have not only created a routine for myself but also my daughters as well. This was a decision I made early on because I know that we all THRIVE off of routines and with all the chaos going on around us the best I could do was create something that was familiar.
Having so many responsibilities in this season it is tempting to multitask. I mean we all do it, but especially right now multitasking seems like the thing to do. While cooking your dinner, and homeschooling your daughter seems like you’re saving yourself time the truth is it costs you more than you know. Research has shown over and over that we are incapable of multi-tasking. What we are doing instead is task switching. Meaning we are moving between tasks over and over and in turn giving less attention and a lower level of effort to each task.
Which then leads to the fact that you will have more mistakes. Recently I tried to write a post for social media and work out. I know it’s crazy to say that now, but at the time all I could think about was this lengthy to-do list and how I could kill two birds with one stone. When I went back to look at the post before sharing it, I had a whole host of issues. This is proof that at the moment it felt like the thing to do to save time, but it caused me to have to use more time because I had to go back and fix my mistakes. Also, trying to multi-task increases your stress levels, because your brain is trying to work overtime, but likely getting way less done.
Knowing this I have decided that part of my routine, to increase my productivity involves two things.
One, I have chosen to task batch. Most of our time is wasted when we try to switch gears too often. Instead of multitasking, you should task batch which allows you to focus on similar tasks and bulk them together. For example, if you’re sending emails set aside time to answer all emails. If you’re cooking focus on cooking. When you stop trying to balance two or more tasks at once you will realize that your productivity increases and the outcome are much better. To do this each evening make a list of all of the things you need to do and create a schedule where you batch similar tasks together. For example, this was the layout of my schedule last Saturday.
8- cook and eat breakfast
9-10- workout (30 minutes of yoga, 30 minutes of my choice)
11-1- writing for my blog
1-130- cooking for both lunch and dinner
2-230- social media engagement and checking email
230-3- client call
3-5- laundry and vacuuming
5-6- dinner and game time (chutes and ladders)
6-8- Church small group virtual meeting
800- 915- reading time with the girls and bedtime routine
915-945- my reading time
945-1015- journal reflection of the day, including list for tomorrow
1015-1045- shower and bedtime
What I have come to see is that committing to time batching instead of trying to attempt multitasking has made me more productive.
The second commitment I have made is to make self care a priority. I was burning the candle at both ends trying to balance #allthethings. I would feel guilty about getting a full night’s sleep or slowing down too much. Being rationale though I know that if I do not take time to take care of myself I am not able to be good to anyone or good for anything. When I committed to doing 30 minutes of yoga a day my productivity doubled. It’s so funny to think that I allowed myself to believe that I could not make time for it. We are our most valuable asset and we have to start acting like it. In order to increase your self care think of what your body needs. We know it needs water and nutritious meals to fuel it correctly. You also need a good amount of rest. So begin there!
How are you maintaining your productivity AND taking care of yourself during this time?