The Best Life Productivity Hack
By Jenna Guadagni
Back in the day, when I first started working for myself, I was a slave to time. I used to wake up, try to fit everything in one day, without really having an efficient plan. My calendar wasn’t filled because I figured it was fine to go with the flow as long as I got it done. WRONG. I realized that going from one task to a totally different task, I was actually losing energy.
This is a very easy time-management hack that will enable you to take full advantage of your concentration by doing a lot of the same things together at the same time. For instance: if I want to shoot photos and write content for instagram—instead of shooting a few photos or writing throughout the week, I do the exact opposite. I put it all in one block, on one day.
Fridays are usually my day to shoot and plan content for the next week. Another example—if I’m planning a coffee meeting Tuesday and then a dinner meeting Wednesday, I don’t want to get dressed up for two events on separate days, so I’ll batch the meetings into one day. I wanted to completely minimize start/stop times because getting ready takes A LOT OF TIME. So does setting up for a shoot and sitting down to return 1023484 e-mails. So now, instead of checking my e-mail 20 times a day, I check it once. Even with text messages, I don’t respond right away. A lot of people get mad at me for this, but if I got caught up in my inbox and text messages, I wouldn’t get anything done throughout the course of a day.
CALLS: I LOVE TO BATCH CALLS. Calls are done one day a week. Then I have one day to myself to write, read, plan and strategize, see spiritual clients with no calls. I also batch yoga and workouts with no exceptions. With respect to DM’s and social media messages — I used to go them throughout the day, now I sit for 30 minutes in the morning and an hour at night, every night, and reply to my messages (it’s certainly a priority for me to respond to my amazing community so I make it a point to batch this specific thing).
When you’re batching computer work, get creative. My favorite thing ever is to sit by myself at a restaurant or cafe where I feel inspired by my surroundings (this is also batched for Mondays, out of office). It's so much easier to get in the zone when you’re comfortable and outside of a place where you can easily be distracted.
Finally, playtime can also be batched. If I am going to the movies with a friend, I like to grab dinner with another friend before. That way I can be the most efficient with my time and see two people in one day!
In reality, it’s so much easier to focus on one thing at once. And I’m all about a good multitasking moment, but here’s the difference: when I get a blowout, I write. When I get my nails done, I respond to DM’s. So essentially I STILL batch while multi-tasking. Things YOU can batch: cooking, cleaning, blogging, e-mails, conference calls, playtime, and reading. When you batch you create more space for yourself. I’ve been using a time-blocking cube to help myself batch time forever! It’s seriously a life-saver. I do nothing but what I've batched until the timer goes off. I also use it to allow myself time to scroll Instagram or order an outfit for the weekend or an event. I also pre-plan how long something will take me to finish so I can stay on schedule. I hope this hack has been as helpful for you as it has been for me!