As a new mum, part-time graphic designer and founder of a new social enterprise, some days it can feel like I have a lot to juggle. Here are my top three tips which help me get through my workload and get tasks done more efficiently.
First and foremost, write yourself a list of realistic goals and make sticking to them your priority.
Then break down your goals into smaller tasks and set deadlines for the next two weeks, so you know what you’re working towards.
Then each day, write a list of only three things that you have to get done. Make sure you tick them off as you go (that’s my favourite part).
When you have a lot on, it’s easy to feel like it’s all getting on top of you. Planning in this way will ensure your goals are realistic and give you a sense of focus and control over your tasks, instead of feeling like the tasks are taking control over you
However, it’s important to allow yourself to be flexible and not to berate yourself if you occasionally miss a few tasks.
Stay positive and be kind to yourself, as a positive mindset is one of the most important factors in staying productive and doing your best work.
It may sound counter-productive to take your time with tasks, but allowing yourself enough time and space will ensure you to get your tasks done properly, and in the long run you’ll spend less time correcting mistakes you made because you were rushing. That’s not to say you should procrastinate or put things off, but that each task deserves it’s own allocated space to flourish.
Don’t forget to give the same time to tasks as you do to taking care of yourself. Set aside decent time for a good lunch, a walk to the shops etc and make the most of that time.
A lot of time can be taken up communicating – with peers, colleagues and people who can help us with prospective opportunities.
Email or messenger is frequently the easiest form of communicating, but it’s often quicker to follow up with a phone call or more effective to speak face-to-face.
If you’ve got a lot to say, a quick phone call will allow you to get your point across better than a wordy email. If you are trying to complete a bigger task, it’s often more efficient to arrange a face-to-face meet.
Face-to-face meets or phone calls will ensure the other person will feel more connected to you and you’ll be surprised how much more effective and how many more opportunities arise from a more personal approach.
So grab a diary, fill the next few weeks in, take each hour as it comes and speak to more people. It’s the key to getting things done and feeling a great sense of accomplishment.
Shahnaz is a mum, graphic designer and founder of Knit Aid, a social enterprise helping knitters to help others in need.
Knit Aid’s key work involves collecting and sending handmade quality hats, snoods and blankets to refugees living in cold conditions in camps across Europe, as well as selling unique merchandise and running knitting workshops across the UK to fundraise for causes close to their hearts.