How I'll Increase Productivity in My Personal + Biz Lives: Tips & Tricks for 2017

Ready to increase productivity in 2017? If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram stories then you know my body had a little bit of a meltdown this year (the pharmacy knows me by name, y'all) because I took on WAY too many projects and didn't leave any time for a little R&R.

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A lot of you reached out to me saying, "THAT HAPPENS TO ME TOO! I took on too many projects in the year and the holidays have me worn out."

Well you and I are powerful women and we're not going to neglect ourselves in 2017, are we? No ma'am! 

I'm making a few key changes in my personal and business life so that next year is a good balance, and I'm sharing my nifty tricks (it even has some clips from our life at home!) in today's video! (Just scroll down for the text version!)

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1. Control your #1 source of distraction...the smartphone!

Getting distracted is obviously going to screw up your productivity. My iPhone is definitely my main source of distraction (Snapchat anyone?) and I'm making some changes to how I handle my phone to make sure my use of it is a little more effective. 

First, I'm turning off those sound notifications. I want to be in charge of how often I check my email and social media. I hear that little ding! and instinctively pick up my phone without thinking. Yuck. No more!

Second, I'm making our bedroom a No Phone Zone. A lot of evenings, I climb into bed and hop on Snapchat or CNN and before I know it, it's 2 hours later. I wake up the next day feeling groggy and don't get as much done. (Am I the only one?!) I'm really excited about implementing this change so that doesn't happen anymore!

2. Split your year in quarters and focus on only one large project at a time in each section of the year

This idea was used by my dear friend Kristin at Believe in a Budget this past year and I saw firsthand how beneficial it was for her! It takes the pressure off of having to tackle multiple large projects at the same time.

This approach really helps me focus more...and I REALLY need that. I'm my own worst enemy because I distract myself so easily. Ha!

3. Do something at least once/day that brings you peace and calm

We all know that we are more productive when we have a healthy mind and body. This change is all about giving yourself permission to put the work down for a sec and do something that makes you feel grounded and calm. Then when you go back to that large project, you approach it with more energy and focus!

I always spend the evenings with my little family doing all of the activities that really bring us closer together and further away from the "noise" outside. This includes our family prayers, reading books with our son, and talking with some calming, low lights and playing our favorite tunes on the record player. 

4. Work in short spurts of 15-20 minutes

Lemme be honest, friend. If I look at a large project like creating a course from scratch or even doing a lot of laundry, I spend more time avoiding it because I'm overwhlemed by the size of the task. It's not very productive of me, but it's just a part of my personality. 

I'm much more productive if I set a timer and say, "Allison, all you have to do is 20 minutes of your fiercest work. If you're on a roll at the end then set the timer for another 20 minutes. But just work hard and stop when the timer stops if you need to. "

Doing this timer trick has really helped my productivity, not to mention my laundry room. 

5. Play the "Highest Priority" game

If you have a list of important things to do, play the "highest priority" game by organizing them by....obviously...rank of importance. But the trick here is that you're not allowed to work on any of the other tasks until the highest priority project has been completed. 

Again, this change comes from my ability to distract myself. Do you see the theme here?

What are your favorite productivity hacks? Comment below!