Shouldn’t I be working right now? Why, yes, I should. And I will be, right after this post. Because the reason for this post is to share little tip I have for productive work days.
Shut. it. down.
If you want a really, really productive work day, shut off the computer, turn off notifications on your smart phone, and put them far, far away from your work room. I am about to ditch my cellie tellie and laptop in the living room (so I can still hear my phone if it rings) and head to the studio to work, distraction free.
I know, it’s hard sometimes to completely unplug and get work done. I used to be that person who would Instagrab my phone every half hour to Instagram photos of the creative process. I used to tweet and check Facebook in between steps in the process. Then I realized it was a crutch, and it was really, really slowing down my production time.
So I ditched it. And you can too!
In order to stay on top of my social media game while I stay on top of production, I use a scheduler to post shop tweets and share stuff from my favorite shops since Twitter is the biggest time suck for me. Using a scheduler on Twitter is especially awesome for me because it frees up time when I’m actually online to connect with makers & network. There are a ton of apps out there that help with scheduling. If that’s something you think you could benefit from Scratch that, everyone who runs an indie business can benefit from less time at the computer and more time investing in the creative process, so if you are interested do a web search and see which scheduler could work for you!
Other tips for shutting it down and not feeling stressed out:
Set up “e-mail” time. I check my email all through the day, but we’ll call this little time slot “e-mail” time for the sake of I don’t know what else to call it. Set aside some time in the morning, or at night, or even in the middle of the day to do your computer stuff that has to be done. Replying to emails, writing blog posts, scheduling posts, checking your social media sites. Once you have all of that stuff out of the way, you won’t feel pressured to be at the computer through the day. Try making a list of all the sites you feel like you have to check through the day, and tackle them all during your “e-mail” time.
Schedule breaks to check your email, texts, messages, and shop stats. I’m not saying set up an 8am-5pm schedule with breaks every three hours – but set goals to work toward like finish three products and accomplish those goals before you let yourself check your devices. It’s super rewarding, and sometimes I don’t even check my phone and just move right along to the next project on my list! This will help you feel less like you may be “missing something” after “e-mail” time.
Remind yourself that the world won’t end if you’re not online. Tell me I’m not alone in this. Sometimes I feel worried I’ll miss an important question or update. I’m not sure why I think I’ll miss it. I mean, it’ll be there when I get back, right? But I feel like our generation is so hardcore wired in, constantly refreshing our stats pages and checking our number of followers and our brains are so preoccupied trying to think of a witty status to post, that sometimes we forget we don’t need social media. We like to use it, but we don’t need it in our hands every minute of our day. It gets in the way of our creative process and our production time suffers because we’re constantly checking our social media and texts and emails.
(If you work from your computer, use sites like Cold Turkey to block out social media sites during your work hours so you can get more done without the option of distractions.)
We can’t let social media take control of us like that.
Take back your creative production time.
Shut. It. Down.