This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its Advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone and should not be construed as medical advice. #24HourEsterC #CollectiveBias
How are all your New Year's resolutions going so far? I only made two goals for myself this year, but both of them were big ones: One, to get (and stay) more organized, and two, to use my time more wisely and get more done every day. Those things sort of go hand-in-hand... being organized helps you plan out your time more concretely, and following a schedule helps keep you organized. The problem with working from home is that there aren't always concrete "rules" about what to do when—I usually need to do work during the day, but taking photos for my blog in daylight is also ideal. And what about personal calls and errands? Sometimes you need to squeeze all of that stuff into a certain period of time, even if nobody's forcing you to punch a time card at 5 O'clock.
I took some time at the beginning of the year to get my work space (and mental space) organized, so today I thought I'd share a few of my multitasking essentials: Tips and products to supplement productivity and sanity while juggling... well... everything.
ESSENTIAL #1: A planner/notebook and colored markers.
I am one of those people who will forget absolutely everything I need to do unless I write it down. Sad, but true. I manage my forgetfulness by keeping a couple of digital calendars, as well as a physical planner to scribble down to-do lists. One of the best tricks I've learned to help me stay organized is to color-code everything—either by priority or by the type of task it is, depending on what list I'm looking at. In my day-to-day "to-do" planner, for example, I use pink highlighters for work-related projects, yellow for blog-related stuff, green for personal stuff, and orange for YOU NEED TO DO THIS ASAP stuff. This lets me know at a glance how many things in each given category I need to do in a day.
So how does this help with multitasking? If I find coming up with an idea or remembering something I need to do while I'm in the middle of completing a task, I write it down. That way I don't forget later, and taking five seconds to write something down is certainly less disruptive (and distracting) than hopping from thing to thing. In short: Prioritize and schedule, then work on tasks in that order.
ESSENTIAL #2: Tasty, satisfying refreshments.
Hands-up if you've ever skipped a meal because you were too absorbed in a project to stop and eat! Sometimes it's hard to get away from your desk for a dedicated lunch break, so I like to keep a few filling (and non-perishable) snacks on hand for when those sorts of occasions arise. Trail mix, granola bars and pumpkin seeds are favorites of mine—they're certainly more satisfying than chips or sweets. And don't forget about beverages! I will fully admit that I'm a caffeine addict, so I usually keep something caffeinated on hand that can be prepared quickly (teabags, instant coffee, energy drinks etc.) for those moments when I don't have time to go through the whole rigmarole of grinding coffee beans and whatnot. And let's not forget the importance of drinking water throughout the day—a refillable water bottle to keep in your bag or at your desk is an excellent investment.
ESSENTIAL #3: Ester-C 24-Hour Immune Support.
When you're busy doing a thousand things, the last thing you want to think about is your immune system, right? Ester-C 24-Hour Immune Support provides around-the-clock immune support in the form of stomach-friendly coated tablets, which makes it an ideal choice as a daily supplement for me.* The tablets are also gluten and wheat-free! Look for it in the vitamin aisle (usually located near the pharmacy) of your local Walmart, or online at Walmart.com, where it’s currently on Rollback. Be sure to check out Ester-C on Twitter and Facebook as well for more information and lifestyle tips!
ESSENTIAL #4: Taking breaks with an eye mask.
This one may sound a little crazy, but hear me out: As someone who looks at a computer all day, I'm at risk of getting eyestrain and headaches. I find that it helps TREMENDOUSLY if I force myself to take a break in the middle of the day and close my eyes, just for 10 or 15 minutes. Of course if I don't cover my eyes somehow, I'll probably end up browsing the internet... enter the eye mask. I'm a big fan of Kao Steam Masks because they warm in addition to blocking out light, but even just a regular sleep mask will do. Put on the mask, set an alarm on your phone (just in case you doze off!) and relax for ten minutes. If you get bored easily, use the time to listen to the news or a podcast or something. This process refreshes me, so I can still get stuff done in the second half of my day.
While we're on the subject of eyestrain, when's the last time you cleaned your computer screen? I also like to keep screen cleaner wipes on hand. A clear view equals less squinting and straining.
Putting all of the aforementioned items together in a little basket by my desk has helped my productivity tremendously, because once the day has started they're all ready to go, and I don't have to go hunting for a snack (or a marker, or a supplement) while I'm in the middle of something. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to put something similar together for yourself—it will likely save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run!
What do you think of my multitasking essentials? Are there any items you always keep with you at work (or school) to help you through the day?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, however any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.