February 14, 2015

How To Get Stuff Done Even When You’re Mega Busy


Time management and organisation. Coolest words in the dictionary, right?

But being headless-chicken-crazy can actually be a good thing. The more you’ve got on – the more you’ll probably get done because you have to slot it all in. It forces you to be organised and extra pedantic with your diary. Empty days stretched out ahead of you can be a bad thing for productivity, in my opinion.

Looking back on my University days, it was the most unproductive time ever. In hindsight I know why – how, exactly, are you meant to practice how to ‘manage your time’ when you have SO MUCH OF IT? This was a life learning: I cannot plan my time if I have too much of it. Making good use of your time requires actually having things to do, and usually not a great of time to do it in. Only then will you crack this time management and organisation thing. Well, for me anyway.

Most people I meet are usually quite organised. I used to think I was one of those people, mainly because I used to take great joy in selecting a new multi-pack highlighter pens from W H Smith. But alas, drawing pretty flowers on your folders does not equate to being an organised person. 

So, enter the working world where you suddenly have 1000 metaphorical bouncy balls flying at your head from lots of different people and directions?

Do you:

A) catch them all in a net and decided what to do with them later?
B) duck and run for cover
C) bat them away one by one
D) bat the easy ones away & put the rest in priority order
E) direct some of the bouncy balls at someone else

The answer should probably be D. And often E.

But what about all the extra stuff you want to do?

Here’s SIX tips for being creative whilst being swamped:

1) Put a pen and notepad in a strange place.

I sometimes leave a pen and notepad in the bathroom and under my pillow. When I am brushing my teeth or get out of the shower or last thing at night/the moment I wake up I get ideas. ALWAYS carry a pen, you can write it up your arm if you need to. You might think of something GENIUS in your dreams.

2) Let your mind wander while you commute.

10 minutes, 20 minutes, an hour, whatever. Don’t hunch over trying to think of ideas but actually let yourself breathe and let your mind wander. Listen to an inspiring podcast. People watch. An idea will come when you least expect it. Or at least you’ll have an inkling of an idea by the time you get home.

3) Channel the buzz after your working day (and quickly put it into something else). 

If you’ve had a particularly shitty or stressful day, your brain will no doubt be whirring. You might be thinking angry thoughts. Don’t lose it! Or buzzing or worked up from your tough day, quickly channel it and write, draw, record yourself talking – anything. Put it into something productive that is separate from work and you might surprise yourself with the outcome. 

4) Don’t stress. Day dream instead. 

If you had to give a Ted Talk what would be on? Or if you met one of your idols would would you ask them? If you could publish an article tomorrow for a magazine what would it be on? Dream big. Write it anyway.

5) Work out when your ‘magic hour’ is.

This is the time your brain comes alive. For me, it’s around 9pm. I am not a morning person. It’s important that I acknowledge that because otherwise I would feel like a failure if I tried to write in the mornings. Sunday afternoons work well for me because I start to feel properly relaxed and then ideas come to me. Week day nights I am buzzing. But it’s different for everyone.

6) Recommend someone else.

A well-known trait of successful people is they are good at connecting other people together. Grabbing all the opportunities for yourself that you cannot properly commit to can be a bad thing. If someone asks you do sometime and you have ZERO time, don’t say yes because you want the gig or you are worried they won’t ask you again – recommend someone else. They will remember you. If you literally have no time to write a blog post – write a guest post on your blog for you. Keep to your big commitments and ask friends for help. 

And remember, if anyone ever asks you that question “how do you find the time?” for those projects and hobbies that you love – the question should really be “how do you not?”

image source: shellviolet.tumblr.com


3 Responses

  1. Sophie says:

    Great post – I too have to have a lot on to be productive. When I’ve got a hectic work schedule I am so much better at planning my day. Looking forward to trying some of your tips out!

  2. Jenna Lee says:

    Love this post, some great tips and ideas. I recently had an amazing idea just pop into my head whilst I was walking in the park, completely relaxed and letting my mind wander. We need those times!

  3. Finding out what your ‘magic hour’ is is KEY to getting stuff done!! If I don’t write in the mornings, I find that I really can’t write at all, so I arrange my whole day around that time. Love discovering your blog and look forward to reading more! Jenn

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