This Post is in Partnership with Papyrus.
As a female entrepreneur, I relate to other entrepreneurs’ challenge of balancing time between home, work, family and a social life — especially during the summer when we’re juggling vacation, visiting family and everything else that falls in between. During busy times, it’s important to work efficiently so we don’t feel overwhelmed. This summer proved to be a difficult time for me when it came to Lavin Label because my routine was interrupted by everything I listed above, and then some! So today I’m sharing four lessons I learned this summer that encouraged a more productive work day.
1. Create An Inspiring Work Space. Last week, I was writing a bog post in my office and kept getting distracted by my room–which was a complete mess. I had empty boxes from a recent brand collaboration on my floor, random indoor plants (that needed to be transferred to a pot and watered) sitting on my table, vintage baskets that held piles of fabric scraps stacked on my chair, and a plethora of candle holders just hanging out on my floor. With all of this ‘noise’ in my home office, it was hard for me to stay focused and complete the task at hand. So this weekend, I took the time to create a clean space that I love that truly inspires productivity. I started by adding an aromatherapy candle, a framed inspirational quote, and one of my favorite wedding pictures of Casey and me (in a beautiful white and gold frame), to personalize the space. You work hard and deserve a space that boosts productivity and promotes creativity. Adding accessories (especially aroma therapy candles) can really transform your office & mood.
2. Plan Your Day. If you start your day by prioritizing your projects and reviewing deadlines, it not only helps you to zone in on and shape your day, but also helps start your day on the right track. I always put a star by the things that I have to complete by the end of the day which labels them ‘important’. Planning 90 minute blocks for your ‘important’ work helps you to get a lot more accomplished. You can also use web-based apps to help with time management. Some of my favorites include:
- Asana. I used this app when I worked at the College of Charleston. It’s especially great when working with teams.
- Google Tasks. This integrates with their calendar, and it’s free.
- CoSchedule. I love this app for help with social media. It’s great for both small and large teams. We also rely on this tool when planning social campaigns.
Even though I work in an online world I still love pen and paper. I enjoy brainstorming on paper, before diving into the digital world. I love the new desk flair collection from Papyrus. I always have a handful of their designer notebooks to capture thoughts and manage my to-do list. Since I often go back and forth between the coffee shop and my home office — these notebooks are perfect to throw in my bag before heading out the door. I have these on hand for all of my coffee dates, including my most recent one with The Southern C! Of course, you’ll need a good pen with your notebook, and I highly recommend this beautiful gold pen and canvas pouch.
3. Switch Off Notifications On Your Phone. Remember what I said about distractions earlier? Well this is a huge one that we can all be guilty of from time to time. If you can’t disconnect during the entire work day, turn off notifications when you’re doing the ‘important’ work (such as those projects with looming deadlines). To turn off your notifications on your iPhone, go to Settings > Notifications > Choose Most Used Apps (Instagram, Facebook, Messages,etc.) > Toggle Off.
4. Plan Your Day Tomorrow. Interestingly enough, I believe that one of the most important ways to shape a productive day, is to end your day by thinking about tomorrow, and creating a list of what you want to accomplish. I don’t leave the office until tomorrow’s to do list is revised and ready to go. I also break down larger projects into smaller task lists so I’m not overwhelmed when I tackle a new project.
I hope that these tips will inspire you to create a more productive and clean work space! If you would like to show some love to a fellow #girlboss then check the giveaway on our Instagram feed. We’ve teamed up with Papyrus to offer one lucky winner a collection of desk accessories to jump start their day! You can tag a friend for his/her chance to win. And for more high-quality and styled desk accessories, follow Papyrus on Instagram.
Kelli Boyd Photography Exclusively for Lavin Label