In a world where we’re all trying to do more with less, tips to boost productivity help us make the most of our workday. But productivity isn’t just about time management, making more widgets, or churning out your work product faster. Charles Duhigg (author of The Power of Habit, a must-read!) says it best: productivity means “helping people achieve their goals with less waste, anxiety, and stress, and more opportunities to do what they enjoy.”
Are we aiming for a 4-hour work week here? Um, no. We live in the real world. So, we tapped six of our favorite #girlbosses for their easy-to-implement tweaks tailored for the working woman. Here’s our roundup of the six best productivity hacks you can put into action to avoid procrastination, stress less, and do more in less time!
“It is so easy to let your brain wander to the million things you could be doing, so staying focused is one of the hardest things to do as a girl boss. We recently implemented Asana, a productivity tool that allows our users to assign tasks to other users and make everything into a little to-do list. I get a notification when my team’s tasks are completed. Talk about a GREAT feeling when you’re crossing stuff off your to-do list. The list keeps you focused and helps you feel accomplished.”
– Ashley Rector, Founder, Harness Magazine
“Automate everything that you can using Zapier! It will integrate your different apps, workflows, and complete tasks for you. Yes, please!”
– Steph Taylor, Founder of We Are Wild Bloom
“As a the CEO of a start-up, my days are filled with a large variety of to-dos. By organizing my days with themes, I’m able to stay in the same headspace for an entire day. For example, Mondays are my marketing days, which require a lot of creative thoughts and left-side brain use. Tuesdays are my finance days, which are much more tactical and right-side brain focused. Themed days help me plan meetings on the right day and execute more efficiently.”
– Alice Lewis, Founder & CEO of Alice’s Table
By organizing my days with themes, I’m able to stay in the same headspace for an entire day.
“Nothing has increased my productivity more than creating my ideal schedule…and then color-blocking it! A quick glance shows me the mix of networking, continuing education, and client appointments in my schedule. When it comes time to schedule with a client, I open my Google calendar and look for the yellow blocks. Yellow = available for a client. A few clicks later and the block is blue; a client appointment. The more blue, the more green.”
– Amber Ehrlich, Certified KonMari Consultant
“Our best productivity hack we’ve used is Planoly. It’s so wonderful to be able to visually lay out your Instagram images, then schedule them to auto-post. I spend one day a week on photography and planning out our Instagram for the upcoming week. It’s great to be able to do it all at once, and it saves so much time.”
– Aran Galligan, CEO of Aide-mémoire Jewelry
“For the first 90 minutes of my work day I focus solely on my single most important task or goal. No excuses. I cut off all distractions and set a countdown timer to 90 minutes. I close the door to my workspace. I leave my phone outside the room. I don’t check email or let myself get distracted in any way. I only focus on the task at hand. It did take a few days and quite a bit of self-discipline to get used to, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. My productivity has skyrocketed and the results speak for themselves.”
– Cynthia Brown, Founder/Editor-in-Chief at Only Top Review
Alice’s Table hosts flower arranging workshops nationwide to bring women together to learn new skills, and live a social and creative lifestyle. Its unique model empowers women to launch their own creative career or side-gig that’s fun, flexible, and rewarding. Learn more about how you can join their community of #girlbosses here!
Want to read more about how girlbosses stay on top of the game? On HeyMama you can find out how busy mamas invest in themselves, discover these 6 tips for landing your dream job in a creative field, and learn how to start fundraising from mamas who’ve been there and done that.