Are you managing to meet your goals every day? Despite best efforts, I doubt I’m alone when I say that I feel like I’m working harder than ever before but achieving less! I recently read that stress related to the pandemic can lead to increased cortisol hormone levels and this can play havoc with your concentration (so cut yourself some slack).

I’ve found that in between mobile phone distractions, childcare duties, and general work-from-home interferences, having a personal goal strategy has been key to staying on track. With this in mind, I want to share my tips on how to plan your day to be productive and regain a little bit of that pre-pandemic focus.

Remove distractions!

Business News Daily reported that, “Workers waste an average of 56 minutes per day, or nearly five hours a week (only 5?), using their mobile devices for non-work activities”. And, what’s more, another study by the University of California found that it takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus after being distracted. The conclusion? Ditch your phone whilst working on larger tasks. I find that leaving it in another room eliminates the urge to reach for it.

Breaking down your goals into small, actionable steps

Breaking your goals into small steps and writing them down might sound cliché but turning them into notes means that you have a much better chance of remembering them. Shorter tasks also appear more achievable and, therefore, you’re less likely to keep putting them off.

wall planner

Invest in a goal planning calendar

I like to break my goal planning into monthly and quarterly goal planning sheets. That way, I’m not scrambling through pages of notes and everything is visible at a glance. Our new illustrated wall calendars are perfect for this. Each calendar can be customised for any month of the year and there’s also generous space for you to write down any additional reminders. The planners are sturdy enough to be perched on a shelf or window ledge if you prefer not to use the bulldog clips provided.

Make it clear you’re still working

Remember when working from the comfort of your own home was the dream? Unlimited coffee breaks, the freedom to take a quick lunch with a friend, elasticated waistlines! From the outside, you have the freedom to manage your workday as you please. However, whilst there IS remove for wiggle, it’s important you make it clear to those not working to this setup that you still have a full day’s work to complete. Outline key hours that you won’t be available and dedicate these to uninterrupted career time.

Allocate yourself small breaks

I cannot stress how important this point is. A lot of us aren’t used to sitting for such long periods of time with a trip to the staff room; a quick 5-minute catch up with a colleague, a room change for an important meeting. All of this time unconsciously quickly adds up! Use your daily/weekly planners to schedule in breaks, whether it be a 10-minute yoga routine, or something a little less exciting like taking out the bins or hoovering the lounge.

Create a work space you love

I quickly realised that if I wanted to reach my goals during a pandemic, I was going to have to create an inspiring space to do it from. Many of us don’t have the luxury of a dedicated home office room, but there are ways to utilise the space you do have. I love these Small Home Office Ideas by Real Homes and Pinterest is always a great place to discover new home workspace hacks.   

Are you looking to bring some colour into your work environment, or perhaps find a gift to help brighten up someone else’s? Alongside our colourful wall planners, we also create desktop goal planners, and colourful A5 notepads.