by Viviana Guzman
Due to the Coronavirus, we are all at home which might be a very different scenario for some of us. It certainly has been for me. I have jotted some ideas on how to increase productivity that I have employed during these days working from home. Sometimes the tasks at hand might seem overwhelming, especially if you are trying to do too much all in one day. It is important to take one thing at a time.
1. Write Down Your Goals
I live by my To-Do Lists. I have my Daily To-Do List, Weekly To-Do List, Monthly Goals, Yearly Goals as well as my 5 Year Goals.
For example, the following is a list of things I juggle in a week when I am not on tour:
Responding to Email
Making videos/content for socials
Scheduling content for socials
Writing and editing content for blog & socials
2. Organize Your To Do Lists
Write down every task you need to get done and then categorize them into your Daily To Do, Weekly To Do, and Monthly To Do. Once you have your following day To Do List, cut it in half because everything takes longer than you think. Narrow the list down to the two most important tasks of the day and make sure these two things get done.
Break down your list into concise tasks using action verbs and provide a guesstimate time frame to complete the task. Schedule them into your calendar in 1 to 2 hour slots. Schedule your entire day, jotting down every hour. Be sure to schedule meals and break times.
Limit Your Social Media Time to 30 Minutes to an Hour per Day. It can be so easy to get sucked into social media with one thing leading into another. Set a timer, and limit yourself to 30 minutes a day. This forces you to go in, and then get out quickly.
Check your email less often. How many times a day do we find ourselves checking email? I have found that if I just check my email in the morning, afternoon and evening, this is enough, or when I'm on tour, for example, I only check emails once a day. There is no need to check it hourly or every 5 minutes!
At the end of the day, send your list completed tasks to a friend who can hold you accountable to complete your goals.
3. Reduce Distractions
If your workspace is around other people, you might want to consider using noise cancellation headphones. They are my lifesaver, at home and on tour.
Turn on your out-of-office responses
I do this sometimes if I want to really dive into a recording project for a few days. This gives the other people a heads up that you are busy and might take a little longer to get back to them.
Let people know you are busy when they approach you.
This works wonders. Otherwise, everyone assumes you have all the time in the world. After all, you are the friendly musician who's the only job is to sit around playing music all day long, right?
Turn off notifications on devices.
I tell my students to turn off their devices before coming in for a lesson. I do the same for myself. My ringer is never on, for example. Everything can wait, as far as I’m concerned. Sometimes I even hide my phone out of sight, or in another room.
Set a timer and get to work.
We all have timers on our phones (as well as metronomes and tuners). I use my timer to keep me on track throughout the day. It is an extremely helpful tool when blocking out a schedule for yourself.
Go over your To-Do Lists
the night before and look over your schedule for the next day. By scheduling different tasks throughout the day, it is impossible to have a tedious day, and your day magically becomes effective and productive.
What are some of your productivity ideas? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
In a nutshell, Prioritize, Schedule, Focus.... and Enjoy!
Viviana Guzman is an internationally touring multi-genre artist who has performed in 131 countries. Her album “Traveling Sonata” received a GRAMMY Nomination. She has presented a TEDxBerkeleyTalk speaking before Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple, Inc, and her album "Song of the Whale" received a Global Music Award, Gold Medal. A graduate of The Juilliard School, she currently teaches flute at the University of California Santa Cruz and is the Director of the San Francisco Flute Society and Flutes by the Sea Masterclass. As a Business of Music Educator and Life Coach, Viviana loves empowering others. Follow her on FB, IG and Twitter.