7 Keys to Staying Productive When Your Daily Routine Gets Detonated

7 Keys to Staying Productive When Your Daily Routine Gets Detonated

Reader Comments (21)

  1. I love this post, so much. As a mom to a toddler who works a day job from home then blogs on the side (me, not the toddler) – this is everything I need and more. I’m thinking of printing this post out and wallpapering my office with it. That wouldn’t be weird, right? THANK YOU FOR THIS!

  2. Dang, I really feel this. No newborn, my kids are teenagers. However, that has it’s own set of challenges, as that means there’s anywhere from 2-6 teenagers at my house from all hours. And we have a small house.
    I work full time, I’m doing design for a startup, and working on my own passion project every spare second in between.
    I frequently feel overwhelmed with busyness, and I’ve adopted a few of these strategies as well.
    I recently rearranged my schedule so that instead of working late into the evening, when I’m not at my best, I get up early and bust out a few hours of startup work or personal project work before I head off to real work. This is my best working time, so I know that even though it’s short, I’m more focused. Turning off/tuning out of distracting social media helps.
    I’ve also blocked off a half hour most weekend evenings to take a short walk. It helps my creativity. And lastly, I’ve started to journal a short list of what I’ve accomplished during the day before bed. This really helps my motivation and morale, as it’s easy to get lost in the never ending to-do list. Anyways, great post and good luck! It gets easier as they grow. 🙂

    • Thanks Rachel. It sounds like you’ve really taken control of your schedule. That’s awesome! I have intermittently tried nighttime journaling, and I always appreciate the experience when I do … but I never really stick with it consistently. This was a good reminder that I should go back to it. Thank you!

  3. Great advice. It happens all to often when working from home. Even when I have taken all distractions out of my life, something happens. Whether it’s my wife needing my help, someone coming by or something else, it seems inevitable.

    I love the tips under focus because even the small, quick interruptions are time killers. I used to keep Outlook up all day just in case a client needed me. Instead of it being a good thing, I was interrupted by non-urgent emails all day. Now, my clients wait a little longer and they have no idea because it’s rarely urgent enough to require my immediate attention.

    Sometimes, I have to throw on the noise-cancelling headphones, shut off the phone and use the Pomodoro timer to get anything done, but it works. Love putting on some classical music and just getting to it.

    • I always keep my email open and I’m really considering shutting it off for most of the day. I definitely have that FOMO that someone will need to get ahold of me, but you are correct, it’s rarely that urgent. (clients seem to think everything is urgent)
      I keep hearing about the Pomodoro timer. Does it really help you?

      • I tried the Pomodoro timer. It works. I don’t think it was the right fit for the way I personally work, because sometimes I want to do a 15-minute work sprint, but other times, when I’m writing, I want to stay in the zone longer than 25 minutes. But it’s certainly an option worth exploring. You just need to find the technique that fits YOU.

    • Yes — the headphones are huge, especially at home. They block out noise and are a not-so-subtle cue that you’re focused and shouldn’t be distracted unless it’s urgent.

  4. Hi Jerod, I think that it is a really great analogy. Whilst not everyone has to cope with young children, the advice can be applied to all sorts of situations that life can throw at us.
    Having been through the whole young children thing myself I would say that all of your points are important however “Focus” is absolutely key to getting anything done.
    If you get distracted and don’t focus then you will end up with a whole load of tasks that are only partially completed. Thanks for the article.

    • Great point Hannah. And at that point, you’re really doing a disservice to yourself and whoever you’re doing work for. Focus is essential to getting meaningful work done.

  5. Basically, I’m not a mom yet. I’m not even married. However, with my busy schedule as an English teacher, I sometimes feel like I’m parenting all those kids. I’ve already given up drawing, making videos, and partying to meet the deadlines. And, it freaks me out just thinking about how much I would be missing out once I become an actual mom. I’m hoping that your 7 steps can help me out now, maybe even later.

    I’m thinking of planning a lesson on controlling time for my students. Would it be okay if I use your post as a reference?

    Thanks in advance, Jerod!

    • Absolutely Quinn!

      And I will say: while there are definitely certain things I now miss out being a parent, I am also privy to experiences and positive emotions that go beyond anything else in then world. 🙂 So any tradeoff is well worth it, so long as you can balance the rest of your responsibilities.

  6. Glad to read your post, Jerod! Bracing up for the unexpected while sticking to your commitments and fulfilling your professional obligations needn’t be herculean or arduous after reading this post. Thanks a ton!

  7. Hello Jerod,
    That was a good post, But i have a problem, i have enough time to write posts and publish, but i cant do it. One day i will publish 5 posts in my blog, the next day i cant even publish 1 post, i will open the blog to publish a post, but i feel lazy or distracted and i will waste the whole day just surfing useless things, i don’t know how to overcome this…Any suggestions…Please help..

    P.S. I am trying hard to get rid of this habit, but i cant do for past 4 years…Give me a solution..


    • The best piece of advice I can give you is to read The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. Reading that book completely changed my mindset and how I approach both my work projects and my side projects. If you read that, and it doesn’t change, or if you’ve already read it and it hasn’t worked, then come back and I’ll offer something more. But I have nothing greater than what that book offers when it comes to getting work done and overcoming The Resistance.

  8. The problem that I always run into with all of these organizational techniques is that it takes so much time up front. You have to convince yourself to invest the time up front and hope that it will pay off by making you more productive throughout the rest of the day.

  9. Great tips! Prioritizing and focusing on tasks is really important in staying productive despite all the distractions around you when you work at home.

  10. Jerod, thanks for sharing this with us. Great article, with very timely and applicable advice. Very actionable too. Life will always throw us curveballs, but finding ways to work past them is part of the human condition. Nice job, and thanks!

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