Feeling the good energy that comes with a brand-new year? Us too; there’s no time like the present to start fresh and set yourself up for success. Whether you’re a hustling solopreneur or looking to make moves at the office, the little things you do each day make a big difference when it comes to how productive you can be. Reach major milestones by adopting a new work ritual or two: We just scored five to try from women who told us what really works. Scroll on for their smart strategies.
1. Create a Power Hour
“I go to bed as early as I can and wake up early (like 5:45am), so I have time for a quick, intense workout and an hour to think strategically about what needs to get done,” shares Christy Johnson from Artemis Connection. “During this hour, I shut off Slack and email so I can fully focus. Then I launch a bunch of requests out to wherever the constraints are before I open up my email and respond to whatever is most important.” Johnson says she doesn’t spend much time responding to email until much later in the day, and that her morning ritual has helped her see that this works much better than responding anytime she has a quick break.
Nina Hans, the Creative Director at LA-based Weekday Studio, also swears by using her time in the morning to set the tone for her day. “I spend my morning with the Headspace app, prayer, a workout, and matcha. I find the days I skip this to be much more stressful. I quit coffee and started eating cleanly last year, and this has also helped me with my energy, ability to focus, and finding emotional strength.”
2. Tap Into Your Unused Senses During the Day
“After starting my eco-luxe skincare brand Poéthique, I noticed that I had thrown my wellness practice and balance to the wind when caught up in the nitty-gritty of every detail,” founder Gayatri Pradhan tells us. “Of course, this isn’t sustainable — so I created an afternoon ritual that helps me. I take 3-5 minutes to make myself a proper cup of tea with boiling water, steeped leaves, and straining. I take in the aroma and color in the first few sips. I think this works because I’m intentionally engaging my senses (smell, taste) that I normally don’t tap at work. I always feel centered and energized afterward.”
3. Shift How You Spend Saturday or Sunday
Have you ever thought about starting your weekend with a work ritual? It might be just what you need to come up with fresh thoughts. “Every Saturday morning, I have what I call an ‘idea generation’ session for Writing on Glass,” shares Stephanie Newman from Stellia Labs. “I write down every article idea that pops into my head, and I don’t stop until I get to at least 20.” She explains that the point is to get into a no-filter zone, where she’s not suppressing ideas that seem unfeasible or too ambitious. “After following this routine for months, I have hundreds of article ideas listed in a giant Google spreadsheet. When I’m ready to write my blog posts, I don’t have to spend time thinking up topics. I just pull my favorites from the spreadsheet.”
Laurie Davis, the force behind The Worthy One, tells us that her work ritual starts at the end of the weekend with something she’s started calling her “Sunday Shift.” Davis expands, “A lot of people get Sunday or Monday blues, and that used to be me too. I noticed that I was letting the week happen to me instead of creating something intentional. During the week, there’s such a focus on doing — taking action and checking things off a list, which feels great — but I wanted to love who I was being each week as well. Now, every Sunday I ask myself three questions: How do I want to feel? Who do I want to be? What is my focus?” Davis says that this reminds her she has the power while helping her align everything she spends time on. We love it!
4. Batch Similar Things Together
“My work ritual is creating ‘meeting days’ where I load up on meetings in and out of the office. This helps me create other days where I can just focus on work,” notes Rachel Trobman of Ouchie. She tells us it also saves her time traveling around, which creates more room to get stuff done.
Kate Anderson swears by a similar approach in her role as the Operations Director at iFundWomen. “My brain constantly gets pulled in hundreds of different directions, so I try to avoid switching tasks too often to stay productive and focused. My ritual is calendar blocking; I do it every day to create time for different tasks. I answer emails every morning, then I follow up on tasks on my to-do list. I take phone calls in the late morning/afternoon, answering emails again in the afternoon, and block off some time each day for miscellaneous tasks.” Smart stuff.
5. Transform Your To-Do List
Whether you tap into your to-do list or prefer an anti-list approach, regularly using a system that helps you accomplish your tasks is a ritual that successful women swear by. Emily Scott, the owner of Compendium Boutique, says prioritizing her tasks in a non-traditional way does the trick. “I find that traditional to-do lists just don’t cut it for me. Instead, I’ll take about 10-15 minutes each Monday morning to write down each task I need to do that week — no matter how big or small it may be — on Post-it notes; one task on each note. I’ll color-code the notes too: hot pink for big tasks, yellow for medium tasks, blue for the little things. I’ll stick the notes on one wall in my studio in chronological order (left to right), not color order, and tasks that don’t have a deadline go to the far right. As I go through my work day and work week, each time I complete a task, I pull it off the wall and throw the Post-it out. As I continue to knock things off my list throughout the week, my color wall gets smaller and smaller until it’s completely empty again on Friday!” She tells us that she loves the sense of accomplishment each time she takes a Post-it down from the wall.
Jia Wertz from Studio 15 starts her to-do list at the end of each workday. “I list no more than 3-4 things that must be completed the following day. This not only allows me to prioritize the most important projects or tasks, but I can also mentally prepare for what I need to complete the very next day,” she explains. “This works because it gives me a clear picture of whether I’ll have any available time to attend additional meetings or schedule calls. It also allows me to schedule my time by task.” Wertz credits her ritual with allowing her to wake up to a free morning, which she says is invaluable to an entrepreneur. “I get to have a little ‘me’ time and an organized work day.”
Which work rituals help you #GSD? Let us know about yours on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)