For today’s post I wanted to share some of my top tips for staying productive and achieving the most out of everyday. I put together a list of 7 things that have helped me tremendously with being productive in school, with my blog, and working from home. I have a lot more tips that I will also be sharing in another blog post if you all enjoy this one. But before we jump into the post, make sure that you subscribed to my blog to get email updates every time I post, and follow me on Instagram @GutsyFeeling to get more updates from me on my day to day life.
1. Prepare the Night before
Many wise people have said that your day starts the night before. Meaning that it is important to prep for a successful and productive day the evening before. This can look different for everyone, but could include things like setting out your outfit for work, setting out gym clothing for the morning, packing your lunch, preparing your breakfast or coffee station, organizing your task list, journaling, etc. The whole point here is to make your morning as smooth as possible. Because, if you start your day off smoothly and productively, odds are you will get more done and will feel less stressed. There is nothing worse than starting your day off feeling stressed and frantically rushing around before you bolt out the door. So try to prep for a great day the night before.
I started the practice of morning journaling this summer and let me tell you that it changed my life. Writing first thing when you wake up is a great way to get your body going and to wake up your brain. The morning is proven to be the most efficient time of the day to brainstorm creative ideas. This is because your body has just woken up from a dream (whether you remember it or not) and your body is naturally in a creative state while dreaming. Therefore, allowing yourself 5-10 minutes of free hand writing in the morning may allow you the time to brainstorm new ideas, get your jumbled to do list out on to paper, and overall help to clear your mind. I do this first thing in the morning and this has truly been one of the best practices I have acquired to help me wake up.
We are constantly being pulled in a million different directions by various people in our lives. Whether that be our friends, parents, spouse, kids, dog, boss, etc, everyone seems to want our attention in one way or another. That is why it is so important to set aside a “Do Not Disturb” time everyday. This is the time where you are not communicating with others, but are simply focusing on the task at hand. This time may be every morning or this may be in the evenings, but no matter the case make sure this time exists within your schedule.
Now, I know that 100% disconnection is not possible for many people who have kids or other situations. But, try to get creative if you do have something/someone who often needs your attention. Maybe your “Do Not Disturb” time is when your kids are napping, or after they go to bed. Whatever, the case may be try your best to set aside designated times where you are contact free from others. This goes for emails and social media as well. Many people feel the need to reply to emails/comments/DMs right away, but really this is not the case. If something is really pressing that person will call or text you. Otherwise, try to leave emails and social media for a specific time in your schedule.
To do lists are one of the most ineffective tools in the world if you don’t put those items into your schedule. That is why you should quit using to-do lists (for the most part), and instead give each task a designated time slot. This can be done with the method of calendar blocking. I have talked about the Calendar Blocking method before in previous posts, and I truly believe that it is very effective at keeping your priorities in check.
The calendar blocking method is really great because it forces you to give each task a time slot. Therefore, you will not over pack your day because you know (approximately) how your day will be layed out. This basically eliminates the idea of the To-do list because as soon as you think of something that needs to be done, instead of putting it on a list you have to give it a date and time that it will be completed. I still use a physical calendar but I also like to use Google Calendars when I want to really schedule out my day to ensure that I will get things done. Below is an example of how the calendar could be used (this is not my real schedule lol):
When scheduling out your day it is important to prioritize your tasks and use the golden rule. The golden rule comprises of the following: write down 2-3 main tasks that have to get done and 2-3 extra tasks that don’t NEED to get done, but it would be nice if you could get done. The main tasks should be completed as early in the day as possible to ensure that they get done. Once, the main tasks are done, then and only then, can you move on to the extra tasks. This will help to keep you focused on your priorities and what really needs to get done.
Some of my favorites for studying/reading/writing include:
– Spotify Focus Playlist
– Classical Music
– Fan noise
Your desk can often be a reflection of your mind, so I think it is worth it to take 10 minutes before you start your work to clear off any piles of paper, put things back in their place, and prepare your space for work. When I prepare for work I always make sure I have water next to me and have uplifting essential oils diffusing. I typically like to diffuse Citruses, “Quick Study”, and/or Frankincense. All these oils help to keep you focused and bring uplifting energy to the space. If essential oils aren’t your thing, maybe you light a candle before starting work, or you turn on music or sounds. Whatever it may be, make sure your space is clean, organized, and ready for you to complete your best work possible.
What is your number one productivity tip? Let me know in the comments down below or on Instagram. If you enjoyed this post, let me know if you would like me to do a part 2 to this in the future. Make sure that you subscribed to my blog to get email updates every time I post, and follow me on Instagram @GutsyFeeling to get more updates from me on my day to day life. I also started a Pinterest account that has more content from me. Go on over and follow me and I’m sure you will not be disappointed.
Keep Exploring, Learning, and Dreaming,
Your Trusty, Gutsy Gal