Several weeks ago, I asked you guys what you wanted to see more of on this blog.
Slowly, I’ve been trying to chip away at some of the same requests I kept getting over and over. And a lot of them were really surprising to me like how to style vignettes, what’s in my makeup bag, what does the front of our house look like, and how do we (sort of) keep our house tidy with a 3 year-old running around.
The biggest problem most of you guys told me you face all the time though is time management. I’m so right there with you. But considering all of the projects we usually get done in our house while I also write and run this blog and stay home with Olivia, I realized I do have productivity tips that I use every day to get more stuff DONE. Maybe I really did have some advice worth sharing.
I promise you, I’m not a morning person at. all. Quite the contrary- I could easily stay up all night and sleep all day. But these tricks have helped me kick my tail into high gear and break my sluggish habit.
8 Productivity Tips to Get More Done Every Day:
- Make a prioritized to-do list for the next day before bed.
Robert calls me the “list queen” because I make lists for everything. I was diagnosed with ADD in high school when, for so many years before that, I’d struggled with concentration. I would read a paragraph 15 times before comprehending it, not because I was illiterate (hello, I became a high school English teacher), but because I simply couldn’t focus. I no longer take medication for it since it turned me into a total zombie as a teenager, but it’s still a struggle I face all the time.
So to keep myself from getting distracted, I make a prioritized list either on my iPhone’s notepad or on a regular ol’ sheet of paper starting with the most challenging tasks first.
Sometimes, I write my tasks in the order they need to be accomplished, like if I have any appointments at specific times.
There’s something so rewarding about crossing through every little thing you accomplish throughout the day.
2. Put your cell phone / alarm clock across the room.
I’m so bad at hitting the snooze button 4 or 5 times before actually getting up. I even hit snooze in my sleep and don’t even consciously realize it. The only way I’ve been able to break the habit is by placing my cell phone with my alarm across the room.
3. Get enough sleep!
That whole setting the phone across the room thing? It prevents me from looking at my phone at night which leads to bad sleep quality too. I’m guilty of staying up writing or lollygagging on the computer until midnight or even 1 a.m. So I even have to set an alarm to make myself go to bed. Fellow night owls, you understand the struggle, right?
I try to make our bed when I get up too since it sets the tone for a productive day right at the very beginning… and who doesn’t look forward to sliding into a fresh, nicely made bed?
4. Set a workout routine.
Robert is way better at this than I am (he’s lost 30 pounds in the past year from hitting the gym every morning!).
I’m always way more productive after I’ve gotten in a great round of cardio to get my blood pumping. Usually all it takes is 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, which is great high intensity with low impact if you have any pain or injury issues. I can usually drop Olivia off with my gym’s childcare to squeeze in my 30 minutes of cardio while watching HGTV on the gym television. (Yay! Mommy time!)
On days I can’t make it to the gym in the mornings, I pop in my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD to get in a workout in our living room. I lost 40 POUNDS 3 years ago just from that DVD as my workout regimen alone when I was losing my baby weight. At that time, we were totally broke and couldn’t afford a gym membership, but it was great for working around our infant’s crazy feeding schedule.
This one is hard! But I’m way better at time management when I can actually find things I’m looking for. Every so often, I try to purge our drawers, cabinets, and closets. My favorite way to organize is just by using items from the dollar store. You can find all of my past organization projects here.
6. Plan a reward for yourself when you finish a challenging task.
After I cross off so many items on my to-do list, I reward myself with an episode from my favorite show on Netflix or some chocolate or whatever is going to keep me motivated. If I make a mental note of what my reward will be at the beginning of the day, I’m more likely to get moving on my to-do list to get it.
7. When cleaning the house- set a timer and race the clock.
One day, a realtor friend of ours called Robert and me to ask if she could bring a couple of clients over for a tour of our house since they were interested in our neighborhood. But our house was a total MESS! Robert and I took one terrified look at each other and yelled, “GO!” And it was a hilarious race to tidy our entire house in 20 minutes. We did it! Totally out of breath and laughing, but our house was clean in a jiff.
And that’s when I realized I could do that every day. When I want to get as much done as possible on housework, I set a timer on my phone and race the clock to cram in dishes, laundry, making beds, dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming in about 30 minutes. It’s a rush and super productive.
8. Set goal lists for days, weeks, months, even years ahead.
I like to keep track of all of my plans and goals for the weeks and months in advance on my Google Calendar with blogging tasks, post plans, family vacations, personal goals, financial goals, anything and everything. With Google Calendar, I can sync it with my Mac and iPhone, and I can color code tasks and goals according to different categories- family, financial, blogging, and personal.
Maybe I’m more Type A than I give myself credit for, but that’s what I do to stay productive. I’m not at all naturally organized and logical. I’ve just had to train myself to break those bad habits that prevent me from getting things done. If I didn’t, this blog probably wouldn’t have survived past the first 6 months.
Do you have any awesome productivity tips you use? Or are you a blogger too and have some organization methods that help you? These time management tips can really work for anyone, but if you’re a blogger specifically, you can find all of my favorite blogging resources that I use here.
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