How To Be More Productive Every Day

8 tips to streamline your day, find balance in your work and your life, and work smarter, not harder to get a lot done in less time.

Total disclaimer: That post title sounds all kinds of high and mighty so lemme back up…

Productivity and I, we’ve had quite the fling happening between us for the past several years. It’s a love/hate relationship but it works somehow.

I can’t begin to tell you how I managed to be a full-time 8-4 teacher, wrangled a toddler, made over our house top to bottom alongside Robert, created this website, learned photography and wrote, and kept up with everything else in life back when this blog started 6 years ago.

How To Be More Productive Every Day | 8 tips to streamline your day, find balance in your work and your life, and work smarter, not harder to get a lot done in less time.

But I guess I did something right because here we are doing this blogging gig as our full-time job.

My productivity hacks aren’t something I thought anyone would care to hear about, but then when I asked a bunch of y’all on Instagram a few weeks ago what you wanted to see from me and needed help with the most, there was one resounding topic that kept popping up:

How to Be More Productive

This is just what works for me…

1. Time Block

Every night before I go to sleep, I write down a to-do list for the next day. I organize each task in order of how they need to be accomplished and I set a schedule like this:

Time blocking daily schedule - how to be more productive every day

I’ve been doing this for YEARS! It has been the number one way I stay on track each day and keeps me from tossing and turning at night thinking of everything I need to do. Write it, forget it, and lights out.

2. Use a Planner

I like to plan out all of our family’s appointments, events, and activities along with our projects at least a month in advance. And I love setting larger long-term goals at the beginning of every year (like how we made our 2020 house goals).

I just got this planner from Tidbits Planners, and I absolutely love it so far because it incorporates the time blocking method I use so much. It’s pretty, clean, and simple so that I can streamline everything without a lot of “fluff”.

Favorite day planner and how to be more productive every day

3. Don’t Multitask

Seriously. I have a hard time breaking myself of this one because as moms, I think we naturally are multitaskers. But I discovered once I started “batching” my work, I got more accomplished.

4. Get Enough Sleep

I need someone to preach this one to me because I’m a night owl, but when I get 8 hours of sleep, I’m an unstoppable productivity machine. And I’m nicer to my kids so there’s that. Haha!

Master bedroom

5. Turn On Music

There’s just something about putting on good jams while I knock out hard work that gets me in the “zone”. It works. I swear.

6. Prioritize

What’s that Mark Twain saying? “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Tackle your worst, most difficult task at the beginning of the day and the rest will be smooth sailing.

Day planner on writing desk | how to be more productive every day

7. Reward Yourself

I try to make Fridays my reward days. If I can manage to cross off everything on my to-do list by Thursday, I’ll reward myself with a lunch outing or a little shopping or catch up with friends on Facebook/Instagram. Makes accomplishing goals even more awesome.

8. Learn to Say No

I have a hard time with this one, but this past year, it’s been a valuable lesson. I’ve said no to “great opportunities” and I’m okay with it. Take on less stuff, if you can. It’s okay to not pack your schedule with family trips or school events or appointments or whatever. Know your limits. You owe it to your health.


Anyways, maybe that helps? For any of y’all who asked me, hopefully that at least gave you a boost in goal-getterness?

Do you have any others you’d add to the list? Teach me! Because I don’t know it all either.

If you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here:

How To Be More Productive | 8 tips to streamline your day, find balance in your work and your life, and work smarter, not harder to get a lot done in less time.

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  1. Great list. I WILL start writing down my to-do-list the night before. Why didn’t I think of that? I think of myself as organized. Well obviously not. Thanks for the tips! Off to find a planner. 🙂

    1. I swear I sleep SO much better after I’ve written it all down. It’s like I’ve just unloaded everything out of my brain.

  2. I love this! Good reminders for me on some things I had forgotten. I also love listening to podcasts while I work around the house b/c it keeps me from over-thinking tasks that don’t require it…haha. I’m a 6 on the enneagram, so yeahhhh. Thanks for sharing….and I’m curious, where did you purchase your oh so cozy looking bedding?

    1. Yes! I’ve just started getting into podcasts. How I Built This is one I’ve been listening to lately. And The Office Ladies if you liked the show The Office. 🙂 I’m a 9w1 Enneagram so the perfectionism side definitely comes out with the to-do lists. The bedding came from Amazon. I plan on sharing some tricks on how we made it look extra “fluffy” soon.

  3. On Monday, you have Ju Jitsu at 5:15, but it’s not in your detailed schedule. Whose Ju Jitsu is it, and why isn’t it on the list for the day?

    1. Robert takes Olivia to Jiu Jitsu at 5:15 so I stay at home with Regan cooking dinner and we all eat together when they get home from her Jiu Jitsu class. So that’s why it’s not in my individual schedule. Sorry, I should have explained that.

  4. You are such an inspiration to so many of us! I love your attitude, love your blog, love your decorating style, etc., etc.! I have juggled so many things in my adult life and always felt like I never did enough for everyone. Now I am trying to be kinder to myself and enjoy everyday. I am also in the stage of my life where I am hoping to retire within the next year. I have been a widow for 34 years, raised my daughter alone and am trying to get my life in order before I retire. Because of life, I will still have to have an income and would love to write a blog, but everything I read is confusing, everyone wants to charge you an chunk to get you started, and I just wondered if you would share how or what you did to start your blog. I already have a name and have looked to see if anyone else has the name, etc. I just don’t want to make costly mistakes. Thank you so sharing with so many – keep on doing what you are doing! Have a fabulous Friday and wonderful weekend!

    1. You are too sweet! The scope of blogging has changed so much, especially in recent years, so I totally get it. It’s confusing for me too really and it feels like you never really “catch up” with info moving and evolving so fast. The best resource I’d say right now for getting all of the info you need to start a blog is from this ebook that’s currently $18 and you can put in the code JAN20 to get 20% off of that. It’s the cheapest I can find with the most beginner blogging info you could get in one place. https://startablogbynumber.com/

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