I’ve recently been trying to figure out how to make my days a little more productive. Some days are great, don’t get me wrong! I’ll get more than one outfit shot, buy groceries, do my laundry, exfoliate and self tan ALL IN ONE DAY. But it’s the next day that’s the problem. I may sleep in an hour or two later, drink some coffee, get distracted by Instagram stories or a book… Next thing I know, it’s 4:00 pm and I’ve accomplished basically nothing. So I decided to do something about it! I’ve been trying several different tactics, and I think I’ve finally found a winning combo. If you need to get a little more done during the hours you’ve been given, read on!
I know, I know. Exercising first thing in the morning sounds like the WORST. It does to me, at least. But I’m telling you, the days I wake up and just get outside, even for just a walk or a quick jog, THOSE are the days I feel amazing! I always expect to feel exhausted afterwards, but every single time, I feel invigorated instead! PRO TIP: Lay out everything you need the night before. Top, bottoms, bra, shoes, socks, headphones, ponytail holder, apartment key, EVERYTHING! That way, when you wake up, you’ll be ready in five minutes and not have to spend your time picking out/searching for stuff.
2. Eat Breakfast
Guys, you’re talking to the pro of not eating breakfast. In high school and college, I never had time for it! Starting in college and carrying over into most of my adult life, my “breakfast” has consisted of a tall thermos of black coffee with cream. But there’s a reason it’s called the most important meal of the day! Even if it’s something simple, like toast and yogurt or (my personal favorite) eggs and bacon. It really doesn’t take that long, and it gives your brain and body the fuel it needs to GET STUFF DONE.
3. Brain Dump
One of my favorite bloggers, Brighton Keller, introduced me to this term a while back (you can read her post all about brain dumping here, but I’ll explain it briefly). It goes like this. You have a MILLION things swimming around in your head. Errands you need to run, people you have to call (or call back), work stuff, personal stuff, so. much. stuff. And it’s paralyzing! You have no idea where to begin! Enter: brain dump. Essentially, you write EVERYTHING down. Whether it’s on paper or on your computer or phone is up to you. But get it outta your head and onto something you can look at. There’s no order (at first) to all your things. Just write them down as you think of them – big or teeny, doesn’t matter. After you do that, you can organize them by category and/or importance. It’s amazing how much easier it is to accomplish things when you have it all laid out for you to see!
4. Make A Playlist
I’m the type of person who listens to music pretty much every minute of the day. Cooking, reading, getting ready, exercising, even showering! So a key to productivity for me is a motivating playlist. There are a TON of these already on Spotify, but I encourage you to make your own! What motivates someone else may not necessarily affect you. BUT I will say I made a pretty fun playlist that definitely motivates me! You can find it here. 🙂
5. Reward Yourself
No, I don’t mean reward yourself like eat a piece of cake every time you accomplish something on your to do list. But I do mean for you to find some way to treat yourself when you check something (or a certain amount of things) off! Allow yourself to read a chapter of a book or maybe watch a 20 minute TV show for every ten things you get done. Little breaks like that are good for you and actually increase productivity and concentration during your “working” time! If you’re not a “little breaks” type of person, think of some bigger reward that you can do/have at the end of the day! This only works if you have specific goals, though. You can’t just say “I’ll work for an hour and then watch TV” because DISTRACTIONS. You’ll end up getting a phone call, or you need to check the mail, or your kids start fighting. Before you know it, that hour’s gone and what have you really gotten done?
These may not all work for you. You may need to substitute some “tactics” or alter some of mine. But I really do think if you give them a try, you’ll be amazed at what you’re actually capable of! Feel free to drop your own productivity tips in the comments below – I’d love to hear them!