Well before I got into planning I was on a never-ending search of being more productive. I wanted to get more done and with a purpose but I didn’t want to spend my days organizing my life. What ended up happening (a lot) is that I would start a task, be over the top into it, then forget about it and finish it whenever I had a chance, or never. This obviously wasn’t working.
After discovering the planning community on a whim to look for a cute planner (to attempt yet another productive streak) I realized that a good start to any productivity support system are the basics. Below are some of small actions I do daily and weekly that help me stay on top of my life and ongoing to do lists.
1. WRITE THINGS DOWN. The one brilliant thing about planning is that you always have a piece of paper on hand. I make sure to have a ton of post it notes and note papers around so that when I have a thought (no matter how big or small) I write it down. I have a landing page in both my planners that I use to capture my post its and at the end of each day I check in on it to see if there is anything I can work into an actionable item.
2. START YOUR DAY EARLIER. I used to be so late every single day. It was as if I purposefully refused to be on time and I realized the reason was that I was always underestimating how long it takes me to start my day. These days, I wake up a half hour earlier than I need to and make sure I don’t leave my house stressed out and rushing each morning. I have a coffee, a breakfast snack, get through my beauty routines and then sit down and go over my planner and my goals for the day. I find checking in on the day before leaving the house allows me to keep the important things at the forefront of my mind; while reading over my daily goals has proved to be a great way to pump myself up to have a productive day.
3. SET UP RITUALS FOR PRODUCTIVITY. This tip actually goes hand in hand with goals checking. One of the rituals I have set up for myself to be more productive in my day is setting one or two daily goals to accomplish. Whether it’s self-care goals (like getting a facial or doing my nails) or business related, I make sure I start my day thinking about what that goal is and setting up my entire day as a means to accomplish that goal. This way I don’t get bogged down with to do lists but rather have one cohesive mind set each day.
4. IF YOU THINK IT, DO IT. I used to be so stuck to my planned-out tasks that I had what seemed like too much control of my day. I would read my lists and patiently await the time when I can get through each task based on how I had originally planned to do it. Well guess what? Life is not that structured! What I’ve started doing is reading these lists during my down-time periods and if I find I have a few minutes to accomplish a task (whether I planned on it or not) I just do it and check it off the list.
5. GET INTO YOGA. If you haven’t already done so, try a yoga class. I find I don’t make enough of an effort to exercise but ever since I have gotten into hot yoga as a weekly routine I have had a clearer mind, a healthier sense of self, and a generally more relaxed demeanor. If you’re looking for a form of exercise that will help with not just your health but with your productivity levels, I highly recommend a yoga studio.
Stay productive guys!