Personal Development

  • 31 Time Management Tips to Help You Get More Done

    25 Time Management Tips to Help You Get More Done

     

    It seems like time management is something just about all of us struggle with. Whether you’re balancing a full-time job, a side hustle, a family, travel, etc., it just seems like there’s never enough time in the day.

    I this post, I’m sharing 31 time management tips that will help you be more productive and really take control of your time.

    Not all 31 of these tips will work for everyone, but if you can find just a few that really work in your life, I guarantee they can make a huge difference!

     

    Time Management Tips to Help You Get More Done in Less Time

     

    Set Goals

    Of all of the time management tips I have tried, I’ve found goal setting to be by far the most effective. This might come as a surprise to you, but I’ll explain why that’s the case.

    Setting goals gives me a clear and specific direction for exactly what I should be doing with my time. When I’ve set a goal the right way, it’s so easy to just quickly drop those tasks onto my calendar.

    You can check out exactly how I set goals and plan my year to make time management super easy!

     

    Eat the Frog

    There’s a Mark Twain quote that says:

    Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

    So how does this apply to time management? The premise is that if you get the biggest, most difficult ask out of the way first, then the day is smooth sailing from there

    Depending on your schedule and responsibilities, you might not be able to do the biggest task first. But rest assured that getting that task out of the way early will take a lot of weight off your shoulders and make you feel a lot better about what you’ve accomplished that day!

     

    Create a Morning Routine

    Mornings have the potential to not only be super productive but to also shape your productivity for the entire day.

    And yet, for so many of us, mornings are just chaos.

    Creating a morning routine has honestly changed my life.

    I’m less stressed. I’m less tired. I’m more prepared to tackle my to-do list for the day.

    I have an entire blog post dedicated to helping you create a healthy and effective morning routine, so make sure to check it out!

     

    Use a Planner

    I can’t even imagine how chaotic my day would be if I didn’t use a daily planner. It’s basically what holds my life together.

    Just having a place to plan your schedule and write down your to-do list will go a long way in helping you to manage time effectively.

    If you aren’t sure where to start, check out my blog post where I share the best planners to use for productivity this year.

     

    Time-Block Your Day

    Time blocking is a great way to plan your day in a way that really allows you to take control of your time.

    Time-blocking at its core is just blocking off certain times on your calendar to accomplish certain tasks. This is a LOT more effective than just writing a to-do list because you’re actually planning when you’re going to get everything done.

    Here’s an example of what time-blocking might look like in a typical day for me:

    • 6:45-8:15: Morning Routine / Get Ready for Work
    • 8:30-5: Full-Time Job
    • 5:30-7:00: Working out, taking the dog for a walk, eating dinner, and other miscellaneous tasks to wind down after work.
    • 7:00-10:00: Work on Blog
    • 10:00-11:00: Shower and Bedtime Routine

     

    Batch Tasks

    Combine like tasks and work on them at the same time.

    Jumping from task to task takes time and mental energy, so cutting down on the number of transitions saves a lot of time.

    I like to batch as many tasks as I can for my blog and business.

    For instance, instead of scheduling social media content every single day, I sit down once per week and schedule everything.

    Similarly, I use batching in my Etsy shop. Rather than designing researching a new product, designing it, photographing it, and creating a listing, I’ll batch those tasks.

    I’ll research and brainstorm a bunch of product ideas at once.

    Then I’ll design all of those products, and photography all of those products, and create all of the listings.

    Go through your workflow and figure out where you can be batching tasks to save time.

     

    Set a Timer

    For the longest time, I didn’t pay attention to how much time I was spending on certain blogging tasks.

    Then I started tracking my time with Toggl, and I was honestly surprised by how long certain tasks were taking me.

    And I guarantee that most of the reason for that amount of time was procrastination and getting sucked in my distractions.

    Now that I know roughly how much time it should take me to complete certain tasks, I still set timers for myself to make sure I’m making any task take longer than it needs to.

    And another reason I love tracking my time in my business is that I see what my hourly income ROI is for certain tasks. This helps me narrow down my to-do list to only focus on those tasks that make me the most money.

     

    Set a Time Limit for Each Task

    Once you’ve used a timer to figure out how long certain tasks are taking you, it’s a heck of a lot easier to plan your day. That’s because you can make an educated guess as to how long each task is going to take.

    I’ve timed myself writing enough blog posts that I can confidently guess how long it’s going to take me. So when I put it on my calendar, I can schedule it for a certain amount of time.

     

    Use the 80/20 Rule

    The 80/20 rule, otherwise known as the Pareto Principle, says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your actions. And vice versa – 80% of your actions account for just 20% of your results.

    It turns out, you can apply it to just about any area of your life.

    The benefit of the 80/20 rule is that if you can identify the 20% of your efforts that are giving you 80% of your results, you can do more of those things and maximize those results even more.

    Check out this article to learn more about using the 80/20 rule in your life.

     

    Limit Time Spent Checking Email

    I probably don’t need to help you that you need to spend less time in your inbox…but I’m going to anyway.

    Because even though most of us know we’re spending too much time checking email, we still do it!

    For many of us, email could take up our entire day if we let it. So don’t let it. Set aside specific blocks of time on your calendar where you’ll check email – maybe a few times per day.

    And then only check email during those times.

    For me, just turning off email notifications on my phone made a huge difference in helping me cut down on the amount of time I was spending on email.

     

    Say NO More Often

    As a people-pleaser, this one is hard for me. I have a difficult time saying no, and so I’ve spent a lot of time rearranging my schedule to accommodate other people.

    But the more time spent focusing on other people’s priorities is less time spent on your own.

    Saying no to the things that don’t matter to you will ensure you can say yes to the things that do.

    It is not your job to keep other people happy or make sure other people’s priorities are met. It’s okay to put yourself first.

     

    Plan Your Days Ahead of Time

    The best way to plan for a productive day is to starting planning before that day. I plan all of my days ahead of time, so I wake up every morning knowing exactly what is on my to-do list.

    And I don’t just plan my to-do list. I prepare for the entire day. The night before I get the coffee maker ready, I pack my lunch, and I pick out an outfit.

    And as for work, I make sure all loose ends are tied up before I leave in the evening so I know I’m not coming into work in the middle of a task I should have finished the day before.

     

    Use the Pomodoro Technique

    There are a lot of time management strategies that float around online, but the Pomodoro Technique is by far one of the most popular.

    The premise of this technique is that you alternate between time blocks of very focused work, followed by short breaks.

    Here’s how it works:

    • Set a timer for 25 minutes.
    • During that 25 minutes, your work gets 100% of your focus. Close the rest of your browser windows. Don’t check your phone.
    • When the timer goes off, take a five-minute break.
    • Repeat this four times, at which point you’ll take a longer break.

    And that’s it! You can repeat the Pomodoro Technique as many times as you need throughout the day until all your tasks are done.

    This also makes it super easy to track how long each task is taking you, as I talked about further up in this post.

     

    Meditate

    I know it might not seem like there is much of a connection between meditation and time management, but I promise there is!

    One thing that meditation helps you to become really good at is focus. You practice focusing on just one thing (usually your breathing) and then letting thoughts come and go without letting them distract you.

    One of the biggest struggles I see most people having when it comes to time management is focus. We allow ourselves to be easily distracted, usually by technology.

    Meditating regularly can really help you to improve your focus, and therefore get more done every day.

     

    Know the Difference Between Important and Urgent

    When you’re juggling a lot of moving parts of your life (job, side hustle, family, friends) everything seems important. And it’s possible that everything on your to-do list is important!

    The real trick is figuring out which tasks on your to-do list are important and urgent. Then move those tasks to the top of your to-do list.

    There are some tasks that are important, but not urgent. You should make time for those eventually, but they don’t have to be done today.

    Then there are tasks that are urgent, but not really important. An example of this would be a phone call. If you’re going to answer the phone, it’s urgent that you do it right away. But since it’s not important, you could always skip it.

    If you have tasks on your to-do list that are neither important nor urgent, cross them off!

     

    Give Yourself Deadlines

    Regardless of how much I might procrastinate, if I’m given a work deadline, I’m going to meet it.

    Similarly, when I was in college, I might have waited until the last minute to write my papers, but I certainly turned them all in on time.

    Having a deadline really pushes you to get things done in a timely manner.

    Because of this, I find that creating self-imposed deadlines is a great way to help me manage my time and complete the tasks that are important to me, but that there’s no boss requiring me to do.

    If you want to put even more pressure on your deadlines, announce them publicly.

    When I was writing my first eBook, I sent an email to my subscribers letting them know what date my eBook would be launching.

    I hadn’t even started writing it yet.

    But you had better believe that once I announced that date to my readers, I made sure to publish the eBook on time!

     

    Automate

    I’ve learned to automate as many things as I can in my life in the interest of saving time.

    One example of this is my social media marketing. I love sharing new content with my social media followers, but it could also take up literally all of my time.

    Instead, I’ve found some tools that help me to automate my social media promotion.

    Other examples of things you could automate:

    • Automatic Bill Pay
    • Grocery Pickup
    • Unsubscribing from Emails

     

    Schedule Buffer Time

    If you schedule tasks or appointments for every moment of your day, you’re just not going to finish it all.

    Make sure to schedule in buffer time between every task to make time for transitions, breaks, meals, etc.

    Make sure you also schedule in downtime! I’m someone who tends to get a little over-eager when it comes to scheduling out my to-do list, and then I’ll get to the end of the day and realize I had zero time to relax.

     

    Make Your To-Do List SMALLER

    I can’t even tell you how many days I’ve had where I’ve got a lot to get done, so I cram as many tasks as possible onto my to-do list.

    I can tell you this pretty much never works.

    Adding more things to your to-do list won’t help you to get more done, and it will make it harder to prioritize throughout the day.

    What you can do instead is cutting down your to-do list, and the prioritizing it.

    For example, what is the most important task you need to get done today?

    And what are 2-3 other tasks you really want to get done?

    After that, you can list a few most tasks that you would really like to get done, but only if you have time.

     

    Create Templates for Everyday Tasks

    There are probably things you do daily, weekly, monthly, etc. that you end up starting from scratch every single time, even though you do the same task all the time!

    Some examples here might be frequently sending the same type of email, creating the same time of spreadsheet, responding to the same questions, etc.

    I use templates for lots of parts of my business. It makes it super easy to just copy and paste rather than starting from scratch every time.

     

    Cut Down on the Number of Decisions You Have to Make

    Did you know the average adult makes 35,000 decisions per day?

    Am I the only one who thinks that sounds insane?? It’s no wonder we all have decision fatigue and procrastinate on making decisions.

    There are definitely days where it feels like my brain can NOT make decisions, so I’ve found a few ways to cut down on the number of decisions I have to make in a day.

    Here are a few ways you can cut down on the number of decisions you’re making:

    • Simplify your wardrobe. Consider starting a capsule wardrobe or limiting your wardrobe to a certain color scheme to avoid spending so much time putting together outfits.
    • Meal plan. By making all of your meal decisions on the weekend, you aren’t spending time every.single.day figuring out what the heck you’re going to make for dinner.

     

    Use the Eisenhower Matrix to Prioritize Your Tasks

    I know how hard it can be to figure out which tasks are really worth your time and which aren’t. I know when I first started my blog I spent way too much time on things that aren’t weren’t important at all, and failed to devote time to things that really were important.

    That’s why I was so excited when I found what is called the Eisenhower Matrix.

    The Eisenhower Matrix has four quadrants that break down your tasks into four categories:

    • Important and urgent
    • Important, but not urgent
    • Urgent, but not important
    • Neither important nor urgent

    Here’s a look at what the Eisenhower Matrix looks like:

     

    Stop Multitasking

    There was a time in my life when I thought I was really good at multitasking. Except it turns out, there’s no such thing as multitasking.

    When I thought I was multitasking really well, I was actually just jumping back and forth between a bunch of tasks really fast. Meaning NONE of them were getting my full attention and none of them were done as well as they could have been.

    Not to mention all the time I wasted transitioning between those tasks!

    There have been SO many studies that have shown that multitasking is just NOT effective.

     

    Get More Sleep

    Some people might think getting less sleep will make them more productive because they’ll have more time to work.

    This just couldn’t be more wrong!

    Sure, you might spend more hours working if you cut the number of hours you’re sleeping. But I can pretty much guarantee that work time is not going to be nearly as productive.

    When I’m well-rested, I notice an amazing difference in how much I can get done.

     

    Keep Your Workspace Organized

    Sure, clutter is annoying and not exactly pretty to look at. But did you know it’s also probably killing your productivity?

    Physical, digital, and mental clutter are all taking a toll on how much you get done every day.

    Whether it be the pile of papers sitting on your desk or the hundreds of unorganized photos on your desktop, it’s time to get rid of that clutter.

    And by cutting down on clutter, you’ll really be cutting down on the number of distractions in your day.

     

    Eliminate Distractions

    These days, it seems that everyone has a pretty short attention span. Unfortunately, this means we’re all also conditioned to be easily distracted.

    From now on, try setting up your workday to eliminate as many distractions as possible.

    I know my phone is a BIG distraction for me. If I get a text or a call, I’m going to check it right away. And once I’ve picked up my phone, it’s pretty easy for me to fall down the rabbit hole of Instagram!

    It’s important to know what your big triggers are and find ways to minimize them.

    One of the great things about the Pomodoro Technique discussed earlier in this post is that you’ve got five minutes built in for distractions after each 25-minute time block!

     

    Let Go of Perfection

    I’m a bit of a perfectionist. And while this might seem like a good thing at times, anyone with their own business can tell you there’s no room for perfectionism.

    Yes, it would be great it every piece of content I put out was perfect.

    But there’s no such thing as perfect. No matter how many hours I spend on a blog post, it will never be perfect. And eventually, I just have to decide that “good enough” is good enough.

    Learn to be okay with B+ work.

     

    Know Your Why

    When I’m feeling discouraged or unmotivated about a certain task, I remind myself of my WHY.

    At some point, this project made it onto my to-do list for an important reason. And sometimes I just need to remind myself what that reason is.

    For example, maybe you’re starting a side hustle so you can quit your full-time job and have more time to spend at home with your family.

    There are going to be days where you don’t feel like doing that monotonous task, such as writing your next blog post.

    But if you remember WHY it’s important, you’ll be a lot more motivated to get to work!

     

    Measure Productivity Based on Results, Not Time Spent

    Your productivity definitely isn’t determined by the amount of time you spend on a project.

    There might be a day where you spent the entire day working, with some procrastination mixed in. And at the end of the day, you really haven’t accomplished that much.

    Measuring your productivity based on your results, rather than the number of hours you worked, will give you a far better idea of how productive you actually were.

     

    Don’t Wait for Motivation

    I know so many people who wait until they feel “motivated” to work on a task. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. I spent a lot of time there, actually.

    Unfortunately, you can’t rely on motivated. And if you’re serious about reaching your goals, you have to get to work whether you’re feeling motivated or not.

    Here’s a little trick I’ve learned though – if I just get started, even when I’m not feeling like it, motivation usually follows pretty quickly.

     

    Plan EVERYTHING

    And when I say everything, I mean everything!

    I refer to my calendar constantly, so if a task is scheduled, I know it’s going to get done. And if it’s not scheduled, there’s a very good chance it’s going to slip my mind.

    Looking at my planner right now, I have every task scheduled out for the week. Even the errands I need to run this weekend are scheduled.

    Every workout, every meal, and every night out with friends is scheduled ahead of time. And throughout the day as I’m working, I never have to stop and think about what I should or could work on next. I just quickly move onto the next task and save myself a ton of time.

     

    Final Thoughts

    Okay, so 31 time management tips is a LOT to digest at once.

    You don’t have to implement them all at once. In fact, I would really recommend you not implement them all at once. You don’t even need to use all of them to notice a huge difference in your productivity!

    By just implementing a few of these tips you’ll honestly be able to make some huge steps in better managing your own time and not getting caught in the common productivity traps.

    If you have a favorite time management tip, I would love for you to share it in the comments!

    CONTINUE READING

  • How a Growth Mindset Can Help You to Reach Your Goals

    How a Growth Mindset Can Help You to Reach Your Goals

     

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”.

    You’ve probably heard this quote by Henry Ford before. Turns out he was really onto something.

    There’s been a lot of research to look into how our mindset impacts our level of success and it turns out, it’s pretty darn important.

    The concept of a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset was developed by a psychologist named Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

    The gist of it is that your mindset determines whether you’ll even attempt to take on new challenges, and therefore how successful you’ll be down the road.

    This definitely got my attention, because I know I definitely have some limiting beliefs for myself at times.

    In this post, I’m talking all about growth mindset vs. fixed mindset and sharing how a growth mindset can help you reach your goals.

     

    How a Growth Mindset Can Help You to Reach Your Goals

    There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.

     

    Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

     

    Growth Mindset

    Those with a growth mindset believe that skills and intelligence can be developed. This mindset pushed people to embrace challenges and learning opportunities because they see them as the road to success and personal development.

    Because of this, people with a growth mindset are ultimately more likely to be successful and surpass their current level of achievement.

     

    Fixed Mindset

    Those with a fixed mindset are more likely to believe that skills and intelligence are static and can’t be changed. They believe that what they’re good at now is all they’ll ever be good at.

    Because of this, people with a fixed mindset are likely to only take on tasks that will reaffirm their abilities. In other words, they only reach for goals they know they’ll reach.

    They generally aren’t going to push themselves to take on new challenges or learn new skills. They just think it can’t be done!

    And in the long-run, this really limits their success in life.

     

    Benefits of a Growth Mindset

    Now that you know the difference between a fixed mindset and growth mindset (and hopefully have figured out which you have), let’s talk about some of the benefits of having a growth mindset.

     

    You’re Eager to Learn

    People with a growth mindset are excited to learn. They know that the knowledge and abilities they have are NOT finite, and they can continue to grow as individuals throughout their entire lives.

    Because of this, those with a growth mindset will be more likely to seek out learning opportunities to learn more and become more successful.

     

    You Can Thrive in Tough Times

    People with a fixed mindset tend to believe that their current situation and abilities are permanent. This means that during tough times, people with a fixed mindset are likely to think things can’t or won’t get better.

    People with a growth mindset, however, will be more optimistic. They’ll be more persistent and embrace the challenge ahead of them. And they’ll take the lessons of their current situation and use those to be more successful and make different choices in the future.

     

    You Look At Failure Differently

    When you fall short of reaching a goal, do you call it a failure and quit?

    Or do you take the information and experience you’ve gained from that failure and approach the same goal in a different way?

    If the first sentence sounded like you, then you’re probably hanging onto a fixed mindset right now.

    People with a growth mindset look at failure as an opportunity and a lesson. If you fall short of a goal, you haven’t failed! You just haven’t reached your goal yet.

    People with a growth mindset take note of where they fell short, and they fix those things the next time around.

    The important part is that they don’t quit just because things didn’t go perfectly the first time around.

     

     

    You’re Ready For a Challenge

    Those with a growth mindset welcome a challenge instead of fearing it. Those with a fixed mindset are constantly trying to reaffirm their abilities, while those with a growth mindset want to expand their abilities!

    When Dweck was doing research on fixed vs. growth mindset, she worked with children to try to identify the two mindsets from a young age. They did this by offering four-year-olds a choice of puzzles to complete.

    Those with a fixed mindset continually chose easy puzzles they knew they could complete. Those with a growth mindset chose puzzles that would challenge them, even if they ultimately weren’t able to complete them.

    If you look at challenges with a fixed mindset, you might achieve everything you set out to do. But you’re also probably setting the bar so low that you know you’ll achieve everything.

    If you’re really focused on personal development, learn to face challenges with a growth mindset.

     

    How to Develop a Growth Mindset

    Now that you know the benefits of having a growth mindset, you’re probably thinking, “how the heck do I get one??” Even if you’ve had a fixed mindset your entire life, you CAN develop a growth mindset!

     

    Identify the Limiting Beliefs

    What beliefs do you have that have been holding you back? Here are some examples of limiting beliefs you might have:

    • I’m bad at ___.
    • I can’t ___.
    • I will fail if I try ___.

    I know you’ve had limiting beliefs. I can literally think of limiting beliefs I’ve had in the last couple of days. But I noticed them for what they are, and that’s the important thing!

     

    Challenge Those Beliefs with Growth Mindset Beliefs

    When you feel that fixed mindset and limiting beliefs creeping in argue back with a growth mindset.

    Seriously, don’t take no for an answer!

    For example, if you fall short of reaching a goal, you might convince yourself that you’ve failed and aren’t capable of reaching that goal. Instead, fight back and tell yourself you haven’t reached your goal YET – there’s still time!

    If you’re striving for a goal and your fixed mindset convince you that you’ll fail, fight back! Remind yourself that you will definitely fail if you don’t try. And if you do fall short, it isn’t a failure. It’s a learning experience. And the next time you try for that goal you’ll have an even better shot because you’ll be armed with more information and more experience.

     

    Focus on Self-Awareness

    Even if you achieve that growth mindset you’ve been striving for, self-awareness is important to help you KEEP your growth mindset.

    Continue to push yourself to embrace learning, embrace challenges, and even embrace failure because of lessons you gain from it.

     

    Final Thoughts

    So many of us think about how our skills and knowledge might impact what we can achieve. We don’t even think of the role that mindset plays!

    But in fact, your mindset is even more important than your skills or knowledge!

    As I’ve said, having a growth mindset is something I’ve struggled with. I definitely don’t approach every challenge with optimism.

    Literally just the other day I was telling my boyfriend that I was convinced we weren’t going to reach a big goal we’ve been striving for. That’s why self-awareness is SO important! I can’t just let that fixed mindset win because I’ll end up giving up on my goal!

    I hope you’ll use the lessons in this post to take a look at your own mindset and identify areas where a fixed mindset and limiting beliefs are holding you back.

    Then you just need to keep fighting back until that growth mindset wins!

    CONTINUE READING

  • The Best Planners to Use for Productivity in 2022

    The Best Planners to Use for Productivity in 2019

     

    There are few things more exciting to me than getting a new planner for the start of a new year.

    Toward the end of last year, I was trying to decide what planner to purchase for 2022 and I did a ridiculous amount of research.

    Seriously, I was borderline embarrassed to tell my husband the amount of time I invested in this project.

    The good news for me is that I found the perfect planner for me this year that I LOVE.

    And the good news for you is that since I spent all of that time researching the best planners, I have a LOT of insight to share with you!

    If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect planner, you’re going to want to read this list of the best planners for productivity in 2022!

     

    The Best Planners to Use For Productivity in 2022

    There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.

     

    Nomatic Planner

     

    I want to kick things off with the Nomatic Planner since this is actually the planner I’m using daily this year.

    I had never heard of the Nomatic Planner until I started doing research last year, but it was the one I just kept coming back to as my favorite. And I’m SO glad I purchased this one.

    Nomatic is a company that focuses on a lot more than just planners. They aim to create functional products for people who are on the go. Their other products include backpacks, wallets, and travel accessories.

    The Details

    • The planner is available in black or mint and is small enough to carry around in any purse.
    • The planner has a monthly page for each month. In addition to the calendar, it includes a space for notes, and a space to break down your three big goals into actionable tasks. It also includes a habit tracker to track three daily habits.
    • The planner has a weekly view, which also includes the notes and goals section that you find on the monthly pages. Each day includes time slots from 6 AM to 10 PM, as well as a place to fill in your daily priorities. Finally, each weekly page includes one activity. For example, one of the weeks instructs you write a gratitude list every day. Another encourages you to send a thank you note to three people who have made a positive impact on your life.
    • Possibly my favorite feature that is unique to this planner is the blank notebook pages at the back. I used to find myself carrying around a planner AND a notebook, so I specifically wanted a planner where I could find the notebook built in.

    The Downsides

    • So far I haven’t found anything I don’t like about this planner.

    The Price

    • $29.99

    Final Thoughts

    • I really do love this planner. It’s been a few years since I found a planner that I was super excited about. The Nomatic Planner definitely fits that criteria!

     

    Productivity Planner

     

    If you’re a productivity junkie like I am, you’ve probably heard of the productivity planner before. The Productivity Planner is a tool that helps you to both minimize AND prioritize the number of tasks on your to-do list. It incorporates the Pomodoro Technique to help you stay focused for small pockets of time to accomplish all of the tasks on your list.

    The Details

    • The primary feature of the Productivity Planner is the daily page. Each daily pages provides a space to list your single most important task of the day, two secondary tasks of importance, and two additional tasks. Alongside each task is a Pomorodo tracker to keep track of how much time the task has taken you.
    • The daily page also features a small section for notes to use for whatever you’d like. At the bottom of each page is a place to rate your productivity for the day on a scale of 1-10.
    • Finally, each page includes an inspirational quote to help motivate and inspire you.
    • There is a space for weekly planning to list the most important tasks you hope to accomplish that week.
    • There is a weekly review section to help you track your weekly wins, what fell through the cracks, and what you learned.

    The Downsides

    • The Productivity Planner is meant for prioritizing your daily tasks, but it’s not really meant for scheduling or long-term planning. There is no monthly calendar page. If you’re someone who keeps a calendar, you would need to use this planner in conjunction with another calendar tool.

    The Price

    • $24.95

    Final Thoughts

    • I’ve used the Productivity Planner and love it for what it’s for. And I would love to use it. However, it doesn’t offer everything I need most in a planner.
    • For someone who uses a digital calendar to plan their schedule and are only looking for a planner to help manage daily tasks, this is hands-down your best bet.

     

    Passion Planner

     

    The Passion Planner is meant to help you narrow down your goals and simplify your life by focusing on what’s really important. It also helps focus on positivity and gratitude. Think of it as a planner/journal combo.

    The Details

    • The planner is available in three options: dated yearly (January – December), dated academic (August – July), or un-dated.
    • The planner comes in a variety of colors.
    • The planner includes weekly layouts with a daily schedule, to-do lists, and notetaking.
    • The monthly reflection pages will ask you questions to focus on both your productivity and your mindset. The monthly layouts include a calendar and space for project planning and notetaking.
    • The big thing that sets the Passion Planner apart from others is the Passion Roadmap. It’s a layout where you plan what you want to accomplish in three months, one year, three years, and in your lifetime. Then you choose ONE of your shorter-term goals to create a passion plan for, where you map out the actions you’ll take to reach that goal.

    The Downsides

    • I don’t think there are any big downsides to this planner. My personal complaint was the lack of blank notebook pages.

    The Price

    • $30-35

    Final Thoughts

    • Of the planners I’m talking about in this post, I think the Passion Planner is MOST similar to the planner I actually purchased, the Nomatic Planner. The only reason.
    • The big reason the Nomatic Planner won over the Passion Planner was the fact that the Passion Planner didn’t include the blank notebook pages at the back.
    • If you need more help with goal-planning and don’t need the notebook pages, I would choose the Passion Planner.

     

    Full Focus Planner

     

    The Full Focus Planner is a newer one. It was created by Michael Hyatt (he’s a productivity guru, so I’m a big fan). Each planner actually only covers 90 days, so you would have to purchase a new one every quarter. Michael Hyatt claims this to be less overwhelming and more productive.

    The Details

    • Each planner starts with a set of pages to plan your annual goals and make notes on your motivation, the next steps, and your reward if you reach the goal.
    • The planner has monthly calendar layouts to help with planning ahead.
    • A page for rolling quarters allows you to plan several months in advance.
    • There is a page to plan your ideal week, so you can refer back later.
    • Each daily layout has a space to write your top three tasks, followed by any other tasks you want to accomplish. Each daily page also has a notes page, which is a nice addition that I would find really useful.
    • There are pages to plan your daily rituals for your morning, workday startup, workday shutdown, and evening.
    • There are pages to review each week and plan for the week ahead based on what worked the week before.

    The Downsides

    • Hands down, the biggest drawback of this planner is the price. $39.99 is a bit high for an annual planner, so it’s pretty extreme for a quarterly planner.
    • Also, there is so much in this planner that I think a lot of the features would go unused for me.

    The Price

    • $39.99 Quarterly
    • $119.97 Annually

    Final Thoughts

    • The Full Focus Planner offers so much and if it wasn’t so expensive, I would have considered it.
    • It’s also important to note that investing in yourself is important. However, it’s also important to know which investments pay off the most for you. Time management is NOT my biggest struggle, so I don’t believe it would be worth the money for me to invest in this planner. However, for some people, this planner would be well worth the annual investment. It’s just about knowing yourself.

     

    Panda Planner

     

    The Panda Planner claims to use scientifically-backed tools to help you with planning. It’s a planner I saw everywhere at the end of 2018, so it definitely seems to be picking up popularity.

    The Details

    • The Panda Planner layouts are unique from any of the other planners in this post, and I really like them.
    • The daily layout includes the following:
      • A morning review that includes a gratitude list and a list of things you’re excited about.
      • A daily affirmation, focus, and exercise.
      • Your top five priorities for the day.
      • Your daily schedule.
      • And evening review that includes the day’s wins and how you can improve.
    • The weekly layout includes the following:
      • Big wins from the previous week.
      • Your top priorities for the week ahead and what you’ll do to make the week great.
      • Habits you’re focusing on developing.
      • Something new you want to learn.
      • Projects you’re working on.
      • Your goals for the week.
    • The monthly layout includes the following:
      • A monthly calendar.
      • A habit and focus tracker for each day.
      • Your goals for the month.
      • Distractions you plan to avoid.
      • Your wins from the month.
      • Insights you gained throughout the month.

    The Downsides

    • No downsides jump out at me on this one. I seriously considered purchasing this one.

    The Price

    • $37.97

    Final Thoughts

    • The Panda Planner is a cool planner. It doesn’t have anything crazy that you can’t find in other planners, but I really like the layout of each page.
    • I also like the addition of things like gratitude lists, habits, affirmations, etc.
    • When considering all the factors, I would put this one in the top three.

     

    Erin Condren LifePlanner

     

    Erin Condren is definitely one of the most recognizable names in the planner world. The Erin Condren LifePlanner has been super popular for years. The business has exploded to include tons of different types of planners, planner accessories, planner sticks, and other office supplies. It’s a bright and colorful company.

    The Details

    • The planner includes a basic monthly calendar layout for each month.
    • You can choose between three options for the daily layout: vertical, horizontal, or hourly.
    • There is a page to plan for goals and dreams for the year.
    • There’s a section for notes in the back.
    • There are SO many ways you can customize your Erin Condren LifePlanner using the accessories and stickers on their website.

    The Downsides

    • The first obvious downside to this planner is the price. $55+ is a LOT to pay for a planner that doesn’t offer any features you can’t find in another planner.
    • The other downside for me is the size. I want to be able to fit my planner in any purse. It needs to be easily transportable. The Erin Condren LifePlanners are quite large and seem like kind of a hindrance to carry around all day.

    The Price

    • $55-$65

    Final Thoughts

    • The Erin Condren planners are so popular, but I would probably never buy them.
    • It’s a VERY basic planner. If basic is what you’re looking for, you can find unlimited other options that will be significantly cheaper.
    • If you’re really looking for extra productivity tools, this planner has none.

     

    Bullet Journal

     

    The bullet journal is a little different from everything else on this list because it’s not an actual planner. A bullet journal is more of a planning method that you can do in literally any blank journal or notebook.

    The Details

    • The original bullet journal system is inherently simple. It’s simply a method for logging your daily tasks, events, and notes.
    • The bullet journal system is, at its core, minimalist.
    • There are other pages you can include such as a future log or monthly log for noting future events.
    • You can create a page for logging just about anything. Here are some common examples:
      • Food Log or Meal Plan
      • Habit Tracker
      • Sleep Tracker
      • Monthly reviews, and way, way, way more

    The Bad

    • Bullet journals have gotten to be really trendy and there are people who use it more as a creative outlet, spending many hours per week on it.
    • If you’re looking for a tool to help you be MORE productive, this may not be it unless you really intend to stick to the original minimalist bullet journal method.

    The Price

    • Ranging from next to nothing for a regular notebook to $20+ for a nicer journal.
    • The most popular option is a Leuchtturm1917, which is $19.95.

    Final Thoughts

    • I used a bullet journal for about six months. It’s actually one of my favorite planners I’ve used.
    • My reasons for no longer using a bullet journal stem from the fact that I just don’t have time to redesign my own planner every single week or month.
    • Bullet journals are CRAZY popular right now. A quick search on Pinterest or Instagram and you’ll be able to find way more information than you ever knew you needed.
    • If you’re ready to start your own bullet journal, you can grab a book here.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    If you’re a productivity or planner junkie like I am, you understand spending hours researching the PERFECT planner to help you stay organized all year long.

    This year I took some of the legwork out of it for you by compiling a list of some of the most popular and best planners on the market for 2022.

    I hope this post helps you to find the perfect planner for you. I would love for you to leave me a comment and let me know which planner you’re using for 2022!

     

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • Personal Development Books You Need to Read This Year

    9 Personal Development Books You Need to Read This Year

     

    If you read this blog regularly, it probably won’t come as a surprise that personal development books are kind of my jam.

    I’ve always loved reading. But prior to my mid-twenties, my time spent reading was devoted almost entirely to fiction.

    And don’t get me wrong, I still love a good novel. But to me, one of the best feelings is reading a personal development book you LOVE and feeling like you’ve finally been let in on this big secret that you know is going to change your life.

    I’ve read a LOT of personal development books over the past few years, and today I want to share some of my favorites!

    And while you’re here, you might also like the article I wrote where I share more than 80 of the best personal development tips!

     

    9 Personal Development Books to Read This Year

    There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.

     

     

    7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

     

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by [Covey, Stephen R.]I wanted to list this book first because it’s just such a classic, and one I think EVERYONE should read.

    In fact, a lot of you may have read it in school at some point. But I guarantee that as an adult, you’ll get a LOT more out of it.

    Seriously, there’s a reason it’s still a best-seller so many years after it was published!

    7 Habits of Highly Effective People shares the 7 habits that will help you be successful and help you solve problems in your personal and professional life.

    I’m not kidding when I say that the core values shared in this book can legit change your life if you implement them.

     

    To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, you need to start doing things you’ve never done before. – Stephen Covey

     

    Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

     

    I’m going to be honest, I was skeptical about this book at first. I read Rachel Hollis’ first book, Girl, Wash Your Face, and I really didn’t love it. I thought it was okay, but not exactly life-changing.

    This book, on the other hand, I loved.

    This book doesn’t have any of the fluff I found in her first book. Instead, this book is filled with amazing, actionable steps you can take to reach your big scary goals. And even as someone who has done a LOT of reading and writing about goal-setting, I found myself taking notes all the way through.

    Girl, Stop Apologizing is broken down into three sections: excuses you need to let go of, skills you need to learn, and an actual roadmap for the steps Rachel takes to reach a goal.

    If you’re a goal-driven woman and just need a little guidance on reaching your goals, this is a must-read for you!

    Plus, Rachel writes with a really personable tone that makes her seem like a friend sharing some killer goal-setting advice.

    For all my dreamers, for all my hustlers, for all my girls reading this who are building and planning, don’t you dare compare your beginning with someone else’s middle! – Rachel Hollis

     

    You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

     

    This book has become something of a cult classic since it was published in 2013, and for good reason.

    In this book, Jen talks you through the process of overcoming those limiting beliefs and behaviors that are holding you back.

    Basically, the author transformed her life, and now she’s helping you change yours. She’s not teaching you to become a badass, she’s just proving to you that you already are.

    If you constantly feel yourself being held back by your own excuses, mental blocks, and fear of what other people think of you, then this book is perfect for you.

    You’ll definitely feel like a badass when you’re done reading it!

    P.S. If you LOVED this book, make sure to check out Jen Sincero’s other books for badasses:

     

    You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it. – Jen Sincero

     

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

     

    I’ve read a lot of Mark Manson’s articles, so I knew going into this book I was going to like it. But it definitely exceeded my expectations.

    One of my favorite things about the book is that unlike a lot of other books and articles sharing “honest truths” and (sometimes) “unpopular opinions”, these are well-researched and shared alongside academic research.

    The premise of the book is you just CAN’T focus on or care about everything. And the key to a good life is REALLY focusing on your values and the things that matter to you.

    You can’t make everybody happy. But also, you aren’t responsible for making everybody happy.

    He’s also critical of the positivity and pep talks we see from so many personal development gurus. Because as inspirational as they might be, are they really all that effective?

    It’s a tone that probably won’t be appreciated by everyone, but I definitely recommend it!

     

    It turns out that adversity and failure are actually useful and even necessary for developing strong-minded and successful adults. -Mark Manson

     

    Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

     

    You know those personal development books that you got so much out of that you want to read them again and again?

    That was Tribe of Mentors for me.

    You’ve probably heard of Tim Ferriss from his book The 4-Hour Workweek, but Tribe of Mentors is definitely my favorite book of his.

    Basically, Tim interviews some of the most successful people in the world and shares the life advice that got them there.

    As you read the book, you’ll find the same advice repeated over and over again by different people in the book, which was a huge lightbulb moment for me.

    This book is LONG, but each interview is only a few pages long (at most), so it’s easy to digest in short sittings.

     

    What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. – Tim Ferriss

     

    Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

     

    You probably recognize the name Elizabeth Gilbert from her book Eat, Pray, Love. But Big Magic is, in my opinion, even better.

    Not only does the author dig into some of her own creative process in this book (which I always LOVE to see), but she also offers LOTS of tips for cultivating your own creativity.

    What’s even more, she gets brutally honest about creativity. And about the fact that sometimes, your creativity is just nowhere to be found.

    One of the biggest takeaways from this book is not putting too much pressure on your creativity to pay the bills.

    Sure, it would be great if your creative passion also made you a ton of money. But it’s also possible that the pressure to make a lot of money could be exactly what kills your creativity.

    This is a must-read for all creatives!

     

    The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. -Elizabeth Gilbert

     

    The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

     

    I’ve mentioned this book quite a few times before on my blog, but I just had to mention it again because it seriously can change your life.

    I first read this book because I heard it recommended by literally ALL of the most successful people I follow online.

    In the book, the author (Hal Elrod) shares a story of being at a particularly low point in his life. Then, he shares how transforming his morning routine (otherwise known as his miracle morning) changed his entire life.

    Hal started seeing success in literally every area of his life.

    It might sound pretty basic, but I promise you this book is NOT just a typical morning routine guide.

    Hal walks through what activities to include in your miracle morning, WHY to include each one, and HOW to motivate yourself and really stick to your routine.

    If you’re struggling with your mornings or just life in general, definitely give this one a read.

     

    You are where you are because of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be. – Hal Elrod

     

    Atomic Habits by James Clear

     

    I LOVE reading about habits and I’ve been following James Clear for quite a while, so I jumped when I saw this book come out toward the end of 2018.

    You probably know by now that the habits you do (or don’t do) every single day are what is going to make or break your success.

    James Clear clear is a leading expert on habit formation, and this book definitely shared lessons that no one else is sharing on the subject.

    He also breaks habit formation down in a way that makes it sound a LOT easier than you think it is.

    If you are struggling to form healthy habits, this book is for you.

    If you are struggling to reach your goals, this book is for you.

     

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. You don’t have to build everything you want today, just lay a brick. -James Clear

     

    The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

     

    The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by [Keller, Gary, Papasan, Jay]If you feel like your attention is constantly being divided among a million different things, stop reading this blog post and go read this book.

    The big takeaway from this book is that narrowing your focus to fewer things will have a bigger impact on your life.

    And while you’ve probably heard that advice before, this book legit breaks down HOW to choose what to focus on, how to create habits to help you focus on those things, and how to really develop discipline.

     

    What’s the ONE thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? -Gary Keller

     

    Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

     

    If you struggle with vulnerability, then this book is seriously for you. And I say this from experience because I am someone who struggles with vulnerability.

    In this book, the author talks about how so many of us are waiting until we’re perfect or successful to really open up. But by doing that, we’re wasting so much time that we could have spent making connections.

    Most of us think we’re unworthy in some way. And if all of us had the courage to be vulnerable anyways, we could see that everyone has those same struggles.

    It’s definitely a powerful book!

     

    Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations. -Brené Brown

     

    Final Thoughts

    I love personal development books, and I know a lot of you do too! I have been lucky enough to read some personal development books that have legit changed my life, and I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share them with you. I hope you find one (or more!) on this that you really love!

    CONTINUE READING

  • How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

    How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

     

    Just a few years ago, I was one of those people who would set a few arbitrary new year’s resolutions on January 1, only to never think about them again.

    That’s how most of us set goals. We think of a goal or something we might want to accomplish in the future. Then we either HOPE it happens, or we forget about it altogether.  

    But if you really want to achieve your goals, you’re going to have to do more. Achieving your goals takes time, effort, and planning. You can’t achieve goals just by hoping they happen someday. You have to take ACTION.

    In this post, I’m going to lay out the steps you can follow to set goals you’ll actually achieve and plan your best year ever.

     

    How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

     

    Step 1: Reflect

     

    You can’t set goals for your future until you take some time to reflect on your past and where you are right now.

    I want you to grab a notebook or open a word document, and write down the following life categories:

    1. Relationships (friendships, romantic relationships, family)
    2. Health (physical and emotional)
    3. Career
    4. Finances
    5. Home/Environment
    6. Fun & Leisure
    7. Personal Growth

    If there are any major categories in your life that aren’t represented here, such as religion, parenthood, etc., feel free to add those as well!

    Next, go through each category and write down where you are NOW.

    Be honest with yourself about the good and bad in your life for each of these categories.

     

    Step 2: Envision Your Future

     

    Once you’ve thought about where you are right now, take a look at each of those life categories and envision what you want them to look like in the future.

    You can be as broad or as specific as you’d like. In this goal setting exercise, we’re just envisioning our future, not choosing a big goal yet!

    For example, do you see yourself getting married? Having kids?

    Maybe you hope to own your own business someday or have a corporate career trajectory in mind.

    I love doing this exercise right after Step 1 because it’s SO eye-opening. It really shows you the discrepancies between where you are now, and where you want to be. And it REALLY helps with setting goals!

     

    Step 3: Set SMARTER Goals

     

    Now that you’ve thought about what you want your future to look like in all areas of your life, I want you to focus on ONE of those areas to focus on right now.

    Yep, just one. If you set a bunch of BIG goals for yourself, you’ll be unfocused and will have a really difficult time reaching them all.

    By setting just ONE big goal, you can give it your full focus and really ensure you accomplish it.

    When it comes to setting goals, make sure to make it SMARTER:

    • Specific: The more specific your goals, the better. Don’t just set a goal of earning money with your side hustle. Set a goal of earning $1,000/month from your side hustle within the first year (for example).
    • Measurable: The progress of this goal can be easily tracked. $1,000/month is very specific – you’ll know for sure if you’ve reached it or not, as well as if you’re on track to reach it! And once you know how much you want to make per month, you know what your daily and weekly goals should be!
    • Attainable: While setting your goals high is awesome, make sure it’s something you can actually accomplish. Consider what will be required of you to complete this goal, and carefully consider whether you have that to give.
    • Relevant: Make sure your goal is in harmony with your core values and what you’re working toward in life. If your ultimate dream is to work from home full-time, then setting a goal of $1,000/month in the first year is awesome because you’re totally moving in the right direction!
    • Time Bound: Don’t make the time frame for reaching your goals open-ended. We tend to take as long to accomplish a task as we are allowed. If your goals are completely open-ended, they may never seem urgent enough to get to. As you can see, we set a time frame of one year in the goal we’re using as an example.
    • Exciting: Let’s be real, it’s going to be a lot easier to make time to work on goals that excite and inspire you. Emotions are a big factor when it comes to goal-setting, and you’re far more likely to reach for things that excite you.
    • Routine Bound: I firmly believe that creating routines and habits is the absolute best way to make changes in your life. Incorporating your goal into your daily routine ensures you’re making time for it and gives you a MUCH better chance of reaching it. For example, you might say that every evening you get home from work at 6 pm and work on your online business until 8 pm. It becomes a daily routine and ensures you’re putting in the time to reach that $1,000/month goal.

    How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

    Step 4: Break Down Your Goals

     

    Now that we’ve picked our big goal, it’s time to break it down. Looking at your goal as one big, huge step is going to be SUPER overwhelming. You’re probably going to get discouraged pretty quickly because you just don’t know where to start.

    When I’m planning the action steps for my goals, I like to start by breaking the goal down into categories, or mini goals. Basically, what big picture things need to get done in order for you to reach your big goal?

    I use what’s called mind-mapping to do this. I break down my big goal into categories. Then I break those categories, or mini-goals, down into smaller chunks. And then break those down into smaller chunks. And I just keep breaking them down into smaller and smaller pieces until everything leads to tiny, bite-size action items that can be put on your to-do list.

    Once you’ve done that, get those action items scheduled on your calendar or to do list ASAP.

    Depending on the size of your goal you might be talking about 90 days of action items, you might be talking about one year of action items, or you might be talking about even more. Just make sure you know what that time frame is (remember the T in SMARTER stands for Time Bound!)

     

    Step 5: Create Positive Habits

     

    Setting goals is the fun part. It’s the follow through that tends to get a bit rocky. The absolute best way to follow through on your goals and make time to work toward them every day is to form positive habits and daily routines that incorporate your goal!

    Let’s say your goal is fitness related. Maybe you want to run a marathon or lose a certain amount of weight. By working fitness into your daily routine and making it a habit, you won’t have to remind yourself every day or try to talk yourself into it. You’ll just do it!

    Here are a few things to keep in mind to REALLY make sure the habit sticks:

    • Focus on ONE habit at a time. Implementing a new habit is really hard. Implementing a bunch at once is damn near impossible.
    • Smart SMALL. If you want to start incorporating fitness into your life but NEVER work out right now, don’t try to start working out for an hour every single day. Start small and work your way up.
    • Anchor your new habit to an existing habit. Your day is already filled with habits. Anchor your new habit to one of those existing ones to make SURE it gets done.
    • Schedule it. A new habit might be hard to remember the first few weeks, so schedule it or set a reminder on your phone.

     

    Step 6: Create Accountability

     

    I tend to be a little overzealous when it comes to goal setting. And when I say a little overzealous, I mean a LOT overzealous. But for years and years I found that I would set these big lofty goals, and then they would fall through the cracks.

    Sometimes I would work toward them for a while and then lose my motivation. Or worse, I would lose my motivation pretty much right away and forget all about them.
    The best way I’ve found to stop this from happening is to create a system for accountability RIGHT AWAY. As in, right now.

    So how do we go about creating accountability? Here are some ways to do just that:

    • Write down your goal. Seriously, this is a step most people DON’T take.
    • Share your goal. Pick just one person to share your goal with who can help keep you accountable, whether that be a partner, a friend, a parent, etc.
    • Track your progress. Remember that SMARTER goals are MEASURABLE, meaning you can measure their progress! Find a way to do this by using a notebook, journal, spreadsheet, etc.

    How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

    Final Thoughts

     

    You guys, that’s it! As with literally anything, advice is ONLY as good as the amount of time and effort you’re willing to put into it.

    But if you are truly diligent about implementing these steps and following through with the tasks you’ve put on your calendar, you are SURE to reach your big goal this year!

     

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • How to Use The One Minute Rule to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done

    How to Use The One Minute Rule to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done

     

    I would consider myself an organized and productive person MOST of the time, but I can also procrastinate like nobody’s business from time to time. What is especially frustrating is when I procrastinate on tasks that are SUPER easy, and that I know are going to take me no time at all! Enter: the One Minute Rule.

     

    How to Use the One-Minute Rule to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done

     

    What is the One Minute Rule?

    I first heard about the One Minute Rule on one of my FAVORITE podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin (if you’re looking for personal development podcasts, definitely check this one out).

    The rule is super simple. Any task that you can finish in one minute or less, you do right away. For example, putting your shoes away as soon as you get home, or making the bed first thing in the morning. Both take less than one minute, and later you’ll be super glad you did them!

    The One Minute Rule is an easy place to start when you’re looking for productivity and personal development tips, because it’s just SO simple to accomplish, and takes almost no time (one minute or less).

    If you really follow it, I can almost guarantee you’ll notice that your home is cleaner and less cluttered all the time because those dishes don’t have a chance to pile up!

     

    How I Use the One Minute Rule

    As someone who preaches batching tasks, it doesn’t seem like I would be a proponent of the One Minute Rule. But there are definitely situations where I find it to be super useful!

    I most often use the One Minute Rule when it comes to housekeeping. One big example of this is the dishes. If I use a coffee cup, it takes me almost as much time to open the dishwasher and put it in there as it does to put it in the sink, so I try to be diligent about doing that.

    I also really appreciate having a bed that is made every day (partly because it looks nicer, partly because, for some reason, it’s just a lot nicer to get into bed at night when the bed is made). Since I know it takes me less than a minute, I usually try to do that when I’m the last one out of bed in the morning.

    I also use the concept of the one minute rule to push myself to do things I might otherwise talk myself out of. For example, there are definitely times when I get home super late at night, and I’m exhausted and just want to fall into bed.

    On those nights, it would be super easy for me to talk myself into going to bed without washing off my makeup or taking out my contacts. But then I remember that it will literally take me one minute to do those things, and I’ll feel 1000% better in the morning if I do. When I think about it that way, it’s SO much easier to talk myself into doing them.

     

    Other Benefits of the One Minute Rule

    One thing that I love about the One Minute Rule is that it’s a great way to trick yourself into getting bigger tasks done as well.

    For example, let’s say I tell myself I’m just going to take one minute and clean a certain part of the apartment that is cluttered, such as the coffee table. Well once I get started, chances are I’m going to keep going until I’ve tackled all the clutter in our living area (we have an open floor plan so the kitchen, living room, and dining room are basically one big room).

    Another good example of this is email. I might tell myself that I have ONE email that I know needs to be responded to and I know it’s going to take me less than a minute. But once I’ve got my inbox open, it’s SO much easier to finish organizing my inbox and reply to the rest of the emails.

    Sometimes you just need that initial boost before you have the motivation you need to get a bigger task done.  

     

    Final Thoughts

    There you go, my friends, that’s the one minute rule! If you find yourself procrastinating on the quick, easy tasks (and then getting super frustrated with yourself), give the one minute rule a shot. I guarantee you’ll find that you get more done and have more time to relax later!

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  • How to Use the 80/20 Rule (AKA the Pareto Principle) to Change Your Life

    How to Use the 80/20 Rule (AKA the Pareto Principle) to Change Your Life

     

    When it comes to productivity hacks, the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) is one that is seriously overlooked but can have a serious impact on your life.

    So what is the 80/20 rule? Founded by economist Vilfredo Pareto, the rule says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your actions. Pareto was only using for a few specific situations at the time, but it’s since been shown that this principle can apply to just about ANYTHING.

    Here are a few examples:

    Business: 20% of customers bring in 80% of the profit.

    Software: Microsoft reported that by fixing the top 20% of the most reported bugs, they could eliminate 80% of problems.

    Sports: 20% of exercises have 80% of the impact. Additionally, 15% of players produce 85% percent of wins.

    Healthcare: 20% of patients use 80% of healthcare resources.

    Crime: 20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes.

    Seriously, you can apply the Pareto Principle to just about anything! Today I want to share a few examples of how you can apply the 80/20 rule to change your own life!

     

    How to Use the 80/20 Rule to Change Your Life

     

     

    Your To Do List

     

    Does anyone else’s to-do list get cluttered up with really minor tasks that add up to take up a lot of your time, but you really don’t feel like they’re contributing to your life? Yep, that’s those 80% of the tasks on your to-do list that are probably only contributing to about 20% of your productivity. Also, try to identify the minority tasks that are making up most of your productivity!

    The obvious answer here would be to eliminate the 80% of tasks that only contribute to a minority of your productivity, but in a lot of cases, these “busy work” tasks aren’t something that can be totally eliminated. However, you can probably either automate them, outsource them, or devote less time to them.

    For example, if you work full-time and have a side hustle, but find you’re spending more time cleaning your home than working on your side hustle, figure out how to minimize that task. Which means either outsourcing the cleaning (hiring a cleaning service) or minimizing the cleaning (being okay with your house not being SUPER clean).

    In some cases, you’re spending your precious free time on things that are not at ALL productive or necessary. For example, I used to spend a LOT of time watching TV. Usually binge-watching a show on Netflix. And this was a ton of time I wasn’t spending on my business.

    Eventually, I just decided that down the road, I would be a lot more happy with myself if I could look back and see that I spent that time on something that would make a real difference in my life, like being able to make more money from my side business. That made it super easy to cut that thing that was taking up a LOT of my time and having NO positive result on my life. Now I really only watch TV when I’m spending time with my boyfriend.

    The time wasters in everyone’s day are going to be different, but it all comes down to figuring out what in your daily routine is NOT making the most of your time, and figure out how to spend less time on it.

     

    Your Habits

     

    I was doing some reading up on how much of our day runs on autopilot and read from a few different sources that 40-50% of our day is made up of habits, meaning we’re running on autopilot rather than making conscious decisions.

    In some ways that seems great because it means we’re cutting back on the number of decisions in a day, therefore minimizing decision fatigue.

    But then when I think about it again, because it’s kind of alarming how much of an impact BAD habits can have on our lives. And since using the 80/20 we can assume that 20% of our habits are responsible for 80% of our results, it’s SUPER important that those habits be healthy ones!

    Since habits are often things we do on autopilot, we might not even notice all of them. So take a few days and just try to be super mindful of what you’re doing and thinking about throughout the day. And take notes, either in a notebook or on your phone! Make note of which habits are taking up a lot of your energy, and which are having a big impact on your day.

    It’s scary how a few bad habits can have a major impact on your life. One example for me was smoking. I didn’t spend a significant portion of my day smoking, but there were certain times of day where I would just automatically light a cigarette out of habit, and holy smokes is that a bad habit to have!

    Other habits that probably have a HUGE impact on your life but you might not think about that much are what you’re eating throughout the day, how much you’re moving, how much time you’re spending on your phone or on social media, and how much of your day you spend in a negative headspace (complaining, gossiping, feeling down about yourself, etc.).

    Having a really accurate view of the habits you have will make it SO much easier to start changing any habits that need changing or maximizing the good habits you already have!

     

    Your Relationships

     

    Chances are, some of the relationships in your life are bringing you a lot more happiness than others. As someone with limited free time (I have a full-time job AND have my own business) I have to be picky about how I spend my time.

    When it comes to my social life, I do this by making sure I’m maximizing the 20% of relationships in my life that bring me the most happiness. Basically, this means my significant other, my family, and very few close friends.

    I’m not suggesting you need to approach this the same way. For some people, their social life is a significantly more important part of their life, and they genuinely enjoy spending their time with lots of friends or getting to know new ones. That’s totally fine! It’s not about following hard and fast rules, it’s about knowing what makes YOU happy and contributes to your life and doing more of that.

     

    Your Possessions

     

    Take a look around your home at your possessions and ask yourself two questions:

    1. Does this item bring me happiness?
    2. Do I regularly use this item?

    Chances are you only answer yes to both of those questions for about 20% of your items (though it’s entirely possible they weren’t the same items).

    Last year I moved from a three-bedroom house to a studio apartment. As you can imagine, there definitely was going to be room for ALL of my belongings in the apartment, so I had some serious eliminating to do. Pretty much anything that didn’t cause me to answer YES to one of the two questions above had to go.

    I’m not necessarily saying you should immediately discard anything that doesn’t fit into one of the two questions, but those questions can definitely be a guide when it comes to decluttering your home, as well as purchasing new items in the future. If it doesn’t make you happy and you’re not going to use it regularly, do you REALLY need it?

     

    Your Business

     

    When I first started trying to make money from my blog, I learned everything I could about growing my blog and tried just about every piece of advice I read. Some of them worked and helped me get my business to where they are today. Some were a HUGE waste of time and did very little (if not nothing) to grow my business.

    Honestly, it took me way too long to start being really critical about how I was spending my time in my business. I have VERY limited time to spend on it, and I need to be really picky, but I wasted a lot of time in the first couple of years.

    Now I look really critically at every single task and ask myself a simple question. Is this going to increase revenue for my business? If the answer is no, then it gets put on the back burner to make room for tasks that WILL increase revenue in my business. And honestly, most of the little tasks I was wasting money on were NOT increasing my revenue.

    If you have a business, take a hard look at the tasks you’re doing every month and figure out what 20% of tasks are ACTUALLY making a big difference in making money, and which aren’t. Minimizing those 80% tasks will save you a TON of time and make space for the 20%.

     

    Where Else Can You Apply the 80/20 Rule?

     

    These are just a few areas of your life where you might apply the 80/20 rule, but I guarantee there are others where you can apply it!

    Consider the different categories of your life (relationships, career, money, personal development, home, etc.) and take note of any imbalances you find. Keep in mind that the majority of your results are coming from a minority of your actions, so figure out what actions you can do MORE of to see bigger results in the areas you want to.

    If you devote MORE time to the 20% of actions that see results, you’ll see even MORE results!

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    It’s amazing how changing or maximizing a MINORITY of the actions you take can have such a serious impact on your results! But now that you’ve seen a bunch of examples of the 80/20 rule at work, it’s super easy to see how it can apply to your own life.

    I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know your big takeaways from this post and what part of your life you can really see the 80/20 rule at work.

    CONTINUE READING

  • How to STOP Over-Planning (And Start Doing!)

    How to STOP Overplanning (And Start Doing)

     

    I’m a planner by nature. Seriously, I LOVE planning. I get a slightly ridiculous amount of joy out of planning vacations and projects and then crossing things off in my to-do list. And while being a good planner can be a HUGE asset and some people could definitely use a bit more of it in their lives, over-planning tends to be a bit of a problem for me.

    First of all, over-planning is a pretty serious form of procrastination. I have some huge projects that I want to tackle in my business and to be honest, I’m pretty nervous about launching them and failing. So instead I just keep planning and planning, hoping I’ll eventually feel ready. Spoiler alert: I will never feel ready.

    In my personal life over-planning has been a hindrance because it has really kept me from living in the moment. I tend to worry and overthink about what’s going to happen in the future, and it has had a serious impact on my happiness.

    I finally got a bit of a wakeup call and realized how big of a problem my over-planning actually was, and I started working on it so that I could 1) start enjoying and living in the moment, and 2) start actually accomplishing things in my business.

    If any of this sounds like you, keep reading to learn how to stop over-planning, and how to start DOING instead!

     

    How to Stop Over-Planning (and Start Doing!)

     

    The Problem with Over-Planning

     

    Over-planning doesn’t lead to action

     

    For the longest time, I thought that the more time I spent planning and the more well-prepared I was, the more successful I would be. And while this makes sense in theory, there is one fatal flaw in this line of thought.

    Over-planning doesn’t actually lead to action.

    There comes a point in the planning stage where what you’re doing is no longer productive. Now, unfortunately, there’s no clear cut way to tell where this point is. But it’s better to take action too early and have to go back and fix things than to never take action at all.

     

    Over-planning makes you inflexible

     

    The more you plan, the more attached you become to your plan. And when you become too attached to the plan, you become inflexible. And then you tend to become frustrated and give up when the plan doesn’t go just as you imagined it.

    There’s a quote that says, “Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.”

    Next time you find yourself over-planning and worrying that things aren’t going according to plan, remember that quote!

     

    Over-planning leads to overthinking (which leads to worry)

     

    Over-planning causes you to obsess and overthink about things. And seriously, nothing is fun anymore when you hit that point!

    When I’ve over-planned something, I always notice that it is followed by overthinking. And that always leads to worrying. And once I’ve gotten to that point, it’s really difficult to step back and gain perspective about what I was planning for in the first place.

     

    Signs You Might Be an Over-Planner

     

    You plan a lot but have little to show for it

     

    This one right here is me! My brain has some serious shiny object syndrome and I’m constantly thinking of exciting new ideas.

    And then I spend forever planning them. And nothing ever happens. I never move out of the planning stage and into the doing stage.

    If this sounds like you, you’re probably guilty of over-planning!

     

    You’re afraid of not being perfect

     

    Do you find yourself holding back because you’re afraid that your work won’t be perfect? Or you’re afraid of what people will think?

    Many people think of perfectionism as a good quality. Surely if you’re a perfectionist you produce great work!

    In reality, perfectionists tend to procrastinate and produce nothing because they’re afraid it isn’t 100% perfect.

     

    You frequently abandon projects

     

    If you start working on a lot of projects but never seem to finish them, there’s a good chance you’re an over-planner.

    You find yourself starting a project, but as soon as one small thing doesn’t go according to the plan, you abandon ship.

     

    You’re constantly worrying about “what ifs”

     

    Those of us who over-plan and over-think spend way too time in the future. This totally applies to me too! I used to spend so much time asking myself “what if” questions. I’m still guilty of this, but I’ve also come a long way.

    Part of the way I’ve overcome this is just by embracing the what if’s.

    What if things don’t go as planned? Yeah, that might happen. But imagine what other unexpected but amazing things might come out of that.

     

    How to Stop Over-Planning

     

    Take note of how you spend your time

     

    A big part of learning to stop over-planning is first realizing that you ARE over-planning. So when you sit down to work on your business (or whatever project it is you’re working on), take note of how that time is being spent.

    If you find that days, weeks, months, etc. are going by and you’re still in the planning phase, that’s a serious problem.

    Once you know WHERE you’re spending the majority of your time, you can start focusing on getting to where you want to and should be spending the majority of your time.

     

    Be intentional about what you consume

     

    I love learning from other bloggers and when I first decided to start growing and monetizing my blog, I soaked up all the knowledge I could from those who were a few steps ahead of me. Using resources like other bloggers is a fantastic idea…to an extent.

    It definitely starts to become a problem when we fall down the rabbit hole of information. For instance, let’s say you decide you want to write an eBook (using this example because I’ve done this). So you start reading blog posts about how to publish an eBook. And then a month later you’re still soaking up ALL the knowledge you can about HOW to publish an eBook, and you never write the freaking book.

    Another problem with consuming TOO much content is that others’ voices start to drown out your own, and you may find yourself struggling to come up with creative and original ideas.

    At some point, we just need to stop consuming. If you’re struggling to get out of the planning phase, stop reading other blogs. Stop reading books. Stop reading anyone’s else’s tips on how to do what you’re trying to do, and just roll with the knowledge you’ve already gained.

    You learn a lot from the research and planning phase, but you also learn a ton from the trial and error of finally just doing it yourself.

     

    Set deadlines and launch dates for projects

     

    There have been a lot of projects in my business that I SAID I was going to do and then never did. Some of them I just never got around to touching in the first place, and others fell victim to over-planning and never made it past the planning stage.

    In my four years of blogging, I have written one eBook (though I had plans for quite a few more).

    So what’s the difference between the eBook I wrote and the ones that never got written? I was afraid I was going to over-plan and procrastinate and never end up finishing the book. So I pulled out my calendar, picked an arbitrary date three months away, and decided that was the day I was going to launch my eBook (note – I hadn’t even started the thing at this point).

    Not only did I decide that was the day and mark it on my calendar. I also told my audience in an email that I was writing a book and that’s when it would be coming out. And as soon as people responded and told me they were excited about the book, I knew there was no way I could NOT write it.

    I’m not necessarily suggesting you need to announce your deadline to the world when you haven’t even started your project, but you can definitely see how setting a deadline for myself was the kick in the pants I needed to actually make it happen. That was the difference between the projects I didn’t finish and the one I did.

     

    Break projects down into small, actionable tasks

     

    Starting a big new project can be really freaking overwhelming. It’s no wonder we spend SO much time in the planning phase! That’s why the FIRST thing you do for any new goal or project should be to break it down into bite-size pieces that you can put right on your to-do list!

    When I’m doing this, I like to work backward. Let’s go back to my eBook example. I had figured out what date I wanted to launch my eBook. From there I worked backward and figured out when I should make the sales page, when I should send the book to someone to proofread, and when I should write and schedule my launch emails.

    I worked ALL the way back to when I should write each and every chapter. Every task was small enough to put it on my to-do list as one small task.

     

    Learn to be okay with imperfection

     

    It’s different for everyone, but I know that one of the reasons I tend to over-plan so much is because I’m worried about putting out anything that isn’t perfect. And while perfectionism CAN be an asset at times, it’s also a major form of procrastination.

    When I write something, I often find myself publishing it FAR later than I should have, or not publishing it at all, simply because I wasn’t convinced it was perfect.

    But I’ve found that if I don’t publish things until they’re perfect, I will literally never publish anything. Because perfect does NOT exist. And sometimes it’s okay to settle for A- work instead of A+ work in the interest of actually getting your work out there.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    I’ll let you in on a little secret – I still find myself over-planning. Sure, I’ve found some ways to break that habit, but I definitely still fall back into it at times. I’m a perfectionist at heart, and I have a really hard time finishing anything for fear that it isn’t quite perfect. So while you might never break that habit for good, I promise these tips will help!

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • How to Prioritize Tasks (When Everything is Important)

    How to Prioritize Tasks (When Everything is Important)

     

    When you’re juggling multiple things in your life (for example, a full-time job, a side hustle, school, a family, etc.) it can seem like your to-do list is pretty much overflowing, and prioritizing tasks can feel pretty impossible. That’s how I felt for years as I balanced all of the responsibilities I had. 

    Everything feels urgent and you don’t know where to start! In this post I’m sharing the tips you NEED to teach you how to prioritize tasks when everything seems super urgent.

    In this post, I’m sharing some of the best tips that will help you to prioritize your tasks, even when everything on your to-do list seems important.

     

    How to Prioritize Tasks

     

    Make a To-Do List

     

    I tend to get really stressed and feel super disorganized when I’ve got a bunch of ideas and mental notes floating around in my head, so step one for me is always getting everything down on a to-do list. I just like to have the visual representation of everything I need to get done, and that also ensures I don’t forget anything!

    I write a daily to-do list every day that is filled with small, manageable tasks that need to get done that day. I also keep a big picture to-do list of all the projects I want to get done long-term, whether they be for my business or for me personally. And all of those tasks from the big picture to-do list will eventually make their way onto a daily to-do list to be finished.

     

    Get Organized

     

    When you’ve got a huge project to take on, you can’t really just throw it on the to-do list as is and expect that it’s going to get done. That’s because big projects are usually made up of tons of small tasks.

    When I’m figuring out what tasks need to get done to accomplish my big project, I like to work backward. What is the final result going to look like? And what do I need to do right before that? And before that?

    Sometimes when you’re starting a new project, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. Working backward is a great way to tackle it because you can start with your final goal and use that to figure out where you need to start.

     

    Don’t Overplan

     

    I love to plan and prefer to go into a project having as much planned out ahead of time as possible, so what I’m about to say might seem a bit counterintuitive. However…it is possible to over plan. There comes a point when your time spent planning just really isn’t productive anymore, and you’d be better off just diving into the project.

    I notice that the projects I tend to over plan on are those that I’m anxious about starting, and I’m really just using the planning process as a form of procrastination. But if you’ve got an overflowing to-do list and hardly enough time to get everything done, you really don’t have time for procrastination.

    What might be more beneficial is to ask yourself why you’re procrastinating. I’ve taken on really huge projects that I was excited about, but also super nervous, and I was procrastinating because I was worried about failing.

    I’ve also taken on projects that I wasn’t excited about and it turns out, really didn’t matter that much for my business. If it’s the latter, consider just ditching the project altogether and freeing up some room on your to-do list!

     

    How to Prioritize Tasks (When Everything is Important)

     

    Separate Urgent from Non-Urgent Tasks

     

    Just because everything on your list is important does not mean everything on your list is urgent. When you’re really in a time crunch, some of those tasks that are important in the long-term but not really urgent may need to be postponed until you have more time to get to them.

    Tasks that are important are those that are going to have a long-term impact on your life, your job, your business, etc. Those that are urgent are time-sensitive. They have a deadline and need to be done soon. The tasks that are urgent as well as important trump those that are just important.

    The best way to separate the urgent from the non-urgent is by using a handy tool called the Eisenhower Matrix.

     

    Prioritize the Task That Will Have the Greatest Result

     

    If all the tasks are important, think about which will have the most significant impact. Let’s say I’m working on my to-do list for my business and have a bunch of super important tasks to get done.

    Once I’ve crossed off the time-sensitive ones, I’m left with a bunch of tasks that are important, but don’t necessarily need to be done that day. If there’s a task that will probably impact my business income the most, I’m probably going to start with that one!

    Basically, rather than thinking of the importance of each individual task, think of the end result of each task and figure out which of those results is most important to you.

     

    Consider Taking Something Off the List

     

    While everything on your to-do list might seem important, be honest with yourself about whether or not it all really is. Maybe there’s something that’s on your list because you think it’s something you should be doing, but it really isn’t important to you. Or maybe there’s something that seemed important to you at the time you put it on your list, but it no longer is.

    Removing something from my to-do list always makes me a bit anxious. I feel like once I’ve written it down, I’ve committed to it. But it’s totally okay to take things off the list, and if it wasn’t really important to you anyways, then you’ll just feel better after you remove it.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    Seriously, getting your life organized is no small feat. And it’s ALL about knowing your priorities and sticking to them no matter WHAT.

    These tips are sure to help you get your priorities in order. I would love for you to leave me a comment and let me know what your biggest struggles are when it comes to productivity!

     

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • Things to Do at the Start of Every Workday

    Things to Do at the Start of Every Work Day For a Productive Day

     

    I recently published a blog post with a list of things to do at the end of every workday to stay productive. Today’s post is going to be a bit of a spin-off where I’m sharing things to do at the start of every workday.

    For me, the start of my workday tends to set the tone for the entire day. That means that if I start by being productive and ready to tackle the day, I’m likely to be super productive all day! But if I come to work feeling sluggish and unmotivated, I may not bounce out of that. To make sure you stay productive all day long, do these five things at the start of every work day for a more productive day!

     

    Things to Do at the Start of Every Workday for a Productive Day

    There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.

     

     

    Start On a Good Note

    This one is relatively vague because it will look different for everyone. For some, it might mean getting up early so they can enjoy a cup of coffee and some reading or quiet time in the morning. For others, it might mean having picked out your outfit and packed your lunch the night before so you can get up and get out the door as quickly as possible.

    For most of us though, I’m guessing it doesn’t look like hitting snooze half a dozen times and arriving to work late and feeling disheveled. That is definitely starting on a poor note for me, and I try to avoid it at all costs.

    I read and LOVED the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I listened to a podcast ages ago where Hal was interviewed and talked about the book and just finally got around to reading it. I’ve noticed a huge difference both in the way I feel in the morning (I’m enjoying my mornings a lot more) and in my level of productivity throughout the day since I started implementing the tips in this book. 

    If you’re interested in improving your mornings (and really your entire day) by creating a morning ritual, then I seriously recommend you read The Miracle Morning!

    Know what helps you start your workday on a good note and have a productive day, and be sure to work that into your everyday routine.

     

    Organize Your To-Do List

    I always have a to-do list on my desk so I know what I need to get through every day. I try to write my to-do list the evening before, right before I leave work for the day. However first thing in the morning I like to reevaluate to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. This also gives me the opportunity to mentally map out my day and figure out what I’m going to tackle first.

    In my job, things definitely pop up throughout the day, so my to-do list is constantly changing. However, starting the day with at least some semblance of structure makes it easier to tackle everything!

     

    Scan Through Your Emails

    I’ve read a lot of productivity articles that suggest not checking your inbox first thing in the morning. And while I agree that waking up and checking your email before you get out of bed may not be the best for a stress-free morning, I can’t start my workday without first checking my email.

    At the very least, scan your inbox for anything that is a priority and needs to be handled right away. Doing that leaves me with a clearer mind as I jump into my next task. After that initial scan, I try not to check every new email as they come in, or I would spend half my day in my inbox.

     

    Tackle the Priorities

    In general, I recommend knowing when throughout the day you are most productive and saving your most labor-intensive tasks for that time. However, there is something to be said for getting important tasks done first thing in the morning. I usually make a note on my to-do list so I know which tasks are the priorities, and I like to get those out of the way earlier rather than later. That way if I don’t finish every single thing on my to-do list for the day, at least I know the most important tasks have been taken care of.

    Another reason I like to tackle the most important tasks first is that since these are often bigger projects, a lot of times these are the ones I have to run by my boss or come back and finish another step later. Getting Step 1 done with as soon as possible makes it more likely that I’ll get the whole project done in a timely manner.

     

    Get in the Right Mindset

    Starting off the work day in a bad mood can make for a super long work day! Sometimes it might just be a matter of waking up in a funk, or it may be something in your personal life that’s messing with your mood, or just anticipating a stressful day at work. Whatever it is that’s got you in the wrong mindset, try to pep yourself up.

    It can be super hard to leave personal issues at home and not think about them at work, but it definitely makes for an easier work day. If you’re in a bad mood because you’re anticipating a stressful workday, instead try focusing on what you can do to make the day better. You may not have control over everything that goes on at work, but you can work on improving the things you do have control over, and you do have control over your mood!

    I have found that the strategies in The Miracle Morning that I mentioned above help a lot with this! Since I’m starting my day with calming activities (meditation, yoga, journaling) I feel like I start the workday with a much more positive mindset!

     

    Final Thoughts

    As someone who works a full-time job AND a side hustle, I have to make the most of literally the entire day. For me, this means starting the day off on the right (and most productive) note. And honestly these tips are spot-on for ANYONE, regardless of what you do for a living! I would LOVE for you to leave me a comment and let me know what things you do first thing in the morning to make your days super productive!

    Things to Do at the Start of Every Work Day - It can be tricky to stay productive and organized all day. Do these 5 things at the start of every work day to increase productivity in your career and life!

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