Planning

  • How to Plan a Productive Day

    How to Plan a Productive Day

     

    I talk a lot about productivity on my blog now, but I wasn’t always exactly a productive person. In fact, for a while, I was a super unproductive person. 

    That’s why I started learning everything I could about how to be more productive!

    There are a lot of big-picture productivity hacks that might help you. But really, it just comes down to make a plan for every single day and sticking to it. 

    In this post, I’m going to teach you how to plan a productive day – and how to actually stick to your plan!

     

    How to Plan a Productive Day

     

    Plan Your Day Ahead of Time

     

    I can pretty much guarantee that when I’m waiting until the day-of to plan a certain day, it’s not going to be as productive of a day. There are a few reasons for this. 

    First of all, I like to be able to sit down at my desk in the morning and dive right into work. But when I haven’t planned my day ahead of time, I instead have to start by figuring out what the heck I’m going to work on first. 

    The other reason is that when I’m deciding in the moment what I want to work on, I’m going to work on whatever is easiest or most fun.

    Think about it this way: Let’s say you’re going out to dinner with some friends. 

    If you look at the menu ahead of time, you might decide you’re going to order a salad. And since you made a plan ahead of time, you’re more likely to stick with it. 

    But if you don’t look at the menu ahead of time, you’re more likely to just choose whatever meal sounds really good at that moment. For me, that is always pasta!

    Productivity is the same way! When you plan ahead, you’ll plan to be productive. When you decide at the moment, you’ll pick an easy or fun task. 

     

    Start With a Productive Morning Routine

     

    I spent years insisting that I could not create a morning routine because I simply wasn’t a morning person. 

    First of all, by constantly telling myself that I wasn’t a morning person, I wasn’t giving myself much of a choice to be anything different. 

    But I was also failing to realize that people who aren’t morning people are those who most need a morning routine!

    For years I would snooze my alarm and wake up at the absolute last minute. That meant I was frazzled and disorganized in the morning, and often late for work. 

    I was spending more money on food and coffee since I wasn’t waking up in time to make them in the morning. 

    I wasn’t getting any productive work done in the morning, because I was still so tired when I got to work. 

    And because your morning usually sets the tone of the entire day, I found myself feeling behind and unproductive all day. 

    Once I created a morning routine for myself, I realized that not only would I be more motivated to get out of bed in the morning, but I could also have a productive and peaceful morning without getting up that much earlier. 

    Once you create a solid routine for yourself, it’s a lot easier to get everything done without feeling disorganized and like you’re definitely forgetting something. 

     

    Prioritize Your To-Do List

     

    When you sit down in the morning and look at your to-do list, which task are you most likely to choose? I’m guessing it’s going to be whichever one you can get crossed off the fastest. That’s how most of us are. 

    That’s why it’s so important to prioritize your to-do list. Otherwise, the really important but challenging tasks will never get done!

    My favorite way to prioritize tasks is by using the Eisenhower Matrix. This matrix helps me to decide which tasks to do immediately, which to schedule for later, which to delegate or automate, and which to get rid of altogether. 

    Prioritizing your to-do list ahead of time is a game-changer and helps to make sure you aren’t filling your day with unimportant tasks. 

     

    Put Everything on the Calendar

     

    One of my favorite writers and podcasters Gretchen Rubin often says that “things that can be done at any time are often done at no time” and I relate to that statement so much. 

    For years, I had a huge running to-do list of things I wanted to do for my business. And I’m not kidding when I say that some of those tasks were on the list for years. Yes, years. 

    I figured I could do them any time, so instead, I did them at no time. And the one thing that really changed that? 

    Putting everything on the calendar. 

    Now, instead of keeping a running to-do list in a notebook or in Asana and working from that every day, I put tasks directly onto my Google Calendar. 

    Not only does putting it on the calendar ensure that it actually gets done, but it also ensures I don’t take longer than I need to do it.

    For example, if I’ve given myself five hours to write a blog post, then it will take my five hours to write the blog post. But if I put it on my calendar for just two hours and then have another task scheduled right after it, then I’ll finish it in two hours. 

    Sort of like how in college no matter how long your professor gave you to write a paper, you would always finish it right before it was due!

     

    Plan Your Results

     

    Do you ever have those days where you feel like you’re being really productive and getting a lot done? But then at the end of the day, you really aren’t sure what you actually accomplished? Yeah, me too. 

    That’s what happens when we plan activities on our to-do list instead of planning our results. 

    For example, let’s say you have a two-hour block of time on Sunday mornings for your blog. If you write “work on blog” on your to-do list, then there’s a good chance you’ll spend that two hours with busy work and trying to figure out what to work on. 

    Instead, try putting “write one blog post” on your calendar. That way you know exactly what you should be doing when you sit down to work, and you won’t distract yourself with busy work and convince yourself that you’re working on your blog. 

    I’ve noticed a huge difference since I started doing this in my business. Before, I could have spent an entire evening thinking I was working on my blog, but not getting anything done. 

    Now, I always have specific tasks planned, and when I finish working, I have something to show for it. 

     

    Focus on One Thing at a Time

     

    Remember when everything thought that multitasking was a thing? And that multitasking a lot would make you more productive?

    Yeah, it turns out that’s not true at all. 

    You can only give your full attention to one thing at a time. Meaning when you’re “multitasking” you’re just jumping from task to task without giving anything your full attention. 

    Here’s a good example for you. I love listening to podcasts when I’m running, cleaning, or getting ready for work – basically things I don’t need my full attention for. For me, those are the best times to listen to podcasts. 

    Every once in a while though, I’ll try to listen to a podcast while I’m working. And you know what usually happens? I get to the end of the podcast and realize that I didn’t really hear most of what they said. My attention had been on my work, and you can’t give your full attention to two things at once! 

    The truth is that you aren’t saving time by multitasking. You’ll take longer to do everything, and it won’t be done as well. It’s way quicker to just give your full attention to one task, and then move on to the next when you’re done. 

     

    Keep Your Workspace Organized

     

    Believe it or not, your environment has a huge effect on your productivity. And having a cluttered or messy workspace can actually make you a lot less productive. 

    I always find myself less productive when my workspace isn’t neat because clutter tends to stress me out. So instead of focusing on my work, I’m stressing out about the clutter. 

    Clutter also slows you down. For instance, let’s say you’re looking for one specific piece of paper, but you’ve got piles and piles of paper on your desk.

    It’s probably going to take you a while to find what you’re looking for!

    I always make time in my calendar, usually at the very end of the day or week, to clean and organize my workspace. That way when I start working the next day, I can dive right in and have a clutter-free environment to work in. 

     

    Plan Downtime

     

    Every so often I’ll get really ambitious with my schedule and plan work for myself literally from the time I sit down at my desk in the morning until the time I’m getting ready for bed in the evening. 

    And sure, sometimes this works out and I get it all done. But this really isn’t sustainable.

    First of all, if you plan to work like this every day, you’re going to get burnt out. And once you hit burnout, you’ll find it really difficult to accomplish anything at all. 

    Another reason this doesn’t work is that things don’t always go as planned. And when you have a task that takes longer than expected, it’s going to throw off the rest of your day or week. 

     

    End With a Productive Evening Routine

     

    Just as a productive day starts with a productive morning routine, it also ends with a productive evening routine. And just like a productive morning routine, a productive evening routine looks different for everyone!

    I really like to use my evening routine to get ready for the next day. This means making my lunch, getting the coffee maker ready, and picking out what I’m going to wear the next day. 

    A productive evening routine also helps to get you ready for a good night’s sleep. This might mean taking a shower, doing your nightly skincare routine, and turning off electronics an hour or two before bed so you’re actually ready to sleep when you lay down. 

    Having a productive evening routine is a big part of what allows me to have a productive morning routine! It prevents me from feeling rushed and disorganized, and it allows me to feel well-rested because I’ve gotten enough sleep. 

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    When it comes to increasing your productivity, every day is important! 

    I spent the past years learning everything I could about increasing productivity. And in the end, I’ve learned that it mostly comes down to how you treat each day. 

    In the grand scheme of things, one day doesn’t really seem like much. When you have one unproductive day, you don’t feel like it will make a difference. 

    But a chain of single unproductive days adds up to an unproductive life. And a chain of super productive days adds up to consistently getting things done and reaching all of your biggest goals!

     

     

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  • How to Batch Work to Skyrocket Your Productivity

    How to Batch Work to Skyrocket Your Productivity

     

    I’ve been writing about productivity for years now, but if I’m being honest, it wasn’t always something I was that great at. I spent a heck of a lot of time jumping from task to task and constantly trying to multitask. 

    And surprise, surprise – I wasn’t all that productive. 

    Over the years I started experimenting with different productivity hacks to see what worked. By far one of the most useful strategies I implemented was batching tasks. 

    In this post, I’m going to be sharing what batch work is and how to use it to skyrocket your productivity. 

     

    How to Batch Work to Skyrocket Your Productivity

    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.

     

    What is Batching?

     

    Batching is a time management system that allows you to maximize your productivity and reduce distractions by focusing on one task or type of task rather than jumping around from task to task all day. 

    Batching tasks helps you to increase concentration, creativity, and productivity, all while minimizing stress, fatigue, and distractions. Sounds like a win-win right?

    As someone who is balancing a full-time job, side hustle, and personal life, batching is absolutely essential. The time I have to work on my blog is limited, so I maximize that time by batching my blogging tasks throughout the week. That might mean writing all of my Instagram captions for the week at once, creating graphics for all of my pending blog posts, updating a number of old blog posts for SEO, etc. 

    Then I’m also able to batch personal tasks. For example, Sunday afternoons are set aside for meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal prepping. 

    The key to batching is to ensure that your brain is able to fully focus on one type of task at a time. 

    Related Article: 25 Time Management Tips to Help You Get More Done

     

    The Multitasking Myth

     

    Most of us go through our days trying to accomplish multiple things at once, thinking that we’re multi-tasking. But really, there’s no such thing as successfully multitasking.

    You can’t give your full attention to more than one task at once, so you’re really just quickly shifting your attention back and forth between tasks. And just about every study done has shown this is actually terrible for productivity!

    So much time is wasted every single day by switching gears and trying to get into a new task. Cutting down the number of times you have to switch gears is essential.

    That’s why batch work is so valuable. With batching, you are intentionally setting up your schedule to be focusing on just one thing at a time, which makes you way more productive!

     

    How to Batch Tasks

     

    Now that we’ve talked about what batching is and why it is useful, how the heck do you actually incorporate it into your life?

     

    1. Make a list

     

    First things first, make a list of everything you need to get done in your life. And when I say everything, I mean everything. My list includes all of the tasks for my business and for my personal life. Here are some items on my list that might be on yours as well!

    • Write blog posts
    • Write emails to subscribers
    • Schedule social media posts
    • Update old blog posts
    • Send freelance pitches
    • Write freelance articles
    • Design printables
    • Business finances
    • Run errands
    • Clean the apartment
    • Meal plan and meal prep

    Include even the smallest tasks that you do every week! This makes it a lot easier to make time for those tasks on the calendar. 

    And make sure to break each task into every single step it’s going to take to get it done. For example, writing a blog post really consists 5-10 individual tasks such as: research keywords, write post outline, write post, edit post, link to other posts, create post graphics, promote post on social media.

    Related Article: How to Accomplish Your Most Important Task Every Day Using the Eisenhower Matrix

     

    2. Group similar items together

     

    Once you’ve made a list of all the tasks you need to get done in a week (and have gotten super specific), it’s time to group similar items together. 

    For example, I try to group most of my personal tasks together on Sundays. This includes cleaning, errands, meal planning and meal prep, etc. 

    When it comes to my business, I like to have certain days set aside for content creation and other days set aside for more admin type tasks such as finance, returning emails, etc. 

     

    3. Make a schedule

     

    Once you’ve made a list of all your tasks and have grouped similar items together, it’s time to get them scheduled on your calendar! This part is important because having something on my calendar is essential to make sure it actually gets done!

    You know your schedule best, so I can’t tell you exactly how to do this part. But what I usually start with is blocking off previous commitments. For example, the hours of 9-5 are blocked off for me, because that’s when I’m working at my full-time job. I do the same for any appointments for plans with friends I have.

     Now that I know what time is not available, I can start filling in the time that is available. For me, this means evenings and weekends. So I might block off Monday evening for writing my new blog post, Tuesday evening for working on freelance client work, and Wednesday evening might be blocked off for date night. 

    My blocks aren’t the same every single week, but I like to keep them pretty similar so I can establish a routine! 

    Related Article: 17 Things to Do on Sunday for a More Productive Week

     

    4. Commit to your calendar

     

    You can do all the planning and scheduling you want, but if you aren’t willing to commit to what’s on your calendar, you aren’t going to get your work done. 

    Honestly, I used to have such a hard time keeping commitments to myself. I would never bail on a friend or family member if we had something on the calendar, but I was bailing on my own priorities left and right! 

    Once I realized that the only way I would reach my goals is if I keep my commitments to myself, it made it a lot easier to commit to my calendar every day (or at least almost every day).

     

    Batching Tasks + Time Blocking

     

    My favorite way to incorporate batch work into my schedule is to pair it with another productivity hack I’ve shared – time blocking! Time blocking is a method of time management where you schedule your day into blocks, and each block is filled with a certain collection of tasks. 

    I break my days up into a few large blocks, each of which is filled with a “batch” of tasks I’m working on.

    For example, I might have a few hours in the morning set aside for writing blog posts, followed by a time block in the afternoon devoted to social media. 

    I also see many people organize their entire week in batch days: one day for content creation, one day for meetings, one day for administrative tasks, etc. Do whatever works best for you!

     

    Batching Tasks + The Pomodoro Technique

     

    Another way to tackle batch work is by using The Pomodoro Technique. This productivity hack requires short bursts of super focused work, followed by a very short break. It looks a little something like this:

    1. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Block out all distractions and spend this time 100% focused on the task at hand.
    2. Take a 5-minute break.
    3. Repeat step 1 by setting the timer for 25 minutes again, followed by a 5-minute break.
    4. Continue these steps for as long as it takes to complete the task. 

    The Pomodoro Technique has become more popular, so much so that the famous Productivity Planner uses the technique as the framework for its daily to-do list. 

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    Batch work is one of my favorite systems to ensure I finish everything on my to-do list – at least most of the time! 

    If you’ve been struggling with productivity and are looking for a solution that will finally work, give batching a shot and see how it works for you! 

     

     

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  • 17 Things to Do on Sunday for a More Productive Week

    17 Things to Do on Sunday For a More Productive Week

     

    Sunday can often be bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s still the weekend so you want to enjoy it to its fullest. On the other hand, you’ve got the Sunday blues in anticipation of having to go back to work on Monday.

    Sundays have always been a struggle for me because I like to plan for a productive week, and that means there are quite a few productive things to do. But I also want to relax and enjoy that last day of freedom!

    The great thing is, you don’t have to choose! I’ve developed a routine for a productive Sunday that allows me to plan for the week ahead, while also making some time to relax.

    In this post, I’m sharing 17 productive things to do on Sunday that will help you to have a better and more productive week!

     

    17 Things to Do on Sunday For a More Productive Week

    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 Your Day on a Positive Note

     

    Sundays can be such a struggle. I know I should be productive and plan for the week ahead. But at the same time, it’s the last day of the weekend. I want to enjoy it!

    Because of that, I always like to start my Sundays off on a positive note. Some weeks that might mean getting up and meeting a friend for brunch. Other weeks it might just mean letting myself sleep in and having a leisurely start to the day.

    By starting the day off doing something I enjoy, I’m always far more amenable to getting the productive stuff out of the way afterward.

     

    Plan & Shop For Your Meals For the Week

     

    Sunday is always a grocery shopping day at our house!

    First, my boyfriend and I plan our meals for the week. This means taking a look at what food we already have on hand and figuring out how we can use that for meals. Then we plan out meals and figure out what else we need to buy.

    Once we’ve got our shopping list planned out, Sunday is the day we go to the grocery store and run any other errands necessary.

    I know some people hate grocery shopping, but we actually really enjoy doing our grocery shopping together, so this is usually a fun activity for us!

     

    Clean Out the Fridge

     

    Because Sunday is when we buy food for the week, it’s also the perfect day to clean out the fridge. As I’m putting away the groceries for the week, I usually check and see if there’s any expired food that needs to be tossed and make sure all of the shelves are wiped down.

    We’re usually pretty good about not letting any food go to waste. But let’s be real, we’re all guilty of occasionally buying those fruits or veggies with the best of intentions and then totally forgetting about them!

     

    Do Any Necessary Meal Prep

     

    Sunday is always a great day to do any meal prep you need for the week!

    I’m not a huge fan of cooking, so if I’m making something, I’m usually making it in a big batch for the week. It also makes life so much easier so we don’t have to worry about preparing lunch every single day.

    Meal prep is especially convenient for anyone with a busy lifestyle! With you’re on the go all the time, you probably don’t have time to cook every day. Meal prepping can be a lifesaver!

     

    Finish Your Laundry

     

    I don’t know about you, but I always like starting the week with an empty laundry basket.

    Sunday is the day I wash all of our sheets and towels. Then I make sure to get any dirty clothes cleaned, dried, and put away.

    It’s just one of those tasks I know I’m not going to want to worry about when I come home from a long day of work Monday.

     

    Check the Weather & Plan Your Outfits

     

    My mind is always in a bit of a fog in the morning before work. I swear it takes me twice as long to pick out my clothes in the morning than it would have the night before.

    Sunday night is a good time to take a glance at the weather and generally plan your outfits for the week.

     

    Tidy Up Your Home

     

    A messy home can give me some serious anxiety, so I like to keep things pretty tidy in general. But I especially like to make sure I’m starting the work week with a clean home. I know that when I start getting back into the work week, I’m not going to want to do any cleaning as soon as I get home. I try to get it all out of the way on Sundays.

     

    Have a Family Meeting

     

    Sunday is the perfect time to sit down for a family meeting. This is a great time to remind each other of any activities going on during the week, or evenings you’ll be home late. This is also a good time to talk about any tasks that need to be completed.

    This is also definitely the time to bring up any areas of contention or stress that have been lingering.

    Depending on the size and structure of your family, a family meeting might be just a quick touch-base at the beginning of each week.

     

    Check in With Your Budget

     

    Weekends tend to be the time of the week we spend the most money. That’s because this is when we’re having date nights, going out with friends, or going away for the weekend. It’s also when we do our grocery shopping and run errands.

    Because of that, I always like to check in on my budget on Sunday. That gives me a good idea of where I’m at financially. And if I went over budget on any of my spending categories, that tells me I need to be frugal in the upcoming week.

    Related Article: How to Create a Monthly Budget (Even if You Hate Budgeting!)

     

    Clean Out Your Inbox

     

    Monday morning is already enough of a bummer. But it’s made even worse when I sit down to an inbox full of emails.

    I like to filter through some of those emails on Sunday evening to make Monday morning a little easier. I take care of deleting any emails I definitely don’t need or quickly handling any that can be deleted after a quick read or a task that takes just a minute or two.

     

    Review Your Calendar For the Week

     

    My schedule looks a bit different every week, so I always like to sit down on Sunday and double check my schedule. I look at my meetings for the week, any plans with friends, and check with my boyfriend to see what evenings he has plans.

    I also make sure to double check if we have any weekend plans because then some of my normal weekend tasks would need to get done on a different day instead!

     

    Plan Your Goals For the Week

     

    Once I know what my schedule for the week looks like, I sit down and plan some goals for the week. For me, this usually means filling whatever free time I have with working on my side hustle.

    Things are constantly changing. Some months I have enough free time to write a blog post every week. Some months it’s once in the entire month.

    In addition to my normal blog posts, I also usually have a special project or two I’m working on, so this is when I plan that!

    I do all of my big picture planning in Asana.

     

    Make Your To Do List for Monday

     

    Once I’ve reviewed my schedule and planned my goals for the week, it’s time to put together my to do list for Monday! I always write my to do lists at least the night before so I’m never scrambling the day of.

    I do all of my to do lists in my daily planner. You can visit my review of the best planners for this year to find out what my current favorite planner is!

     

    Spend Some Time Outside

     

    Now that the weather is finally nice again, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside. Brandon and I love taking the dog for a long walk on Sunday or walking to the local dog park.

    Our city also has a lot of outdoor venues and activities, so we always keep our eyes open for those.

     

    Make Time to Relax

     

    Sunday may be a great day to plan for a productive week, but it’s also the last day to relax before the work week. Because of that, I make sure to set aside some time to relax on Sundays!

    For us, that usually means finishing up our productive tasks earlier in the evening so we can have a couple of hours of just enjoying the end of our weekend.

     

    Prepare For Your Morning Routine

     

    If you have a morning routine you follow during the week, that’s amazing! But I know what’s common for a lot of us is that we have a morning routine we would like to do, but then we fall off track pretty quickly.

    Look at Sunday as a fresh start! Sure, maybe you fell off your morning routine last week. But you can start again on Monday with renewed motivation.

    And you can make it even easier by getting everything ready the night before.

    For example, when I’m doing yoga in the morning, I lay my yoga mat out the night before. I also prepare the coffee maker, and anything else I’m going to need first thing in the morning.

     

    Go to Bed Early

     

    I always stay up too late on the weekends. I feel like I’m not alone here!

    And because I always dread going into the work week without having caught up on sleep, I try to go to bed a little early on Sundays to prepare myself for the week.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    Sundays get a bad rap, but they don’t have to be bad news.

    I’m sure plenty of you aren’t super excited about the idea of using Sunday (aka the LAST day to enjoy the weekend) to do productive stuff for the week. Trust me, I for SURE have those weekends where I don’t want to do anything but relax.

    But like clockwork, I always regret it Monday morning when my week is not starting out on the right foot. Just tackling a few important tasks on a productive Sunday makes a big difference!

    Plus, I make sure to get some fun and relaxation in there as well!

     

    7 Things to Do on Sunday For a More Productive Week | Monday mornings don't have to be stressful! In this post I'm sharing 7 things you can do on Sunday to have a more productive week! | Productivity, Productive - Very Erin Blog

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  • How to Accomplish Your Most Important Task Every Day Using the Eisenhower Matrix

    How to Accomplish Your Most Important Task Every Day Using the Eisenhower Matrix

     

    I don’t know about you, but I almost always have more on my to-do list than I can possibly get done. I write my daily to-do list in my daily planner. I also have a running to-do list in Asana of tasks that haven’t made it onto my calendar yet. And let me tell you, I’ve always had a really freaking hard time figuring out which of those tasks need to be at the top of the list.

    I’ll admit that on quite a few occasions, this indecision has led to procrastination. It’s not that I don’t want to get to work. I just don’t know where to start!

    The Eisenhower Matrix has become my favorite way to narrow down my to-do list and figure out which tasks really need my attention.

    In this post, I’ll be sharing how you can use the Eisenhower Matrix (otherwise known as the Eisenhower Box) to accomplish your most important and urgent tasks every single day.

     

    How to Accomplish Your Most Important Task Every Day Using the Eisenhower Matrix

     

    What is the Eisenhower Matrix?

     

    The Eisenhower Matrix was made famous by Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States. He was known for being incredibly productive, and the Eisenhower Matrix is the tool he used to manage his tasks.

    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:

    The Difference Between Urgent and Important

     

    Before we dive into how the Eisenhower Matrix works, let’s first talk about the difference between urgent and important tasks.

    Way too often, people confuse the two. We assume that anything that’s urgent must also be important. And even worse, we assume that tasks that aren’t urgent just aren’t important.

    There’s a quote from President Eisenhower that says, “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

    Most of the time this is true!

    Important tasks are those that allow us to be proactive toward achieving our goals, both personal and professional.

    Urgent tasks, on the other hand, are reactive. We’re reacting to something in our lives that is demanding immediate attention, even when it may not be important enough to warrant that attention.

    Knowing the difference between these two is the true goal of the Eisenhower Matrix.

     

    How the Eisenhower Matrix Works

     

    Important and Urgent

     

    The first box of the matrix is for tasks that are both important and urgent. Not only are they time-sensitive, but they’ll also likely have a significant impact in the long run.

    These are the tasks that should be moved to the top of your to-do list! In your business, they would probably be the big money-making tasks such as closing a sale.

    Personal emergencies would also be both important and urgent, and would immediately become your top priority.

    The tasks that go in this quadrant are probably also energy and time-intensive tasks. They’re the ones you procrastinate starting because you know how much work they’ll be, but they’re totally necessary because they are what moves the needle in your business.

    When I’m crafting my schedule every day, I always try to make sure these are the tasks I work on first thing in the morning. That is the time of day I have the most energy and motivation, so I know they’ll get my best work then.

    I would never recommend saving these tasks for the end of the day because if something comes up that pushes you off course, you won’t get them done.

     

    Important, Not Urgent

     

    The tasks in the second quadrant of the matrix are important, but not necessarily urgent. These tasks will certainly have a big impact in the long-run, but they don’t need to be done immediately.

    In your career, this would include the time you invested to get your degree. In your business, this would be your long-term business strategy and future product launches.

    In your personal life, maintaining relationships is important. Making time to spend with those you love may not be time-sensitive, but it certainly has a great impact in the long-run.

    This quadrant would also include the things you do to maintain your health. Exercising and healthy eating may not be urgent, and often they get moved to the bottom of our to-do lists, but in the long-run, they’re incredibly important.

    The tasks that fall into this category often get put off in favor of urgent tasks. But in the long-run, these are the tasks that are going to help you reach your goals – so make time for them! If they aren’t on your calendar, add them.

    I always make sure these tasks are scheduled on my calendar ahead of time, that way I’m not likely to set them aside in favor of something else.

    For example, I schedule my workouts on the calendar one week at a time. When the time comes to work out, I’m pretty unlikely to talk myself out of it because there’s nothing else I should be working on during that time. I’ve made a commitment to myself and I’m going to keep it!

     

    Urgent, Not Important

     

    The tasks in the third quadrant are urgent, but they aren’t important. However, they are mistaken for being important tasks way too often! This quadrant includes tasks such as answering phone calls and responding to emails.

    People way too often think that because these tasks are “urgent”, they have to do them right away. Well, I’ve got good news – you don’t have to do them right away!

    Think about phone calls. When the phone rings, it’s urgent. You only have a limited amount of time to answer it before the call gets sent to voicemail.

    But how often do you get a phone call that you would consider important? For me, the answer is almost never. And so I don’t answer the phone when I’m working on something else.

    The exception would be if my fiance or a family member is calling during a time I know they would only be calling in the case of an emergency – then it’s important as well as urgent!

    These tasks can be scheduled for later. But even better, they can be delegated.

    In the example of the phone calls, you’re “delegating” that task to your voicemail. In other cases, it might be an actual person you’re delegating to.

     

    Neither Important Nor Urgent

     

    Let’s be honest, most of us fill our calendars with a lot of things that aren’t necessary as well. Some of these we do as a form of laziness or procrastination, and some we do because we genuinely think they’re important, but they really aren’t.

    Things like watching TV and scrolling through social media are activities we know aren’t important or urgent, but we spend a lot of time on them anyway. I’m not saying you should never do these things! Having balance in life is important, and it’s fine if those are activities you want to enjoy in your free time (I certainly do!) – but don’t use them as a crutch for laziness or productivity during work time.

    There are also some activities that fall into this quadrant that you might think you need to be doing, but when you think about it, they really aren’t important or urgent.

    When I started blogging, there were a lot of tasks I made time for because I read they were things I “should” be doing. But they didn’t benefit my business at all or bring me any closer to my goals. By identifying the tasks that weren’t having an impact, I was able to eliminate them from my to-do list.

    The good news is you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time by getting rid of these tasks!

     

    How to Use the Eisenhower Matrix in Your Own Life

     

    Hopefully, you’re reading this and thinking the Eisenhower Matrix sounds like exactly what you need to finally organize your freaking to-do list. But how do you go about using it in your own life? Here are some practical tips for applying the Eisenhower Matrix to your tasks.

    1. Make a list of every project and activity you have to do. Try to be super comprehensive, even for tasks that don’t seem relevant. Anything that takes up your time is relevant here! Include tasks for both your professional and personal life.

    2. Assign each task to a quadrant on the Eisenhower Matrix. You can just use paper and pencil to sort them. Be honest with yourself to avoid elevating the importance of any task. A good way to do this is to honestly ask yourself, “What is the immediate result of this task?” If the immediate result is your child being fed when they need to be or closing a sale in your business, that task is pretty darn urgent and important!

    3. Cross off every task in Quadrant 4. These tasks are neither urgent nor important, and you should only be giving them your energy during downtime.

    4. Create a plan for tasks in Quadrant 3. Is there a person, app, service, etc. that can do this task for you?

    5. Pull out your calendar and schedule your tasks for the week. Tasks that you put in Quadrants 1 and 2 should be added right to your calendar. Scheduling them for a specific time ensures they actually get done!

    6. Eliminate distractions. When you’re working on the tasks on your calendar, put everything else away. Focus is the key to successfully getting it all done!

    7. Repeat with new tasks. Any time a new task ends up on your desk or in your inbox, figure out where in the Eisenhower Matrix it belongs and act accordingly. You can seriously use this matrix for everything!

    BONUS TIP: Plan your day using time blocking to be even more productive. When paired with the Eisenhower Matrix, time blocking is seriously the most effective productivity tip for planning your entire life. I use it every day! Make sure to check out this blog post where I’m sharing some examples directly from my calendar for how I time block my weeks.

     

    Why the Eisenhower Matrix Works

     

    The best way to reach your goals is to ensure you’re focusing your time on the tasks that are truly going to move you forward and have an impact.

    The Eisenhower Matrix works so well because it forces you to identify which tasks you should be focusing on, and which are a waste of time.

    I have always found myself procrastinating by spending too much time on the tasks that are either urgent but not important or even those that aren’t urgent or important. Using this method has really forced me to get honest with myself and move those tasks to the bottom of the list in favor of the more high-impact tasks.

    Pretty often I find that the reason I’m not focusing on the important tasks is fear. I’m afraid of going for something big and failing. I’m afraid of putting something out, whether it be a new blog post or a digital product, and being judged.

    Using the Eisenhower Matrix has really forced me to take a hard look at those important tasks and take away every other excuse for finally doing them.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    If you’re not as productive as you’d like to be, the Eisenhower Matrix is the perfect tool to help you take an honest look at your to-do list and focus on the most important tasks.

    And by using the Eisenhower Matrix on a regular basis, you’ll ensure that your most important and urgent tasks are getting done every single day.

    Sure, it will be hard at first. It’s not easy to admit you’ve been spending time on tasks that aren’t worth your attention! But once you get past the hard part, you’ll eliminate so much wasted time and energy and find that you’re getting more done in less time and achieving all of your goals!

     

     

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

     

     

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  • 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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  • Things to Do at the Start of Every Month to Stay Organized

    stay organized

     

    The beginning of a new month is always a bittersweet time for me. I’m always excited about entering a new month and making plans for the weeks ahead, but I’m always anxious thinking of how fast the previous month went and how many things I wasn’t able to accomplish.

    Luckily I’ve come up with some routines to do at the beginning of each month to stay organized, stay productive, and stay on top of things! Seriously, just doing these six things makes a BIG difference!

     

    Things to Do at the Start of Every Month to Stay Organized

     

    Evaluate Your Budget

     

    It’s no secret that you should be keeping a budget in order to stay organized with finances, especially if you having savings goals!

    I like to sit down at the beginning of every month and reevaluate the budget, in addition to keeping track of it throughout the month.

    This is a good time to see how you did on last month’s budget, as well as make any necessary changes for the upcoming months. This is the time to identify where I’ve wasted money and where I’ve done a good job of saving it.

     

    Create Monthly Goals

     

    In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I love creating goals for myself. I also happen to love talking about goal setting!

    I write personal goals for myself, as well as goals for my blog and business. Writing them down is a great step, and revisiting them every month helps create some accountability, rather than just the set it and forget it approach that WAY too many people take when it comes to goal setting!

    You can’t set goals for yourself and hope they come true without taking real action. You have to set goals the right way to make sure you reach them!

     

    Set a Fitness Goal

     

    So many people set ultimate fitness goals (lose X number of pounds, run a 5K, etc), but they don’t set small goals to help them reach that larger goal.

    Every month sit down and reevaluate your ultimate goal and figure out what steps you can take this month to get closer! The nice thing about monthly fitness goals is that they can be really SMALL and manageable!

    For example, you might set a goal of trying one new workout class this month, or prepping meals for the week every Sunday. Totally doable, but still something that keeps you moving toward your great fitness goals.

     

    Create a Meal Plan

     

    I don’t always write a meal plan, but I guarantee I am more diligent about cooking meals in the evening and spend less money on groceries when I do.

    You don’t have to do this a month at a time, but it’s a great time to do it if you do any sort of bulk shopping at Costco, Sam’s Club, etc. Then throughout the month, you can make smaller trips to your local grocery store for your perishable items like produce.

     

    Update Your Calendar

     

    At the beginning of each month, it always seems like I’m going to have SO many free weekends and so much free time.

    Then, as the month goes by, I make new plans or remember plans that I never wrote on the calendar, and suddenly I’m busy every single weekend. I could definitely avoid this if I updated my calendar more regularly and double-checked it at the beginning of every month.

    That way I know what weekend plans I already have, and can be prepared to say no to any last-minute plans that interrupt my precious amount of free time.

     

    Do a Deep Clean

     

    The beginning of the month is a great time to take care of the cleaning tasks that don’t do on a weekly basis. Now is the time to take care of things like cleaning out your refrigerator, cleaning out your car, and mopping the floors.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    They sound simple, and I know it’s only six things, but I swear doing these each and every month makes SUCH a difference in making sure I stay organized and reach my goals all month long. Plus when I’m super prepared, the months don’t tend to go as scary-fast!

    I would LOVE to know what things you make time for every month to keep yourself organized. Leave a comment and let me know!

     

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