Juggling work, travel, blogging, and personal commitments isn’t easy. With only 24 hours in a day, it sometimes feels impossible to get it all done. This year, I’ve made strides in improving my productivity and finding peace of mind and it feels great so far. I’m by no means an expert on this, I’m just interested in trying different ways to be my best self. Test out these lifestyle tips and find the right mix to help you accomplish your goals!
Learn when you’re most productive
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Test out different times of day to find that sweet spot when you feel energized to crush your to-dos and inch toward your goals. I’m most productive when I’m the only person awake in the house, either early in the morning or late at night. It makes me feel like the rest of the world is asleep and I feel most at peace, but that’s just me!
Get a sweat in
The days I exercise in the morning before work are always my best days. It helps me start the day with a clear mind and I love spending an hour completely focused on something for myself. I’ll admit, I do sometimes feel sluggish just after lunch and very sleepy around 9 PM, but you can’t beat the accomplished feeling of completing a workout before the day has even started. I definitely prefer morning to evening workouts; after a day of work, I’m just ready to come home.
Calendar personal goals
Work to-dos aren’t the only reminders that should be added to your calendar. Personal goals are arguably more important and easier to forget. Write your personal goals in your calendar and check in with how you’re tracking toward them on a monthly and quarterly basis. I didn’t accomplish ALL my goals for January, but I’m certainly not going to stop trying to nail them in the near future!
Actually, calendar everything
My mind feels so much less cluttered when my schedule is written down somewhere. Aside from work meetings and reminders, I calendar many of my personal commitments and to-dos, in addition to a content calendar. If it’s not on my calendar, I might forget, or I may not hold myself to the commitment (content calendar, I’m looking at you).
After trialing a few meditation apps, I landed on Calm. I love the visual interface and frequently listen to the body scans and sleep stories. I’m going to work through guided meditations next. I try to meditate as often as I can before work and I love how much more prepared I feel to tackle the day.
Find the best ways of working for you
I recently switched my phone and computer to “dark mode” and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s easier on the eyes for me and I feel that I can focus better. For project management, use a spreadsheet or collaboration tool like Airtable. If you’re old school, write your tasks down and cross them off as you complete them. It’s so satisfying!
Set a routine for waking up and sleeping
Whether or not I work out in the morning, I try to wake up around the same time every weekday (between 5-5:30 AM). On weekdays I head to bed around 10:30 PM. I made a rule for myself not to scroll through my phone in bed. I put my phone on Do Not Disturb mode so notifications won’t wake me put my eye mask light from the windows don’t bother me (I also love how soft it is, it’s one of my favorite things).
Take advantage of your small escapes
Unplug and dive into a book. Do a crossword puzzle. Tend to your plants. Reorganize your home. Whatever it is that you love that can give you an escape from the mundane parts of your routine at least a few times a week, make the time for it.
Plan your big escapes
Having something to look forward to can make all the difference in productivity. Keep your eye on the prize and chip away toward your sweet escapes, whether they’re short getaways or long adventures.
Everyone is unique in their own way of mastering productivity with minimal stress. Try any and all of these techniques and find the optimal mix for you. There is no right or wrong way to do it; I’m always looking for new ways to be productive! With that in mind…