4 simple ways to increase your daily productivity

lIt’s a constant struggle to complete everything on our to-do lists in one day.

These 4 simple tips will help you prioritize so you can increase your daily level of productivity.

plan ahead 

Planning your day can have an impact on your daily workflow. It seems like common sense, but we’re in the habit of waking up, checking our emails, going to work, responding to emails, attending meetings, checking email again, and so on, that we may forget what our priorities are.

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If you can see ALL the items on a list you must accomplish that day, you’ll be more likely to tackle them head on (think of the satisfaction of crossing them off your list!). Some people prefer to plan their day out the night before, but I choose that time to relax and instead, in the first 30 minutes at work, I spend time making (or revising) a to-do list of everything I have to complete, also including meetings to attend and calls to make. This helps me envision my day.

I organize the list from high priority to low priority, so if the low priority items get pushed to the next day, it’s ok.

“early bird gets the worm” isn’t necessarily true for everyone. 

What time of day do you find you’re most productive? When are you focused enough to accomplish the majority of tasks on your list?

I’m most level-headed and on-point mid-morning. After I’ve had time to warm-up and go through my to-do list, I’m ready to tackle the hardest or most time-consuming item on my list.

Figure out when you are most productive and schedule your hardest and most thought-intensive projects for that time, and save the less complicated tasks for that other part of the day when your mind tends to wander.

focus on why you procrastinate 

We all have pesky projects we’d like to avoid and/or push-back, but this avoidance can be a hindrance on our productivity. We tend to make excuses and justify why we procrastinate, so as soon as you start pushing something further down on your list repeatedly, start asking yourself why. Why are you putting off a specific project, meeting or task? Is it because you feel you have more time? Are you afraid you don’t have the right skills or knowledge to complete it? Is it boring? After you figure out the why, see what you can do to change the outcome.

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If you feel unprepared or uneasy about beginning a project or assignment, start by researching to inform yourself and bring up your confidence level. If it is because it is a boring task you have no motivation to begin, force yourself to take the first step and map out a plan of how you’ll complete the project even if it’s over a few days.

Easier said than done, but I’ve found once you figure out the “why” you can combat procrastination and get the project moving.

utilize helpful apps or go old school 

There are countless digital options out there that will help you stay organized with your daily to-do list or monthly finances. Some of my favorites include Evernote and Any.do.

I previously used Evernote to keep track of every single place I visited on my road trip, and currently, I use it to keep note of stories my grandmother tells me, recipes to make, music to listen to, concerts I’ve been to, books to read, places to go, etc. It’s a never ending list of notes and articles I’m frequently adding to and organizing.

Any.do is the perfect app when I need a digital to-do list. It’s ideal for my grocery list and random tasks I need to remember when I’m out and about. I love the simplicity of the design, and how you can separate goals into “today” “tomorrow” etc.

On a daily basis, I enjoy going “old-school,” I writing my action items down in my beloved Day Designer. With a today section split up by the hour, a to-do list with checkboxes to cross off, a nice-sized notes section, “today’s top-three” (must do’s!) and more, all helping me stay on track and organized.

What are some apps you use or things you do in order to stay productive throughout the day?

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let’s do this, 2017

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” ― Albert Einstein

We all know what time of year it is…

I’m sharing my 2017 aspirations/goals/whatever you want to call them…in order to inspire you to create some for yourself.

I personally enjoy crossing things off my to-do list, feeling that I accomplished something…even if I’ve just written a thank you or organized my craft box…in my mind, that’s still something to be proud of. So by writing these down, I’m responsible for completing them…and I’m excited!

As I write this, I’m already training for a 5k thanks to Couch 2 5k, encouragement from friends, and the fact that I already signed up for the Nashville Rock n Roll Race!

2017 goals

for the year 

  • run a 5k
  • play bocce ball
  • play tennis
  • play volleyball
  • make a decoupage project

 

quarterly 

  • volunteer with an organization long-term, or find a volunteer activity to participate in quarterly
  • read 1 book/quarter
  • hike in the park or take a weekend drive to a small town (can do this every weekend in the summer and early fall!)
  • attend a local show (music, art, theater!)

 

weekly

  • exercise at least 5x/week
  • long weekend walk with my little dog Peanut

 

daily

  • meditate using the Calm App (more on that here)
  • walk at least 10,000 steps (thanks, Fitbit)
  • read or write at least 1 poem
  • jam out & dance
  • curate for A Song A Day (more on that here)

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” ―Thomas A. Edison

 

a song a day cover

the best daily music email list you should be on / daily culture

A few weeks ago I wrote about the 5 best email lists you should be on, and you must add this one to your list!

Have you heard of asongaday.co? If you like music and know how email works, you’ll enjoy this.

This is the best daily music email list to sign up for!

a song a day cover

Each week, I look forward to curating music for asongaday.co. I’m a ‘Song Curator’ (fancy!). When you sign up to receive a song a day, you receive just that, a-song-a-day.

Before then, you answer a series of questions about your favorite music — from your answers, the founder matches you to a Curator (like me!), and then we handpick a song for you (usually from a lesser known, or dare I say ‘indie’ band that I’d think you’d like.) And when you wake up in the morning or leave work that day, there it is in your inbox – your song of the day.

As I find music to send, I’m discovering my next favorite band or song, and it becomes almost addicting seeking out that song you know that one person (who specified their favorite band to be Alt-J or Kings of Leon for example) will like…and maybe even love! As founder Shannon Byrne says, “Most of us aren’t experts, we’re just a rag-tag team of volunteer curators who listen to a lot of music and keep up-to-date with lesser-known artists.”

I know at this point you must be a little curious…Sign up now to receive a song a day: asongaday.co