In the past, I felt incomplete if I wasn’t filling every pocket of time with ‘doing’. I had to learn the hard way that if all you do is hustle, without regard for your health or actual effectiveness, there isn't an end game until something gives - like your health or relationships or something that you may not actually want to sacrifice.
Over the past year I have had to put all of these tools to use to leverage my productivity, so that I can support my family (through rough and good times), maintain my business, my health, plan a wedding, and keep up with domestic stuff like a clean home and meal prep.
I don't always manage it all at the same time (and I legit cannot imagine this with kids)...but I would be a lot worse off without these practices.
I hope that at least one of them saves you some time today, and that you can fill that time with something that brings you joy.
My Favorite Productivity Systems
A "warmup" can ease anxiety from task overload and help get into working rhythm.
I start by organizing my work area, performing four to five box breaths, brain dumping or scheduling the day (if I didn't do it the night before) and identifying my top three essential tasks.
Daily Top Three
Everybody has an endless to-do list. Having to-do's isn't bad, but letting them run your life and make you feel like an endless drone sucks.
Divorce yourself from the absolutely impossible thinking that everything has to be done in one day and starting getting more EFFECTIVE with your time by selecting the 3 MOST important tasks each day.
Yes, you have more than three, but anything on top of those three is bonus and you want to prioritize your energy and drive to these FIRST.
Set specific blocks of time for "like" categories of tasks. Hitting the task or category you're dreading FIRST thing can be incredibly helping for effectiveness as well.
Plus having a reminder to stand up and breathe every 30 to 35 minutes actually extends my ability to focus rather than disrupts it.
One Day Per Week Unplugged
Planned rest days allow for crucial mental recharge and when I implement and stick with them, they force me to be more productive with my allotted work time (since I know I can't "make up for it" on a planned day off).
Feel free to Pubmed "outdoors + productivity" or "outdoors + mental health" that discuss how getting outdoors improves concentration, creativity, and mental health, reduces mental fatigue, and even boosts short term memory.
It's simple and effective, and I'll never stop recommending it.
The amount of work I can get done when I'm rested is ridiculous.
Alternatively, the amount of effort it takes to do even the smallest things when I'm run down or exhausted is embarassing.
Setting aside more time for quality sleep means you will end up getting more accomplished with the time you have. Don't take my work for it, try it for yourself.
Oh, and if you've got any other tips to share, I would LOVE to hear!