How to Be Your Most Productive Self
One of Emma’s and my most requested topics is productivity. We, of course, owe a huge credit to our team(s) for both our blog company and our app company who work alongside us every day. Many of them you never see on this blog, but they’re working with us to make sure these plans and goals become reality.
Still, over the years we’ve learned to get the most out of our workdays and be as productive as possible. So today I’ll share the things that help us to be productive each day!
Use a planner. This is absolutely essential. I write in my planner every day. My favorite planner is Get To Work Book. It’s very well organized and has a minimal design that’s not distracting.
I make a few big goals each month. Typically something I need to achieve for work and something more personal (still work related) that I want to try or improve.
Have rituals to begin and end the workday. Every morning, I start my essential oil diffusers, I get a cup of coffee and I read the blogs in my Bloglovin. Usually, I just end up reading two or three posts that spark my attention, but it’s a ritual that I love and I almost never skip it.
I believe it’s extremely important to be a fan in whatever field you work in. So if you’re an actor, you need to keep watching movies and TV as a fan. As a blogger, I need to read blogs as a fan. I can’t believe how many bloggers tell me they don’t really read blogs. How can grow if you’re not a fan? It’s an important part of staying inspired and in tune with what you love about your own industry.
Anyway! Back to rituals.
I end every day by closing the doors to my office and leaving my computer in there until Nova is in bed.
And, we end every workweek with a happy hour at the same restaurant where I order the same drink. It’s how we signal to ourselves that it’s now the weekend.
I think these rituals are very important for anyone who works from home. I hear so many people say they can never turn off work 24/7, seven days a week … but that’s not sustainable or healthy and in my experience it’s less productive.
Set hours make my work faster and much more efficient. They remind me that I need to stay on task because once they’re over for the day, they’re over.
One Post-it note. I’ve said this before, but it’s helped me a LOT. Each day I write what I am doing on one Post-it note. Some days the whole note is totally full, other days there are 2-3 things on there, but they all take hours to complete.
I have been doing this for a year or so, since around the time we adopted Nova.
I learned that my super long lists were making me LESS productive because since they were too long I already knew I couldn’t get it all done.
With these small lists, I know it’s possible to complete it all and I usually do.
Eliminate distractions. Do whatever you need to do. I know some people listen to podcasts all day, but they distract me and I can’t do it unless I’m doing a DIY like painting or sewing.
A lot of times I leave my phone in my bedroom or plugged in another room while I work. I’ve found it’s quicker for me to answer all my texts all at once than one or two every hour at random.
Emma has a time limit set for Instagram where it kicks her out when she’s used it up.
And a big one—I only do 1-2 lunch meetings a month now with friends. Because as innocent as they seem, I always end up being gone for more hours than I plan. So I still do them, but I limit them during work hours to protect my productivity.
Even something as simple as going to get coffee with my husband can kill my productivity for the morning, so I try to save those times for something important like birthdays or when we’re celebrating something—not all the time for no reason.
I’m still a person who struggles with distraction, but even just realizing that and starting to work on one bad habit at a time is a huge step forward!
Being productive is not a mystery. It’s a process. It’s a set of good habits that you set up over time, one at a time. I’d love to hear about small changes that have been helpful for you! xx. Elsie
Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.