how to be more productive than ever

more productive (1)

I open articles all the time that suggest ways to be more productive and successful. Most of them want you to eat healthy, sleep enough, and exercise. They say to get up early and eat breakfast. They say have a routine and stick to it. They say turn off your phone. I think all of those points are valuable, really valuable. I NEED TO DO THOSE THINGS. Less sugar is good for your health. More sleep is good for your brain.

I’m always working on being better to myself. Leaving my phone in the kitchen at night helps me unwind and sleep easier, but it doesn’t give me the kick in the butt I need to get things done. While I want to have better habits, I also know that certain things will stick and certain ones won’t. Some things will help me more than others.

I wanted to reflect on what I’ve been doing differently in the past few months compared to before I moved into my house and even in the first few months of being in my new house. There are a few that stick out.

  1. The most obvious change is living in my own home. I know that in and of itself has done a lot for my motivation. My sister and I had made living with each other quite difficult. I think a huge part of my lack motivation came from not feeling at home in my home. The freedom and responsibility of my own space has empowered me to get shit done.
  2. The other major change is having more financial freedom. Living paycheck to paycheck is a frightening and tense way to live. I picked up more hours at my second job, and it has helped tremendously. Not stressing about bills makes day to day life so much easier and really improved my mental health.
  3. Another thing I’ve been doing is acknowledging when I am most productive and on top of things. For example, I hate doing dishes, but I like to do them while I’m cooking or right after cooking. So, I do them then. I’m being honest to myself about my weaknesses in order to find the best way to strengthen them. Finding a groove for doing chores and other day to day tasks is important to being productive.
  4. I started bullet journaling again. Bullet journaling – for me – is synonymous with a daily “To Do” list. I bought this planner on Amazon in September. I bought it because it is a blank slate and every page is for a single day. For a while, I tried to use the hourly layout, but I don’t have enough calendar events to have to keep track of hourly productivity. I printed my own stickers a few weeks ago that are basically categories of projects I could tackle each day, for example, “To Do,” “Blog Posts,” “House Projects,” etc. I put those over the top of the hourly headers, and now I just list the things I want to get done each day. It works best for me!
  5. I opened up Audible again! I have three or four books started right now, and they are a little heavy. They need my full attention so it seems like I’m not making much progress on them. In contrast, listening to short stories or fiction on Audible is so easy. I can do dishes or laundry and listen to the stories. Right now, I’m listening to Life of Pi. I’ve read several vastly different reviews for this novel. I truly think listening to a story can completely change how you perceive it. I’m glad I chose to listen to this one because I think I would have missed all of the humor and joy in it.

I feel like I have been doing a lot. The tasks are not substantial and are of no consequence to anyone but me, but it’s so satisfying to lay down at night feeling like I was productive. I have been doing the dishes after I eat. I hung décor on my walls. I resealed my bathroom sink top. I found a rack in the house for hanging pans, went through my pots cupboard, and hung the pans on my island. I had people over for Taco Tuesday. My sister, Hope, helped me rearrange my multipurpose room. I think my dog and I have even lost some weight together.

I like to think I am becoming better at being an adult. Today I even felt my age – whatever that means. I think I just felt content in where I am and where I’m going – which was a relief.