Productivity does not come easily. With Netflix, YouTube, and Facebook all within figures distance as I work, it’s so easy to get caught up in them and then whoops, there went an hour or two. (They don’t call it a web for nothing.) Most of the time it takes me a while to get into the creative groove, but I have slowly figured out what does and does not not work. I have a lot of ways to stimulate my productivity, but here are seven because prime numbers are cool.
1. Keep a planner.
Paper or digital, writing down everything that needs to be done and when it needs to happen. Write down every simple thing, from classes and assignments to coffee dates and grocery runs. My lovely little planner from Rifle Paper Co. is my second brain. I could never remember everything that I have to do. And it comes everywhere with me. But if paper isn’t for you, there are all kinds of great calendar apps that will remind you when something is coming up.
2. Schedule creative time.
Now I know this sounds weird, but settings a side an hour or two in the day to simply work on projects that you love can be so helpful. Even if you’re feeling blocked, then just look through inspiration boards until an idea pops it’s way in. Which bring me to my next point….
4. Get outside.
My favorite place to work on projects is at picnic in a park on the outskirts of town. For me, it is the perfect place to get away from distractions (aka the Internet) and just work. Take inspiration from nature around you and begin to draw, write, or design.
5. Wake up early.
This is my lease favorite. I am a night owl through and through. I honestly hate getting up in the morning. But I find that the longer I sleep in, the longer it takes me to get ready for the day to start. Almost twice as long. But if I get an early start, around 6:30 or 7, with the help of some hot lemon water and a pump up song (my favorite is the Avengers theme song), I get ready much quicker, I get way more done.
6. Take time off.
Take time to do nothing. Getting things done is all great but there’s no point if you don’t take the time to enjoy life every once and a while. Even if you didn’t completely finish everything on your list. Set aside some time when it is okay watch that 20 minute YouTube video of a cat petting the side of a pig’s face. Time that you have to do nothing and won’t feel guilty about it later. This is especially important if you work from home since it is so easy to turn the work day into the whole day.
7. Restrict your to do list.
There are only 24 hours in a day and we are all human. We need rest to refill our creative juices for the next day. Set a reasonable number of items that need to be done each day. Rome wasn’t built in a day.