I will be the first to admit, that as the pandemic dragged on, my productivity went downhill and FAST. It was super hard for me to stay focused and just got into the habit of laying around and reading but not working. I decided that I needed to get in a better mindset, so I went back to my toolbox and rounded up all of the tips and tricks that have always helped me. While every day sometimes seems like groundhog day, I find that keeping to a routine works best for me, even if it gets repetitive. Here are my productivity tips for the New Year.
Productivity Tips for the New Year
My biggest goal for 2021 is to set up a dedicated workspace and stick to it! Especially with the baby home with me indefinitely, I can no longer just work on the couch or at my kitchen table. So my first step is setting up my office! Right now it’s just a holding space for baby gear we don’t use every day – so finding a new place for those things is my first order of business! I will walk you through my day, and all the products I use to help keep me focused and productive!
This thing was one of the greatest purchases of 2020. It helped me to stay hydrated while I was pumping, and it’s perfect for at-home workouts. I refill this right before bed, and it keeps it ICE cold until the next morning. Before I do anything, I try to put a dent into my water goal for the day. If I have my coffee first, it will be hours before I remember to drink water. The coldness also helps wake up your mind and body!
Starting my day off with these two books really helps to ground me and get into a good frame of mind to begin the day. With a brand new baby, this one was kind of hard for me to stick to, so I’m determined to make the time this year. What works for me is reading them while he is having his first bottle of the day, and my coffee is brewing. I definitely got lazy about this when Baby Joe was born, so trying to get back into it!
Next up is my holy grail coffee maker. I love the option to have coffee or espresso, and the quality is better than Starbucks in my opinion. Being able to make a cup in just a few minutes is so helpful when you’re in the zone and don’t want to break to go to your nearest coffee shop to get another! THESE are my favorite pods.
This book truly changed my life. I have a highlighted and dogeared hard copy that I love to go back to, and also the audiobook for when I need a refresher. I actually re-listened to it as I was taking down my Christmas decorations to get me back into the zone. This helped me with little things like making my. bed, not leaving dishes in the sink, and for showing up for yourself every day. One of my favorite passages: ” If you show up at the gym five days in a row – even for two minutes – you’re casting votes for your new identity. You’re not worried about getting in shape. You’re focused on becoming the type of person who doesn’t miss workouts.”
I gained so much knowledge from this book. If you find yourself staring at a to-do list, and thinking of a million other things, not able to get anything done, then read this book. The biggest tidbit we took from this is how to not be distracted by work when we are at home — huge game-changer for sure.
It was time to re-up on my weekly planner pad. I’m a super visual person, especially when it comes to plans, events, and deadlines, so having a huge pad of paper like this right in front of me every day is vital for getting shit done.
Same as the big weekly planner pad, I need a daily to-do list also. Anything to write my plans on to keep me on track is truly necessary. I love a list – and sometimes your list doesn’t need to be in planner form. For example: I would schedule an hour of work in my planner, but use this to breakdown what I will do in that hour like write captions, check emails, track expenses, reply to DMs etc.
I have been using this planner since I remember – back to my teaching days. I use my phone and this calendar just in case. It really helps me stay organized and plan for what’s coming up. I’ve been calendering everything lately – even small things like water, reading or social media breaks. It seemed silly at first but it really helps me to stay on task.
Time blocking is HUGE. When something seems super overwhelming like emails or cleaning out your closet – just set your timer for however many minutes and just do that ONE thing during that time. Knowing you have a deadline will encourage you to finish it within the allotted time, and you don’t waste any time procrastinating or getting distracted. This especially helps me when doing computer work like expenses, invoices, or submitting analytics for campaigns. Em wrote a whole post on this >>>> HERE.
I have raved about these pens for years – they just make everything better, trust me.
We heard Brendan Burchard speak at the Rise Conference in 2019 – and have loved him ever since. His podcast is incredible and so inspiring. I also got this planner for 2021 and am so excited to use it. It’s a planner and journal in one based on the world’s largest study of how high performers increase productivity, set goals, prioritize projects, outperform their peers, and create the positive mindset and habits needed to win the day. Through morning mindset journal prompts, daily goal boxes, evening scorecards, weekly habit assessments, monthly project planning, and proprietary whole life balance sheets, the Planner helps you think more strategically, prioritize like a pro, achieve your goals faster, and become more focused, happy, and productive. So excited to get started with this!
When I get really stressed and overwhelmed, I completely shut down – and then just do absolutely nothing. Since I started taking CBD, I have found that I feel more balanced and can manage stress much better. Life is more manageable and the day to day stresses of work don’t cause me to have panic attacks anymore. Use code ASHANDEM for a discount! I take the softgels every morning, and the daily drops at night.
This is huge for me. I always have to be consuming content – whether it’s an Audible book or podcast – I don’t do well with silence. So whenever I am emptying the dishwasher, walking on the treadmill, cooking, cleaning, taking a bath, doing my makeup etc. I am ALWAYS listening to something. Sometimes it’s informative and inspirational and other times it’s about sports or celebrity gossip, but it helps pass the time and you get to learn something while you’re doing otherwise mindless things.