If the majority of your 2020 planner was left blank, you are not alone. All of our schedules were unexpectedly thrown out of whack for way too long, which made it extremely difficult to get back on track.
Throughout the year, however, I was able to find small but impactful ways to slowly organize my life. Below, I’m sharing five useful productivity tips to help you make the most of 2021.
Make a To-Do List
I’m not exaggerating when I say that my to-do list is the only thing holding my life together. I’ve always struggled with organization, and planners just never really worked for me. I found that to-do lists are the best way for me to stay on top of my necessary tasks and keep my productivity going strong throughout the week.
I make my to-do lists on the Evernote app every Monday morning, and create a checklist for each day of the week. I order my tasks in order of importance and deadlines, and I cross off each task throughout the day as I get them done. It’s seriously so satisfying and motivating to see my finished checklist at the end of the day!
Create a Morning Routine
In my opinion, the true secret to productivity (and happiness) is a good morning routine. I’ve always been an early riser, but I never realized the importance of the first couple of hours of my day until this year. I started sticking to a specific morning routine about six months ago, and it has seriously been a game-changer.
I start each day by journaling for about 45-minutes – I do the morning pages technique, which is writing three pages straight of whatever comes to mind! Then, I make my bed, make coffee, and read for 15 minutes (I also throw meditation in there every once in a while). Depending on your schedule, I also suggest getting a quick workout in before going about the rest of your day. Since beginning my morning routine, I’ve felt more calm and ready for whatever the day ahead of me has in store.
Set Doable Weekly Goals
At the beginning of each week, I make a list of a few goals that I want to accomplish by the end of the week – these are less specific tasks, but rather general goals like “work out five days this week” or “eat vegetarian dinners each night.” This keeps me focused on being intentional with every part of my day and improves my time management skills, as I need to get all of my tasks done in order to make time for my personal goals throughout the week as well.
Keep Your Space Clean
Trust me, I’m no neat freak. I’m probably one of the messiest people I know, actually. However, this year I’ve made the effort to make my bed every day and keep my room and workspace tidy. It has truly made all the difference, and I think that the state of my room directly reflects the state of my mental wellness. When my room is clean and organized, I feel less anxious and more equipped to go about my day in peace.
Not to mention, it’s statistically proven that people who make their beds in the morning are more productive and happier throughout their day. It takes only a few minutes to do this, so why not start your day on the right foot?
Allocate Time to Rest
While constantly working and getting things done might feel like the best use of your time, it’s also important to remember rest is a necessary part of the productivity process. Working yourself too hard will only lead to burn out and exhaustion, so allocate time for winding down and self-care at the end of the day or even once per week.
I usually do this by lighting some smelly-good candles and reading a good book or journaling. Find something that works for you – facemasks, a hot bath, a long walk outside – and make sure you don’t neglect this part of your weekly schedule. You will come out of it feeling more refreshed, centered, and ready to tackle whatever comes at you next.
What’s your go-to tool for productivity? Let me know in the comments below!