Monday, 2 July 2018

FIVE HABITS OF PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE


How often do you find yourself wishing you'd done something earlier? How many times a week do you say 'I would, but I'm so busy!'? I hold my hands up, I've been seriously guilty of this. I work full time in a very busy 9-5:30 office job, I'm also studying at the moment, I have a home to keep tidy, meals to cook, a dog to walk etc etc. So it's very easy to forget to leave time for the things you love doing.

For me, that's my blog, it's my instagram, it's playing guitar. All of these things were becoming more of a niggling 'I must do that at some point' thought in the back of my mind rather than things I actively chose to spend my time doing. Recently though, I decided that 'too busy' was a state of mind. Yes, I work until 5:30 and yes, I do like to keep my house tidy and cook a decent meal (most of the time at least!!), but does all that really take up as much of my time and I make out it does? I realised that actually no, it doesn't. So, today, I'm going to share with you '5 Habits of Productive People', some of these I'm already doing, others I'm working on, but I hope at least some of these tips will inspire you to fit just a little more into your day!

Late nights, early mornings.
No, I'm not recommending you go to bed at silly o clock and spring back out again 3 hours later, but that said, most nights, I go to bed at around midnight and I wake up at 7am. That's a good seven hours sleep and that suits me just fine. That does mean though that I have a good 5 or so hours after work to utilise, but I don't always use the time as best I could. A friend of mine recently told me that he gets up at 5am in the mornings to fit in the creative stuff before his day even begins. I was so inspired by that, not only do you get the stuff you love to do done, it also gives a sense of accomplishment before you go about the rest of your day. Said friend is @jackburrellhq on Instagram, please do check him out, he's an incredible artist and musician, so he's definitely doing something right with all those early mornings! I'm already making the effort to fit in a little bit of editing and blogging time after work, but with this in mind, I'm vowing to go to bed an hour earlier, set my morning alarm an hour earlier than I usually do and get sh*t done - hold me to it!

Earn your down time
Do you ever feel kind of guilty when you spend hours in front of the TV? Maybe there's a reason for that! Everybody needs their chill time, but having that time after a productive day feels so much better. If you find yourself scrolling through apps on your phone or sitting in front of the TV for hours on end every evening, question if that’s something you need to be doing or if it's just habit. Going to bed feeling like I’ve accomplished something absolutely helps me sleep better at night. If I’ve had a lazy day, I find it seriously hard to sleep, because I’m thinking about the million things I could’ve gotten done! I sometimes find that it helps to section my evening, so I get in at 6:15, so by 7:30, I like to have made and eaten dinner. Then between 7:30 to 8:30, I’ll work on blog and social stuff and then from 8:30, I’ll do things like wash my hair (always at night as it frees up my morning!), do my skincare routine, fake tan etc, then after that usually from around 9:30, I’ve got a couple of hours or so to just chill out. Believe me, it’s nights like this when I sleep so much better!

Use your breaks
Productivity of course doesn't just apply to your hobbies and social media accounts (as much as I'm sure we'd all love it to!), but also to your day job. I don't know about you, but when I spend my entire lunch hour at work just scrolling through my phone, I always find it so hard to get back to what I was doing come 2pm! Of course, work can be tough and your breaks are your time, but I find that if I spend my lunch hour doing something, be that a blog post, some photo editing or just getting outside for a walk or to meet a friend, I then go back to work feeling like I've done something for myself and I feel so much more ready to get back to it! A job is a job and while we may not love every aspect of it, there's pride in knowing you worked damn hard and did your best. Also, there's a kind of smug satisfaction to getting something done in your lunch hour that you'd have otherwise had to do before or after work.

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Sometimes, when all else fails and you really are just too busy, knowing you have content sorted in advance is a godsend. So, when I have a free evening or a quiet Sunday, I'll take lots of photos, draft blog posts, reply to emails etc. When your blog and your Instagram are what you love to do, feeling behind and out of the loop can be stressful and suck the fun out of it. Where possible, I do love to write and shoot in 'real time', but I do like knowing I've always got something backed up for when I have plans that are taking up my time  genuinely just run out of time. Alongside this, take notes!! I cannot tell you how many times I've had an idea for a blog post or photo and then later completely forgotten what it was! Whether it's in the notes app on your phone or in a jotter kept in your handbag, write down anything and everything that comes to mind. It's a tip that seems so obvious but believe me, it's a life saver!

Keep your dreams in mind
Ultimately, enhanced productivity helps you to reach your goals and that’s what all of this is about. While the topic of prioritising your time and maximising productivity for things like blogging, music and photography may seem unimportant to some, spending time on the things you love to do gives purpose to each and every day. Keeping in mind why you’re taking photos, or learning a particularly difficult song keeps you motivated to keep going. Doing things just because they make you happy is beneficial for mental health and can dramatically change your outlook. Spending a little time each morning or evening to learn something new, work on your blog or social media accounts or even starting  a new hobby means at least for a small part of each day, you’re doing something entirely for yourself, to better yourself or to work towards your goals and aspirations and that really is an increcidble feeling. It’s a huge cliché to say it, but life is unpredictable and that's both scary and wonderful, but in the end, you don’t want to look back and feel like it was wasted. We all have to work and we all have to do things we’d rather not do, but don’t let those things be your excuse for not doing what you love.

Feel free to message me on instagram or comment below if you'd like to share your thoughts on the topic, I'd love to know if you have any productivity tips yourself!

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