If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am obsessed with planners. I am very organized, if only on paper. Currently, I balance working full time, visiting my family in another city at least once a month, book blogging, a major work project centered on reading, the beginnings of writing my first novel, practicing my spirituality, many friends getting married, attempting to work out, and slowly regaining a social life as my city develops new guidelines to allow the vaccinated to get somewhat back to normal. It’s a lot to manage, but through it all, I manage to keep it together – and here’s how! This is a prompt I gleaned from “101 Blog Post Ideas” by Jo Linsdell – “How do you stay productive?”

I use a planner.

First and foremost, I write everything down in a traditional paper planner. This helps me be aware of the chores, activities, and to-dos and I need to tackle every single day. I make sure to write down my work schedule and pencil in any upcoming blog posts or blog post ideas. I also use fun stickers, usually with quotes, to keep me motivated. I’m more likely to go to the gym if I put a sticker that says “gym” in my book than if I just plan to go in my head.

I’m unafraid to cancel or reschedule plans.

That being said, I’m always willing to scratch off or sticker over a plan that isn’t doable or enjoyable for me that day, or to reschedule it. There is no shame in having to take a week off from the gym or cancel dinner plans with a friend if something else comes up or you’re just not feeling up to it.

I listen to my body.

If I need a break, I take it! This can mean writing “hiatus” over a planned blog post, crossing out all my “gym” stickers for the week, taking a nap, or getting a vegan burger for dinner instead of cooking what’s already in the fridge. Doing this in a healthy manner has helped me to feel happier and to be more motivated to complete the tasks that are truly important, either because they need to get done or because they’re things that genuinely matter to me.

I’m honest about how I feel with friends, family, and coworkers.

I am open about cancelling commitments and unafraid to delegate tasks. Likewise, if an author asks that I review their book, I give them a soft date because I have no idea what is going to come up for me between now and then.

I practice chunking.

“Chunking” my tasks has been the best practice I’ve started using since the pandemic began. I balance activities out and move on from one thing to the next. For instance, if I have a lot of reading to do, I might read a chapter, then answer some emails, then read a chapter, then wash the dishes, then read a chapter, then work out, then read a chapter, then play a video game… You get what’s I’m saying! Chunking my activities out has allowed me to get more done and also balance work with play and wellness.

I treasure activities that energize me.

Days to myself, time spent with family, quiet walks… These activities all rejuvenate me and keep me going. They are important and so I always make time for them.

I hope you find my tips helpful, and I also want to know – how do you keep productive?