6 PRACTICAL TIPS TO GET THROUGH YOUR TO-DO LIST

9 PRACTICAL TIPS TO GET THROUGH YOUR TO-DO LIST

I, for one, have had an extremely busy April/May – it has been a good busy but I am so happy to say that I can finally feel things slowing down a bit and getting back to normal. To catch some of you up, I recently started a new job which I really, really like but as always there is a lot of learning when starting a new role so that has kept me much busier than usual and if that was not enough I was also planning a baby shower for my sister who is expecting her second child. I am happy to report that the baby shower went off without a hitch this past weekend and I cannot express enough the relief I feel to get past it!

With so many things going on in my personal life and professional life I have been heavily reliant on my planner. I purchased the Inkwell Press planner for 2016 and I LOVE IT – I can go into a more in depth review for another blog post but in a nutshell that little planner has seriously helped me get through my busy days and weekends. Except for the time I wrote down an event I was invited to on the wrong day altogether – that wasn’t good! Here the nine tips I have followed these past several weeks to get through my never-ending to do list while not going completely crazy.


Take three deep breaths and hold


Breathing can easily fix a cluttered mind. There were a few instances in the last several weeks when I felt so over-whelmed that I was a complete scatter brain. In those instances I reminded myself to breath – I stopped doing whatever I was doing and I took three very deep breaths and I held my breath for a count of 5 and then I released. This very simple technique does wonders to bring clarity and peacefulness that always finds a way to put things into perspective.


Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize


This is such an obvious thing to point out but at times I did not prioritize very well because I did the things I felt were easy but not totally important that day while I put off the things that NEEDED to get done. So, yes, it is oh so important to prioritize your to-do list. Take 5-10 minutes at the start of your day and run through your to-do list in order of importance.


Don’t be afraid to adjust your priorities


Sometimes things change and it impacts our short term to-do list – when this happens its okay to re-adjust your to-do list and move on to the next thing and get back to the task you moved when it is ready to be addressed again.


Use the Pomodoro technique


I recently began using this and I love it! The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique with which you set yourself a timer of 25 minutes and dedicate every second of those 25 minutes to ONE task and then you take a 5-10 minute break and you repeat that for up to 4 sessions before you give yourself a longer break of 30-45 minutes.  I have to admit I was pretty hesitant of this technique when I first heard of it but I went in to it with an open mind and I have to tell you that it dramatically boosted my productivity. I do not do this every day because it is hard to fit this in on days that are jam packed with meetings but on the days when I do not have meetings scheduled this is my preferred productivity hack.


Give yourself some breathing room


Be sure to allot yourself some time to do something not on you’re to do list – but it has to be something you enjoy doing. You can walk your dog, read through a magazine, listen to music or read a blog – whatever your heart desires. The point here is to understand that not everything has to be work, work, work, we need to fit in things we love to do even with a busy schedule. Life is supposed to be enjoyed not consumed by a never ending to do list.


Delegate


There is nothing wrong with asking for a little help whether it be at work or at home. So take advantage in the best sense of that word) of the people around you – you may realize that people are much more giving with their time than you thought.

How do you get through your to do lists? Share your tips and tricks below!

9 EASY WAYS TO BE A HEALTHIER (AND HAPPIER) PERSON

I believe that being happy and being healthy are two things that go hand in hand. There are habits we carry with us day in and day out – some of them are good for us yet some of them are really bad for us.

The way we see the world is merely a reflection of what is happening in our minds and bodies. While we cannot control what happens out there in this great big world we can choose to find the good in it. But, in order to be somewhat successful at that we must first start with taking care of ourselves mentally and physically.

The list below is things you incorporate into your life that will bring more wellness and happiness into your life.


Have a glass of water


Start your day with a glass of water. This simple act will re-invigorate and energize you’re your body from the inside out. You will feel better almost instantly and have the energy to start your day off on a positive note.


Go outside


Make it a point to intentionally breathe in some fresh at least once a day (weather permitting, of course!). Taking in fresh air can be done by taking a walk in a park or a trail or maybe even just sitting in a park – that is the easy part.

The most important part is to do it intentionally, meaning, that you are fully present with your surroundings and that you cherish every breath you take.


Reduce stress


Find your stress reliever a do it whenever you need to reduce stress. I have two stress relievers – cleaning and yoga.  Yes, cleaning. Whenever I am feeling somewhat stressed or feel my mind cluttering up with all sorts of things I need to do I turn to cleaning. There is just something about a freshly cleaned home and good smelling candle that give me the space and clarity that I need.

The second is yoga, I do yoga at home from time to time but if I am ever really feeling stressed I do like to go in to a yoga studio. The calming environment and soothing music does the trick for me.


Get some sleep


Make sleep a priority and always strive to get the amount of sleep your body needs. Some people only need 5-6 hours while other need 8-9 hours of solid sleep – I fall right in the middle of that and need somewhere in between of 7-8 hours a solid and good quality sleep every night. Making sleep a priority means that you back track the start of your day.

For example, let’s say you need to be at work by 8AM and it takes you 30 minutes to get to work – that means you need to need to leave your house by 7:30AM. Now, let’s suppose it takes you an hour to get ready – that means you need to get up at 6:30AM. This means that you need to be in bed and ready to sleep by 10:30PM at the latest.

Which means you need to have everything on your to-do list checked off for the next morning by 10PM. This will allow you 30 minutes to wind down and get mentally ready for bed.


Exercise


Getting your body moving (aside from eating healthy) is probably the most obvious way to be a healthier person. There are many benefits to exercise and one of them is getting your blood flow moving which helps your internal organs do their jobs. 


Eat mindfully


Eating mindfully is one thing I am working on. While I know the importance of focusing on JUST your food while you are eating I can sometimes find it difficult to put my phone away to not be distracted by YouTube videos, shows or podcasts. Eating mindfully is about relaxing yourself while you are eating and savoring whatever you are feeding your body.


Stand more often


For those of us who sit for long periods of time at work it is very important to stand up and walk around throughout the day – I find this especially important after eating lunch.


Relax


Taking a few minutes here and there to relax your mind and body will only have great benefits. I do this by sitting down and reading a book for 20 minutes or so and I know that relaxes me and gives me that little break I need on a busy errand filled day.


Choose happy thoughts


Think happy thoughts – I know, easier said than done. But your mind is a muscle you need to work on a train and over time the not-so-positive thoughts will become very few and far between. 

What healthy habits do you have now? And which are you working on incorporating into your life? Do share below!

3 REASONS PROCRASTINATION CAN ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR YOU

Sometimes big life decisions need to be made and they need to be made very quickly or on a less dramatic note sometimes there are smaller decisions that need to be made on a day to day basis. And sometimes we really do not know what the best decision is and simply do not want to think of it much. Any way you slice it there will always be decisions that will have to be made and things we will have to do and a lot of the times we will encounter some form of procrastination. Before I delve in to the reasons procrastination can be good thing, I first want to define what it means. The best way I can define procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something. I have to admit that I am a self-diagnosed procrastinator – even when I know a certain task HAS to get done I can sometimes procrastinate a bit. However, once my procrastination phase is over I always give the task 110% of my attention and effort. But, I digress; my point is that there is good procrastination and bad procrastination. As long as you can tell which type of procrastination you are encountering you will be able to know how to best manage it.

Here are the reasons I feel procrastination is actually a good thing:


Listen to your intuition


Sometimes you are not exactly sure why you are dragging your feet on something. This is a great time to sit back and do your best to put your finger on the reason you may be putting the thing off. Maybe it is your gut telling you that you should probably not move forward with the task or idea. In this instance, procrastination is actually a very good thing because your mind and your gut know what is best for you before you logically know it. If you give yourself some time to mull it over you’ll soon know what the best option for you is.


It’s not your thing


Other times you may procrastinate on doing something because you truly do not like to do it. Now don’t confuse that with laziness, if you’re lazy about doing something you know you will eventually get to it. But I am talking about a task that has just really never been for you. As an example, let’s say you absolutely do not like to do laundry, like seriously despise everything about it – well you can then consider to hiring someone to do your laundry (if you can afford it, of course) on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If outsourcing a chore you really do not enjoy then you can use that time in a much more productive and enjoyable manner.  


Gives you time


The beauty of procrastination is that it buys you time. And if you ever need to make a hard decision the best thing that can happen to you is have a little more time to think about it in order to arrive to the best decision. Giving yourself time to make a decision is a good thing as long as you don’t go crazy with the amount of time you give yourself – my suggestion is to allow yourself 1-3 nights to sleep on it – this will give you some clarity and breathing room to arrive at a good decision.

Are you a procrastinator? Have you gotten better at managing your procrastination habits? Share your tips below!

8 TIPS TO SIMPLIFY AND BALANCE OUT YOUR LIFE

Life is full of distractions and never ending to-do lists and chores that are essential to keeping your life moving forward but these things can sometimes take over our lives and leave us feeling like we are in a middle of a whirlwind tunnel. BUT the good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is hope if we can figure out the ways we can make our lives simpler to manage.  I would even venture out to say that a big piece of the struggle I find in myself but also in those around me comes down to basic time management skills.


Make a list of your values


There is always and there will always be things to do and people to see, which is great! But we have all been through exhausting days and weeks and overtime that can prove to be unhealthy for your health (on several levels). My point here is that having a clear understanding of what your values are whether they be your family, friends, career, religion, whatever they are just be aware of them and if you ever have to pick one event that falls in your values category and one that doesn’t the choice just became that much simpler.


Declutter


I have been a huge proponent of declutter-ization (if that’s even a word!) here on the blog. I went through a huge declutter exercise on my wardrobe about 6 months ago and I must say that after the whole ordeal was over it felt amazing (even though the process was a whole different story). Having gotten rid of so many clothing options that I never even wore has dramatically cut down on the amount of time I spend even thinking about what I am going to wear. But also note that the idea of decluttering goes way beyond a wardrobe – decluttering your office, your car, your kitchen, your bathroom, your laundry room. Go through these places and get rid of anything you did not even remember you had. Rule of thumb here is: the less number of options you have the easier the choice.


Get rid of debt


Owing money to anyone can feel like a constant burden on your shoulders and is also mentally draining. Not to mention that, having debt can delay certain goals in your life like purchasing a home.  Having a healthy financial life will seriously make decision making that much simpler


Unsubscribe


If your email inbox looks anything like mine then you are used to getting promotional emails every five minutes from stores you have shopped at once in the last 3 years. I have been unsubscribing from those emails as much as I can this has decreased the amount of unnecessary emails I receive throughout the day which also allows me to devote more time to the more important things that come through my inbox.


Eat healthy meals and exercise


This may not seem like it belongs on this list but yes, my friend, it does. Eating healthy is a necessity for your body and the happier your body feels the healthier your mind will feel and the more productive you will be with your time and attention span. So, the better your body feels the more of a positive impact that will have in other aspects of your life.  You can also never ever go wrong in doing some type of exercise – pick a time a day that works for YOU – and think about all of the positives that are coming out of getting your blood flowing and your heart pumping.


Make your own lunch


I usually (meaning 3-4 times a week) make my own lunch the night before and bring it to work. This has not only saved me a lot of money but it has also eliminated the difficult (and sometimes unhealthy) decision of wondering what I’ll eat for lunch. I’ll also have to admit that I’m not all of that creative when it comes to preparing lunch for myself and often stick to a few of my signature dishes that I can whip up in 20 minutes or less.


Keep your wallet organized


Knowing what you do and no not have in your wallet will save you so much time when at a checkout counter. I used to have a messy wallet full of coupons and receipts but I have done away with all of that madness. I now keep receipts in an enveloped a keep in a drawer at home and coupons neatly tucked away in my Ink Well Press planner.


Run all of your errands at once


I run my errands on either Saturday mornings or Sunday mornings while most people are probably still sleeping or just waking up. I know, it may sound a little crazy BUT it feel so good when you have run your errands for the week before noon time and then you have the rest of the day to yourself. This may take a little bit of planning on your part but overtime it will become so easy you will never be able to go back to running small errands throughout the week.

What changes have you incorporated into your life to make is more simple and manageable? What are you hoping to change? Do share below!