10 Tips for a Productive Life

Tips for being prodcutiveAt first I was going to call this article, “10 Tips for a Productive Work Day.” But the more I thought about it the more I felt like productivity isn’t just about work. I like having a productive weekend or night at home too. (But, of course, I love a good vacation day spent doing NOTHING as well!) I would really like to have a productive life, but it’s sometimes a bit of a struggle. Here are ten tips that help me stay on track.

1. Make a to-do list. I am absolutely lost without a to-do list! I (try) to write out a list every morning just before I begin the day. I’ve also found that if I’m feeling overly anxious about a big project at work or looming deadline I sometimes make my to-do list the night before. This makes me feel like I’m getting a jump start on the day.

2. Give yourself small rewards for completing big tasks. I don’t know about you, but I am all about rewards. It might be something as little as, “Once I finish getting through all my emails I’ll go make my afternoon cup of coffee.” Little rewards don’t have to be about money or things, get creative and find small ways to motivate yourself to hustle. 🙂

3. Find ways to break up your workday (or night). I feel like I have a pretty decent attention span, but I’m not super human or anything. It’s good to break up tasks that take a long time or that are physically demanding in any way. For example, let’s say you’re a photographer and you have about five hours of editing to do one night. Work for three hours then give yourself a snack or paint your nails. Then finish up that work. Also, if you sit a lot in order to work make sure to build in a few stretch breaks into your day. You’ll feel better!

4. Avoid addictive time wasting activities. I recently confessed my love for Candy Crush Saga. I’m no stranger to time wasting activities. Facebook can be a trap. Smartphone or internet games can also get super addictive. Avoid these when you’re trying to get something done. Check your FB during the last five minutes of your work day (maybe as your reward?). Also set limits for mini “time wasting” sessions. It’s ok to need a mental break, but don’t get sucked in. For example, next time you go to check Instagram while you’re suppose to be working look at the clock first. Give yourself only 2-3 to scroll through your feed then stop.

5. Get as much done as early in the day as you can. It’s a ripple effect thing. Personally, I’m sort of morning, sort of not a morning person. You know? I have a hard time getting up in the morning! But I’ve noticed that when I do get up and get rolling on my to-do list for the day I already feel so accomplished by nine or ten in the morning that I feel confident about the rest of the day. Start your day with a bang! The momentum will keep you rolling. Then you have the evening hours to relax and unwind.

6. Tackle that really tough to-do first. I know. You don’t want to. Me neither. But once it’s done it’s done! I find that I’ll often leave a really tough or bummer to-do at the bottom of my list for days and days longer than it should have been there. And it’s just looming over me the whole time. Just do it. You’ll feel better. And then you’ll only have the easy stuff left to do.

7. Showcase your success. This is motivation fuel for the future. It’s ok to feel super pumped and proud when you complete a tough goal or finish a super long to-do list. Tell your significant other. Instagram that finished project. Call your mom. Pump your fists in the air. Celebrate—you did it!

8. Tell someone your goals. Now they are your accountability partner(s). Boom. I don’t know about you, but I am WAY more likely to finish a goal if I’ve told someone else about it. This can be as public as you like. You could tell your sister a personal goal. Or you can start a monthly blog series where you share your goals for the month (like 4 Simple Goals) and then you share progress. You decide who you want to tell, just tell someone.

9. Be realistic. We all need breaks. Plan to come back to difficult or frustrating tasks later. Sometimes things don’t come together like we’d hoped. Sometimes a task turns out to be way more physically demanding than we thought. Be honest with yourself. Take a break if you need. Just be sure to make a specific plan to come back to the project, maybe seek out some help if you need.

10. Make goal setting a habit. Maybe the whole to-do list sounds annoying, or cheesy, or overwhelming to you. Find what works for you. And don’t worry if it feels weird or even scares you a little at first. It will start to feel like a normal part of your daily life. And you’ll start to feel weird/off if you miss it. It’ll become habit, like brushing your teeth. It’s not overwhelming or annoying to remember to do this simple task twice every day. But it wasn’t always a habit, probably your parents had to remind you a lot at first. Let goal setting become a routine and positive part of your everyday life.

We believe in you! Make your life full of successes! And if you have any additional tips or specific examples of things you do to stay on track please share them with us. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman

  • I do love your list and little tricks 🙂 My best trick in daily life is trying to make a to-do list every time I struggle with something. Or write it on sticky notes. But my professional life needs to be more organized which is why I need something more advanced like kanbantool.com. Kanban really helps me to be more productive and not to lose too much 🙂 Thank you for alllll your great tips – I will visit you often 😀

  • These are some really good suggestions, but I have to admit it takes a lot of will to avoid some of the activities that don’t give you benefit, but you got used to doing. I feel like now, during quarantine, I can be a bit more productive than usual because I have to be at home and can’t distract myself that much. I’m doing sports every evening, eating more healthy, reading a book every day before I go to sleep. Also, I found another article, which gave me some good ideas about productivity at home, thought it would be nice to share it here: https://medium.com/@ameyallimetztli777/productive-things-to-do-during-covid-19-quarantine-49333ecb8e01

  • Thanks for this! I am actually a morning person. At times that I think I start my day late (7am seems late for me) I get stuck up and ends up stressed out so early. Haha
    I better do my to-do’s the night before as well.

  • I don’t have a website but I love this article. I keep coming back to it for tips to get my life in order. Thank you so much!

  • Efficiency, productivity, and time management go hand in hand. It can’t be achieved in a day. The key is to stay motivated, love what you do and do what you love. Always remember, consistency is the key and it is completely alright to struggle on the initial days. For more info, read this http://majesticartbyrajesh.com/art/become-productive-as-an-artist/

  • What a great writing! I need more writing like this, maybe about life’s lessons or happiness tips!

  • Someone copied your post (translated to portuguese) and didn’t give you credits. Too much coinscidence, even the order of the tips!
    Ask for your rights, there are loads of bloggers with no sense of criativity!

  • I NEED to live be these. High school student about to enroll in my first college course…. Oh, and keep up on my blog. Thank you for these.

  • I really needed to read this! These are all great tips! Thank you for the reminder, it’s always nice to read/hear it from someone else!

  • Emma, you are sooooo right about to-do lists. Nothing feels better than checking something off! xoxo

  • I’m not a to-do list type of person! I guess I like to carry my list in my head as I go on with my day, and it seems to work for me. But I do love the idea of tackling the most difficult tasks in the morning, rather than leaving it for later! 🙂
    xx Carmen

  • Love this list!! Downloading the software “Anti-Social” helps me a lot too!!

  • Thank you for this… Im inspired to finish some of the things in my to do lists today =)

  • Really great tips – I will be stealing some ideas. thank you so much



  • Thanks for the great tips! I’ve been working hard on my new blog after taking your blog love e-course. This was just the boost I needed today! keep up the good work Ladies!!

  • I can relate to all of them! With proper time management and discipline, I was able to raise my grades at school and actually got into the Dean’s List. I agree that rewards shouldn’t be expensive. They could be simple like a special snack you really love! 🙂

  • You wrote this post so good. And it’s the perfect time for me to read this because I have to do such a lot for my university. I will try to focus some points of your list in my every-day-routine. Thank you for this motivational post!

  • Totally agree with you.
    To me, I used to make it to-do-list before I start to work then I tart to plan to do depend on priority and I do ticking after I done.
    I happy to see all of the tickings at my to-do-list.
    If I cannot make it happen to finish at that day, I can trace back my previous to-do-list easily and plan to do again depend on priority.
    Thanks for your sharing with us.

  • Thanks so much for sharing! I can actually relate with the points you noted. Will surely repost this on my blog and link back to you!
    Until recently, I was a candy crush addict myself and the facebook trap… goodness…been there…got the badge!lol

  • Number 6 is my biggest productivity vice. I always have something on my list that I have been putting off. Normally because it will be awkward (making a phone call) or just lengthy (dealing with my recipe collection). It seriously weighs on me until I get it done. Then I feel as light as air.

  • I love this post. Definetly going to save or bookmark it. 🙂 thanks.

  • This is a fabulous post. I can’t live without lists either, but I regularly neglect to reward myself after achieving my small productive successes. Thank you for reminding me!

  • THanks for this tips, they are very useful!



  • I posted something a bit similar over on my blog more specifically geared towards blogging for me, but we have a lot of the same ideas! To-do lists are magic for me!


  • Great tips – I definitely use a to-do list. But my lists are HUGE some days.

  • I’ve found a fun little incentive. I have a great ‘clock’ app on my phone. It has an alarm, stopwatch and countdown. It’s fun to set the stopwatch and see just how long it takes to get something done, or really how little time it actually takes! Some tasks I’ve hated have surprisingly taken very little time. That takes a lot of the ‘I don’t want to’ attitude out of a task. And then use the countdown function to set a time limit. When it’s hard to get a task done, break down, set your countdown (to like maybe 30 minutes) and focus and work hard until the countdown reaches zero. Then you get a break. Set your countdown for your break. However long or short your work or break depends on your strength and how critical your to-do list is. Using a countdown function is so very, very easier than trying to use the alarm. I only discovered this about 2 weeks ago and it has begun to change my days. It has given me freedom from stress because I don’t have to think about the passing of time. I let my clock do it for me! Hope someone else finds this helpful and as freeing as I have.

  • These are such brilliant tips and I do quite a few of them myself such as setting a to-do list and having mini goals and rewards. I feel like I get so much more done in the day and it makes you feel better about yourself. 🙂 ♥

  • Thanks heaps for the tips, that helps keep myself on track with doing daily tasks without it being too dreadful!


    Miss Eliza WonDerland

  • This is exactly what I needed to read this morning ! Thank youuu
    Going to get up and write my list.
    Great post!
    Alex ox

  • I work 60 hour weeks and a lot if that us spent doing paperwork at home. It’s so easy to waste time on my phone! I always make a to do list and always try to get the worst things done first. I always have good intentions on getting lots done in the morning but I need to get so much better at this so I’m not still working by 7pm! Lately, I’ve also made sure my
    Phone isn’t next to me. I leave it in another room so I’m not tempted to check instagram, Facebook etc every 20 minutes!

  • A productive life is definitely what I need! Look forward to reading more amazing posts from you guys x

  • Thank you for the great tips. I have another list, too, that I call the “would like to do” list. I write new things I want to learn or try out, or things I want to make for myself on this list. And I know I can start doing those when my “must do” list is done so it is a really good incentive.

    Another thing that I find important when you do creative work: sometimes you need “empty” days. I get these periods when I don’t feel like doing anything, I just sit and read, look through my Pinterest boards, my magazines and patterns. First I felt guilty about being lazy. Then I learnt that these days pay off later because they act as fuel for the creative process later. Now I have accepted this and don’t have the bad feeling any more.

  • Thank you for the motivational tips. 🙂
    I’m a bit of a procrastinator, but I’m trying to will myself out of it. I’ll learn to be better and better at it I’m sure. 🙂


  • Great tips! I am also lost without a to do list. I also find that if I get the big stuff done and over with then it makes it easier to get the smaller things done. I would be honored if you and any of your viewers would check out my new blog here on Bloglovin or at www.bethandbeauty.com. Thanks in advance!

  • I definitely get more done in the morning! I especially like the point about sharing your success. Good article.

  • I make to do lists all the time : for studying, my blog, who to text, who to meet up with,..
    It is crazy how many lists I have!
    & yes, a little reward is good : you have something to look forward to!
    About the ‘do as many as you can early ..’ I disagree when it comes to studying. I don’t know why but I can much better study in the evening than in the morning. I think it is because it is dark then and I’m like sitting in my own cocoon.. But everybody has his/her own method 🙂
    Great tips though! xoxo Lyn

  • Really good ideas: I really need to do that to-do list.
    However, I start with the easiest things first, as that gives me more motivation to keep going.

    That being said, those supid candy apps are killing me. lol.

  • I really needed to read this article! Just started working from home and getting motivated to be productive has been difficult. I particularly agree with the morning one, getting up early makes such a huge difference. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing this. I’m keeping this and am going to try to put it into practice.

  • I tottaly aggree, especially with number 5. This morning, I woke up at 8.00 am and I had this huge pile of schoolwork and I told myself “Great, I hve time to finish them.” I still haven’t touched it…

  • The way you describe it, I would strongly suggest HabitRPG. It is … just the perfect thing. Really.
    Ok, there is a geeky/gamer feel to it but you get to really tick the reward, to buy them. It is a more honest intellectual way to reward and punish yourself for doing or not doing thing. Plus there is a non-obtrusive social life to it. You should check it out.

  • Thanks for the tips. I went back to my computer notepad and immediately started a new to do list for today. I set a goal at the beginning of the month to do one job a day that I keep putting off. I wrote about it in my blog. It felt good to finish these jobs and then write about it. Then my sister’s wedding came along and I had to go out of town and when I got back I came down with a terrible cold. It’s been a good 10 days since I tackled an ‘extra’ job. It was hard enough going to work every day. I finally took a day off. Feeling better and ready to tackle the goal again.

  • I’m really having troubles with getting things done. Sometimes I get away with them and others, I procrastinate a whole lot. It’s a really bad habit and I’m sure I’ll regret it soon. Thanks for sharing your tips. I’ll definitely try some of those.

  • Great tips. Especially getting things done early. I find if I have a slow start to the day, it just gets harder and harder to get in a groove as the day goes on. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing all my outdoor errands as early as I can. Then i’ve gotten outside, fresh air, perhaps a lovely coffee and the body doesn’t want to be chill!

  • Loved Number 5. “Get as much done as early in the day as you can” – it really helps doing the most important things as early in the day as you can. So if anything happens throughout the day, you’re fine 🙂

  • Thanks so much for this post!
    Curious a) what time do you actually wake up in the morning? 🙂

    b) What do you eat when your energy is sinking?

    I notice my productivity is greatly affected depending on what I eat!


  • I love reading such posts. I always get fresh new ideas from different bloggers, all adding up to My repertoire of stuff that would indeed make Me feel more productive!
    Thanks ^_^
    Loads of love, SJay!

  • My weakness is Tumblr. I don’t even have an account myself, but have friends that do. And even if I’m not on a friend’s page, I end up spending way too much time looking at favorite fandoms or “topics of the moment”.

  • TO DO Lists are definitly important for a productive day, I usually make them during the evening so I wake up, read them, follow them and then write down check when done as a motivation, works pretty well!
    I prefer to work those 5 hours instead a break so I have some time left in the end. But FB, youtube and pinterest are trully traps for me 😛 As you suggested, 2 or 3 minutes that’s it!! Now I just go on facebook in the morning half an hour and evening 15 minutes but I want to go only 15 min daily. Blogs I only check Bloglovin every two days…
    I guess we spend way toooo much time on internet daily and that will affect your production for sure!

  • I just came across your blog today and this was the first post I read! I really love your suggestions. I wrote them all down and I am going to make a to-do list right now! Being a full time student and trying to have a life can get overwhelming, I find that writing things down can really help me get my day/week/month/life into perspective. The only thing on your list that I have found doesn’t work for me is #6. I have trouble focusing on the tougher tasks when I have all of these little tasks distracting me. I usually get all the little ones done first so I can start crossing things off my list, which gives me some motivation to tackle the difficult task.

    Thanks so much for posting this! It really helped me, it was exactly what I needed to hear.. funny how that works!

    Paige 🙂

  • These are great tips, especially #5. I am so much more productive earlier in the day than later.

  • Wow, I’m going to print your list right now! It’s something I really need because I suck in getting things done in the right time… (And yes, Candy Crush is part of it, too 😉 I hope it’ll work. I need to spend my energy on important things. Your list may help a lot 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  • I’m with you about getting things done in the A.M. I’m definitely not a morning person by any stretch, but fin that when I do get up early and knock some things off the to-do list I always feel so much better about the rest of the day. It’s also nice to be able to slowly slip into the day instead of rushing.

  • Hey Emma – I’m a little obsessed with being productive, perhaps it’s because as you get older you realise how fast it all goes by! You must be VERY good at being productive, you girls seem to get SO MUCH DONE!!

    I’ve recently written a couple of posts that may be useful to you or others – How to create a better ‘to do’ list (http://dailyinkling.com/2013/07/22/get-more-stuff-done-how-to-create-a-better-to-do-list/) and 7 tips for getting into the ‘creative zone'(http://dailyinkling.com/2014/01/22/7-tips-for-getting-into-the-creative-zone/)

  • I am a BIG goal-setter and to-do list writer! I also am just a waste at night, so early mornings are my super productive time. I would suggest: if you are getting down in your day, pause, and jot down three great things about your day thus far. That always re-sets my mind and helps me push on!

  • LOVE reading this! I am all about making a to-do list to accomplish what I need to throughout the day. Making lists really helps you focus on what you need to do and there is nothing more satisfying than crossing something OFF of your to-do list! Just reading this entry made me feel more focused and motivated. THANK YOU!

  • This post came at the perfect time for me. I’m applying to colleges and it seems like there are all these things you have to do and stay on top of, and you really do have to have a plan to get through it or you miss deadlines… thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone in needing to organise and be productive!

  • Here, here on getting up early even if you’re not a morning person. I love to sleep in, but boy, do I feel much better after a nap after a productive first half of the day.

    Great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  • Emma, I LOVE this post. So good, and like you said, really applicable to all areas of life and not just work. I’m a total to-do lister and a goal-setter. And I totally agree, tackling the task that you’re dreading first (especially if you can knock it out in the morning) feels SO good! I’m guilty of leaving it at the bottom of my list for too many days, but you’re totally right…it just hangs over my head then. Thanks for all these great tips!

  • Love your tips, Emma! I’ve tried most of them and (when I stick to them!) have learned that they really work. One thing I do a little differently is to make my to-do list before bedtime the night before. I do this because I tend to use my “morning list making” as a sneaky way to procrastinate. If it’s done the night before, I’m out of excuses to just get to work the next day–

  • thanks, I find it very useful… I already make a to-do-list but I forgot to reward myself each time I complete a task. Maybe that’s why I’m not as discipline as the first time I started it

  • Texas is cold too! 22 degrees F…..

    weather is either super cold or super hot here. It’s torture.

  • GREAT tips! I need these at the moment!
    > For inspiration > http://www.electricsoiree.com

  • Good points. I love making lists and feel so accomplished when I can mark each completed item off.
    Recently started reading your blog. Great variety of topics! Thanks for sharing.

  • These are great tips, Emma ! I make to-do lists almost everyday. It helps me being less stressed because I don’t have to worry about forgetting something. 🙂

  • This is a great list… I’m on board with all of them. Some people really are more productive late at night (I’m not one of them…) #4 is so important — it steals time like no one’s business!

  • I would also add that 15 minute power naps can do wonders! Sometimes when I have a lot to get done but am really tired, letting myself take a short nap makes all the difference in the world.
    – Elizabeth @ http://www.ellieannfulton.blogspot.com

  • I have a big appreciation for to do lists – I think that I might need to try your reward system though… sounds like a great incentive!

  • This is a great post. I’ve recently written a post about work desk essentials to keep you productive. I’d love it if you took a look.

    I’ve just posted hot to give your eyeliner staying power all day in 3 easy steps (even on oily lids!).

    Check it out www.sophschoices.co.uk

    Sophie x

  • This is brilliant. As a student I couldn’t live with out my beloved lists! My mum’s always telling people to “eat the frog”, ie. do the least appealing thing first to get it out of the way. It’s a bit of a gross ananlogy but it really works. xx

  • Sounds a great list to me as well, only to actually start it is a goal in itself 😉

  • I love this post! I’m a huge advocate of to-do lists – I love writing them and I love checking things off! Recently I started coming up with rewards for some of the goals I set for 2014 and have devised a plan to track these goals and rewards – I’m hoping seeing it on paper motivates me to get it done… and checking that box as “done” is always a be sigh of relief.

    Thanks for sharing these tips!

  • I absolutely love these tips, so need to try some out!


  • Yes to all! Very good advice. I’m definitely an advocate of list making. Can’t function without one.

  • Love this post! It reminds me I’m on the right path for a more productive life – haha – thanks! I’ve recently started working on my designing from home full-time and have been loving what nightly to-do lists do for me. Just two days ago, I started scheduling my day by the hour. My first day was great and today was a little rocky, but I know what I need to change. It’s nice setting scheduled time aside for my dog too – I’m sure he’d appreciate consistency.

    In topic of FB… I’m considering deleting it off of my phone, all together. It’d be cool to try to only Facebook at the end of the day, so I can fill my brain with ideas or doodles during the middle of the day. My recent month and a half trip without 3g, only catching wi-fi, has inspired and proved to me that it’d be so helpful.

  • thanks a lot!! reading this kind of posts help me focus back on my goals for this year of being more productive and procrastinating less!! and they really apply for life overall!

  • Great tips Emma!
    I agree – I get much more done, the earlier I start. And I definitely have to make a to-do list. I even schedule my day in my calendar. I find it makes me stick to it better.

  • thanks for the incredible tips!!!! another thing that has really helped me organize my life is my religion! I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I think we believe in some things that would really help you guys in the things you’re doing in your lives:)
    I’m not asking you to get baptized, just check out lds.org and some of the things we believe in! I promise it will help you!!
    Thanks for the inspiration,

  • Great tips! I totally get the “morning person but not” feeling too! Once I get going, everything is gravy but beds are always most comfortable right when that alarm goes off!

    I’m definitely going to keep the “small rewards” in mind though for my next big project!

  • Great advice! I’m definitely one of those morning people but not morning people at the same time hehe!

    Will try to put this into practice this long weekend and be productive!

    – Taryn Elise

  • To-do lists are my homeboy! I make them everyday at the start of my workday, and I try to make one every weekend as well. Crossing things off my list makes me feel like a million bucksss!

  • I second making a to-do list! If I am feeling stressed about how busy my day is, I write out what I need to do and organize my time that way. It makes it seem much more manageable then keeping everything in my head.

  • Great post! Tip #9 and #8 are my favorite. I wrote a similar post at the beginning of the year. Great minds think alike.

  • These are fantastic tips! “Showcase your success” is probably my favorite, just because I love telling stories of any sort, and knowing I’ll be able to if I get stuff done is a great motivator!

  • Thanks for the tips Emma! Two more to add to your inspiring list:

    1) Turn the notifications off of social media platforms and promise yourself to only check them at certain times. The lure is lessened when you’re not being beckoned.

    2) If one or the other partner has a flexible schedule, adjust so it aligns better with the other. My fella’s alarm buzzes at 5:30, but before we moved in together I was an 8am riser (I work for myself, by myself). I decided to go to bed earlier and rise earlier with him so we aren’t disrupting each other’s sleep patterns and are able to make the most of our days feeling well-rested.

    As always, love your blog 🙂


  • These tips was very timely and especially helpful to me right, thanks alot for sharing. Lord knows I need help with my over extended facebook visits XD

  • Thanks for the great tips! Running your own business is always a constant struggle in management. 🙂

  • I’m one of those people who gets really worried and has a lot of anxiety. I’ve found that the biggest way to make myself feel better is to make a to-do list. Somehow seeing every thing on the list makes it seems so much less overwhelming and do-able.

  • This is exactly what I needed! Just started a new semester of school so there is a lot of work in my future. Thank you for the lovely post. 🙂

  • Wow, seriously, I love you! I’ve been following your blog quite a while now and I have to say I really got addicted! You are so inspiring! Yesterday I thought ‘hey, I wanna start scrapbooking’ and guess what I saw here on the blog the next day?! Yes, right:-) Thank you so much!!

  • I actually downloaded a Firefox add-on called LeechBlock. You can tell it what websites to block, and when. I’ve found it really helps with getting sucked into Facebook and Pinterest to name the two worst culprits. It is so customizable! Right now I’ve got it to only allow me on FB, Pinterest, & Twitter combined for 10 minutes every 3 hours.

    That, and I deleted the Pinterest app of my phone! 😉

  • When I need to get things done at work, my computer is a major source of distraction! Blogs with fun info to read and such, my phone with all the beep and boops of games, and even my nook app! I have to hide it from myself (and even uninstall it at times) to make sure I don’t get distracted!! What I like using, since I have a very internet using job is an add-on to Mozilla.

    Basically, you tell the app what websites you are allowed to get on, and what you want to block. I set times, so when lunch starts, I have the internet on my computer to catch up on blog posts and the random Cracked.com article. It’s called Leech Block, I reccomend it for those who need to block the interwebs, but can’t block it completely due to work!

  • I love this. I find constantly find myself spending wwaayy too much time on social media… these tips are just what I needed! Thank you!

  • Ha! I’m reading this from the couch, trying to motivate myself to work. I think I will take a little nap to break up my day, then drink some coffee tonight for a late night design session instead of just giving up on getting things done. Great tips!

  • I love this post so much! It was definitely needed. I’m getting rid of distractions right now and getting productive! 🙂

  • Great tips!!!
    www.androbel.com (shop & blog, check it out!)

  • Loving this post. Great advice, some of which I follow, some of which I need to keep being reminded of, and some that I should start doing!! Thank you!

  • I always write my list for the next day before I get up from my desk. This way I can prioretize my tasks and do not forget anything. Begore I had problems to let go, and constantly thought about work, even at night. And nothing is more satisfying than crossing out tasks on the list!

  • I am so guilty of #4… I am such a procrastinator, it’s not funny anymore.

  • I follow most of these too. I have to have routines. I wake up and do the same thing each morning and my to do lists are part of my routines.

  • I love this helpful list! I always find that if I start my day off with a small (or big, if I’m feeling up to it) workout, then for the rest of the day I feel like I can accomplish so much more & have the energy to do so! Plus, it’s a nice time to spend some time by myself.



  • I find that not having cable anymore not only saved me flow, but it also gets me up and actually doing things like crocheting while I binge watch shows on netflix at my desk…hahaha, i literally could not tell you what anyone on mad men looks like, but i know exactly what their voices are !!!

  • I totally agree with all of this advice! Especially getting things done in the morning… As soon as I can start checking things off my to-do list, the more productive I feel and the more I end up getting done!

  • I sometimes even set a timer for myself (mostly when cleaning house) so I don’t get lost in the task. a to-do list is a very helpful idea!

    thanks xo julia www.tagandtibby.com

  • This is a very good and realistic list! Half of my problems are that I don’t just get up and do the hard stuff!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this post. I just woke up and I definitely needed this. Thanks for the motivation <3

  • Breaking up bigger tasks with breaks is the most helpful thing for me. The only problem is that my breaks often end up being work on other side projects, which causes me to get stuck doing something else rather than just taking a “break!”

  • I have to keep reminding myself about the “be realistic” part of planning. I set goals that aren’t possible fro anybody to accomplish and then get upset with myself. That’s dumb. But I agree with all of your tips 🙂

  • Thanks for all the tips!
    Very similar to what Donald Miller explains in his Storyline blog and his Productivity schedule.

  • This is awesome! I love being organized 🙂 Thank you for sharing! Oh! If you have a moment, I am hosting a giveaway 🙂


  • I’m kicking myself because I SO know all of these things… Now it’s just a matter of putting them into practice! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • I really like this post. Nice tips and I have to do list and 7 and 10 I need to do,. Hm.


  • Those are wonderful tips! I used to be so much better at this and I kind of fell off the wagon with it… This definitely inspires me to get going on it again though.


  • really loved it xxx
    how about checking my blog out x

  • Thank you! This post is right on time, i have been in need of a reminder about self organisation lately.
    I have heard once on the radio that a productive day needs a creative start, and that it should not start with email reading/writing. Too bad i cannot remember the reason!

  • This is a great list of tips! Thanks for sharing… some days are just so hard to be productive! I’m working on setting up a cleaning routine for my home… since I hate cleaning and tend to put it off. It feels so GOOD at the end of a productive day, no matter how tired I am, I smile as I look around and see what I’ve accomplished! 🙂

  • Great tips – I’d be lost without a to do list (and I find it so satisfying to cross items off!)

  • Great tips! I think they all work really well for people that work from home. Some days if I have too many things to do, I delete instagram or twitter from my phone and when I’m finished I re-download it. Sometimes I forget I deleted it and it is a great (unplanned) detox from the social world.


  • I loved reading this post, I definitely need to learn to be more productive, I spend too much time on Twitter or making to-do lists that will never get done, using the phrase “I will do that later”
    However, I am trying to make a change to that and plan out my day using your tip of little rewards! 🙂
    Lauren x

  • I love writing to-do-lists but I am terrible at completing them. Sometimes I wonder if be better off breaking the bigger tasks into smaller ones 🙂

  • This is a great list! I am such a list writer, I am also a little…okay a lot guilty of writing a few on there that I am almost near to completion or even just finished because that sence of achievement help my future productivity for that day just soar! Also love number 8, I have not long been blogging at all, and a week or so ago I started a ’27 before 27′ blog challenge for myself where I create 27 felt brooches before I am 27 in June. I’m not promoting here! Just saying how putting it on my blog and people following it etc makes me keep it up, it pushes me out of my comfort zone, gives me deadlines which in turn keep me creative, it’s a great way to keep productive and keeps pushing me to create the best I possibly can. Thanks for sharing this list! There are a few I need to work on!

  • Thank you for such a great post – just the pep talk I needed t get my butt in gear and stop my eternal dithering about!


  • I always have a to-do list! So handy!


  • So so true, you are the best when it comes to advice. At least to online advices 🙂

    tsiou, from http://www.inwhirlofinspiration.com/

  • Agh this is such a handy post! I am a morning person, and I feel like I get so much done in the morning, and dwindle out during the afternoon and evening. Which isn’t good for getting school homework done because that’s all evening 😛

    I love my to-do list, but I’m one of those who hang their biggest topic till the end and then stress about it. I’m working on it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Check out my post on jewellery here: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/01/my-jewellery.html

  • Love your ideas and found it quite great that I can check tip most of my productive boxes but there were also plenty of good new ideas too! X

  • What a great post I really enjoyed reading this and is just what I needed to give me a boost 🙂 xx

  • #5 is the big one for me! When I get stuff done early, I know I’ll have a good day without a bunch of crap I need to do looming over me!


  • Love this list! So darn helpful and filled with great reminders. 🙂


  • I enjoyed your post, lots of interesting points made. I have an a4 planner and use it daily to write down everything. I find having all my info for the day in one place really helps 🙂 xx

    Helen @

  • This is a great list! I saved it to remind myself of these tips because some days I find I’m just completely unproductive for no reason!

  • rewards all the way!


  • I am a highschool student studying from home, and working on a lot of other goals and projects. So time management is a pretty important subject for me. My best tip is to keep a time log. I right down EVERYTHING that I do in a day, even a bathroom break! That way, I am always aware of the time I am spending on productive, or even time wasting activities. Also I can add up my productive time at the end of the day and see how long it took me to accomplish certain tasks. This works really well for me, and it keeps me super motivated.

  • Definitely what I needed today! Perfect post!

    xo, Juliette Laura

  • This was really helpful! Studying from home, I find it really hard to focus and be productive. To do lists always get me started on my day.


  • Emma, Elsie. I stinking love you two!!!! I’ve been following your blog since 2007 and it has been IN-CREDIBLE watching your journey as individuals but also as sisters. Where do you think your drive to follow your dreams came from (family, your own heart and soul, etc)?? I am so grateful for you two sharing creativity on so many fronts (i.e. food, fashion, DIYs, etc). Much love, Amanda

  • Really good tips…I always find a way to go on Twitter when I should be doing other things…


  • I implemented all of these about six months ago and it’s unbelievable how much I get done these days! The hardest one to stick to, though, is definitely the time wasting one. Since I have to work through facebook a lot (gosh darn social media marketing), it is SO easy to get distracted….lol

  • Totally agree with all of the above and will follow it, if I don’t already 😉

  • These are the perfect tips to GETTING STUFF DONE!
    It’s always hard to stay on track…thanks for reminding me to be super productive each and every day 🙂

  • i absolutely love this list!! so many great tips. i have to say my fave is instagraming something when your finished. that definitely motivates me (as silly as that sounds!)



  • Perfect timing. I feel like I need to print this post out and carry it with me everywhere. I work full time and am attempting grad school full time as well….in addition to various other time commitments. I was JUST reaching it out to people for tips on how to manage and then you shared this. Great timing and tips. Thanks! 🙂

  • It is always good to have a plan for those unproductive days.
    These tips are great, thanks Emma!

  • exactly what i need – i have to get back into study modus riiiight now 🙂
    xo, cheyenne

  • it may sound SO silly (& i admit i’m a little crazy about organization), but I find having an adorable planner (& favorite “planner pen”… obviously) really helps. it makes me so happy to open it first thing in the morning and see my list for the day amongst the cute design and graphics. and it makes me even more happy to cross things off of it! i had your exact kate spade planner and recently switched to a “live simply” one..

    i also have a rule where if i’m REALLY dreading something i need to do tomorrow, i’ll get it over with right that instant (today!). that way i’ve kind of tricked myself into the “dreaded” task and it goes by pretty quickly (plus i get to dream about the better thing i’ll do tomorrow now!).


  • I think being realistic was a serious point!
    I always aim too high..maybe too unrealistic.
    E | Beauty/Skincare | Cocoamourr

  • So with you on the to-do list thing. I always feel at sea when I don’t have one written out for the day, and they’re so easy to write, and yet I so often don’t bother! Why?! I have no idea! I’m going to give myself a stern talking to this evening, and make daily to-do list writing a habit again.

  • Really great tips! I get easily distracted and find myself annoyed if I wake up late as it gives me less time to get things done. Getting up early and making lists is a huge boost for my motivation. Giving myself little rewards too really works, even if it is like you’ve said just getting a coffee/tea, but for the big rewards like getting a first for a uni assignment, I’ll treat myself to something I’ve been lusting after (like a new pair of shoes or a new lipstick or even a meal with my boyfriend)


  • These are great! I especially like to do lists and setting my agenda for the day first thing with my morning coffee.

    This post is exactly the motivation I needed during my workday 😉

  • Thank you for this, they’re all great tips!

    I do have two suggestions – one, instead of having just a to-do list, I usually have a “MUST DO” and a “SHOULD DO” list, which helps me keep track of all my things, but lets me prioritize and make a decision on whether something is a do-or-die situation or something that should be done, but is not as critical.
    Secondly, if I forced myself to tackle the difficult thing first, I’d probably never start anything at all. Instead, I have 2-3 simple tasks that I schedule before the tough one. That way, I’ve built a momentum and am feeling good about my productivity and sort of roll up onto the difficult item on my list.

    (Just recently discovered this blog, SO MUCH good stuff! Thank you, guys!

  • Really great tips. One of the most important is probably “Be realistic”. Really, every time we aim to high, we have big chances of failing and therefore, being frustrated.

  • These are amazing tips! #4…that is Tumblr for me. I have been cutting down my time and it is AMAZING how much more I am getting done just by following that tip!

  • This is such great post ! I always use a to do list 🙂


  • This could not have come at a better time when I am a) looking for a job and b) applying to a few grad schools with very close deadlines. *sigh*

  • Yep. Candy Crush is sort of a curse sometimes. I’ve also actually deleted games from my phone before too-just bc I was spending too much wasted time on them.

  • Yep. Could not agree more. 🙂 I for sure have days where I run out of steam. But at least I had a productive morning!

  • Oh gosh Candy Crush is the worst when it comes to wasting time. You play through your five lives and then it says “15:38 minutes until next life.” Then you sit there and wait because 15 minutes? That’s not very long, right?

    Love this post! All great points.

  • Great tips Emma! I definitely agree with getting things done early in the day – that way when you give in to the temptation of the sofa at about 3 in the afternoon, at least you know you’ve been somewhat productive! Sharing this post 🙂

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