how to be productive

I read an article recently that listed the #1 productivity hack as waking up at 4:30am. Well, I can tell you that won’t be me. I’m more of a late morning — even an afternoon — gal. I’ve never been a morning person and my evenings of being a night owl have waned. So if you want super human hacks, google them. If you want real life tips on how to be productive from a midday girl with a mild coffee addiction, read on.

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CLEAN YOUR SPACE // I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to cook in a dirty kitchen and I don’t work well in a messy office. (Not to say it doesn’t happen from time to time.) I legit feel bogged down when my workspace is a wreck, so keeping a clean studio and home is key to my productivity.

FOSTER GOOD VIBES // When my studio is in order, it’s my happy place. I think it’s important to create a “good vibes” atmosphere to promote productivity and inspiration. My office is bright with super pale grey walls and mostly white or natural wood furniture. I am energized by sunlight (like, I could seriously have a case of undiagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder), so a dark workspace would not be conducive to, you know, actual work.

I have local art, small trinkets, + lots of books to inspire me, along with plants + candles. I have also established a few areas for certain tasks — I have a sitting desk, a standing desk, + a chair to occasionally just sit + think in, or Instagram, if I’m being honest!

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PICK YOUR TOOLS // Lately, I’ve been color coding my planner. Dork alert, I know. As silly as it may sound, having nice pens in a variety of favorite colors makes organizing more enjoyable, and therefore, easier. The right tools can save you time or make the process better somehow, so choose wisely…

And allow yourself to actually choose! I can’t tell you how long I put off getting a decent planner because I didn’t want to pay more than a few bucks. After finding one I really like and actually use, I realize the time saved is worth the extra spend. That’s true across the board.

MAKE A LIST // I make to-do lists every single day. Sometimes they’re only in my head, but mostly they are in my planner. I like to put a small circle by each item and then fill it in once the task is complete. (Am I unwittingly bullet journaling?) I list my tasks by ease and importance, but mostly importance.

TALK TO TECH // I talk to Siri all the time. (My Siri is a British dude — how about yours?) No, I’m not having full fledged conversations, but rather I have him set timers and reminders for me. It’s my casual way of time blocking. If I actually did this in my planner I would inevitably feel like a failure. But going into a task and asking Siri to set an alarm for an hour out clears my head and helps me focus. And then I repeat with the next task, allotting various time frames for particular to-dos.

MEET FOR COFFEE // Despite aforementioned cozy office and snazzy pens, sometimes a change of scenery is in order to spark creativity. And the coffee certainly helps too.

Whether it’s the espresso or the atmosphere, fuel your productivity with a day out of office. Did you know that you can find soundtracks of coffee shop chatter? It’s been proven to help folks focus. And if you can co-work with a friend, all the better. I find co-working to be better suited for the days I need to brainstorm content or hash out ideas because I get really energized chatting business with like minds.

What makes you feel most productive? I’m continuing the conversation on Instagram. Head over to @kauscreative to join in.