No matter what kind of business you're running, from copywriting to owning a yoga studio, productivity is important. In today's post, Alexis Truitt from The Lexicon Writing Blog is breaking down the building blocks of creating a successful daily to-do list in order to feel more productive and relaxed.
Can those two things really go together? Apparently, yes! I can't wait to implement her tips for my own daily list.
Do you wish there could be a magic bullet to make you productive, accomplished, and relaxed all in one go?
I know I do. But unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a magic bullet for productivity.
However, I’ve found a simple practice to help me feel more productive and relaxed, with just a bit of effort and planning.
I call it my Do-It-Every-Day List.
And while it won’t solve all your problems and make every day glittering with massive amounts of productivity, it will help you feel successful rather than overwhelmed or burdened. This list will help you stay on track and inspired, even if you spend the majority of your day watching Netflix.
Start With Your Mindset
The list is driven by your mindset and your aspirations.
Before you make your list, take a minute to revisit your goals. Note the things you want and need to learn the areas where you want to grow and the places you need to give yourself a bit of grace. These can be immediate, long-term, or a mix of both.
Knowing what you’d like to accomplish will help you define what goes on your list. Always refer back to your goals while you design your Do-It-Every-Day List. It’s the best way to set yourself up for success.
For my list, I keep these five priorities in the back of my mind:
- I want to write every single day.
- I want to learn a few new things each year. Whether that’s the consistent learning of a new language, learning something totally new (I studied tarot cards for a few months just for fun!), or something that I can use in my writing or blog, I want to constantly be learning.
- I want to move every single day to keep myself healthy. It took me a few years to figure out what I enjoy, but now that I know I don’t have an excuse!
- I want to prioritize my relationships over everything else, even my writing, my business, or my hobbies. Without my friends, family, or husband, I couldn’t do everything I am capable of doing.
- I want to stay positive and take care of my heart, mind, and soul so I can be a better person and world citizen.
How to Create Your Ultimate Daily Productivity List
The list consists of a few basic components. What these end up being on your personal list will depend on your goals.
Learn Something New
Whether you listen to a podcast, read for half an hour, or watch inspirational or educational YouTube videos, just get your mind’s wheels whirling.
I’m currently watching Crash Course’s Mythology series and loving every minute of it. My mom spends half an hour a day learning French. A dear friend takes dance classes to learn new choreography. Another friend will take online classes to learn new skills in Excel or Word. I take an online class every month related to business through the FEA Member’s Club.
It doesn’t matter what it is or what you’re learning. What matters is that you’re engaging your brain in new and interesting things. This not only helps you put off age-related diseases like Alzheimer's, but it allows your brain to still function well so you can continue to thrive.
Take Some Time For Yourself
Meditate, spend some time journaling, visualize for 5 minutes each day, or sit outside in the sunshine. Take time just for you, away from anybody else, away from distractions, and away from your phone, email, social media, computer, kids, spouse, and pets.
Use this time to connect with yourself, set intentions for your day or recite a mantra, say a prayer or meditate, whatever you need to get a little peace and quiet. It’s good for our minds and good for our souls.
Reflect On Your Day
Right before bed, I take two minutes to write in my journal. I have a 5-Year Journal, so I’m able to see the highlights and snippets of my days for five years in a row, plus it takes the pressure off to write long, rambling diary entries.
This is one of my favorite personal practices because it allows to me reflect on the day, gage my productivity and my awareness, and think ahead to what I want to do tomorrow.
Grateful people are happy people.
My husband and I take a minute each night to say what we’re grateful for and I’ll often record it in my journal.
You can keep a dedicated gratitude journal, pray, or meditate. It doesn’t matter when in your day you do it, just do it every day.
I am not a work-out-for-an-hour-every-day person. I am an occasional hiker, a three times a week yogi, frequent walker, and a compulsive stretcher. When I get really into it, I’ll do a pilates or HIIT class. But regardless, I try to move, somehow, some way, every day.
Get your blood pumping, do some stretching, lift some weights, take a walk, take a hike, get in the water, get on your bike, walk the stairs. Moving increases blood flow to the brain and allows you to stay alert and focused, especially during lag periods in your day (after lunch hour, anyone?).
Accomplish One Item On Your To-Do List
We all have a running to do list, right? I know I do. It consists of large and small things of varying levels of intensity, so regardless of my day, I pick one thing off that list and do it.
Some days I have time to dive in and really focus on a project (like the week I wrote 30,000 words...a long novella...) and other days all I have time for is the five minutes it takes to schedule a vet appointment or pay-off my credit card. Both are perfectly ok and equally important.
Here’s what my list looks like:
- Spend 30 minutes listening to a podcast on writing, blogging, or business
- Take a walk or do yoga
- Journal each evening
- Talk with my husband before bed about what we’re grateful for each day
- Spend five minutes meditating or visualizing
- One item from my to-do list
Remember, this list isn’t a silver bullet but it can be a way for you to still make a little progress towards your goals every day.
It will change and evolve as your goals do, but it will continue to help you stay productive.
Even if you spend the whole day in your pajamas.
How do you feel most productive?
Are you planning to create your list? Leave a comment below!
About Alexis Truitt
My name is Alexis Truitt and I’ve been writing stories since I learned my letters. After a few years of distraction from writing and storytelling, I felt the need to get back into the groove of writing daily and consistently. The Lexicon Writing Blog was born from my own need to keep myself focused on the thing I love most!
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