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Being Productive: My Top Five Tips

GOODBYE PROCRASTINATION

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If you couldn’t already tell from the sudden influx of planning, organisation and general ‘WHOOP LET’S GET IT DONE LADIES!’ content, I’m really riding out a productivity wave right now. Of course there is still the odd moment where I decide that bed is just so good that I don’t want to remove myself from it and begin to wonder that perhaps I should go after the job role that I’ve already wanted of ‘Chief Mattress Tester’. But overall I’ve found myself my motivation levels have been significantly higher in the past month or two than they’ve been all year, and I’d pin the cause down to a couple of factors and routines that I’ve been incorporating. So I thought I’d collate them into one big procrastination-kicking post today, to go with this morning’s video which is closer look at my current home office. TOUR TIME! Scroll down to the bottom of the post for that, but in the meantime are you ready for one big dollop of go-getting-ness?

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FIND YOUR CREATIVE HUB

I speak about this more in tomorrow’s newsletter (SAY WHUT!? Make sure you’ve signed up!), but having a space that gets you in the mood to actually do some work is pretty bloomin’ integral to getting stuff done. Now it’s going to be different for everyone, but if you have a cubicle at work then why not get yourself a new plant and clear away all paperwork, or if you have to work out of your kitchen then try and make a comfortable nook that has cosy lighting and a comfy seat. Whatever the space you’ve got to work with is, make the most of it and make it a distraction-free, comfy spot that you feel inspires you when you plonk yourself down. As I mentioned I wrote a whole lengthy newsletter on this subject that will be dropping into your inboxes tomorrow morning, so I’ll keep this paragraph short and sweet and hopefully non-repetitive, but you get the gist.

DITCH THE DISTRACTIONS

If you need to move away from a particularly chatty co-worker, then ask. If your WhatsApp is going nuts, then mute the conversations. If Buzzfeed are always tweeting articles that lead you to spend the next hour browsing their site, then un-follow them. Whatever is your procrastination sweet spot, kick in the nuts and attempt to forget that it even exists. For me this is my phone *side eye to my phone which is literally about 10 cm away from my keyboard again – HOW?*. The laptop just isn’t enough technology for me apparently and you can bet your bottom dollar that after finishing up a paragraph of a blog post, I pick it up, scroll through Twitter, through Instagram, Instagram Stories, see if there’s anything new on YouTube and 20 minutes later finally get back to writing. In my least productive moments this is a cycle that I repeat all day long. So instead I’m trying to keep it turned on silent, upside down and check on it only when I actually deserve a break.

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SAY ‘HELL NO’, POLITELY

I know I sound like a broken record with this one, but after politely declining trips, meetings, events and social bits and bobs over the month of August – mainly because it was sandwiched in between July and September which were, and are gearing up to be nuts months for me – I’ve ticked through my to-do lists each week and only had a couple of tasks that remain unfinished, which really ain’t too bad. Taking this time chained to my desk has also allowed me to see where I have slots in my schedule to carve out for new ideas *insert newsletter plug again* and that I can be much more sociable with my Brighton peeps when I’m not traipsing up and down to and from London multiple times a week – shocking, I know. If you feel unmotivated, like you need to nap for 165 hours and like you’re spreading yourself too thin, this is the point to start with.

THE ‘ONE-TOUCH’ METHOD

I spoke about the ‘One-Touch’ method earlier this year, back in this blog post and it’s still something that I try and stick to. The idea is that you don’t start a task without having the intention and the time to finish it there and then. Now of course this doesn’t work for everything, especially big long-term projects that you’d literally be sitting in your chair for the next four days if you were going to finish it in one go. But it does lend itself to snappier tasks; like going through your post and sorting out your inbox. So now when the postman arrives if I don’t have time at that exact second to open my parcels, shift through the contents and file away paperwork, then I leave it to do later when I have a chance to properly go through it all. ‘All’ being the keyword here. Ain’t no putting off filing away your student loans company paperwork till a week later, but opening all the fun packages. The same principle goes for your inbox. Don’t even open it unless you’ve got 10 or 15 minutes free to action and reply to everything that’s currently in there. It works wonders and means that I’m not being distracted by the pings going off in the corner of my screen all day.

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BOOK YOURSELF A TREAT

I think this is the main thing that’s put a rocket up my arse since the beginning of August, because we finally got round to booking our honeymoon. We’re spending almost a month down in New Zealand which means a MONTH. OFF. WORK. It’s something I’ve never done in my whole working career and because I’m taking a week off before we go away too to spend time with family and basically have a couple of days at home scratching my arse, doing nothing and not feeling bad about it, it’s actually more like five weeks. Being the workaholic that I am, this previously would have terrified me and I would have spent months before in a frenzy trying to get content pre-filmed and bulk scheduled for when I’m away, but recently it’s like someone has clicked my internal ‘chill-mode’ switch on. The world isn’t going to end if I don’t post content, I’m sure you lot will be back visiting in January when I start uploading and posting again (THANKS!) and actually it will be nice to have a break, to refresh and to have a chance to think about what’s happened, where I’m at and what I want for the future. Oh isn’t that deep? So because I know that there’s a break on the horizon it’s forced me to knuckle down and churn out some good stuff before I up sticks and leave.

Photos by Lauren Shipley

*Sign up to my new monthly newsletter ‘An Edited Life’ here*

Comments

  • Lovely tips indeed! Loving the home office tour x

    Arden | HELLO ARDEN

  • Em

    These are great tips, I completely agree that the workplace should be an inviting space where you actually want to get stuff done! Also, have such a great honeymoon and time off – breaks are honestly so necessary!
    xo,
    Em
    http://www.organicallyemily.com

  • Turning off the phone and scheduling time for social media has helped me loads in increasing my productivity.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • The usual amazingly hilarious and fabulous post Anna! Your sense of humour is the best and your posts never fail to make me giggle and leave a smile on my face. 😀 I think I’m going to read this post before ever time I need to get some work done because just reading it motivated me to the moon and back! I hope you have the loveliest break Anna and yes, I shall be here in January! Getting all excited for the plethora of Spring inspired posts! 😀

  • I love your office area, especially the sofa bed! It gives me ideas and inspiration for my own home office, thanks!

  • These are amazing tips! The hardest thing for me is getting distracted- it’s so hard for me to stay focused.

    xx, The Makeup Feed

  • Mackenzie Lee

    I usually don’t comment-but these are wonderful tips Anna!! I LOVED this post! Also-so excited for you and Mark-you deserve this break. I’ll totes be back and ready for some Anna Edit when you get back in January. Just enjoy yourselves!! xx

  • Aaah I think it’s really nice you get an actual vacation, and not a “I’ve prefilmed a bunch of things so have to work less than usual” vacation 🙂

  • Julia Deutschen

    I love being productive, because in the evening, it makes me really happy when I can look at a completely done to-do list.
    I love your tips and the tip of “Ditch the Distractions” is the most important for me. When I don’t have my phone laying next to me on my desk, I don’t want to look at it all the time and even spend 1 hour without feeling the urge of scrolling through instagram.

    xx Julia

    http://www.talesofjules.com/

  • Evie Boulstridge

    I always feel my best when I’m being productive. I think having a ‘creative hub’ is probably most important for me – I find it almost impossible to work when my space is untidy, or unappealing.

    I hope you have the best time on your honeymoon, it sounds incredible!

    Evie | evangelinelouise.blogspot.co.uk

  • I’m still experimenting with figuring out when I am at my most productive, but I love the “one-touch” method that you mentioned because I always start a project but never finish it and move onto another. It’s so frustrating! Thank you so much for all of these tips!

    Have fun on your honeymoon! A month of work sounds amazing.

    Lizzie Bee // http://www.hellolizziebee.com

  • I read about the one-touch policy online and it’s something I try to implement in my life. It really is effective. And a month in New Zealand sounds like so much fun, of course we’ll be here. Earnestly awaiting your return haha. xx
    Coco Bella Blog

  • This was soo helpful! I just wish I didn’t get distracted as much 🙁 x
    Liv| Fairyfondant

  • Distraction is such a main for me. I really need some piece and quiet to do some proper work and it isn’t always easy when I have my boyfriend watching football all day and screaming to the tv.
    But my way of dealing with that is just to put my headphones on and play some easy, chill out music on Spotify.

    (I have subscribed to your newsletter. Looking forward to read it tomorrow!)

    The Lisa’s World

  • Great tips, I find it so hard balancing my time.

    Alisha xx | http://www.alishaxali.blogspot.com

  • Ray
  • I find I literally have to put my phone out of sight so I don’t keep picking it up! Have a fab honeymoon x

    Everything But The Kitchen

  • Ashley

    Very excited for you to take a well-earned long break, but also VERY bummed because all your content has been SO GOOD lately. Not sure what’s changed specifically, but you seem so much more into everything! There’s nothing quite as interesting as an interested person.

  • Megan

    So many good tips! The One-Touch Method looks interesting! I’ll have to try it 🙂

  • I need these tips so badly!!
    http://www.lottiegibbons.com

  • Thanks for the tips Anna! They’re so good, I’ll definitely be implementing these!

    I hope you’ve had a lovely Sunday!
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.com

  • Love these tips so much! I want to read Get you sh*t together! Loved her book The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck so i am guessing this one should be as great! x http://www.justsavxnnah.com

  • I’m excited for your newsletter tomorrow! Also don’t worry about taking a month off, you deserve it! Your content is amazing and SO consistent

    https://thedianaedition.com

  • I have been watching your channel and reading your blog for awhile! Good tips I’m going to try the one touch method is a good one! Awesome blog 🙂

    Jordyn/ junerobin.blogspot.com

  • annasjotter

    I image it must be so difficult to stay on task when working for yourself! Loved the new newsletter and the direction of your content right now!

    http://www.annasjotter.wordpress.com

  • angelique

    Love the tips you shared 🙂
    afparungao.blogspot.com

  • Thanks so much for the great tips! Really inspiring and motivating.

    Allegra xx

    http://www.allegraghiloni.com

  • peonies passionfruit

    Thanks for sharing these tips, I definitely need to work on saying “hell no!” politely

    Eme xx

    http://www.peoniesandpassionfruit.com

  • I love this post Anna (and I cannot believe I hadn’t signed up for your newsletter until today) – right now I am all about the lists, the manageably bite-sized tasks and removing distractions … saying that it is 2pm and I haven’t completed anything today yet!!!

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

  • Lisa Autumn

    You are the master of organisation! Thank you so much Girl!

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • stephanie

    What a cute office! Love it!

  • Louisa Rose Life

    Loved this post Anna! I actually needed a motivation to start being more productive.
    I finally signed up to the newsletter, cannot wait to read them =)

  • mymovingmuse

    great content Anna!

  • elisha mae

    Lovely post Anna and I can’t tell you how much I loved your newsletter! Yay for more content before you go off on a your dream trip!

    Elisha-Maé | http://www.elisha-mae.co.uk

  • HarrisonBeach

    Loving the productivity posts! 👍🏼
    http://www.byharrison.com

  • Anna, your posts are always so helpful.
    Miki x

    https://littletasteofbeauty.blogspot.it/

  • Ditching the distractions is so difficult… This is what makes me procrastinate the most haha. In the end, productivity is all about motivation, so my thinking is, if we want it, we can do it!

    Julia x
    Last post: A City Break in Lisbon | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/travel-city-break-in-lisbon.html

  • I have never heard of the “one touch” method but I’m happy I know now. I think it’s gonna be a game changer for me!

  • Georgia

    Great post as usual!

    I’m not sure if this is the best place to give some feedback on your newsletter or not (I don’t have twitter) but I just wished the content of the newsletter was a little more varied compared to your youtube videos and blog. I sort of felt reading the newsletter that it was just a reformat of your other content. Perhaps a different topic of focus for the newsletter?

  • Such a helpful post! I am definitely going to put the the one touch method into use.

    zeynab x
    The Beauty Load

  • This is literally the post I needed to read right now! I’ve got so much to do over the next few days that it’s already overwhelming me and I don’t know where to start!
    Cloe X http://clxelouise.blogspot.com

  • Chloe Minish

    On the final point, can I suggest putting up a short ‘out of office’ blog post and video so you aren’t constantly getting bombarded with us lot asking where your content has gone. Plus we all now how satisfying it is to put the external out of office notice on our work inboxes and not giving it a second thought until you’re back at work!

  • I think the one touch method is genius, I must try that x

    franklyflawless.com

  • Hannah MacFarlane

    I missed the first newsletter as I missed the confirmation email which I did as soon as I found it. 🙁 Is there a way I can still get it?

  • The January Edit

    Always looking for tips on how to be more organised/productive, now I have a few more to add to the bank! Distractions are most definitely my problem, also starting one task then starting another one mid way through!! x

    http://www.thejanuaryeditx.blogspot.com

  • Tracy Abbott

    I so wish I could update my cubicle corner at work but I cant 🙁 However I am thinking of going into Kikki K to grab some new and less boring stationary bits!
    P.s YAY for booking NZ for your honeymoon! My homeland will enjoy having you haha go to Catherdral Cove if you can! and see as much of the South Island as possible! I come from the north and parts of it are beautiful but the South is another level!
    If you do do the North, Waitomo Caves and Black Water Rafting are a must 🙂

    Tracy | tracys-antics.com

  • Thanks Anna!
    I’m going through a bit of a hectic schedule at the moment, so this post came at the perfect time! 🙂
    Your tips are great and put things int perspective. Also, YAY to your newsletter! Can’t wait to read it! Daisy xxx
    https://daisychaindaydreamsblog.wordpress.com

  • Honestly love the post, especially the “one-touch” method sounds pretty useful, because I’m currently drowning in my to-do list trying to post on my blog, not be completely silent on instagram, sort out my PC and go through all pictures, plan our next big trip and go to work for 9 hours a day 😀 Basically in a constant need to nap but not having enough time to do it, reading this really motivated me to sort as much as I can today, leave work early, finish some tasks and go to bed 😀 All I wanted to say is thanks 🙂

  • Anna, love all your updates about Bullet Journalling. Can you do a video on it please? Lisa x