• Karen Parquet

Evolution of a Productive Day

So productivity and I go hand in hand. Lovers that always quarrel and always having something to say to one another in the middle of the night or at 4 am when I’m trying to sleep. It’s like a gun to my head when writing speaks to me and tells me to get up despite only having had 5 hours of sleep and needing to get those words on paper.

Productivity. It means something different to every person. To me, it means getting things done but not necessarily being busy. To me, it means having charts, planners, online calendars, and other things to keep me on track so I know I am getting things done and keeping track of them. If I don’t keep track of them, I get nothing done.

So when you ask me what my typical day looks like, it goes something like this.

  • 5 am–wake up, get coffee to sit down at the computer, and boot it up.

  • 5:30 am–actually wake up, sit down, and budget finances for the day.

  • 6 am–actually really wake up, get breakfast, sit down to plan out the day, write things down that need to be done, jot down notes, and read through emails.

  • 7 am–start writing or working on what needs to be done.

  • Noon–take a break for lunch, play a game for a bit to give me a brain break.

  • 1 pm–get back to writing and doing more work or write in my blog.

  • 5 pm—throw in the towel and spend time with the husband and dogs for the rest of the day.

While not every day goes like that, that’s a rough outline of what it looks like. And every day may be different depending on errands that need to be run, articles or papers that are due, projects that are being worked on, or other things that might get thrown in there. But something always gets done.

“Focus on being productive, not busy.” Tim Ferriss

I don’t like to be busy. Being busy stresses me out. Being productive is an endorphin rush like no other, better than exercise, almost better than well… you know. Getting things done, accomplished, and out of the way on schedule is the name of the game, and you can complete tasks on time as well if you get organized.

“But I couldn’t organize my way out of a paper bag!” You say. I’ve heard that before, and believe me, I used to be like that. I used to be inefficient and bumbling around just doing things as they came along before I started my business, and I had to get my sh*t in order. That forced me to get things together fast because no one but myself held me accountable for making money, and I would not be successful without making out a schedule, writing tasks, and making sure that I followed them.

Start simple; how you ask? Buy a small planner. I have this one here that I take with me outside of the house to keep me on track.

This little thing keeps me on track with what I need at the store, errands to run, appointments to keep, clients, to meet, you name it. I have everything in this handy little planner. Something this small is easy to keep with you at all times and write everything down in as it comes to you; it’s not bulky and doesn’t cost much to get started with it. If you like it, you can graduate up to more expensive and bigger planners.

For the house and work, I have this planner from Erin Condren I use to keep myself on track, and when I need to refer back to my smaller planner for something, I have a word “SMPL” that I use to write in that day to remind me to check my smaller planner for anything that needs to be done outside the house. These types of planners come in many layouts, sizes, colors, designs, you name it. You will have fun with these if you get into them.

For my holy grail of databases though, the mac daddy of them all and the ground zero of all my tasks, lists, chores, work, appointments, etc. there is Notion on my computer. I put everything into Notion first, and I check everything off last to ensure that everything is done. It may sound redundant, but this keeps me accountable and makes sure that I have everything in order and miss nothing. This is also an excellent way for my husband to add anything he needs to my task list, and where I pull from every morning when I sit down to plan out my day and write in my planners what I need to do.

So productivity doesn’t have to be hard unless you make it that way, and honestly, it’s a great way to get things in order. You’ll be happier when you get things done, done on time, and done efficiently. Try it, start small, and soon you’ll be a pro.

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