My Top 10 Productivity Tips + Free Prioritizing Chart

person holding a cup of coffee

Hi there, lovely! I hope you are enjoying your Memorial Day with your family and friends. 💕 It's also National Grape Popsicle day, so go get yourself a grape popsicle and join the party. I know I'm getting myself one because the temperature here is already in the mid-90s. It's not even officially summer yet and I'm already melting! Thankfully our neighborhood pool just opened and so far I've been going every day that I can.

However, with the pool so close by and all the distractions of summer around me, it's been so hard for me to get stuff done and tackle items that have been sitting on my to-do list. I keep putting them off because I feel like I have so much time to do them, but the reality is that they'll most likely keep sitting on my to-do list until the school year comes around and then I'll have no time to do them, so I'll have to keep putting them off until the next summer, when the cycle repeats... see the problem here?

Another reality is, I'm not the only one who does this. You're not the only one who does this. This game of putting things off is a game everyone plays, but in the end there's never a winner. I mean, except your to-do list.

So today I'm going to be sharing with you my top 10 productivity tips that help me to focus, eliminate distractions, and feel on top of the world, as well as how to avoid the things that slow your progress down. Ready?

My Top 10 Productivity Tips

1 | Prioritize

This is obviously one of the most important ways to be productive, and you'll here it a lot. It may not always be fun, but when you organize your to-dos in order of importance, it makes it easy to see what absolutely needs to get done. Here are some simple questions to ask yourself when prioritizing:

Is it important?
Does it have a deadline?
Does it have to be done today?
Can I delegate it to someone else?

2 | Visualize

eyeglasses on white board
It's easy for everyone to say they'll do something, and then forget about it or put it off. But if you take just a few minutes to close your eyes and visualize yourself finishing your tasks, it seems more realistic that you'll do them.

3 | Dress for success

white ceramic mug filled with coffee near brown jacket
When trying to be productive, it's actually super important to feel good in what you wear. If you're wearing your pjs, chances are you're probably not going to feel productive. Take the time to put on some makeup and put on something you feel good in, or even just put your shoes on. If there's one lesson I learned when it comes to productivity, it's definitely to always dress for success. It will help you to feel intentional and ready to tackle your day.

4 | Don't make checklists

flat lay photography of string lights beside notebooks
You might be surprised to hear this one, but after awhile of using checklists to organize my to-dos, I realized they actually slow me down. They just become overwhelming reminders of everything I have to do and everything I haven't done, and most of the time I don't even know where to begin. Of course, certain things will work for certain people, but you'll hear quite a few people advise you to avoid checklists.

5 | Schedule your tasks

person holding notepad and pen flat lay photography
An alternative to making checklists is to set (realistic) deadlines and then schedule your to-dos according to it's priority. If you're going swimming at 3:00 P.M., schedule to finish your laundry before 2:00 P.M. If you have trouble with time management *COUGH* like me *COUGH*, then this is definitely a productivity tip to incorporate.

6 | Set a 'no distractions' timer

turned-off screen white iPad beside succulent plant on white surface
As human beings, it's so easy to give in to distractions. I'll be working on a paper due the next morning, and then I'll suddenly find myself looking through my Pinterest feed. I'm tellin' you, not a good habit to foster. Set a timer for 20 minutes or so of no distractions, and then take a break for a few minutes before setting a new timer. Setting a timer trains and motivates you to spend your time wisely.

7 | Be accountable to someone

flowers on card near pencil
I always set my alarm for 6:30 A.M., but, naturally, it's so easy for me to snooze it. So sometimes I'll ask my dad to make sure I don't go back to sleep. (In case you were wondering, his way of doing that is making sure he's extremely annoying [shaking his water bottle so all the ice clanks against the cup, clapping his hands, singing unnecessarily loud] until I'm up and getting ready.) Having someone to make sure you're getting stuff done makes it harder to get out of it, which is helpful if you tend to keep putting things off.

8 | Go to a library or coffee shop

You'd think going to a coffee shop or library would be more distracting, but it's not at all. I went to the library recently just to get some schoolwork done, and I accomplished way more than I would have at home. If you go somewhere specifically for the reason of getting something done, it makes you feel intentional.

9 | Tackle your list with a friend

An agenda with a pen, clip, ruler and other items.
A more fun way to be accountable to someone is to have a friend help you. If you both need to get some work done, go somewhere you enjoy and the two of you can keep each other on task. Plus, it just makes it more fun.

10 | Give yourself a reward afterwards

slice on chocolate cake on plate
Sometimes the best way to motivate yourself is to promise yourself a reward afterwards. Whether it's allowing yourself a treat, a movie, or in my case a trip to the pool, I can tell you from experience that a reward never fails to motivate. It gives you a 'reason' to accomplish something you don't want to do.

11 | Do your best!

So, technically this is a bonus tip, but it's the most important! This is my absolute #1 tip, and one almost everyone forgets. If you take away anything from this post, this should be it. We focus too much on finishing every. single. thing. on our list, and when we don't finish it we feel defeated. The truth is we're never, yes, never, going to finish everything on our list. It's constantly growing! We continually find things to improve in our lives and there's never a real finish line. It's part of life. But the one thing you can do is to do your best. As long you know you've done your best, you'll go to sleep feeling on top of the world.


And now, let me introduce you to your freebie--

The Eisenhower Box! 

Click HERE for your free Eisenhower Box printable!

Now you may be asking yourself, what is the Eisenhower Box? Lemme tell you, it's one of the most effective productivity tools I've ever used. Life-changing, in fact. I'm not exaggerating. Most effective brain-dump organizer ever. Here's how it works:


In this box, write down anything you have to attend to that's urgent and important, like an essay due in a few hours. Then, do them immediately.


In this one, write down anything that might not be urgent, but still important, like doing your laundry. Schedule a time to do each of these things.


Here, write down things that might be urgent, but not super important, for example promoting your blog on social media. Give these to someone else who can do them for you.


In this section, write down anything that isn't urgent or important, like learning a new song (I know, really random example). Put these things completely out of your mind, and you can do them later.

This bottom section is helpful for if you're not sure what category your task fits in. It's more of a simplified version of the chart.

This whole chart has been extremely helpful to me, and you can tell by the look of my first chart:
I had a lot on my mind. After the first few days, though, I managed to condense everything to fit into around 4 or 5 items per box. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me!

Well, that's all I have for today! Enjoy your week, my friend.  💕 

What are some of your biggest productivity tips? Have you ever used the Eisenhower Box before? Did you get yourself a grape popsicle?

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