P.S. Increase productivity with these office design tricks!
* This post may contain affiliate links.
If you consider yourself even the slightest bit interested in personal finance, you’ve heard it before — diversify your income streams. Whether you have a traditional 9-5 or work for yourself/freelance, new sources of income that can be made from home are often the goal. Especially if you don’t wanna tack on extra commutes (*raises hand*). ESPECIALLY if you’re introverted (*raises both hands*). In our super online world, there are all kinds of ways to make money without leaving your house, but finding the options that bring you joy can sometimes be tricky.
Read on for some ideas that could help you boost your income without feeling like too much work…
Turn a Hobby Into a Side Hustle
If you have a hobby that you love and want to hone, consider how you might make money by turning this hobby into a side hustle, or even a full time gig. This is a great way to pull in a bit of extra cash along side a full time job. After-all, you’re already taking part in whatever this hobby is in your free time, right? Like to make cakes? Start a baking blog. Into scouting for vintage jewelry? Start an Etsy store. Painting savant? Start teaching an art class once a week. Even if you’re brand new to a hobby there are so many resources online to help you grow a side hustle. For instance, here’s how to become a microgreens farmer, a certified pet sitter, and an extra in tv and movies. Pay close attention to what makes you happy — whether that’s growing plants or hanging out with kittens or standing in front of a camera — and do more of it. Then, consider whether this could be a lucrative business option for you.
Use Your Expert Knowledge To Help Others
If you have substantial knowledge in a subject, you could use this knowledge to help others. How? Become an online consultant or even a tutor. There are lots of sites out there for you to market your expertise and look for clients. If you’re willing to do a bit more work upfront, consider creating online courses on your favorite subject matter. If you already have an online following or email list, you can easily send out info about your new class. Without an embedded audience, there are great websites like Teachable and CreativeLive to consider. Sharing your knowledge and expertise can feel great when you’re talking to people who really want to learn!
Create Content Others Can Enjoy
Many of us enjoy creating content for ourselves. You have full control over the message and you’re able to feel involved with the larger community of whatever your niche may be. Some people enjoy writing Ebooks, others like writing blogs, some enjoy making videos, the list goes on. It’s now easier than ever with sites like Upwork and Fiverr, to put yourself out there and use the skills you’ve acquired making content for yourself and do it for others. This could be as simple as writing a blog post or two for a website you love or designing cool slides for an influencer’s Instagram stories. If there’s an aspect of content creation you love, there’s definitely a way to monetize that!
If you love taking pictures and consider yourself skilled with a camera, you could sell your photography to stock image sites. It can be a little bit trial and error to figure out what sort of images are accepted and do well on these sites. However, I’ve seen lots of folks make a killing once they hit a nice little rhythm. Even if you’re waiting to get accepted by the bigger sites, smaller, free stock image sites often offer incentives to photographers, like being able to link to a PayPal or Ko-fi account. That way, if someone really loves your image they can thank you for letting them use it. If you’re already walking around with a camera all day practicing photography, keep these stock image sites in mind.
Clear Out and Sell Your Unwanted Stuff
There’s no feeling quite like clearing out all of your unwanted stuff and then enjoying the free space of a decluttered home. Once you have everything that you no longer want, you can use online platforms to list and sell these items. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!
What am I missing Do you have any ideas for making money from home that you think could spark joy?
The place you choose to work makes such a big difference to your productivity levels. Thankfully, if you work from home, you have maximum creative control to design your work-space exactly as you see fit. (Score!) In this post, I’m gonna lay out some aspects of home office design that will make your home work-space a hive of productivity. Many of these changes are simple and don’t require a huge investment, while others may take a little more time and expense. Find the fixes that work best for your working flow and budget…
Light the Way
Office lighting can make such a big difference when it comes to your productivity. Bad lighting can lead to headaches, fatigue, eye strain, and tiredness. Conversely, natural light can play a big role in boosting your mood. So consider positioning your desk nearby a window where it is going to attract as much sunlight as possible. Rather than having one main overhead source of lighting, having a lamp or two allows you to adjust the brightness as necessary.
Ergonomically Check Your Chair and Desk
If the position of your chair and desk ends up leading to neck and back pain, this is inevitably going to impact your productivity levels. There are a couple of quick ergonomic checks which are easy to perform. First of all, the top of your computer screen should be around eye-level. Your feet should either be able to rest comfortably on a foot rest or on the floor. Make sure that your chair is slightly reclined to minimize lower back pain. Investing in a good-quality chair is one of the best purchases that you can make for your office.
Sights, Smells and Sounds
Your senses all come into play when you are creating a comfortable office space. Starting off with what you’ll spend the day looking at — the room color. Studies have shown that the color blue helps with productivity. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s a shade which isn’t too harsh on the eyes. You can also hang some pictures to give yourself something fun (and maybe motivational) to look at during the day.
You may never have thought much about the smell of your office, but the right scents can actually help to focus your mind and boost your mood. Fresh flowers are a great way to provide a scent in a natural way. It is worth going for some which you can easily smell such as Alii Hawaiian Tropical flowers. Another option is to use candles or essential oils. Otherwise, you could always try simmering a few herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your whole house with pleasant smells.
The type of noise which works best for your productivity levels varies from person to person. Some people prefer complete silence. In which case, it is worth looking into soundproofing options in the room. Others like to have some background music, so it check out wireless speakers so you can cut back on the need for wires criss-crossing around the room.
While you may create a lot of clutter in the creative process, you should make it a habit to store away the things that you need and throw everything else away. Mess is generally not helpful when it comes to productivity levels. Make sure that you have enough storage systems to contain everything comfortably. And don’t forget your digital clutter as well. The best way I’ve found of keeping on top of your clutter (actual AND digital) in a home office is to schedule time each week to organize. Pick a day and time and jot it down in your diary weekly. You’ll likely just need a half hour or so each week to go through papers, computer files, etc and get it all sorted. Consistency is key!
Bring in Nature
There are plenty of ways that you can bring nature into your indoor office space. We already talked about fresh flowers, but house plants are also a great option. They will last longer and are usually straightforward to maintain. Open the window on a regular basis to allow fresh air into your office space. If you can’t see anything natural outside, the next best thing is to put up some “nature pictures” – think: a picture of you and a loved on a recent hike in a pretty frame on your desk or a painting of the sea!
Achieve an Optimum Temperature Balance
Achieving the right temperature balance is one of the best ways of boosting your productivity levels. Studies have shown that people tend to work better when it is a little warmer inside, but you don’t want to make it SO warm so that you feel drowsy. A smart thermostat will give you maximum control over the temperature in your office. And you can always bring in some extra heaters or fans when you feel like you need to adjust the temperature up or down.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating a work-space that provides maximum productivity levels. Essentially, you need to create an environment which works best for you. No two people work in the same way, so it is important to learn as much as you can about your own working habits. Good luck!
Do you work from home? An office? What changes have you made to your working space to increase productivity?
After I’ve worked from home for a few hours, I tend to get fed up with my surroundings, and need a change of scenery. You too? There are definitely benefits of having a place in your home that allows you to get shiz done. Whether you work for yourself, remotely, or hustle on the side. At the same time — when you wake up, punch the clock, and fall asleep ALL within a few steps of each other? It can get a little monotonous! So let’s talk about how to break up the day when you’re hard at work in your humble abode…
Stand Up Every Hour
To protect your lower back and improve circulation, stand up and stretch every hour. I use the Pomodoro app to set timers for work and when I need to peel myself out of my office chair. (I love a good power hour followed by a 15 minute break!) Oh, and if you’re feeling uninspired, use the time to get some fresh air (outside or open a window). The fresh oxygen is great for your body and brain!
Coffee Break Around the Corner
Instead of having coffee at my desk, I like to take a walk to the ventanita up the street for a freshly brewed treat. Breaks like these give you something to look forward to when you are hitting a wall. Plus, motivating yourself with a coffee…or a healthy smoothie or a cupcake(!) or whatever treat might be close by is a great way to incentivize the big push you need to meet a looming deadline.
Check the News
Instead of checking the news on my computer or phone, getting a newspaper to flick through or flipping on the TV for a few minutes allows me stay tuned in to current events throughout the day. WITHOUT getting sucked into the inevitable internet rabbit holes.
Five Minute Yoga Routines
No matter how small your home office is, you can always find a spot to unroll a yoga mat! Look on YouTube for a few yoga stretching routines you can complete in five minutes or less. Bookmark your favorites so you can return to them whenever you need to stretch, restore your breathing, and energize. Your attention span will thank you!
Call Your Friend or Colleagues
For a complete break, return that phone call to your mom or give your friend a ring to hammer out weekend plans. Want to stay on task but still have an excuse to pace away from your desk? If you generally collaborate with your colleagues through email or Gchat, switch it up and call them instead. You can talk about the project you are working on, ask about the next steps, or simply clarify issues.
Water the Flowers
One thing I really want to start getting more into is houseplants! And I’d like to keep up with their maintenance by choosing a set day and time to go around the house and tend to them. This would give me a short break, a reason to unchain myself from the desk/computer, and a sense of accomplishment. You can create your own schedule based on the watering and care needs of your plants. For example, Hawaiian flowers (my current obsession) need less water less often to stay healthy and bloom, while some houseplants need attention every day.
Plan Your Office Redecoration
Feeling like your home office needs a reboot? Take some time to brainstorm how to improve your home office to suit your needs better. Think about the colors you want to use, the carpet, look for inspirational images and quotes, and think about ways of improving your lighting. You might even download an online app that allows you to design the perfect space online. Get ideas from blogs and magazines, and use your imagination. My current set-up is fine for now but I love daydreaming and planning for a future office overhaul!
Complete a Mandala
While you might think that coloring is for kids, it is actually a super relaxing activity. You can print a mandala (for free!) and get your crayons or colored pencils out to complete and design it. Sometimes when my work is feeling more monotonous than creative (think: spreadsheets and analytics), I like to bust out the art supplies for a little bit to break up the monotony.
Watch Funny Videos
For some fun and energizing entertainment, save your favorite YouTube videos for when you need a pick-me-up. Get a collection saved on your desktop or bookmark bar, so you can access them when you need them. A bit of laughter goes a long way. It will help you release stress so you can carry on with your daily work more focused and motivated. I’m starting a new playlist for this very purpose! So far I’m feeling this one and this one.
LEAVE ME LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE FUNNY VIDEOS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
Thanks so much for reading, friends! Happy working (and breaking!!) ❤
P.S. Want to spend your break time working with an experienced counselor? Check out BetterHelp.
*This post is brought to you by BetterHelp.com. If you’re experiencing feelings of loneliness, working with one of their experienced counselors is an awesome option!*
If there is one thing I hear most freelancers complain about, it is working from home. Sure, not needing to leave the house for work might sound fantastic at first. After all, you can create your own schedule and even stay in pajamas all day if you want! (Plus, you don’t have to deal with a horrendous commute twice a day.) Sounds like the dream, right? Well, not always. In fact, you may find working from home lonely and isolating – longing for someone to chat to throughout the day. Even as an introvert, I’m right there with ya! And no, chatting with my clients via email or on Slack doesn’t count!
So, how to cope with the loneliness of working from home? One simple solution is to collaborate with other people who are self-employed. That way, you can work with others on some cool and exciting new projects.
Not too sure how to collaborate with others or how to find people who might be willing to team up with you? Here are some great ways to do it!
Side Hustle in Reverse
Lots of people choose to work for themselves, either freelancing or starting a small business, as a side hustle. Since you’re already working for yourself (or at least working remotely), consider taking up this idea in reverse. If you’re interested in a specific industry, why not pursue a part-time job outside the home? This is a great way to meet new people while also learning new skills and broadening your networking scope. After writing for a client in the wine industry a couple years ago, I decided I’d love to learn more about wine. I looked into some classes near me but settled on applying for a job instead. A couple nights and weekends spent in a wine store is a small price to pay for tons of on-the-job training and a chance to spend time with actual people…instead of just my computer screen. (Oh, and I get a paycheck, too!)
Find Tools To Help You Collaborate Remotely
In some cases, you won’t be collaborating face-to-face. Depending on the project you want to work on, you might have to work with people remotely. There are lots of tools that can help you with this. Set a time to check in via Skype or FaceTime so that you can have some proper conversations about your work. This will be a lot more effective than messaging via gchat or email. To ensure you can schedule in these calls, you might want to find out more about scheduling tools and platforms. These can help you arrange meetings and also schedule your work. Sticking to schedules and sharing those schedules with others I’m working with (clients AND collaborators) has gone a long way in helping me feel like my home-job is a REAL job.
Work In A Coworking Space
Even if you don’t fancy collaborating with another freelancer, working from a co-working space a few days a week can feel like a breath of fresh air for most extroverted work-from-home folks. These spaces are just like offices, only usually a lot more casual, and give freelancers the chance to work around others. Most of them require you to pay a monthly fee, though there are some free ones out there. (Some even have office kitchens so that you can enjoy coffee and snacks! And you know what you miss most about an office is the snacks, lol!)
Attend Networking Events
Most cities and towns have regular events that are aimed at small business owners and freelancers. You will find that there are a lot of casual events to help freelancers connect with others in the area. These are great for meeting new friends and collaborators. But there will also be a lot of professional networking events as well, which will be the best bet for you if you’re looking for a serious collaboration that could blossom into a new professional venture. It’s worth getting in touch with your local business network to see if there are any events coming up. You can also have a look on the Meetup website for what’s popping off in your area.
Use Social Media
If you want lots of chances to connect and collaborate, you could consider joining social media groups designed to bring together folks in your industry. Think: A Facebook group for yoga instructors or a message board for copywriters. Looking to branch outside your field on a collab? Instagram and Twitter are great platforms to link up with like-minded people in your area. Either way, social media is a great place to gain feedback from others, ask questions/for help, and share online resources. There are so many ways to connect online if you open yourself up to the possibilities. My very first work-from-home position came about through interacting in the comments section of a blog!
Consider Becoming A Mentor
If you would prefer to work with someone on a one-on-one basis, you might like the idea of becoming a mentor to another freelancer. You can take a newbie under your wing and help them on the road of self-employment. I’m sure that there will be lots of things that you can teach them about. For instance, you might want to give them some tips and pointers on budgeting or time management. Not only will this give you some human contact through the week, but it will also feel rewarding!
How do you guys take the loneliness out of working from home? Any paths to meaningful collaboration I’m missing?
P.S. Want an inside look into someone else’s “hustle”? I have a whole series dedicated to just that!
P.P.S. Have an idea about how you and I could collaborate? Let’s chat! Drop me an email – email@example.com – don’t be shy!!
I’ve finally found a planner that I’m totally obsessed with and can foresee using for months (maybe years!) to come. It’s the Bob’s Your Uncle 8 Days-A-Week Planner Journal. Here’s what I love about it:
- Features 52 week at-a-glance spreads.
- Each week runs Monday-Sunday and includes a “Someday” column for other tasks you want to complete during the week that aren’t specific to a certain day.
- Includes 30 minute interval time slots so you can map out your day super precisely.
- Spiral-bounding allows it to lie flat and stay tucked in a drawer with the current day facing up.
This may sound a bit neurotic, but when I was contemplating the reasons why past planners just hadn’t cut it, it was the inability to create a detailed timeline for my day.
You see, my work schedule can be a bit of a puzzle. I do freelance work for a number of different clients, I work on this blog, and I side-hustle at a local wine store. The great thing about this set up is that I can create my own schedule by piecing together the three. The not so great thing? Doing so can be a little difficult to conceptualize. A traditional planner with a big empty box for each day almost felt over-whelming. Jotting down “work at 3pm” or “phone call w/ client at 10am” didn’t do my brain any favors when visualizing how I should schedule the rest of my To-do’s.
Then I had a *lightbulb* moment. What if I could find a planner that was more appointment book than daily calendar? I stumbled upon this 8 day-a-week version while searching on Amazon and the rest is history. It’s honestly one of the best things to happen to my productivity levels in YEARS.
Above you’ll see a little peek at my planner in action! Nothing too fancy. I throw in a few stickers here and there when I feel like it (like the devil emoji for a 7am meeting, LOL!) and use a few colors of highlighters to indicate different things. Sometimes I’ll mark off a certain time-frame for client work and then bullet point more specific to-do’s off to the side. And that’s about it. I love it!
What type of planner do YOU use? Tell me below!
Welcome to Don’t Hide Your Hustle, a new series on Finding Delight that explores the myriad of ways to make a living in 2017. I’m asking folks to share how they hustle over the course of one work-day (which usually extends far beyond a 9 – 5 situation).
Today, I present you with Lucy’s story. She runs Salt Design Co. with her best friend and together they guide small businesses through a multitude of design and branding conundrums. Her passion for connection and communication shine through, even though most days she’s working from home! Let’s check out her hustle…
Hey! I’m Lucy, a brand designer and strategist. I’m a British-Canadian, with the accent to boot. Just over 18 months ago, straight out of school, I founded my business with one of my best friends. Since then I’ve gone from freelance graphic designer and part time nanny, to a fully fledged business owner. I spend most of my days in my pyjamas or gym kit (because I’m going to work out at some point today…. right!?) and am just getting used to the weird routine that comes from working at home. Today I’m sharing a random Thursday with you, complete with 6am emails and 6pm cocktails! This is a pretty typical day in the life for me, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
6 am – Woke up to my alarm with a jump. Didn’t sleep too well last night, and even though I normally have to wake myself up with multiple alarms (1 set every 5 minutes kinda thing) I woke up instantly today. Honestly, not a good sign for me! That’s a true indicator that I wasn’t sleeping deeply, and I know I hadn’t been all night.
6.30 am – Breakfast! Time for some eggs and avo with toast. One of my fave parts of the day, because I set my laptop on the kitchen counter and have 45 minutes to myself to watch tv and eat yummy food.
7.43 am – Got distracted, looked at the clock, and realized it was most definitely time to move my butt! I casually switched from kitchen counter to couch, and started replying to emails at 7am. Maybe not such a good move….
8.56 am – Continued to work, and that’s ok. I don’t mind getting things done if I’m up early. I feel more productive and accomplished that way. Now, though I’m going to have a little workout, maybe do a 10 minute meditation (a new habit I’m trying to create) and glug down lots of water.
9.04 am – Ok, I’m actually putting the computer down now! LOL
10.18 am – Back to work! I don’t like to waste too much time after I workout, so I tend to jump in the shower, put some comfy clothes on, and get back to it (even with wet hair). First up, checking in on my newsletter for the week and scheduling some Facebook and Twitter posts. Then I need to get on with some strategy documents for a brand project I’m working on! I promised to send them over tomorrow, which means I’ve got today and today only to get them done!
12.12 pm – Despite a few Facebook messages with some other designer friends, I managed to get 2 straight hours of work done on a strategy document and mood board.
12.35 pm – Finished eating and decided that NOW is the time to get out and enjoy the sunshine! I’ve got lots of work left to do, but a latte and some Vitamin D are only going to help. Plus, it’s about time I got dressed and dried my hair…
12.59 pm – Back at my desk and thinking of ALL THE THINGS that have to be done. Contemplating the fact that I could work on Saturday as I’m at a photoshoot tomorrow… but a workout and lunch with friends sounds way more fun, so I’ll just have to get as much done today as possible.
13.15 pm – Stopped working briefly to do a little Instagram stories sesh. Wanted to share with our followers what a brand strategy document is, and what we use them for! Took me a while, mainly because I get fussy about how I look (story of our lives right!) and I also always think my voice sounds weird.
13.48 pm – I’m browsing Pinterest to find the perfect peach colour for my mood board. Pinterest is life!
14.32 pm – Still sat at my desk – I’m sorry to say design days aren’t all that interesting! But in about an hour I’ll be off downtown for cocktails with a friend! Yay!
16.30 pm – Popped into my old office to drop off some flyers – I’m hosting a workshop next month and we’re marketing our butts off!
17.00 pm – Drink time! Gin and Tonic for me, please.
20.00 pm – 2 drinks, and 3 appies later, we’re heading home. I walked part of the way with my friend to make the most of the exercise, and also this sunshine that is only just gracing us here in the Pacific Northwest!
20.30 pm – Home! Yay! Watching the last episode of Season 5, House of Cards with my boyfriend, and then getting an early night. Anyone else as addicted to that show as us!? It’s both horrifying and gripping.
21.45 pm – Bed time. Hopefully I’ll sleep better than I did last night….
Thanks so much for sharing your hustle, Lucy! Do you guys have any questions for her? Do any of you work from home or run your own business?
P.S. Are you a hustler willing to share your story? Let’s chat! I would love to know how you’re making money while following your dreams in 2017. Shoot me an email — firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
As the queen of leaving projects to the last minute, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to settle in for the long haul without losing my mind. I think we’ve all been there. (Especially if you’re someone who enjoys working under pressure.) The rest of life got in the way in the weeks leading up to a deadline, and you find yourself chained to your laptop with a marathon’s worth of work to tackle.
My secret to making it out unscathed? Meaningful breaks.
Choose an amount of time (like 45 minutes to an hour), set a timer, and start ticking things off the to-do list without stopping. Then, when the time is up TAKE A BREAK (like for 15-30 minutes).
Below, I’ve listed 14 meaningful breaks that I find helpful to cycle through as I hammer away on a project.
Take a shower.
This is especially helpful if you didn’t get a lot of great rest. Showers are like liquid sleep! Use a body wash like this one and breathe in deep. Massage your scalp as you lather up your hair. Get that blood flowing to your brain!
Fill up your water bottle.
Gotta stay hydrated! Fill up your favorite vessel and take time to drink as much as you like as you stare into space. Feelin’ fancy? Add some fruit or cucumbers or herbs and get a lil infusion action going.
Watch a YouTube video.
Sometimes you just need to switch your brain off for a few minutes. But turning on the TV or firing up Netflix may distract to the point of disaster. YouTube to the rescue! There’s a zillion different kinds of content to choose from (Cats! Makeup tutorials! Hydraulic press! Cooking miniature meals!) and most are a reasonable length. Go nuts for 10-15 minutes and then switch that brain back on.
Make a list of the day’s accomplishments.
I’ve mentioned this before, but a “shit I’ve already done list” can sometimes quell the panic of a seemingly insurmountable “shit I still need to do list.”
Eat a snack.
Go fix yourself something healthy to eat!
Love on your pet.
Taking care of someone else for a few minutes is a great way to snap out of it if you’re feeling like EVERYTHING IS THE WORST. So if you have a pet, go make sure they have food and fresh water. Take them outside to run or toss around a toy. Get out their brush for a lil grooming sesh. Give them lots of pets.
Head to your closet for a costume change.
I like to capitalize on the surge of productivity I feel as soon as I wake up…which usually means I’m in pj’s and then *whoops* several hours have gone by. So a simple costume change if you’re in my boat is to just go get dressed. But you can also change from your everyday clothes to workout clothes if you plan on working out later. Change from uncomfortable clothes to comfy ones. Or switch it up for a change of pace in the aesthetics department.
Handle a “personal admin” task.
You can’t press pause on life because you’re under a deadline. Reply to an email. Pay your phone bill. Grab groceries. Schedule that dentist appointment. You get the drift.
Work up a sweat.
One time, during a looooong (and boring) day of work-from-home projects, I did 10 push-ups/10 sit-ups/10 squats during every break. Not only did the time FLY by…but I was sore as heck the next day. Ha! For a less crazy approach, go for a jog outside or queue up a 30 min HIIT workout on YouTube. Roll out your yoga mat and stretch out.
Have a solo dance party.
Put on your favorite song and jam like no one’s watching. Because they aren’t. Repeat until you’re sufficiently pumped.
Tidy up a little.
Just like with the “personal admin” tasks, tackling a quick chore or two will feel like you’re accomplishing something…even when your BIG accomplishment for the day is hours away. I like to do the dishes or make my bed. (Which also helps to make your space feel more productive.)
Chat with another human being.
Working on a project solo can start to feel really isolating. Pick up the phone and catch up with a friend or meet a friend for a quick cup of coffee.
Switch up your surroundings.
Usually if I feel like I’ve hit a plateau, it’s time to pack up and head somewhere new. It’s amazing the second wind you can achieve just by heading to a second location!
Go for a walk.
Fresh air! Natural light! Even if you only circle the block, you might just have that break-through “A-HA!” moment once your legs are pumping and your mind is allowed to wander a little.
Over to you! What are your favorite ways to take meaningful breaks in the midst of a marathon work sesh? Share below!! xoxo
Do you have a system to keep track of all your to-do’s for the day? It may seem like a no-brainer to some folks out there, but once I developed a set-up that worked for me it was a game changer.
As you can see above, I devote a full page to each day. I borrow elements from the bullet journal system, but it’s a WAY scaled down version. Each of my tasks are given a tick box that I check off as it gets completed. If I didn’t complete the task it gets an arrow so that I know to migrate it onto my list of to-do’s for the following day. If an item no longer needs completing for whatever reason I give it a strike-through.
In the middle of the page are my notes. These are items I encounter through out the day that I want to return to and investigate further when I have more time. This little section is instrumental in keeping me focused on the task at hand. And I don’t forget about things that may be useful or interest me later. Sorta like leaving myself little breadcrumbs in the form of bullet points!
And finally, something I started in 2016, a MANTRA! I kicked off the new year with Yoga with Adriene’s Yoga Camp. The challenge included 30 yoga videos to be done every day for 30 days and each one came with their own mantra. I found these daily affirmations wildly helpful and inspirational in January so I figured, why stop here!? When I sit down with my list at the beginning of each day I find a phrase, quote, or affirmation that I can focus my thoughts towards in the coming hours.
I also borrow The Monthly Log or Calendar Page from the Bullet Journal method. That’s where the Bullet Journal similarities end. For me, keeping an index (a key Bullet Journaling component) just feels too cluttered. The full Bullet Journal system, though I tried and enjoyed it for awhile, just isn’t for me. And ya gotta find what works for you. I love my system and love that it’s adapted over time to keep me productive and my brain-space uncluttered.
OH! And for forward-planning (ie. weekly and monthly planning as opposed to daily to-do’s) I use a mini-binder planner from the Target Dollar Spot. I just started it at the beginning of April and have been trying my hand at planner decorating…..totally something I never thought I would get into but I’m absolutely loving it. Perhaps I’ll post some pictures at some point if y’all are into it.
How do you stay on top of your daily to-do list? Do you keep paper lists or are you totally digital? Have you ever tried keeping a bullet journal? Into planner decorating? Tell me everything!!!
The folks at WeWork, a co-working company that builds communities to empower people to do what they love, inspired me to share my current workspace and what I love about it. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect! This past weekend, after a morning trip to Ikea and a good few hours of flat-pack furniture assembly, I got to work setting up my NEW home workspace! I thought I’d give you guys a peek at the finished product. I’m already SO in love with it! I can’t wait to spend my days creating and writing at this gorgeous command center. I knew I wanted a color palette of white, gold, and Tiffany box blue so the Micke desk was a perfect fit for that aesthetic. Add to that my custom desktop computer, a few gold trinkets, and some stationery from the Target dollar spot and – wam BAM – the perfect little corner for productivity. Shall I show you around?
My monitor was painted white to match this mounting arm, a feature which allows me to position based on my viewing needs. And since my work-space is in our bedroom, those needs CAN include watching Netflix in bed.
Bits and bobs to keep me smiling.
I’ve picked up quite a few desk accessories from Target over the past few months, including; post-it notes, page flags, bulletin/chalk board, and owl pushpins. All super affordable. I believe everyone should have a few desk trinkets to personalize their space. The stone was a gift from a co-worker. It says “Trust” and is the perfect size and shape for rolling around in your hand when you’re having a good think. The dino skeleton was a present years ago from my friend, Katie. And the gold wheel was thrifted. I’m sure it used to belong on a contraption that spun around but I just liked the way it looked and it functions quite nicely as a coaster. The bird mouse was a must-have as soon as I saw it.
Chet built me my very own computer, including painting it to my aforementioned color scheme, and presented it to me for Christmas last year. I’d say not many people are lucky enough to have a computer cute enough to proudly display on top of their desk LET ALONE such a tech savvy individual as their BETROTHED!
Plenty of drawer space.
A big selling point for me for this particular desk were the 2 large drawers that run the whole length. They’re the perfect place to stow my notebooks, stationery, cords, current reading materials, folders, and adult coloring book(!).
Thanks so much to WeWork for encouraging me to share this post. I always find other people’s creative spaces quite inspiring so it’s fun to have an excuse to show off my own!
If you’re a freelancer (like me), run a small business or startup, or work remotely, and you’re interested in joining a coworking community, do check out WeWork. They have lovely office spaces located all across the world and offer tons of benefits.
Details – Desk/Ikea, Office chair/Ikea, Bulletin board/Target, Owl pushpins/Target, Mouse/Amazon, Wedding notebook/Moleskine, Purple polka dot notebook/Moleskine, Grey notebook/Baron Fig, Kindle case/Amazon, Blah blah blah folder/Target, Secret Garden coloring book/Morris Book Shop.
P.S. Check out Chet’s home office setup, too!