I always try to keep the bare minimum in my bag so as not to be lugging around a 300 pound bag all day. It’s a tough line to tow trying to have everything you’ll need throughout the day without becoming a pack mule. Here are the 5 things I always keep in my bag that I tend to use on a daily basis.
Pen and notebook
This one seems self explanatory, I like to take notes and plan my week out when I get a few minutes to myself. I usually bring my bullet journal with me and a frixion pen so I can erase any mistakes I may make. Plus you never know when you’ll need a pen on the go. This allows me to jot down things on the spot so I don’t forget them throughout the day and I can reference a physical memo if I need it.
Tide to go stick
Without fail either myself or someone at my work ends up spilling coffee on themselves or gosh knows what else. Tide to go sticks are incredibly handy as they’re the size of a pen and they will stop your favourite white shirt from being ruined forever. (They also work great on white shoes!).
A nude liquid lipstick
Some days I’m in such a rush to get out of the house I either forget to put a lip on or I forget to bring my lipstick with me to fix it up throughout the day. To combat this I always keep a nice nude liquid lip in my purse that will go with any makeup look I may be wearing and it’s long lasting so I only need to touch it up once or twice. My current favourite liquid lip currently is the Huda Beauty demi matte liquid lip in “wifey”.
This one goes almost without saying. I love listening to music and audiobooks on my commute to work and it’s part of my daily routine at this point. I currently use Apple AirPods because I like how small they are to keep in my bag and I’m a big fan of wireless headphones.
A hairbrush might seem over the top but in a typical day I will spend 10-12 hours outside of the house, and my hair can get a little out of hand from walking outside in the wind and rain. I discovered the tangle teaser at Sephora a few years ago and it’s been my ultimate favourite brush since. This brush is made to be travel friendly and it can get through any knot in your hair with zero pain. This brush has been a life saver on many occasions, which is why I won’t go anywhere without it.
There you have my top 5 items in my bag! What are some things you can’t leave the house without? Let me know in the comments. Happy Tuesday everyone!
I’m a morning person by nature. I grew up in a household of morning people so I really didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. Mornings offer you something no other time of day can; a fresh start. Once you open your eyes it’s the beginning of a new day full of new possibilities and the chance to do things differently than yesterday. Although I myself am a morning person, most of the people in my friend circle and my co-workers are not. They look at me like I’ve grown a second head when I tell them I wake up at 6 AM by choice. The night owls in my life tell me they could never imagine getting up early and actually enjoying it. I’ll let you in on a secret though, anyone can become a morning person with the right habits. This isn’t to say being a morning person is better than being a night owl, far from actually. I believe we all have a preferred time of day and for me, that’s morning. Unfortunately sometimes our lives don’t line up with how our ideal day would play out which is why I’m sharing with you how I manage my mornings to show you how you can also become a morning person.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is probably the number one thing people struggle with on a daily basis. For many years I struggled with insomnia and getting any sleep at all was a victory most nights. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This can be a tricky feat if you’re waiting until late at night to get work done or studying out of the way. I have found the most success when I go to bed early, preferably around 10 PM so that I can wake up at 6 AM the next morning. I know what you’re thinking, that’s way too early to go to bed! It might seem like it at first but once you start getting up early you’ll find you have just as much time in the day as you did when you stayed up late. For anyone who isn’t used to getting to bed early i recommend going to bed a half hour earlier each night until you get yourself to bed at a time that works best for you.
This is a trick I learned from Mel Robbins in her book The 5 Second Rule. From the time your alarm starts going off you have about 5 seconds to act before you’re just not going to get out of bed. Of all the times I’ve hit the snooze button, there’s very few that left me actually feeling well rested compared to when the alarm first went off. If you’re a serial snoozer like I am, the best advice I can give is to get that alarm as far away from your bed as possible. If you have to physically get out of bed to turn your alarm off you’re much more likely to just stay up. For those of you who need your phone near you in cases of emergency or to listen to something to help you sleep, I highly suggest investing in an alarm clock and no longer setting alarms on your phone. You’d be amazed how much time you can waste in day just hitting the snooze button over and over, never actually feeling any more rested. If you’re interested in learning more about Mel’s 5 Second Rule which works with way more than just your alarm, you can find it here.
There’s something about getting dressed that signals to your brain that now it’s time to wake up and get things done. Typically I will lay my clothes out the night before so I don’t have to try and come up with an outfit idea when my brain is still half asleep. This also helps me come up with cute outfits without having to do all the trial and error because I’ve already done that the night before. Even if you don’t plan on going out anywhere, putting on comfy clothes that aren’t pajamas will still do the trick.
You know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After 8 hours of sleep your body is going to be severely dehydrated and hungry. After you get dressed it’s time to give your brain some fuel. You’re not going to get your best work done if you’re running on empty. I like to start with some water while I’m making my breakfast which usually consists of bacon and eggs or oatmeal. Your breakfast doesn’t need to be complicated or Instagram worthy as long as it’s giving your body some nutrients. This way you’ll avoid getting “hangry” before lunch and you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand.
Set up your work space
Now that you’re all fueled up, it’s time to start thinking about doing some work. For me, this is when I grab my computer from the bedroom and set it up in my dining room. This is a place where I know I can sit down and do work without any distractions like TV. There’s lots of light coming through the windows which helps me feel more alert while I work. After I’ve got my computer set up I’ll throw on a playlist that helps me focus and stay motivated. I try for more mellow playlists and ones that play songs I don’t know the words to so I can focus on the task at hand. After my desk and music are set up, this is when I’ll take the time to make a cup of tea or coffee to keep with me while I work. You want to make the experience as enjoyable as possible, after all doing work really isn’t a punishment and you’ll feel amazing once you’ve got a few tasks knocked off your list!
Review your tasks
If you read my other post on productivity you’ll know I’m a firm believer in writing out your to-do list the night before. Ideally in this step you will have the to-do list you made the night before sitting in front of you. This is the time I take to re-assess what I’d like to get done today and the order in which I think it makes most sense to complete the tasks. I suggest getting the most difficult task out of the way first if you can. Once you get the tough job out of the way everything else feels like a walk in the park. This way even if you only manage to get one thing checked off your list you’ll feel a huge sense of relief.
Now it’s time to get to work! I hope this gave you some ideas on how you can use the morning to increase your productivity and have some fun while you’re at it. Remember to take some breaks and celebrate the little victories as you go. How do you stay productive? and are you a morning person or a night owl? let me know in the comments.
Some days there’s just so much to do that it seems impossible to know where to start. If you’re in university or trying to catch up on a large list of to-do’s it can feel like there’s simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Over the years I’ve managed to find a method that helps me stay productive. Not all these tips may work for everyone but I have found them genuinely helpful and they help keep everything in a manageable state so you can still have some time for fun in your day.
Start the night before
If you’re looking at this article trying to be productive right now, then this tip comes too late, but this is my number one tip because planning ahead can make all the difference. Before you go to bed, make a list of the things you would like to get done the next day and write them down. Having a visual list with things you can physically cross off is incredibly satisfying and it’s been proven too give a mini dopamine boost to keep you going! Personally I prefer writing things down on paper and getting to check them off as I go. This is not the most environmentally friendly option however. If you’d like to go digital with your list, Evernote is a great productivity app with note features which you can check off as you complete your tasks. Better still, it’s free.
2. Make your bed
This tip is all over the internet for a reason. It seems like such a silly step but it really does work. Making your bed is a simple quick way to complete a task as soon as you get up. This gives you a quick little sense of accomplishment before you even leave your room. Having already accomplished one task makes it much easier to start working on your other to-do’s. Plus, having a clean and tidy space it much easier for focus and motivation.
3. Listen to some music
Cleaning or doing work in complete silence is incredibly dull. You can make the whole experience so much more enjoyable by turning on a playlist. The key to not getting distracted by the music however, is to play more mellow playlists like indie and folk. I find it helps me focus if i’m listening to songs that I don’t already know the words to. Spotify has some amazing curated playlists for getting “in the zone”. If you enjoy indie playlists, I highly recommend the youtube channel alexrainbirdmusic. They come out with new playlists for the coming seasons and it’s an incredible way to find new music you may have otherwise missed. Their playlists are perfectly cohesive to keep the vibe going from each song to the next.
4. Start with the hardest task first
Starting with the hardest task first doesn’t always seem like the most desirable way to start your day, but it really does work. When you get your least favourite task out of the way first, you don’t spend your whole day dreading it. Once the hard work is out of the way all the other jobs you have to do seem easy-peasy. By completing the most difficult task first it also ensures that if for some reason you can’t do everything today, you only have a simple task to complete tomorrow.
5. Take mini breaks
You can’t expect yourself to work all day without taking any breaks. You’ll feel completely drained by the end of the day. Allow yourself to take some breaks between tasks to reward yourself for completing them. I like to treat myself to a cup of tea between tasks. The key here is to give yourself enough time to unwind, but not too long that you have a hard time getting back into productivity mode. Try for breaks between 10 and 15 minutes. Make sure to get up and walk around the room and have a nice stretch if you’ve been sitting at a desk. Maybe go for a quick walk around the block to get some fresh air and clear your head. Most importantly, don’t forget to have a snack. You’re brain works best when you’re not hungry or thirsty.
6. Reward yourself
Like the tip above, you want to reward yourself for completing tasks. Once you’ve completed your task for the day it’s time to relax! Enjoy some Netflix without guilt or go visit a friend for a nice walk and some coffee. It’s important to maintain a level of self care even when you’re busy because being productive for one day won’t help you if you burn out later that week. I’m a big fan of having a bath with a relaxing bath bomb from Lush after a long day of getting everything done. It helps me wind down and get ready for bed so I can have a good night’s sleep and do it all again tomorrow.
Did any of these tips work for you? What are your favourite tips to stay productive? Share them below and I’ll give them a try. Thanks so much for reading, now you’re armed with all the tools you need to get stuff done. Go forth and be productive!