Earlier this month I made a post about deleting all my social media apps for 30 days. I was dreading it because I knew I was heavily addicted to my phone and was especially guilty for constantly being online. It’s been a challenging few weeks (I’ve still got 4 days left before the challenge is officially over) but it was eye opening.
Even though I had deleted social media like Instagram and Facebook, I still found myself aimlessly scrolling on my phone anywhere I could. I ended up checking my screen time stats and was horrified to see I was still spending about 8 hours a day on my phone! So after the first 6 days I decided to heavily restrict the time I was spending on my phone to be no more than three hours. Three hours is still a ridiculous amount of time but it’s still less than half of the amount of time I was currently spending on my phone. The first few days were really hard but once I came up with some ideas of other things I’d like to do with my time I was surprised to find I didn’t really notice when I’d go a few hours without even looking at my phone or checking the time.
I replaced watching videos on my phone with meditation and playing music along with cleaning out my entire space. It was the most accomplished and fulfilled I have felt in YEARS. When I did allow myself breaks on my phone I tended to spend time looking at more meaningful and useful content such as minimalism which inspired me to go through my belongings and get rid of a lot of junk that was making me extremely unhappy.
I also took a trip to the U.S.A. while on my social media break, which was so much fun. It was hard not being able to post any of my photos for my friends to see at the time but I found I was enjoying every moment of my trip because I wasn’t able to worry about posting or editing my photos while they were being taken. After I took a photo, my phone simply went back into my pocket and I carried on. I’ll be able to post my photos in a few days but I really appreciated the time I had where the photos were only available to me.
It can be hard to imagine a real day without social media if you’re guilty like I am of being constantly glued to your phone screen, but taking time away can be incredibly rewarding. I do plan on keeping myself limited on the hours per day I can spend on my phone because I like my level of productivity when I’m off of it. As for apps there are many I will not be downloading once my break is over that I simply kept because other people were using them. In closing, I encourage everyone to try a day without using their phone for anything other than phone calls and texting and see just how much you can achieve in a single day when you are in full control of your time.
Do you spend a lot of time on your phone? Have you ever gone on a social media break? If you did, how did it go? Let me know in the comments!
While watching some motivational videos on YouTube, I came across a simple idea that was echoed across several different creators, all of which were videos on motivation and productivity, but not necessarily the exact same specific topic. They all spoke of this action mindset where the most important thing is that you act on the impulse to do something. You need to make sure these acts are ones of productivity or moves towards your goals but the second you feel that little impulse you’ve got to act now.
Mel Robbins, Author of the 5 second rule, also echoes this thought. You’ve got about 5 seconds to act on your impulse before your mind will start talking you out of it. When your alarm goes off, if you don’t jump out of bed in those first 5 seconds, you’re not getting out of bed and you’ll hit snooze.
A helpful hint that seems to be key to this action mindset is to commit to a very small increment of time. If your goal is to practice guitar more, make a promise to play for 15 minutes per day and actually do it. The idea isn’t that you only need 15 minutes of practice per day to become a rock god, but it’s much easier to start when you know it’s a very small increment of time you’ve committed to. Likely, you’ll end up spending more than those 15 minutes practicing anyway. The same goes for running. If you want to start running more, just commit to ten minutes of running or going around the block. You’ll likely run farther now that you’ve made the effort to leave the house, but even if you only ran for ten minutes, that’s ten minutes you’ve got in the bag.
For myself, I’ve been wanting to start meditating daily, but i fall into the trap of telling myself that i don’t always have the time, or that i could be spending my time better than just sitting on the floor meditating. When i stopped to think about it though, a typical meditation session for me can be anywhere from 5-20 minutes and the guided meditations I like tend to only run about 10 minutes at most. It’s been much easier for me to tell myself that I can afford to spend ten minutes a day on something to will help me be in a better mindset throughout the day. Putting this idea into practice has already made a huge difference in my daily productivity and I find I feel more accomplished at the end of the day because I find I actually start more tasks because I genuinely feel I have the time to start.
The most important thing is to just start, which can feel impossible sometimes because it’s not always clear how to start. If you want to become a musician, it’s fairly straight forward, you have to start playing. If you want to become a photographer, you’ve got to pick up a camera and start shooting or learning how to use the settings on your camera. I really like the quote from Nick Sommers which is ” If you knew success was a certainty, what would you attempt to do?”. As someone who’s always in my head and trying to plan everything before even beginning to start, I often don’t actually put those ideas into action, this could be a fear of failure or just a fear of the unknown. We can get in our own way by simply wanting to think about every little potential problem before we even begin, but this will keep us from ever doing anything. Thinking about writing a book won’t get your book written, planning a video won’t get that video made. Of course planning is a helpful step, but your first step should be to start. No matter how bad the attempt is, you’re already closer to your desired end product by simply starting.
If you’re like me, you may have started to notice you spend an awful lot of time online and on your phone. For some people being on social media is a very hard habit to kick. I’m not suggesting getting rid of social media entirely, (I love Instagram way too much for that!) But sometimes it’s good to take a break. It’s well known the negative impacts social media can have on our mental health and how we view ourselves, so why not take a little break every now and then and come back in a clearer head space?
I’ll be honest, I had absolutely no intention of stopping my social media usage until a friend of mine suggested we both go one full month without logging on to any social media sites. The idea wasn’t to avoid the internet all together but to stay off sites like Facebook ,Instagram , Twitter, Reddit, etc. When I would check the screen time app on my iPhone, it routinely told me I had spent over eight hours per day on my phone, yikes!
So how do you start a social media detox of your own?
Delete the apps
Most of the time we aren’t even aware that we’ve clicked on the app before it’s too late and we’ve been scrolling through our feeds for who knows how long. I myself find I’m constantly flipping through apps without even noticing. If you delete the app off your phone you don’t have to worry about accidentally clicking on it and ruining your progress. This also holds you more accountable if you do decide to go back on the app, you have to physically download it again and sign back in. Deleting the app gets rid of some of the temptation but you’ll be surprised how much you still go to click on it even when it’s not there.
2. Try to spend more time off your phone or computer so you’re not thinking about the things you might be missing online.
FOMO is real! During the first few days of deleting my Instagram I could feel myself worrying about if I was missing out on information or photos of my friends. I still used my phone quite regularly and it make things really difficult. I realized that I spend more time on my phone in general than I was comfortable with, So along with not being on social media I found it helpful to spend minimal amounts of time on my phone as well. I didn’t avoid my phone at all, especially since it’s my only means of communication right now, but I made the effort to intentionally put it down in a different room and only come back to check on it periodically. The difference this made for my day to day life has been huge.
3. Do the things you’ve been meaning to do that you normally don’t have time for.
Without my phone to slow me down, I’ve found a very large chunk of time I have to be productive. I’ve been able to do all my errands that I leave myself for the week in only a day or two, leaving me with several hours per day I can spend on whatever I want. It felt really boring at first as I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself, I essentially gained six hours per day of free time! Crazy I know. This has allowed me to spend more time outside and I’ve been able to spend much more time on personal projects like reading and music.
Those are some of my tips for a social media detox. I’m only about half way through my one month, so i’ll be sure to update once I’ve actually completed it. Have you done a social media detox? How did you feel after? or are you planning to do a detox? Tell me everything in the comments below!
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!