• Kelly Tietjen

How to be Productive

Productivity is one of my most treasured adjectives. I strive to be productive every day. Some days (many days at the moment) I miss the mark. It's not easy. It requires a lot of discipline which can be hard to acquire, but the thing it requires the most - is motivation, which can be manifested in thousands of ways.

Let's first talk about all of the things I use on a daily basis in order to maintain my productivity.


There are 2 planners I use regularly. Yes, I said 2. One is my Passion Planner and the other is my Productivity Planner. I'll attach links to both below. This is my third year using the Passion Planner and I absolutely love it. It has space for me to write out everything I need to do every day and even more space just for my thoughts. It has monthly reflections where I can look back on the month before and examine how I'd like to succeed the following month. It asks me what good thing happened that week, what personal goals do I need to accomplish and what work tasks do I have to get done. Not to mention, it's also got the cutest design options. You can also get it in multiple sizes. This planner not only keeps me on track, but it's also really fun to fill out. Every Sunday I sit down with it and map out the week. Then I color code it and make it look all fancy. I'm not ashamed.

The Productivity Planner is something I've just discovered this year and I will admit, I'm having a hard time always keeping up with it, but when I do - it works wonders. The main idea of the planner is that you can do more with less. It requires you to have only 3-5 tasks per day and having the most important task be first. My first task normally centers around my blog. It's called the Pomodoro Technique and it enables you to finish the projects that you've been procrastinating on and achieve amazing things. It's really simple and super easy to use. Right now I'm trying to put my biggest task first (again usually my blog) and then have the last 4 tasks in the order of easiest to hardest. That way I accomplish more, even if I didn't get to two "big" tasks that day. I'll likely have accomplished one big and a few small, which is more realistic for my life style. If you're having a hard time just getting things done, I'd highly recommend this planner.

Google Calendar

Okay okay. I know what you're thinking. You have 2 planners AND you use Google Calendar?Why yes yes I do. Look - having a computer to do a first draft of what my week will look like works wonders for me. I color coordinate and have separate "Calendars" for Work, Fitness, Blogging, Social Engagements/Appointments and anything else I want to do - like right now I'm working a French Lesson into my calendar (Duolingo.) It just helps me paint a sketch before I put paint to paper. It also lets me view my work calendar as well, that way I can see how many meetings I have that day, which sometimes means I'll make my personal calendar lighter in order to balance it.

Habit Tracking Apps

There are 2 apps I have set up on my phone. One is called "Productive." The other is the Care Of app called "Routines." Both are pretty much set up the same way. You set reminders for every habit you want to make part of your regular routine. You do not need to be a crazy person and have both apps like me. I'm just having a hard time deciding between the two. There are plenty of other apps out there. My advice is to find one that suits your needs, is easy to use and allows for notifications. What I like about my apps is that you have to physically check them off the list within the app, and it lights up every time you complete a task which, is weirdly exhilarating.

To Do Lists That's all good and well, but how do I manifest motivation to do this?

Watch YouTube videos

I'm a huge YouTube fan. I didn't used to be. I started watching YouTube on the regular a few years ago after looking for a review of a workout program I was doing. I stumbled upon a girls page who I really liked. She had day in the life videos, morning routines, plan with me videos and the like. I never thought I'd be so interested in someone's day. Literally, I could watch someone go through the motions of their day and be so enthralled in every moment. It's odd, but also really motivating. I suggest watching YouTubers with videos on routines and productivity. They're usually short, sweet and effective in getting you fired up to live your best life.

Read Self Development Books

Self help used to be frowned up but now it's all the rage. There are countless modern self help books to choose from. If you need some suggestions - check out my post on my favorite Self Development books [here.] Like the YouTube videos I mentioned earlier, these books are huge motivators. There are a lot out there and they're all different. Some are very scientific and filled with historical facts, anecdotes and statistics. However, there are also several that are very straight forward, easy to read and laid back. Go on Amazon, or better yet once the pandemic is over go to a local bookstore. And mosey on over to that "dreaded" section. I'm dead serious when I say that many of these books have changed my life.

Listen to Podcasts/Audio Books

Ok, this is where I struggle. Not at listening to podcasts... I'm great at that. I struggle with listening to positive and uplifting podcasts. I'm a murderino at heart and often find myself totally wrapped up in true crime podcasts. I often think this is not the greatest thing for my mental health but, hey, nobody's perfect. Still, I'm working on balancing it out. Some motivational podcasts I do listen to are the Jillian Michaels show, The Power Hour and Unlocking Us (hosted by the brilliant Brene Brown.) There are countless others. I find having someone in your ear helps keep you in the zone. I like that podcasts are normally short but if you're looking for constant in ear motivation - try listening to a Self Development on books on Audible.

Well those are my best tips and tricks. I work on my productivity as much as possible. I'm not yet at every day status but, that's what I'm striving for. It took me a long time to get myself to even a weekly status. It's not easy. It's all baby steps. A little bit of effort every day. Then a little bit more and a little bit more and so on. It can be done!

I hope this was helpful! If you have any advice on how to cultivate and maintain productivity. Drop it in the comments below.

Self care. Self flare.



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