9 Ways To Have a Productive Work Day

128 comments

I recently read an article about productivity at work and I thought it would make a fun post.

Savvy Sugar reports that the average woman’s work day consists of 35% ‘productive work’.

Where does the rest go?

  • Email 20.8%
  • Looking for stuff 18.75%
  • Interruptions12.5%
  • Internet searches 13%

 

[If you ask me, email, looking for stuff, and interruptions are also work!]

I think most of us can agree that we wish there was more time in the day to get things accomplished. Here are some of my favourite tips and tricks for maximizing the work day productivity!

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1. Cross it off

Before you go to sleep, make a list of what you want to accomplish the next day, starting with the most important things first. Make sure you include easy-to-accomplish tasks too! Crossing things off a list is fun and it gives you confidence to keep going.

Making a list before sleep is also thought to help you fall asleep faster because you are able to ‘empty’ your mind. Having a good night’s sleep is also crucial for a productive morning!

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2. Make rising fun

Give yourself something to get excited about first thing in the morning so you feel eager to get out of bed. My motivation is usually spending time with Eric before he goes to work, a delicious breakfast, or even getting excited about an early morning workout. When I know the weather is nice, I pump myself up for a great run and imagine how good I will feel after. Oh, and Sketchie helps with rising…but you knew that already ;)

Other motivation: Peanut Butter and Jam Vegan Overnight Oats!

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3. Get a buzz, but don’t overdo it.

Caffeine in the form of loose leaf Japanese Sencha Green tea always makes me feel focused within seconds without that jittery feeling. Occasionally, I also like to have a cup of French press coffee in the afternoon if I need a boost, especially when doing a boring task…like entering 170 recipes into Recipage!  Oh yes, I drank a lot of coffee to complete that mission!

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4. Get the blood pumping

I’m not always successful at working out first thing in the morning, but when I do I feel my best all day long. I start my day feeling upbeat and accomplished! It helps if I pump myself up the night before, pick a few new workout songs, and also get my workout gear ready next to the bed. The easier I make it for myself to get up and go, the more likely I am to do it. I’ve never regretted a workout first thing in the morning.

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5. Plan Breaks

Most people function best when they have regular mental and physical breaks to look forward to. When I’m doing a rather boring task like entering business expenses into Excel, I like to take a 5 minute break for every 30 minutes of work. I am able to focus much better when I give myself a stimulating break.

Make your break a reward time for you! Walk around to get blood flowing, do your desk stretches!!!, hit up your favourite websites, chat with a friend (talking actually stimulates and energizes your mind!), drink some water. Breaks keep my motivation high, happiness up, and I’m able to focus on the task without my mind wandering. If I can squeak out 50 minutes of productivity for every hour, I’m a happy girl!

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6. Mid-Morning Fuel

When I workout in the morning, I typically like to have a small mid-morning snack to keep me going until lunch (which is usually around 1pm).

My fav snacks? Protein-packed hummus, crackers, and veggies or an apple and almond butter or ABU (image above).

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7. Nix the email & Twitter compulsion

Email and social media is a huge time suck for many of us (you too, Grandma!). It’s not practical to say that you shouldn’t check your email in the morning, so what works for me is scheduling a certain amount of time for email at regular intervals. I devote a certain chunk of time to email in the morning and another chunk of time to email in the afternoon. By chunking email this way, I’m able to get a lot more accomplished instead of checking it every 10 minutes and then getting distracted. I used to start my day with email, but now I like to check a couple important things off my list before I even open it.

I’ve also stopped keeping Twitter open during the day. When I take a break, I may open it and spend a few minutes on it, but for the most part I get so much more done when it’s not distracting me!

8. Turn up the Baroque!

Studies show that you are able to concentrate better, relieve stress, block out noise, and improve communication when listening to Baroque music. The key is to listen to music that doesn’t have a beat. This way, it won’t be distracting and will create white noise blocking out all other sounds (like annoying coworkers!). Don’t know where to find it? Try Grooveshark– it’s free and easy to use.

9. Find Your Prime

Figure out when you work best and then schedule your toughest tasks around that time. I am 100% without a doubt, a morning worker. I have my most productive hours between 8am and 1pm. My mind is clear, I’m able to write, and I can crank out a to do list like nobody’s business. My alertness and focus starts to dwindle by mid-afternoon, so I typically reserve my baking/cooking and photography for the afternoon and keep my writing/desk tasks for the morning.

Find out what works for you and plan your day around your body’s cycles!

 

What are your tips for a productive (I just typed ‘reproductive’, whoops!!) morning? Share below!

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{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aine @ Something to Chew Over July 6, 2011

Great tips Angela, I totally agree with you and do all of these things! The most important thing for me is to give myself a designated time for checking my emails (say every hour) instead of constantly checking them. I also respond to them immediately if I can and if I can’t I flag them to deal with at another time.

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2 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

ohhh yea, responding immediately is such a great tip. I’ve recently started doing that and it really helps cut them down.

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3 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama July 6, 2011

These are great tips. I’m a big list maker, too. There’s nothing better than crossing things off that list!

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4 Holly @ The Runny Egg July 6, 2011

I agree with your tips — for me it is all about the list. I love crossing things off and I love trying to get as much done as possible. When I don’t make a list I tend to not do anything!

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5 The Teenage Taste July 6, 2011

I always, always, always have a to-do list with me. It keeps me focused and, in a way, holds me accountable for what I have to do!

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6 Zestful Lou July 6, 2011

I like to set my clothes out the night before because it’s one less thing to worry about. I also like drinking a big, cool glass of water first thing in the morning because it wakes me up and gives me so much energy!
Lists are a must for me to have a productive day. Without a planned out direction, I will stray from any and every task

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7 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

I also love lemon water first thing in the morning…I need to start that up again!

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8 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit July 6, 2011

These are GREAT tips. I totally agree with you on Twitter + email. I love how you’ve just set 45 minutes spread through your day to check emails. My gosh, I must spend SO much time checking email.
I loved seeing the list of things you do in a day, too!

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9 Cait's Plate July 6, 2011

So many good tips. I try to live by most of what you put here (especially the crossing stuff off lists!) but I’m definitely guilty on the email/twitter front. I really need to start scheduling it like you do. Keeping up with it can suck away so many hours of your day and before you know it, you’ve only been 35% productive! ;)

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10 Erin D. July 6, 2011

Great post! I love the picture of Sketchie! What a funny expression.

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11 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

that’s his ‘you better get up and feed me’ face ;)

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12 cathy July 6, 2011

great list, angela! i always love hearing people’s productivity tips.
#1 & # 9 ring true: i make a To Do list EVERY DAY but also keep a daytimer/agenda with time blocks for the tasks on the to do list. then i check stuff off as it’s completed. very satisfying to see check marks! and i’m a 100% morning person, too!
i’m interested in trying baroque music as background music – i bet it’s soothing!

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13 Andrea @ Onion in My Hair July 6, 2011

“Looking for stuff” made me LOL!

I couldn’t help but notice the Huff Post line item on your to-do list. Can you share a little info?!

Ps – Hi Sketchie!

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14 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

I was invited to take part in the new Huff Post canada website that just launched, so I hope to be doing some articles/recipes over there soon…time willing!

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15 Andrea @ Onion in My Hair July 6, 2011

Congrats!

I love the Huff Post, hence why I asked. Be sure to post links when it’s live!

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16 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

Will do :)

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17 Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 6, 2011

Great post! I completely agree with keeping a list. As silly as it sounds, crossing off things really does make you feel accomplished. I’m also most productive in the morning. I’m a goner once the afternoon hits.

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18 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table July 6, 2011

How did you know I needed some motivation to FOCUS today? They don’t call it hump day for nothing! Ugh.

One of my fav tricks is a midday workout. Not long after lunch I start getting antsy and can’t concentrate as well, so I’ll go down to my building’s gym and do some quick weights. When I come back, I feel refreshed and refocused.

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19 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

I also love lunchtime workouts…it’s my second fav time to workout.

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20 Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing July 6, 2011

Great tips! I find that I need to utilize my mornings with the most care, because once afternoon hits, as you mentioned, the slump happens. To-do lists make such a difference — when they’re made realistically, as I learned. Ha :) My problem was always trying to squeeze in “cure cancer” and other big, tangential tasks into my day… Not very possible with everything else going on, but it felt so good to imagine myself getting my Master’s and learning to fly an airplane in one afternoon, while still taking out the trash and doing laundry! ;) Needless to say, my to-do lists have become a little shorter, and more effective.

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21 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

LOL!! Yes I get over eager too.

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22 Kath July 6, 2011

Sitting here, procrastinating my day. Thanks for the kick in the pants with this post!

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23 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

hehe :) I cant imagine you procrastinating!!

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24 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat July 6, 2011

Great post Ange!!! I also love keeping lists – when you can cross things off it feels SO good! One of my tips is to get the tasks you don’t want to do out of the way first, because after that, everything else doesn’t seem as bad! One of my problems is trying to squeeze more than I can handle into a day, but I’m slowly working on that one as I realize how absolutely freaking exhausted I am at the end of the work day. Baby steps! :)

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25 Chrissy (The New Me) July 6, 2011

These are great tips! Now I just need to follow them and actually BE productive.

I love making a list the night before and exercising first thing in the morning. I need to be better about keeping my email and Twitter stream open all day long. It’s such a hard habit to break!

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26 Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me July 6, 2011

I love grooveshark! I have it up on my computer all day! I thrive on lists too. That is the best way to stay motivated. At the end of the day when everything is done I feel like a million bucks!

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27 VeggieGirl July 6, 2011

Thanks for the suggestions! I do fine on work days, but its days off work that I find myself wondering what I did with half my day and WHY didnt I get everything I’d meant to do done! Like this long weekend- I had to make myself a list just to stay on track, and I swear I lost half a morning to getting caught in social media :( I will keep these tips in mind next weekend :)

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28 Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove July 6, 2011

I use lists all the time – not just when I’m at work. They help me stay on track. Unfortunately, I’m pretty bad about checking my email. There is always a tab in my browser with my email. I wish I could stop the compulsion but it’s also not my main focus so it could be worse.

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29 Heather (heathers dish) July 6, 2011

Oh yes I need to follow this to the ‘T’! Productivity when working from home is a hard one!

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30 Mary ( What's Cookin' with Mary) July 6, 2011

My favorite way to be more productive is making lists. There’s something about checking things off a list that makes me want to get to the next task. I love looking at a list that has everything checked off. I agre with you, making a list before bed helps me get to sleep… then I don’t feel like I have to remember everything… I can just relax and rely on my list.

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31 Kilee July 6, 2011

Angela, these are such great tips! I love the photos that you placed with them too. I agree that social media and email are time vampires. Your to-do list looks giant, but fun!

Have a great day today :)

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32 Beach Bum Beauty July 6, 2011

I need to lear how to email chunk. I am busy working away and then I get and email which distracts me. I am going to allocate time to emails in the morning and then again in the afternoon and stick to it. And as for twitter, I need to step away from my Blackberry – might hide it in the drawer or something :-)

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33 Maria July 6, 2011

Great post, Angela! I just started “training” myself to become an early morning workout person, especially since it’s light out now at 6:30am. Yes, it requires training, but it so worth it :)

I work in an office where everyone tends to get in around 9:30am. Because of this, I try to get there before anyone else, so I can ease into my day and minimize interruptions first thing. I also put up sticky notes on my monitor with my favorite quotes. They keep me inspired!

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34 Madelaine July 6, 2011

Great advice Angela! I have never thought about listening to Baroque for concentration, but I will be giving it a try later today while studying :P

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35 Ashley July 6, 2011

Great tips Ang!! I definitely find it’s hard to stay on task, especially while working at home. You’re at home, so you feel like you should be getting housework AND work done, plus walking the dogs, shopping, etc. Not easy to find a balance. Loved seeing your tips!

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36 Lindsey @ Why Just Eat July 6, 2011

I have a productive morning as long as I don’t get sucked into my laptop, reading emails and blogs, checking up on the news, searching for new recipes, updating my blog, etc. Like today!!

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37 Lauren July 6, 2011

This post will help me so much when I start my third year of college next fall! I like to organize everything by times of the day, say I’ll write a paper from 1-2:30 before taking a break or switching tasks, so I don’t get burned out, and I can keep track of things with the clock!

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38 Ashley July 6, 2011

What a great post! I am definitely bookmarking this one. The funny thing is, my entire job revolves around using social media all day– so I’m constantly trying to figure out a good way to not be distracted by the tools I have to use for being productive! It’s easy to get lost in it because it’s so fun.
Some things I do to remain productive is to give myself something to look forward to after work. Right now, I decided to start working on a second idea for a book, so I am focused on getting done with work to go and write!
I also start with caffeine in the morning– but I usually start with coffee and have tea in the middle of the day! I think just the smell of coffee helps wake me up.
I love the idea of writing your goals out before bedtime. I used to do my “to-do” list as part of my way to get better sleep, but I have also found that if I have time in the morning I also like to take the time to write out a few easily accomplished goals for the day!
The best part is crossing the stuff off! I agree, I love it:)

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39 amanda July 6, 2011

Great tips! I did have to laugh though … your list has “caffeine” as the first item, and then you go on to talk about making a list in order of importance. Finally a woman with her priorities straight – caffeine is usually first on my list too! :)

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40 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

haha glad someone noticed that :) first thing I do in the Am…

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41 Erica Vore July 6, 2011

I’m most reproductive between the hours of 7-10 pm, lol

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42 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

thats Eric too!

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43 Carly July 7, 2011

Maybe that was a Freudian slip?!? ;)

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44 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 7, 2011

hahah

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45 Cat @Breakfast to Bed July 6, 2011

I’d have to add, do NOT turn on angry birds. soooo hard not to.

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46 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

haha love angry birds, but love the fruit ninja even more!!!

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47 Karen Beth July 6, 2011

Love your ideas! I’m seriously guilty of the email trap. I have it open all day long, pretty much.

I had been getting up and going for a run / walk (alternating) and thought I was doing so great until my knees gave out. Now they hurt so badly that I can’t even go for a long walk. UGH!

I guess I’m not a runner.

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48 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

Ive struggled with knee problems too. My body can only take a certain amount of mileage each week (I thin everyone is different). proper fitting for shoes and some technique training did wonders for me.

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49 Karen Beth July 6, 2011

Well, I have scoliosis and my legs are different lengths so the pressure I put on my knees when running is worse than it might be otherwise. I might stick to powerful walking.

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50 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

Im sorry to hear that Karen! Power walking is a great workout, especially on a crisp summer morning :)

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51 Amber from Girl with the Red Hair July 6, 2011

Great tips! I have turned off my ‘notifications’ on my outlook email and on my tweetdeck account so that the little notification pop-up doesn’t distract me. I am still really bad for opening them every 10-15 minutes though so that’s something I need to work on.

I LOVE adding easy things to my to-do list and also my workouts for the day. Crossing things off lists is fun :)

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52 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

it is :) Like eating hehee

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53 Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner July 6, 2011

Lists!! I make a list of everything I have to do, and then I make a schedule. I never do one assignment for more than an hour, so even if I’m doing two back to back hours of work, it stays interesting. And breaks are definitely important!

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54 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf July 6, 2011

Wow! That’s a lot to do in one day!

I agree about music. I always focus better with music on! Though I’m not sure I agree about the lack of beat being best. I guess it doesn’t really matter to me, as long as it’s what I want to listen to at the moment. When I clean, I tend to play Christmas music. When I’m at work, I listening to whatever Top 40 I feel like. When I cook, I listen to jazz. Makes me far more focused and calm a person. :)

I also try not to over-plan my day. Just a few things to accomplish. Or at least one or two big things with a whole bunch of little, quick tasks. Also making sure I get up at a reasonable time with enough sleep is crucial. If I sleep until 11, I won’t get anything done, but if I get up before 8, I’m draggy all day, regardless of what time I went to bed.

I also split up my day. I take care of stuff out of the house in the morning, take care of stuff in the house in the afternon, and leave evenings free to do whatever strikes my fancy.

At least, this is ideally in a perfect world where I don’t have to work in an office all frickin’ day. So I just described my rare and random weekdays off work.

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55 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

im guilty of over planning…need to be more realistic sometimes!

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56 Emily Malone July 6, 2011

Just realized I am sitting here reading blogs and totally ignoring the list I made 20 minutes ago. Thanks for the reminder! :) I am also most productive in the mornings. I love when my house, is quiet, my email isn’t blowing up quite yet, and my dogs have gone back to bed. So peaceful!

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57 Hayley @ Oat Couture July 6, 2011

I definitely do lists but i’m gonna try the baroque and see if that helps! I have the concentration of a nat! I also make sure to glug a pint of water as soon as I open my eyes and I also drink hot water with lemon every morning… I definitely feel more awake when doing these two things.

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58 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

mm love hot water and lemon!

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59 Kristin @ Wounded Fawn July 6, 2011

I sometimes work a night job and day job and last night I had to work but I was trying to squeeze in a 2 hour nap before my day job and morning appointment but I locked the cats out of the bedroom because they always wonder why I am still sleeping when there is sunlight and tap my head with their paws to wake me up.

But then I slept through my alarm for an hour, missed my morning appointment and had to move everything in my day around. I will never lock the cats out again! They know their job and they do it well!

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60 birdie to be July 6, 2011

I am such a list person too… hand written, iphone notes… anything! Great post

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61 Lauren July 6, 2011

I would imagine it’s even harder when you work at home or for yourself. I know I have a hard time staying focused even though I work in a corporate office and have people breathing down my back constantly. We are moving soon and I will be working from home and although I’m extremely excited, I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m a little nervous about making sure my work and productivity habits are efficient.

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62 Mama Pea July 6, 2011

My distractions take up about 85% of my time. But they are the two cutest distractions I’ve ever seen!

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63 Carissa July 6, 2011

I would love for my work day to look like yours. Do you need an assistant? I’m in a rut right now and feel antsy and ready to work more on my own. I need to do something I’m passionate about, like something involving food!

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64 Christina July 6, 2011

I’m definitely more of a morning person than an evening person. It’s weird because I don’t really like gettng up super early but once I’m up I always feel energized to “get’er done!” Once I come home from work I cook dinner, clean up and rarely can muster up much energy to do a ton of tasks. I never thought to schedule stuff to get done early rather than later. I usually try to do it later since I’m home from work but I really need to make a conscious effort to get some tasks done in the morning.

Great post Angela!

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65 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

im the same way Christina! After dinner we go on a light walk usually around 8pm (20-30 mins) then i veg for the night. I need that downtime at night.

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66 Britta July 6, 2011

Thank you for reminding me that I really do need to make lists to get things accomplished! I look forward to reading your blog!

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67 Heather July 6, 2011

I love making lists….sometimes I think I spend too much time making them:)

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68 Amber K July 6, 2011

Dealing with things as soon as possible helps me keep clutter down. When I’m dealing with mail or e-mail I decide right then if I need to deal with it now, or put it in my stack to deal with later always with a specific time in mind of when to deal with it. Makes going through things much faster and more efficient.

The only one I can’t agree with is caffeinating, because my own body can’t handle the stuff. I HAVE to get my sleep in, because there is no caffeine help for me!

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69 Sonia (the Mexigarian) July 6, 2011

crossed off lists make me happy :) i am still a cluttered person, but lists help give me some semblance of organization. great tips. thanks.

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70 Jackie @ That Deep Breath July 6, 2011

I completely agree, crossing off items on a list is HUGE!! I always make lists and that is definitely my way of staying organized and reduces anxiety about forgetting things.

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71 Lauri (RedHeadRecipes.com) July 6, 2011

I totally get sucked into my Google Reader during the day (Case in point… I probably shouldn;t be writing this comment right now…) I usually feel better during the day whenever I work out first thing and I listen to Pandora or Slacker radio while I’m at work (It gets WAY to quiet in my office). I enjoy listenign to Oldies and 90’s country (Should I admit that ;) )

making lists are SO helpful! And I LOVE the feeling of accomplishment once things start to get crossed off! Maybe I should make a ‘to do’ list RIGHT now…

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72 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

hmm must google slacker radio!

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73 Aja July 6, 2011

Those are great tips. I love the idea of making a list. I love lists.

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74 Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats July 6, 2011

Great tips! I love making a list of what I need to do the night before! It helps me sleep easier because my mind isn’t racing about all of the things I need to get done. Working out first thing in the morning is also key for me!

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75 Misty July 6, 2011

Angela,
I am going to say this as gently as possible…..
is it just me? or is Sketchie’s head shrinking? lol

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76 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

LOL! I sure hope not.

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77 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 6, 2011

I love your tips and suggestions. I never really got on board hugely with twitter b/c it’s just one more time suck.

Mu #1 timesuck is my googlereader. I love all my blogging friends, I love everyone’s blogs and want to keep up with and comment (so much more efficient to read in stealth! but I want my friends to know, yes, I saw this and am here reading) so keeping up with sooo many blogs is a HUGE timesuck! That’s my #1 thing that’s unproductive. But in some ways, it IS productive. Depends on how you look at it I guess :)

Also the article does not mention the woman’s work of running a household, grocery shopping, food and meal prep, and child rearing. As much as we’d all like to say it’s 50/50 out there, it’s NOT! In my house, it’s more like 95/5. Women are superwomen for a reason :)

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78 Hannah (Balancing on Two Feet) July 6, 2011

I am a huge list fan! I make a bit list each day of what I need to accomplish: to do, email, phone calls, meetings. This all helps so much as I am trying to establish a yoga non-profit!

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79 Becky July 6, 2011

Angela – Do you have any advice for me on how to squeeze exercise into my day? I feel like mornings are my only option, but I already get up at 5:00 a.m. just to start my regular day (5-6AM getting ready and eating a leisurely breakfast, 6-7AM getting the kids to wake up and get dressed, 7-8AM get the kids to daycare and myself to work). I have an hour for lunch, but I work in a small office without workout facilities and I don’t feel like I can come back to work in the afternoon all sweaty and stinky, anyway. 5-7PM leave work, pick up the kids, fix and eat dinner for family. 7-8:30PM spend time with kids and husband then put kids to bed. 8:30-9:30PM spend time with husband and both keep putting the kids back to bed. 9:30-10:00PM maybe read if I’m not tired, but otherwise go to bed.

This turned into a long, boring post – sorry! The thing is, I know people who are twice as busy as I am and still manage to exercise – but I don’t know how they do it!

Maybe I just need to start getting up at 4:00AM – shudder!

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80 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2011

Hi Becky! I can’t really say what is going to be best for you personally, but I know when I was commuting 3 hours a day I had to workout first thing very early in the morning or it would never happen since I didn’t get home until around 8pm. Once it becomes a habit, it gets easier. After a while it was like brushing teeth for me (aka: still annoying but a habit). I also try to shave time where I can. For example, if it used to take me 60 mins to get myself ready for work, I would figure a way to do it in half the time, so I’d have that extra time for exercise. I also used to eat breakfast in the car or at work (bad I know! but it was my only option at the time). It also helps if you can workout outdoors (this will save time commuting to a gym). Hope this helps :)

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81 Becky July 7, 2011

That is helpful; thanks. I’ve thought about eating breakfast and/or lunch at my desk in order to give myself more time for exercise – I may have to give that a try.

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82 Pure2raw Twins July 6, 2011

Great tips! I am a person who loves to-do list and being able to check things off! I do need to get better at setting up time to get certain things done, like emails and than stop and go do some more tasks instead of getting caught up in emails all day long. Thanks for the tips!

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83 Sarah @ veggie-kids.blogspot.com/ July 6, 2011

What a great post! You seem so ultra-organized with your list that gets crossed off…I need to get on board with that one!! Being that I’m a stay-at-home mom and work from home too I need to utilize all of your great tips.
Thanks!

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84 Roz July 6, 2011

Great tips, thanks for sharing! Love the photo of the grandma at the laptop, and of course, Sketchie! Have a great day.

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85 Ann @ Running With Chopstix July 6, 2011

Haha reproductive morning. Freudian slip? :) Lists are always a great idea and I recently got a French press so I’m loving a cup of it in the mornings!

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86 Leah (The Kind Weight Watcher) July 6, 2011

Boy do I need this…

Guess where I’m at right now, as I type a comment on my favorite blog?

WORK!!!

I need to actually accomplish something work-related today, thanks for the reminder.

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87 Laura July 6, 2011

Great tips! I love makeing lists, and checking them off at the end of the day. :)

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88 Eat Hike Sleep Repeat July 6, 2011

Planning breaks. Great tip. I work at home, and some people think I would get too distracted by “house” stuff. Instead, 6 hrs can fly by and I haven’t really left my desk. So bad!

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89 Jessica July 6, 2011

Great tips! Whenever I am doing a boring or static task, I always take a break after 30 minutes, such as when reading. I often find myself checking my e-mail almost every hour if not twice during one! I am going to try to set a morning and afternoon time now! Definitely something that I find helpful is knowing how my morning routine is going to be, kind of like the way you created a list for yourself. That way I am not rushing around like a chicken without its head! lol

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90 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance July 6, 2011

All of these are completely true! I used to work in a law firm and would get soo distracted by internet browsing (cough, your blog, cough) and checking emails. As soon as I started incorporating scheduled breaks into my day, my productivity skyrocketed!
Thanks for the great advice ;)

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91 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes July 6, 2011

These were great! I always fall into the facebook/twitter trap. That Baroque music tip is what I totally do. It helps me focus and calms me at the same time. Amazing snacks and breaks help to of course :)

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92 kaila @ healthy helper! July 6, 2011

I NEEDED THIS! Thank you SO much! Since its summer….I have been So unproductive lately….when schools out it becomes way to easy to just relax all day. But I really have a lot to get done! I am book marking this right now!

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93 Annette @ EnjoyYOURHealthyLife July 6, 2011

I am ALL about making lists and checking things off. Plus getting my sweat on in the A.M.!!

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94 Moni'sMeals July 6, 2011

I love this. I wish I were more of an organizer, cross-off-the-list=type. Honestly, I just go for it and go with the flow. I must remember to breathe though, often that is not happening on the fly. :)

Great tips and I can certainly bring this to my crazy days!

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95 Meg July 6, 2011

I am a big list gal. I also like to plan out my workouts or I won’t go. I think I rely on workout partners and if they bail, I bail. I need to get better at this. I guess I need something in the morning to look forward too before my workout to get me in the mode. I have been extra lazy lately. Any suggestions if your significant other does not exercise at the gym or at my local yoga studio to keep the motivation? He goes home after work and then I want to go home. I also have to cook dinner too so I hate to get home too late. He is also still sleeping when I get up for morning workouts so it makes it hard for me to get up. Yikes, this may be a mental thing.

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96 Rebecca July 6, 2011

Great tips! Like you I’m most productive in the morning and after lunch I tend to crash. I am obsessed with lists, I start one in the evening and then work on it more over breakfast or as more ideas come to mind. I love the days too that you have to make a second list because the first ones already done!

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97 Ally July 6, 2011

I LOVE that you included the use of music in your tips! It can be a very helpful tool. I am a music therapist (we’re all about the psychology of music) and I would add that the research suggests there isn’t really a better ‘type’ of music for relaxation, concentration, etc, but rather it is all about what the individual prefers (although some music does create adverse physiological reactions to relaxation i.e. increased arousal/increased heart rate, etc). Also, attention to task/music studies show the positive effects of music when the stimulus has been a part of the task all along. For example, a teacher turning on Mozart during a test to help kids concentrate would not be helpful if the kids had not been using this technique all along. And, Baroque music definitely has a beat. It is probably synonymous with concentration/stress relief because there are typically no giant leaps in dynamics/tempo, it is ‘square’, versus music from the Romantic/early 20th period (Mahler, Wagner, etc) that is generally more programmatic and the composer is consciously attempting to evoke a specific emotion from the listener. Baroque music is (purposefully) predictable and the listener can anticipate what will happen next harmonically.

Okay, this officially has to be the nerdiest comment ever posted on your blog…:)

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98 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 7, 2011

hehe love it!

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99 Carey @ Positively Blonde July 6, 2011

These are great tips! I’m going to begin working from home very soon and I’m sure I will find these to be very useful!! Thanks :)

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100 Annie@stronghealthyfit July 6, 2011

Love your tips- so motivating to hear about how you work! I love making lists and work well in the morning, too. I don’t know if I could be so disciplined with email, Twitter, etc. though!

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101 Kathy July 6, 2011

Totally agree!
My times would have to be between 6 am – 9.5 am. That’s probably because I’m still tired & my body doesn’t exactly care what I do. In the afternoons I keep telling myself, it’s only 5pm, I’ll exercise at 6pm. Then when it hits 6, I say ‘I’ll exercise at 7’ and so forth. Exercising in the morning really makes me happy & feel like as if I’ve accomplished something.

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102 Molly @ RDexposed July 6, 2011

My type A personality loves check lists (and grocery lists and packing lists and running songs to download lists…)!!

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103 Meredith (Pursuing Balance: Diary of a Dietetic Intern) July 6, 2011

this is great! another good tip i learned is to plan for interruptions. oftentimes at work, we get distracted by things that suddenly come up that need to be taken care of, even though they weren’t originally on our list — it might be a phone call or someone stopping by the office, or a task such as creating a pamphlet that is suddenly due asap. by planning to fill up only ~80-90% of your workday, you’ll have time spared for those additional tasks that come up (adjust based on how many interruptions you deal with! i heard at a call center, they have to plan for their day to be ~80% interruptions and only 20% planned work!).

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104 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 7, 2011

Yes! I actually had an idea yesterday to add a couple ‘blank lines’ on my to do list. Then when things pop up I can fill them in :)

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105 Kait July 6, 2011

Thinking back on my day today…the breakdown of time left me laughing very loudly! This is SO true!

I think I’m going to start scheduling work e-mail time. I’ve done this with Facebook, personal e-mail, and my business e-mail along with my blogs (2 at lunch and the rest in the afternoon, mostly because my place of employment blocks my sex ed blogs and I like saving yours for the end of the day) but work e-mail I check obsessively since at any time something SO SUPER DUPER LIFE CHANGING important could come up.

Catch my sarcasm?!

Thanks for a great post!

:)

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106 Fit Chick Britt July 6, 2011

I prob needed to hear this BEFORE I left for work this morning. I could definitely stand to be more productive during the day. I’ve never heard of baroque. Maybe I’ll check it out.

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107 Brooke July 6, 2011

I really need to work on making lists…

Brooke Annessa
http://www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

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108 Em Marie July 6, 2011

Thanks for sharing! I’m definitely a list maker. I like the sense of accomplishment crossing things off! I try to get as much done before work. Then I can look forward to having my evenings free and I’ll usually be less distracted at work. But I HAVE to have a piece of paper and a pen within arms reach or I feel lost! I’m always thinking of things to check out or do!

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109 Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine July 6, 2011

I love to-do lists! Maybe even a little bit too much, considering the fact that I wrote “make tomorrow’s to-do list” on today’s to-do list.

Confessions of a Type A girl… ;)

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110 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food July 6, 2011

This is such a great and helpful post! It’s really easy for me to get distracted at work, especially with the email and Twitter obsession! I find that making a list and getting big things out of the way first is the way to go for me. I like the feeling of getting those things out of the way first and gives me the motivation to tackle the little ones.

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111 Amber @ Chicken and Chocolate July 6, 2011

Perfectly timed post! I actually had to remind myself to get up, walk around, and stretch today at work and I felt so much better than yesterday! I just started a new job so the last two days have been spent sitting in front of a computer doing training. I was exhausted and achy yesterday after work, so today I made it a point to take breaks at least every hour to get my blood flowing again and rest my eyes. :)

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112 Andrea July 6, 2011

I must be in the minority because I hate lists, but I love post it notes. I randomly write down things to do that day or that week, stick them on the wall, then organize them by importance or like things. The best part is when that single item is done I get to take it down like a reward! I always admire list makers, married to one! I also prefer charts with boxes. I find when I make a list I forget where I put it then come back exhausted from “working” only to find I didn’t do any thing on the list but a whole bunch more, that is when I write those items down then cross them off :)

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113 Kim July 6, 2011

Was the increased coffee consumption recently? Wondering if link there to increased anxiety. I was struggling with anxiety a couple of months ago. Cut out caffeine (2 cups coffee in morning was all I drank) and bam! Waaay reduced anxiety. Mind you, it was like I was kicking heroin with the detox symptoms, but way better than anxiety. Best wishes on your journey to be anxiety free!

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114 Emma July 7, 2011

Ooh I love the make to do list before bed one. I always go to sleep with my whole day and my plans for the next one replaying over and over in my head!!

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115 Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes July 7, 2011

I think having a to do list is a great way to be productive, also crossing things off a list is always so satisfying! :)

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116 Shay July 7, 2011

Have you ever tried mate tea? I’ve been eyeing it recently. It looks intriguing! It’s supposed to have the same stimulating feeling of caffeine without jitters and without the addictiveness of coffee. I’ve never tried sencha either, so that is going on my list as well!

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117 Tichina July 7, 2011

Great tips! I’m going to try and put all of these into action today! Startinggggg…. now! :)

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118 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn July 7, 2011

I need to start making to-do lists again!!! I love these tips. I realllly need to work on my computer addiction! Aka, my TwitterAddiction. Hahaha thanks for the reminder girl ;)

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119 Therese July 7, 2011

Seeing as tomorrow is the close of my second week of working from home I’ve been quickly figuring out what works and what doesn’t for me. I downloaded an app for my computer, the free version of “Time Out” and set it up to completely grey out my computer for breaks. Every ten minutes it greys out for 15 seconds to force me to give myself a quick stretch and turn my eyes away from the screen. Every 50 minutes, it greys out my screen for ten minutes and I force myself to actually stand up, walk around and get away from the computer completely. It sends me a loud foghorn sound to get back to work!

I’m also a HUGE list checker and make my to-do tasks every single day and just work to check it off. I also stopped checking email and social media sites, sticking to doing it just once a day.

Speaking of which, I still have some stuff to finish up!

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120 Tanya July 7, 2011

Good tips!! Except for the Baroque music part :) I don’t really consider that “white noise”. As a musician, if I’m listening to classical music of any period, I pay a lot of attention to it. So I’ll have to pick something else…..maybe an actual white noise machine??

I definitely have to close my windows on my computer. I always have FB and Twitter, and lots of other things, always open. I suppose if I close them after checking them in the morning, I might be able to get more done…but I’m so sucked into my computer!!

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121 Christine July 8, 2011

I love your blog more and more every day – it’s the one I save for last to read because it’s the best! Yesterday I saw the picture of the pb&j voo and thought about it all day and night. I made the oats this morning and waited what seemed like FOREVER. Then I made the cherry jam (I used dates to sweeten) and the peanut butter banana soft serve (*why* haven’t I tried this sooner?). I actually bothered to layer in a glass and I’m glad I did because I got a little of each layer in every bite. This is hands-down my favorite oat breakfast ever and I can’t wait to make it again tomorrow! Thanks for sharing! :-)

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122 Orla July 8, 2011

I am a firm believer in putting things like Shower, Eat Breakfast, Dry Hair on my lists. I know they will get done anyway but it gets my mind into a state of enjoying acomplishment and makes me want to cross off all the things. With work I also allocate a time frame for each project with the longest I stick at one project being 45 minutes. I set a timer and if I have not yet completed the task, I take a water break, stretch and allocate some more time. The timer forces me to take breaks. I work in my own office so having a beeping timer isn’t an issue but people could use a screen flash reminder. i *heart* lists.

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123 Tara @ Sweat like a Pig July 9, 2011

I think writing lists have their purpose, but they can also chew up too much time. For example, do you really need to write shower and eat breakfast on there? I’m sure you wouldn’t forget to do things like that!
Unfortunately, I’m a journalist that works off wires so I need to be constantly logged in to my email. If I check blogs during the day I can waste so much time though without even realising it!

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124 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 9, 2011

I don’t normally write shower and breakfast on a to do list. It was simply there to show what my morning looked like, that’s all. :)

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125 Sophie July 9, 2011

This is a great post, I’m definitely going to being using some of your tips in the future, I really want to start getting workouts in in the morning!
In case you’re wondering who I am :-P I’ve been reading for a while but have never commented before and now seeing how I have my own blog I thought I’d join in the fun :-)
Your blog is fantastic!

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126 Emily July 9, 2011

Awesome tips! Thanks! I am working from home three days a week this summer and I am struggling staying focused without the possibility of someone walking by and seeing me totally unfocused!!!

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127 Jessi @ Quirky Cookery July 27, 2011

I know the idea behind having music without a beat and how it’s great white noise….but I find it doesn’t help me much. I end up feeling sleepy or it gets on my nerves, whereas something with a good beat might be a little more distracting, but it pumps me up and motivates me to get things done faster/better.

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128 Mary September 25, 2015

Thank you for these tips, I will use them for sure! One more thing I would like to add is concerning schedule and to-do lists. I don’t like to-do lists but I have to keep all tasks to do in one place. That’s why I tried a lot of list apps, and the most affective for me was https://casual.pm/. It allows to create a visual map of the tasks and track the progress online. Hope, you will like it!

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