Style

The Constant Struggle to Stay Productive

This is going to be my first “lifestyle”-esque post and I’m pretty excited/nervous about writing it. I love reading lifestyle blogs and am always amazed by the content and how easy it seems to come for some people. The topic I am going to be tackling with my first lifestyle post is productivity. To be more exact, how I manage to be productive in my crazy busy life.

I am currently a full time graduate student working on my Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Cincinnati. I am also a part-time pharmacy intern at Walgreens. So from being on rotations for 40 hours a week, working about 20 hours a week, it would seem as if I wouldn’t have enough time to do anything “fun” or anything that’s actually considered down time. The reason that I am actually able to balance the busy schedule and still get to go out, practice my hobby aka this whole blogging thing and have some time to relax is because after years of juggling all this, I have developed my own ways to stay productive and to manage time efficiently. If I wasn’t able to do those things, I would simply be miserable because I would feel like my life just consists of school and work.

So here are some ways I manage to keep my productivity at its highest:

  1. To-Do Lists – I make to do lists every single day. I don’t just make one daily to do list, I make several. I usually have a weekly to do list going aka all the tasks I hope to get done that week, a list of my daily tasks I want to accomplish as well as many others throughout the day. During school I used to have a “school” to do list and a “life” to do list and the life one was just simple things like sort laundry, grocery shopping, work out, etc. and the school list had all my assignments and work that had to be done for school. Now that I’m on rotations, I have a little less “school” tasks to do and therefore I’ve stopped making a separate to do list for school and started just incorporating the tasks that need to be done for rotations into my daily to do list instead. I used to get very discouraged if I didn’t get everything done on my to do list but then I realized that some of the things I’m writing just aren’t that vital to get done and if I don’t get them done that day, it’s not a big deal. For example, I always have little things like nails, hair, face mask, etc. written down on my lists and sometimes a few extra minutes of sleep > doing my nails or fixing my hair ( that’s why we have dry shampoo).
  2. Optimize the Apps on your phone – I am a big user of the reminders app on my phone. I always have a little list going on there for random things to help me remember. If I randomly get a gift idea for someone and all I have on me is my phone, the gift idea goes into the reminders app. I even write down songs to download and websites to check out. I have a list going for beauty items I want to buy and have that list to access always whenever I walk into Sephora or Ulta to remind me of things I wanted to get. Very convenient.
  3. Planners – I am a big believer that everyone needs to have a planner. Mine is the kind that has a full lay out of the month that you can fill out as well as the weekly pages as well. I am constantly looking at my planner to figure out what days I work and when I need to turn certain things in, etc. One thing I always have to back up my planner is my calendar on my phone. All my work schedule is always in there and the planner so that I can compare the two and make sure I’m not missing anything since my schedule at work changes weekly. My planner even has my workouts written out so that I can figure out things such as when the last time I did cardio was and that I should probably do that next, etc. I also think planners are a great gift idea for the holidays for people who have busy lives or any student because they help immensely with keeping things in order. There are so many cute planners out there now that have so many cool features. I personally don’t like spending too much money on planners (you’ll never see me spend $50 on one) but I do still like to get ones that have a pretty cover. Amazon and Etsy are my two favorite places to look for planners. They have so many options and so many cute designs.
  • If you haven’t heard of it, there is also what’s called a Productivity Planner which was developed by Mimi and Alex Ikonn ( if you don’t know who they are, they are YouTubers and owners of Luxy Hair and I am a huge fan of their travel and lifestyle videos) and this planner helps you organize your to-do list by what is most important and helps guide your day of how to be more productive. I don’t personally own one, but I am considering getting this for next year.
  1. Calendars- On top of having a planner, to do lists and using the apps on my phone, I absolutely have to have a calendar hanging in front of my desk so that I can see the monthly overview of what I have coming up. My calendar is not as filled out as my planner. I save it for things such as birthdays, work schedule, pay day and special events or occasions but it definitely is nice to just look up and see what you have going on if someone is calling you or asking you to make plans when you have a calendar hanging in your room. I also tend to get calendars of different countries that I plan to travel to and use them as inspiration. I currently have a calendar of the Greek Isles hanging in my bedroom and am looking to get a Thailand 2017 calendar in preparation of my honeymoon (fingers crossed they actually sell those somewhere).

 

Well, there you have it. These are simple tips and I’m sure a lot of people already tend to use a lot of the things mentioned above but it never hurts to share your way of doing things and getting some feedback from others. I would love to hear from anyone that uses productivity apps on their phones and which ones are worth getting. I am always looking to increase my productivity and will take any ideas!

Thank you for reading and I hope everyone has a great rest of their week 🙂

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