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How to Have a Productive Day & a Simple Life

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An active life full of interests, people, an work is rewarding and worth living. And yet, many of us long to simplify our time. Thankfully we can have a productive day and a simple life by following a few easy guidelines.

A potted plant sitting on top of a book.

Choose Priorities

No one can do it all. No one. Choose the priorities and run with them.

Remember life sometimes chooses priorities for us. Parents of toddlers have different time limitations and priorities than non-parents or parents of teens, for example. Age, illness, jobs, school, and so much impact our desires and wishes.

Pick the things that must be done (work to pay the taxes, for example) and then decide what other priorities can be fit in the remaining time.

Use a Planner

It’s easy to dream big. The thing is no one can do it all. Using a journal, planner, or a list of some sort, helps us see how much we’re trying to do.

When we’re faced with a list and a certain number of hours, it allows us to see what’s important (what gets done) and what isn’t (those things generally get moved from today’s list to tomorrow’s and so on).

A closed journal with pen on top.

These lists help us have a productive day while simultaneously making us focus on the priorities of our choosing.

Limit Distractions

Nothing kills productivity or simple living for that matter like distractions. It’s so easy to be swayed by binge-watching streaming shows, social media, video games, and more.

There’s a place for pleasure, connection, and relaxation in our lives. The trick is not letting those things get in the way of priorities and productivity. Taking a break from social media can often be inspiring and invigorating.

Set time limits, remove apps from the phone, even set-up blockers on computers and tablets to limit time spent on distracting sites.

It seems like common sense but it can be so easy for any of us to click into Instagram for a minute and before we know it we’ve lost half an hour or more to mindless scrolling.

Find Systems

We all have things we have to do, so find systems to make those things easier. Create meal plans, find a system for housekeeping, organize bill paying, etc.

There are planners, courses, and books galore on productivity. They all work for some people. The trick is finding the system that works for you.

Reach those goals by taking some time to create and plan for a simple, successful new year with actionable steps and focus on authentic living.

There’s no right or wrong here. Every person needs to figure out what works for them personally and run with it.

Get to Work

The only way to have a productive day is actually get to work. It’s easy to dream. Those lists are only worth making if they’re tackled.

If you want to write, butt in chair and write. If you want to have homegrown tomatoes, start a garden and care for it.

Tin of gardener's salve with gloves and seeds

Do the work. Whatever that work is, do it. This doesn’t mean running ourselves to exhaustion. It means doing the work that fits into the simple life of our choosing.

Make Time for Self-Care

A car doesn’t run without fuel of some kind. Our bodies and brains are much the same way. Make time to refill the personal well.

Self-care isn’t all about getting massages or pedicures. It is about eating healthy food, finding time for rest and exercise, and doing things for enjoyment sake – not just productivity sake.

Resting by the campfire for summer self-care.

Make the care of yourself a priority and let nothing get in the way of it. This commitment to self will only make for more productive days and a deeper simple life.

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