blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: Productivity Hacks

October 3, 2018

Productivity Hacks

Now more than ever I need help when it comes to getting time to getting to my never-ending to-do list. But when I am blessed with that time (and trust me it feels like a blessing), I was having a hard time actually using that time to be productive and start tackling the things on my list! These are some hacks that have been GAME CHANGERS in terms of increasing my productivity and I hope they can help you too! None of them are novel ideas, they're all pretty much variations of things I've done in the past, but it's amazing how little shifts can increase productivity!

  • Lists lists and lists (but not *too* many) - lists keep everything accounted for so I don't have to remember so much off the top of my head. I use these daily pages for my daily to-do list and jotting down times/appointments/meetings on the right side. They are thick pages and the best quality I've found - my favorite. The back is a grid layout "braindump" that is perfect for random notes (I find my mind needs that empty space to right things out that may not fit any place particularly *yet*). 
  • Use alarms. I'm embarrassed to show you my alarms on my phone. So I'm not lol. But I have at least 30 alarms in there. While my mind (and sanity) need everything written out as above, once I actually get my day going, it's rare that I actually have time to reference the sheet! Anyone else have that problem? So one thing I do (particularly for things that should be done by a certain time), is set alarms for my to-dos. So I'll set an alarm at 9am to send an email, an alarm at 11:55am that I have a conference call at noon, an alarm at 5:20pm to get ready to leave to get the girls -you get the idea! It might seem crazy but when you get to a certain level of busy this trick is a LIFESAVER. 
  • Set a timer. When I actually have an hour or two (or even a rare whole afternoon) of free time, this is when this hack becomes critical for me. If you guys have read my productivity posts before then you know this is nothing new (based off of the Pomodoro technique)! What is new though is the app I use that helps me organize things even more. I recently started using the BeFocused app (not gonna lie picked it because I loved the colors) but thankfully it's also proven to be a very powerful little timer app (even if you don't pay for the upgraded version - I use the free version and the ads aren't too bothersome at the bottom). With this app I can set my designated time to work (small chunks are how I get to work) - so I set it for 15 minutes and GET TO WORK! A few things about this app that I really like that take it above my usual timer I was using on my phone
    • Break up a large task (like "make powerpoint presentation" - which is a huge task) into many small, identifiable steps. In the pic below you can see the start of my presentation, which I broke down into multiple tasks that you can list in the app. This makes even the most daunting to-do's feel manageable (after all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple step).
    • Built in chronometer with sound. You guys may remember I love white noise (and this is still my favorite study/productivity "music"). But nothing says "get your a** to work" like a ticking timer. This might be too stressful for some, but for me sometimes when I'm really having a hard time I put this feature on and it really turns on my productivity! 

  • The right soundtrack. I mentioned the chronometer above for when I really need to light a match! But my usual preference is white noise (there are plenty of apps and playlists and youtube videos with tons of options for white noise). When it's break time, I switch to something motivating and upbeat and very likely inappropriate for work (think Two Chainz, Pitbull, and the likes). This always keeps me going! Get asked about my bluetooth headphones all the time, these are the ones I use (and that are photo'd above). 
  • Snacks and staying hydrated. This one gets forgotten easily, but never underestimate the power of staying fueled! I like to remember to drink water (this is the stainless steel water bottle I usually have with me) and have high protein snacks within reach - protein bars (these are my favorite), P3 packs (recently did a collaboration with them and I'm even more in love), and my chia pudding/overnight oats (mentioned the recipe in this post)!

I hope these tips helped!!!


  1. Thank you Laura, very useful post.

  2. Hi Laura,
    It's so fun to see that you are using Happy Planner stuff! I just discovered their products a year ago when I started an event planning job and was losing my mind trying to keep track of all the things!

    I've enjoyed following your journey over the years :)


  3. Aren't FIGS the best scrubs ever... I love the grey! I think I've purchased literally every color they have available :)


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