6 Ways To Be Productive (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It)

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Have you ever woken up in the morning and just did not feel like being productive that day?

Maybe it’s gloomy and rainy outside, or the day before was exhausting. Whatever the reason, you wake up and feel like doing absolutely nothing.

I get it. I totally do. In fact, I started this week like that. On Monday morning, I woke up to grey skies and pouring rain and all my motivation to have a productive day was completely gone.

I’m a huge advocate of productivity and organizing your life so you have more time to live. I’ve written blog posts about how to have productive mornings and ways to incorporate healthy habits into your every day life. Yet sometimes, I don’t have the energy to do any of that.

And you know what? That’s okay. That’s normal. We don’t have to go, go, go all the time, and not every day has to be extremely productive. Sometimes the day goes by a little slower than normal.

That’s okay. Sometimes it takes just a little push to get going. Here are a few ways to stay productive on those types of days, and the best part is, these things don’t take a lot of effort at all.

{ONE} Write a to-do list.

Even if you aren’t feeling your best, write down the things that need to get done. Even it’s as simple as “make the bed,” write it down. Checking off to-dos makes you feel accomplished, and even if you don’t complete the entire list, at list it’s written down for tomorrow!

{TWO} Listen to a podcast.

One of my “productive hacks” is listening to a podcast while I do other things like get ready for the day, brush my teeth, and pack my lunch. It’s a great way to gain information without overloading your brain. If you want to take it a step farther, listen to an audiobook instead.

{THREE} Read for at least 5-10 minutes.

I am a huge reader. I’ve gone through phases when I rarely read, but this year I’ve made it a goal to read every day. People say, “I don’t have time to read. I’m so busy!” But really, it’s the simple act of creating a habit that people don’t want to commit to. On slow days when I just do not feel like being productive at all, I still read even if it’s just 5-10 minutes. It doesn’t take very long but you still accomplish something, no matter how small!

{FOUR} Tidy up.

While you may not feel like deep-cleaning the house, that doesn’t mean it should go untouched. Tidy up instead. Fold the blankets and make the bed. Put the dishes in the dishwasher. Throw away the junk mail. Creating a clean space can help ease your mind. Seeing the house slowly transform into a tidy space improves your mindset and makes you feel productive.

{FIVE} Always leave the room with something.

Similarly, whenever you leave a room, bring something with you. Is there a cup in the living room? When you leave the room, bring it with you to the kitchen. Are there shoes in the kitchen? Bring it with you to the bedroom. Without too much effort, you clean the house one room at a time.

{SIX} Add little exercises throughout the day.

You may not feel like going to the gym and running for miles, but that doesn’t mean you should not move at all. Add little exercises throughout the day instead. Do squats as you brush your teeth. March in place as you wait for the microwave. Walk up and down the steps for 5 minutes straight. Moving your body, even if it’s only for a little bit, does wonders for your health and your mindset.

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Monthly Roundup: April Favorites

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Apparently April was a month of entertainment.

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been in a massive spring cleaning mood. While I’m not going to put “Spring Cleaning” on my favorites list, it definitely was a theme for April.

April is also a busy month work-wise so when I head home, I try not to spend time aimlessly scrolling on my phone and staring at yet another screen. I think that’s why I’m currently ahead of schedule for my yearly reading goal (18/35). I found myself choosing to sit down to read or listen to a podcast or audiobook in the evenings.

{ONE} The Nightingale 

The month started with a quick trip to Florida so I packed The Nightingale because I heard good things about it. Oh my goodness, it was amazing. A definite must-read for those interested in World War 2. I couldn’t put it down and although it has over 600 pages, I read it quickly. Highly recommend.

{TWO} I Am Malala

I’m a little late to the party with this one. I Am Malala definitely had its moment a few years back but I finally decided to read it this month. I was captivated by her story and inspired by her courage and determination.

{THREE} Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion

I am not a die-hard football fan but I do love a good underdog story. When the Eagles won the Super Bowl, it was definitely a moment to remember. The team’s first Super Bowl win, an unstoppable season, and a coach with a unique sense of leadership. I enjoyed reading Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion, written by Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. I loved understanding his point of view and thought process about the Big Game and beyond.

{FOUR} Michael Jackson Experience

I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan. I listened to his music growing up and couldn’t go into a college exam or give a presentation without first listening to Smooth Criminal. True story, ask anyone. For my birthday, my mom bought us tickets to see a Michael Jackson Experience concert, where a group of performers danced MJ’s infamous moves and recreated iconic concerts from over the years. It was truly an incredible experience and I’m glad my mom and I went together!

{FIVE} Shazam

I didn’t know what to expect when entering the theatre to watch Shazam. I avoided reviews but heard through the grapevine (aka my brothers) that it was a great superhero movie. They were right! I loved it!

{SIX} Captain Marvel

We’re huge Avenger fans over at the Papili household. Before seeing End Game (hopefully soon!) we needed to watch Captain Marvel first. Now we’re ready (although I don’t know if I’m emotionally prepared for whatever’s about to go down).

11 Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life Right Now

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Spring cleaning season is officially in bloom.

A lot of people focus on ways to declutter your physical life and space, including ways to organize your desk, clean out your closet, and choose only items that “spark joy.”

However, although our physical lives (and spaces) get much-needed makeovers, our digital spaces – including our phones and laptops – go completely missed. But if you’re anything like me, an organized laptop and clutter-free phone would do wonders for my sanity. I mean, wonders.

So if you want to dive deep into your digital life and execute a thorough declutter, look no farther. Here are 11 ways to declutter your digital life right now.

{ONE} Apps

Chances are you aren’t using half of the apps on your phone, let alone all of them. Take a moment to go through and delete the ones you haven’t used. You can even go into your phone settings and see how much space each app takes if you’re not sure which ones to remove!

{TWO} Photos

Selfies and screenshots galore! I was shocked how many photos were actually hiding on my phone, let alone laptop. It takes a bit of time, but deleting unwanted photos is worthwhile, trust me. Make sure to go into your “Recently Deleted” folder on your phone and delete them there, too!

{THREE} Notes

Ever write a grocery list in a note on your phone? Chances are, you don’t need it anymore. Go through your phone notes and delete the ones that are unnecessary.

{FOUR} Podcasts

This is a newer discovery for me. I didn’t realize the podcast episodes I listen to automatically go into the iCloud. There were dozens of podcast episodes taking up precious storage that I didn’t need to keep. Removing the episodes doesn’t unsubscribe you from the podcast so no need to fear!

{FIVE} Notifications

This is a mental decluttering hack, as well as, a productivity tip: Turn off the “non-essential” notifications on your phone. It’s insane how we constantly get bombarded with notifications: news, social media, emails…just to name a few. I turned off the “non-essential” notifications and it truly makes all the difference.

{SIX} Social media accounts

How many “friends” are actually your friends in real life on social media? Take a moment to purge your social media accounts. A few ways to do this: unfollow accounts that bring you down (whether mentally or emotionally), unfriend people you no longer communicate with, and/or completely delete social media apps you no longer use.

{SEVEN} Emails

I’m not sure about you, but my email inbox can quickly spiral out of control. A few ways to minimize the clutter and regain your sanity: unsubscribe from unwanted senders (promotions, brands, email lists), create folders to organize the important stuff, and delete everything you do not need. This sounds simple but for some reason, it’s a difficult habit to enable at first. It’s worth it, though!

{EIGHT} Files

This is, by far, the most tedious one on this list. I promise it’s worth it, though. Go through your files, open all the folders, and evaluate if you truly still need them all. Maybe there are multiple versions of the same document or a random excel file that is no longer useful. Go through and assess the situation. Once you have eliminated the unnecessary files, create new folders to take your organization to the next level (and then go reward yourself with cake or something, because this is no easy feat).

{NINE} Trash

Empty your trash! It’s as easy as that. You have no idea how many useless files are in there clogging up precious space. Empty it and don’t look back.

{TEN} Downloads

Similar to your trash, I bet there are tons of pointless files hiding your Downloads folder. If you’re like me, there might be 4…5…even 6 copies of the same file hiding in there! Delete them. Odds are they’re outdated by now and/or you got your use out of them.

{ELEVEN} Desktop

How many files are on your desktop? I bet there are a bunch and just the thought of that makes me panic. I like to keep my desktop clutter-free so take a moment to put files into folders, delete completely, and/or reevaluate if you truly need to keep an excel doc from 3 years ago.

 

Happy decluttering! You got this!

A Little Organization Inspiration

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Photo credit: The Neat Method Instagram

Ah, spring.

The season for flowers, warm weather, sunshine, cherry blossoms, and….

Spring cleaning!

To be honest, I have been in a spring cleaning mood lately. I just want to declutter everything! I’ve always been a sucker for anything that can make it look like I have my life together (planners, baskets, folders, containers). This season, I’ve definitely been bit by the decluttering bug!

I was listening to a podcast (@The.Target.Girl) this weekend where the host interviewed someone from the Neat Method. I hadn’t heard of the company before so I quickly found them on Instagram and oh. my. goodness.

It’s organization HEAVEN.

All the boxes, baskets, labels, and colors. Doesn’t it all make you want to organize everything?!

It makes me happy when everything is in its place. Not to mention, it makes a room instantly aesthetically pleasing and welcoming. The photo above alone makes me want to clean out my desk and rearrange my bookshelves (again).

If you’re in need of some instant organization inspiration, here are a few other Instagram accounts you’re sure to love!

You can also check out my organization board on Pinterest here.

Happy organizing!

2019: Goals Update for Q1

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April.

As slow as the winter was, it’s difficult to comprehend that we’re already in April. Q1 is over! A blessing and a curse.

At the beginning of this week, I was in sunny Florida (pictured above). Back home it’s cold and rainy. At least summer is coming!

Now that we’re officially in Q2, I want to reflect on how Q1 went in terms of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of 2019. I shared my goals and declared 2019 the year to focus, learn, and love. You can read all about my goals and the reason why I chose those words for 2019 here. 

It’s important to frequently remind yourself of your goals and aspirations. It keeps you motivated so your new year’s resolutions don’t become distant memories with no future of moving forward.

Here is how 2019 is going so far.

FOCUS

At the beginning of the year, I wanted to spend less time on social media and more time writing, focusing on my relationships, and developing personal habits. Although I can’t completely quit social media (it is my job, as you know), I definitely can say I’ve made active progress limiting my scrolling. I didn’t do anything drastic like deleting apps or turning off notifications, but I have started consciously recognizing when I’m tempted to scroll so I can spend my time doing something else.

I have begun to write more in my bullet journal and also made it a goal to blog at least one time a week (on Fridays) so I can hone my writing skills. I have, admittedly, been struggling with implementing daily habits in the morning, though. Although I do have a morning routine, it definitely could be more productive so that’ll be a focus for Q2.

LEARN

I resolved to listen to more podcasts and read more books. I started tracking my podcast consumption in my bullet journal (such a Type A thing, I know). I try to listen to at least one podcast a day, usually in the car on the way to work. At the end of March, I also had finished 12 out of the 35 books I’m aiming for this year, so I feel good about that! You can check out my bookshelf here for updates. 

Bullet journaling is also something I’ve grown to love this year. Admittedly, I struggle with doing it daily but I have found a lot of use out of it and can’t wait to keep practicing in Q2 and beyond. Check out this post for a sneak peek of how bullet journaling is going.

LOVE

This year I’m doing the 1-second challenge again and I still love it. It’s a great way to capture everyday moments and I love going back and watching how the year is turning out so far.

I admit I haven’t sent as many handwritten cards as I’d like, but I hope to continue that this year! It’s such an easy yet thoughtful way to show someone you’re thinking about them. I sent a few of my friends cards for Galentine’s Day and used it as an excuse to show my appreciation for their influence in my life. I encourage you to do the same!

 

So far, April is off to a good start. I can’t wait to see what the rest of Q2 has in store!

Monthly Roundup: March Favorites

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My birthday month is almost over, but what a great month it was! The weather (slowly) got warmer and spring is definitely in the air. I got my nails done for my birthday and it made me so ready for shorts, flip flops, dresses, and all things spring fashion.

I’m also ending the month by heading to Florida for a few days with my mom and cousins. By the time you read this, I’ll be en route to the Sunshine State. I can’t wait to relax during the quick getaway before the craziness of April.

{ONE} Speaking at a Social Media Conference

This month I had the opportunity to speak at a social media conference. I wrote all about it in a recent blog post so you can read that for more information. The conference was a definite highlight of the month!

{TWO} Daylight Savings

It’s a bit weird that daylight savings is a monthly favorite, but I am loving the fact that we have more sunlight in the evenings. During the winter, I struggled with staying productive after work because it was just so cold and dark. Now I’m getting home when it’s still light outside and it makes the evenings so much better. It’s just another reminder that summer is coming.

{THREE} Rita’s Water Ice

Not gonna lie, a mango gelati from Rita’s Water Ice is one of my favorite summertime treats. There’s a Rita’s close to our house (a blessing and a curse) so Luke and I enjoyed our first Rita’s of the season one night this month on our porch. It made me so excited for summer and spending more time outside. I captured the photo above when I noticed our dog Thalia living her best life that night, too.

{FOUR} I Turned 26

I turned 26 this month and felt the love from friends and family. My mom and I had a girls day that included coffee, getting our nails done, lunch at Panera, and shopping. It’s turned into a tradition of sorts and I love that. Luke and I also went out to dinner and it was delicious. If you haven’t already read it, I wrote a post about 25 things I learned from Year 25. You can check it out here. 

{FIVE} Becoming Mrs. Lewis

I like to include at least one book in my monthly roundup because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to read at least 35 books this year. (Check out the progress here.) I read 4 books in March, which isn’t terrible considering how busy this month ended up being! One of them was Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a non-fiction about C.S. Lewis’ wife. I love the Chronicles of Narnia series and the rest of C.S. Lewis’ work, but I didn’t know anything about his wife until this book. It was dry at times, but overall really interesting and definitely a recommended read if you are a C.S. Lewis fan.

The 25 in 25 List

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This week I turned 26 and as I turn another year older, I keep thinking about all the memories and lessons from Year 25. As I began to write them all down in my bullet journal, I decided to make a list (go figure), so here is my 25 in 25: Lessons and Memories from Year 25 (in no particular order).

  1. I got married. (Woo!!)
  2. We moved into our home.
  3. I started cooking regularly (thank goodness for the Instant Pot).
  4. I traveled out of the country for the first time.
  5. I became debt-free thanks to paying off all student loans.
  6. I established a morning routine.
  7. I fell in love with bullet journaling and the limitless possibilities of organization because of it.
  8. I started drinking at least 72 ounces of water a day. (Lemon water is the best.)
  9. I created a budget and learned more about finance.
  10. I learned to appreciate quiet time and time alone. (As an extrovert, this isn’t easy!)
  11. I ran my first {official} 5K.
  12. Put the phone down and pay attention to those around you.
  13. Read books, it’s fun to get lost in another world.
  14. Turn off the TV. There’s a whole life to live out there.
  15. A healthy life is way more than just exercising and eating right.
  16. Take time to reflect on the joys in life.
  17. Push your comfort zone.
  18. Take time to blog regularly, because it’s therapeutic and fun.
  19. Change is good (and normal) to continue growing as a person.
  20. Handwritten cards never go out of style.
  21. Pamper yourself once in a while.
  22. Be flexible with plans; they won’t always go as smoothly as you want them to.
  23. Stand as much as you can, because sitting isn’t good for you.
  24. Save your money and brew coffee at home (so buying coffee becomes a treat instead of a necessity).
  25. Laugh at yourself; it’s okay to not take yourself too seriously sometimes.

 

I can’t wait to see what Year 26 has in store!