Hey guys!  I’m super chuffed that this is my third blog of January.

I’m enjoying my refocus of how I spend my time online so this blog is kind of about that.

I wanted to write about a set of planning tools and productivity strategy I use that work amazingly for me at bringing focus to my life and work.

You might have read my story from back in 2017 that shares an honest account of burn out and why I decided to set up Creatively Conscious?

If not, you are welcome to start there… I cringe a bit when I re-read it.  But I think it’s such an important thing to look back at how far we’ve come and there are lessons everywhere right?

So onto my top 3 tips for PRODUCTIVITY (even when we don’ feel like being productive)

For background; I’m self employed and I work between 4-5 days per week, I’m a mum and we run a business from home too.

  1. Using ‘The High Performance Planner’

I’ve been using The High Performance Planner for a year now.  It’s my ‘go-to’ planner of choice and although there are millions out there now I find it works so much more effectively for me than the others.  I use it when I have more projects than I’m comfortable with.

a photo of yellow roses with the high performance planner

High Performance Planner Spread

It prompts with time blocking but also has a useful set of features around planning your month out and setting goals and bold actions you can take towards your “big dreams”.

It’s also a4 size which I love.  (I’m in the BIG hand-writers club!)    You’ll see from the plan above this is working a half day.   I’ll add one in on another blog how I manage working a full day with the planner.

2. Making time (!) for Time-blocking (scroll up to the top for pic) 

As the picture shows at the top of the blog shows, I love to do ‘time-blocking’.

This one is a bullet journal technique.

I structure my chart differently each week to give whichever element of my life I think needs the most attention so some weeks it starts with Wellbeing, other weeks Creativity other weeks Family.  In the chart pictured I didn’t have a tonne of jobs to do at home so I put that column last.  I never put Work first because I try really hard to have balance in life!

I usually do this time blocking on a Friday evening or a Sunday evening for the week ahead and encourage my clients to do the same so we can reflect and adjust on what’s falling out for them.

3. Earthing/ Grounding in the afternoons (3 – 6pm) 

After having a long break over the Christmas holidays I realised one of the things I enjoyed the most was not being ‘plugged in’ constantly.  I don’t know if you can see the hours you spend on your laptop anywhere but you can on your phone – eeek!  Where does it all go?

“energy flows where attention goes” anon 

I also listened to a fab podcast with author Nir Eyal who has written a book all about traction and distraction.  Nir actually talks about the need to build in time for distraction (scrolling and the like) – you’ll love it.

(old school) Filofax queen

So, during the super efficient days of the week that we call Mon-Fri.  Here are some things I do away from the screens;

  • Laundry, dishes – the every day jobs.  The baskets (we have three) are empty and the washing is hung up.  I don’t even think about it, it’s just part of my routine (on a good week).  It often means I don’t have any to do on the weekends.
  • Cooking – I’m loving the slow cooker and our hob is currently out of action but making time to prepare dinner is such a lovely thing to do.
  • Writing with pen and paper – I’ve been obsessed with using my calligraphy type pens and practising.
  • Playing games (and doing homework) with my son.
  • Being outside.  It’s not that easy in winter but a little time with our chickens or collecting logs really discharges all of that ‘online’ energy.
  • Thinking up new ideas – like The Creatively Conscious Book Club which you’re so welcome to join!

To make the most efficient use of my time I do all of these things when the little one is home from school as it means I can multitask (kind of).   If you’re wondering where my ‘to do’ lists are read this. 

Do you have any questions around productivity and planning?  I’d love to chat.

Claire x

PS – I’m on instagram @creatively.conscious and you can get deeper insight into all this stuff plus free workbooks and gifts if you sign up to my monthly email.

PPS – I don’t think social media is BAD as such I am just not feeling the energy expenditure with the reward in the same way.  I love the community on instagram but this year, I want to see my IRL friends more, read more books and write more long form.  So that’s where my attention is more and writing here because I love making time for longer form ‘ever green’ posts.