8 Tips to Boost Your Productivity with Paper

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of the Paper + Packaging Board. All opinions are my own.

I almost called this "how I work 2 jobs, have a social calendar, and manage to sleep at night", but figured "8 Tips to Boosting your Productivity with Paper", was more SEO friendly;) I don’t really talk much on here about my 9-5 job, but it does exist! On an average day, I wake up around 4:30 am, hop in the car to be at the gym by 5:00 am, and am at my desk by 7:00 am. I usually leave around 4:00 pm, and end up back home around 5 pm.  I live in Dallas, but work in Frisco, so the commute for sure doesn’t help my already busy schedule, but if it’s a good day, I only spend an hourish on the road, total! On top of that, I post on LMents of Style 5 days a week, respond to and pitch emails, and of course post on socials, not to mention attend events.

You’re probably tired just from reading that first paragraph, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I’ve struggled with time management. No, not because I’m a procrastinator, but because I’m a workaholic. I work better when I have something to do, but let me tell ya…being busy is not necessarily being productive. I’ve learned the hard way to work smarter, not harder.

Everything I’ve learned from working the wrong way is a lonnnng post for another day. (Let me know if you’d actually want to read that!) BUT, one thing I have learned that may seem obvious is to FOCUS. In today’s day and age, there are a billion things to distract us. From text messages to Instragram notifications, it’s really easy to fall down the social media rabbit hole. I mean how else did you end up on your ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend's mom's brother's daughter's page anyway?!  An easy way I combat this is to put my "toys" away and just use paper! Not only does it keep away distractions, but the act of writing helps me remember more as well. I also love to plan things out and be able to physically check things off or visually map something out with my own two hands, not a software program. Anyone else?!

When BabbleBox reached out to me to collaborate with them and Paper and Packaging Board, I was so excited! As a kid, one of my favorite times of the year was August, and no, it's not just because it's my birthday month ;) I loooooved getting school supplies. The pens and pencils, the notebooks. Gahh I can just smell them! Anyway, I'm going to share 8 tips to be productive that also coincide with paper goods from BabbleBox and the Paper and Packaging Board. You already know the unsaid first rule is the put your devices away, along with anything else that might distract you, so here are the other 8!

1) Plan Everything. You know that saying if you fail to plan, you plan to fail? Well, it's true. When you are juggling a ton of things, whether it's 2 jobs or just balancing your home life and office life, you need to have some skeleton of a day prepared. The Panda Planner is great! It has a monthly and weekly overview, in addition to the daily view. It also asks poignant questions for you to consider and allows you to set high level goals for the week. You'll also be note-taking your ideas and schedules more, which will not only help your brain remember them, but also make them more apt to be successful. Another benefit? Your planner won't "die" like your devices will;)

2) Leave Wiggle Room. What's the headline? Don't over plan. It's often said that people underestimate what they can do long term and over estimate what they can do short term. It's okay to erase something from the plan today...and what better to do so with than General Pencil Company pencils?! One thing I was always adamant about when school supply shopping, was to have wooden pencils and these Cedar Pointes are top notch!

3) Make a List. I do this for my 9-5 job and for the bliggety-blog. Once a week I create new list that removes the things I have checked off and neatly adds in the additions. The Knock, Knock Goals Notepad is perfect for this! It allows you to think in days, weeks, and life in general, which helps you obtain your goals faster and more productively!

4) Highlight Important Things. I always include a Post-It Note on top of my to-do list to make sure I remember what my top goals are /things I don't want to forget. It helps me keep focus on my focus ;)

5) Ask for Help. To think you can do it alone is a big mistake. Ask for help when you need it and be sure to say thank you. Thank you notes are kind of a lost art, so these Erin Condren Blank Note Cards are perfection for this kind of thing. Whether it's for a gift or a job interview, just apply the stamp and you are ready to go.

6) Organize (and re-organize). This kind of goes along with planning. I love these Carson Dellosa File Folders to keep my papers and receipts in their place. That way I always know where to find them and can get them at a moments notice.

7) Read Regularly. This was actually one of my new year's resolutions! Reading helps stimulate your brain and keep you inspired.  The paper and packaging board sent me Rework, a book about maximizing time and increasing productivity. Who doesn't need that?! Studies show that reading at least 15 pages a day aides memory and increases mental development. Learn more about that here.

8) Create Your Inspiration. To tie it back to the above, you often gain inspiration from what you read. One of my favorite quotes from Rework was "No time is no excuse," because quite frankly there will never be enough time! Make sure you are finding places that gain you inspiration.

 

Notice that all 8 tips revolve around some form of paper or using paper. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate technology; however, going paperless, as the majority of society suggests, would negatively impact my productivity. What about you? Do you have any favorite tips to keep you productive? Any favorite paper products?!

 

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of the Paper + Packaging Board. All opinions are my own.