• Emily Formea

The Power of Productivity: How to Get More Done in Less Time

Let’s start with answering the question, “What is productivity?” or more specifically, “What does it mean to be productive?”

The definition of productivity is the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.

However, for this blog, I want to focus on helping you be YOUR best, productive self. I think it’s a very slippery slope when we compare checklists with others around us. To some, I accomplish great feats each day and to others, my calendar is a measly two-hour time block on their own!

My point is to figure out what’s important to you first and foremost. You have to identify and accept your limits, your work-life balance, and your expectations for yourself before you can truly dive into your productive power hour.

So, with that being said, let’s do this thing because we are on a schedule, my sweet souls;)

What is productive for you?

Identifying how you work best, what is essential to get done today and what can wait until tomorrow, and refusing to slack on the important stuff is the first step. Do not take on more than you can chew and if you do, be prepared to give yourself some tough love if you made a promise, deadline, or expectation to someone else or yourself.

For me, I know my limits. And it was HARD the first time I said no. But, wow, in the end, it felt so good! You can only take on what you can carry. Do not be scared to say no to a side hustle project, an extra credit paper, or a work assignment that’s not yours…. If you have been able to identify what’s important and what’s not.

Things that stress you and do not inspire you--not important

Things that pay your bills--VERY important

Things that help you relax, recoup, unwind and recharge--VERY important

Start to categorize areas of your life and this is where my original message lies:

Your circles may vary from others.

Your hobbies may carry a lot of weight compared to your friends. You may put a great deal of emphasis on family or a boyfriend and if it matters to you then it matters. Don’t let others decide what you should spend your time, money, and especially energy on! Stand up for yourself. Prioritize, baby! PRIORITIZE! And stick to your guns.

I have had friends get bad because I couldn’t go to dinner that night. When in reality, I had client calls to get too! I have had to say not to this or that because of my blog, YouTube, Instagram, or working on collaborations and podcasts. It’s important to me and reminder: then, it’s important and that’s final.

Don’t see your friends or forget to call your family! However, you are going to have to say no if you have a job, schools, goals, and dreams or even if you are seriously investing in a wellness program, fitness regime, or new yoga journey.

You cannot do it all, but I want to start this blog by saying you can do all that is important.

Batch and FOCUS

Be present when you are working on something, having dinner with a pal, watching a movie, or even going to the bathroom. Be present. This tip surprised me when I started to notice the impact it had when I welcomed it into my life. I used to be the person that every 10 seconds I was on my phone. Posting this, working on that, if I went to take a shower, while my shower was heating up, I was responding to emails.

Don’t respond to emails while waiting for your shower to heat up.

And it sounds counter-intuitive. I thought the more free time I utilize, the less work I will have. The faster my business will grow, my page, blog, etc.

The complete opposite happened. Can you guess why?

Burnout is REAL, baby!

I found myself being disingenuine when I would reply to comments on my Instagram. I became lazy in the quality of my emails, Instagram stories, or even texts back to my friends! My anxiety didn’t like constantly working either.

  • Don’t let your light burnout from constantly being aflame

  • Be present when working

  • Batch your work

So once you realize that doing QUALITY over quantity of work is the way to go and by quantity, I mean spending hours online, etc, it’s time for us to move to the next step. Be present and intentionally with your work.

I work a 9-5 full-time job and when I’m at work and a project comes in, my phone is immediately in my purse. I’m not answering my work emails while writing my blog or vice versa. Why? Because you cannot give two things your all at one time.

You can half-ass pretty dang well! At least I know I can. I can “triple-task” and by triple-tasking I mean I can mess up an email, mistype a word on my blog, and begin to feel my chest tighten as my tasking increased!

Multi-tasking does not exist, so don’t try it. Be present. Work on one thing with your entire soul, mental brainpower, wit, and passion and then, move onto the next thing. Trust me, your results won’t vary. You will find your work to be better and completed quicker by focusing on one task at a time.

I work a 9-5 full-time job and when I’m at work and a project comes in, my phone is immediately in my purse. I’m not answering my work emails while writing my blog or vice versa. Why? Because you cannot give two things your all at one time.

And with that, batch your work! Batch the same sorts of work together! I will use myself as an example. I don’t write a blog, then take a photo, then have one client call. Because being “in the zone” is what we want, baby! Batch your work. Have one hour dedicated to answering emails.

Spend two hours study one subject. Focus on one hobby, dream, or project at a time, but even deeper, focus on one topic or task within that niche. I spend two hours every Wednesday solely dedicated to writing. No social media or phone calls allowed! Because you can then allow yourself to be in the zone, rhythm, and rhyme and you aren’t constantly interrupting your brain waves of creativity with overload or change!

Figure out your best 2 hours

People work differently. When I was in college I was always the girl that studied from 6:00-9:00 AM and then left my book at home for the rest of the day! I could NEVER make myself study at night. I was not a person who crammed or worked well under pressure.. And I knew that about myself.

Find the environment, time, smells, and sounds that work for you! I could not study with other people. I LOVE to talk (if ya haven’t noticed;) so group studying did not work for me! I also liked to do my work in complete silence and I’m still that way! I can’t listen to music, have the TV on, or even have someone talking in the background of the coffee shop… I can’t focus.

So, when I am wanting to get work done, I sit in my room, early in the morning, in the quiet with a cup of coffee and a meal in my belly and I go to town! That works for me! For some, chewing gum helps with concentration or listening to music. Flashcards, notes, alarms, exercise breaks help split the load up!

Whatever works, do it!

And work to find your 2 hours. Psychology says that everyone has 2 ‘prime’ hours of the day. These two hours are when our minds are at their peak performance. We tend to be less distracted, make fewer mistakes, and accomplish the most within this window of time and it is usually the same time and with similar environmental factors every day!

Mine is 6-9 AM (I’m special, I’ve trained myself to have 3 solid hours:) hahaha

But, that’s when I work! Don’t force yourself to work or expect yourself to accomplish much if you aren’t working when and how you like to do so!

Identify your best 2 hours and try to plan for it! Make a list of things you want to accomplish. Add windows of time. Stick to it. No distractions and no multi-tasking. Batch that work into that 2 hour power hour;)

Be accountable to another person if you struggle with accountability

This one is VERY important to first be honest with yourself.

Do not set goals, lists, or expectations that you know, deep down, you cannot and will not achieve.

Also, do not rely solely on your willpower and determination if that doesn’t work for you!

Asking for help or wanting someone to keep you accountable is NOT weak; what’s weak is pretending you can hold yourself to your goals and expectations by yourself if you can’t and then don’t.

Work and school are slightly different with this tip because you have someone breathing down your neck so to speak. You have a boss who will reprimand you if the deadline is not met. You have professors who will give you the grade you deserve if you don’t put the work in.

But what happens when you want to start your own business, become better at a side hobby, accomplish that fitness goal you have dreamed of, or keep yourself to your New Year’s resolution of doing yoga every day?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to keep yourself accountable. Self-accountability is a form of self-respect. And self-respect… we live for it! However, it can be hard! And like I said before, it’s better to admit you need a coach, friend, family member, or even accountability group rather than go in knowing you ain’t gonna finish the race.

Find these resources. If you want to write a book by the end of the year, train for a half marathon, or save money to travel the world more, find someone or some way to keep yourself accountable.

Hire a coach, have weekly check-ins with your good friend where you have to recap your week and relay your progress. Have a monthly automatic deduction from your paycheck that goes straight into your savings.

Do something/have someone that makes you do your part.

It’s not weak; it’s smart.

Have a day off of everything and stick to it!

Have one day a week where you do nothing! And by nothing, I mean nothing to do with work, your side hustle, business, etc. No social media, no studying, no financial planning.

Life is too short to only run your calendar.

Go out and adventure. Eat ice cream. Turn your phone off. I mean off, not on silent.

And go out into the world and recharge. Because as we discussed, burnout is real and if there is one thing I know it’s this:

The world needs your light to be shining and to be shining bright! Protect it.


Xo Emily

Sincerely, XO Emily || 2020

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The information provided on this website is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional or be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your physician or other healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet, medical plan, or exercise routine.