black maxi dress long pearl crochet necklace with hat, sunny day in scottsdale blogger Diana elizabeth
Dress: Abercrombie (similar, and here) / Heels: Splendid (on sale) / Necklaces and bracelets: An Old Soul Jewelry / Hat: similar (on sale) / Bag: Cult Gaia

The first month of the new year is almost complete – what do you think of 2018 so far?  A horrible head cold put me out for half of this month so I felt like I was dragging into the new year. However, with the implementation of working office hours I have to tell you it’s been a life-changer, I’m so much more productive.

I thought I’d share 5 things I’ve learned so far that have greatly impacted my productivity and given me energy. I hope this list can help encourage you as well!

black maxi dress long pearl crochet necklace with hat, sunny day in scottsdale blogger Diana elizabethblack maxi dress long pearl crochet necklace with hat, sunny day in scottsdale blogger Diana elizabeth

5 things that greatly impact productivity

  1. Answer emails right after you read them – like a text message. This doesn’t mean you have to check your emails all the time, just that when you DO read your inbox, answer them. Let’s be real – emails are just questions waiting to be answered. They can be annoying if you aren’t in the mood to make a decision and sometimes I just don’t feel like making a decision – but I have been making myself make a decision as of lately. Or if I need to give it a day, I MUST respond by the next morning. First, it’s good business practice to answer emails within 24 hours, and second, it gets it off your plate and onto the next thing.
  2. Set office hours. This goes for anyone who is full-time entrepreneur or has a side business. It helps you set when you are checking your emails and when you do work or life. Again, you can be flexible, don’t kill your social life over silly set office hours. If you want to read my schedule and why I did, here are two big reasons I’ve seen:
    • You won’t get mad if someone cancels on your off day – you won’t feel like you could have worked because it’s your OFF day – so you can go to the mall instead! Watch a movie! More you time!
    • You will be more productive in less time, I promise. Just try it. I believe no one needs to work 40 hours a week unless you are a CEO or President, I think many of us can manage time better and do the same in 30 hours or less.
  3. Stop doing this. Read this Friday Forward (and you gotta subscribe) that will make you stop saying “I’m busy” which is a load of BS and just say no to energy suckers (apps and people) and also say no to clients that take too much energy out of you so you can pursue other projects that give you life. I recently had to turn down a big project I’ve been a part of repeatedly for the past few years – it was just too stressful for me. While it meant turning down a paycheck, I knew my heart was telling me, no. And already I’ve had the right kind of assignments come in instead!

    Say no to energy suckers (apps and people) and also say no to clients that take too much energy out of you so you can pursue other projects that give you life.

  4. Don’t over do it.  I have blogged nearly every day for at least four years. The end of last year was fun but I was so tired that I took a week off (by pure blessing it worked out with no work) and I felt like a new woman. When brands ask an IG post in exchange for product, I do only an IG post and take a photo with my iPhone 8+. I stopped taking out my DSLR and adding to my workload – uploading, editing, and even a blog post!! (Other brands pay for that type of service and exposure!) I stopped going overboard. I also started posting three times a week instead. I’ll still post on other days if I want or if brands select a specific day, but for now, this works better than every single day. I also find my content to be stronger (thoughts if you’ve been reading for a while?) and I have more energy to put towards the paid blog posts because I’m exerting less energy in the “busy” of pushing too much when I don’t need to. In other words, pull back and do less but when you do, do it big.

    I’m exerting less energy in the “busy” of pushing too much when I don’t need to. In other words, pull back and do less but when you do, do it big.

  5. Meet with other creatives. Earlier this week I did a Skype meeting with Ashley a blogging/marketing expert – we still try to find time to connect even if it’s on Skype (saves drive time sometimes). We already have a fun savings game plan we want you to join in on, announcing on Monday. Yesterday, I met with Heather Terveen who is the CEO of Adornlee. We had a fun marketing creative chat that just gave me energy and ideas. I walked away with a lot of feedback and encouragement and gosh I hope I was able to give her ideas too haha! It made me think I need to meet with my friends more often to talk business and personal and get motivated! We don’t always have to “get something” out of every meet up, but to walk away encouraged and happy! Tomorrow I am going on a hike with Kate Nelle who I met through blogging and we just clicked when we met in Mexico and we love seeing each other anytime we can and we talk so much about life. When I am done meeting with fellow motivated gal pals I always leave with a to-do list and feel energized!

black maxi dress long pearl crochet necklace with hat, sunny day in scottsdale blogger Diana elizabeth

black maxi dress long pearl crochet necklace with hat, sunny day in scottsdale blogger Diana Elizabeth in front of white vines
black maxi dress long pearl crochet necklace with hat, sunny day in scottsdale blogger Diana elizabeth

I haven’t really worked out. Ok, I haven’t worked out.

My work out gear is still in packaging in the photo studio. I have so many dreams and goals for that studio and it’s on the list… But I wanted to be honest and just say, I’ve been doing a lot, but I have also failed in my other goal but hey, tomorrow’s hike is still SOMETHING, right?

black maxi dress long pearl crochet necklace with hat, sunny day in scottsdale blogger Diana elizabeth

Have you started doing anything this new year that you’ve already seen some significant change in your life? Do share.

Thanks for being here. xx

Photography by Bloguettes for An Old Soul Jewelry