If you’re an entrepreneur, businesswoman, mother, or all around boss woman- you know that one of the greatest keys to success lies in productivity. Being a solo entrepreneur myself, I’m consistently learning and streamlining systems to make life easier. Getting work done effectively makes more room for nourishing relationships, prioritizing self care, and honoring boundaries that support well-being and enjoyment of life.
In sharing these productivity tips, I’m not saying don’t work hard; I’m just saying why not work smart? Productivity done well can make you feel like a rockstar. A daily sense of accomplishment is rewarding and empowering, and you deserve to feel that. Here’s one of my tried and true productivity tips that keeps me operating like a well-oiled machine.
Benefits of Handwritten Lists
I have tried various methods of list formulation. I’ve kept them in a separate journal, used different apps, phone notes... honestly, you name it. I always come back to the handwritten list on a blank sheet of paper to maximize daily and weekly productivity.
Not only can handwritten lists improve your productivity, there are also various health benefits associated with putting a pen to paper. Research suggests that writing with a pen and paper can help improve memory, speed physical healing through expressive writing, improve sleep quality, and enhance recovery from psychological trauma.
What This Method Can Help You Accomplish
Put the Phone Down
If you run a business, manage a family, or some combination of the two, it’s likely that your phone/ laptop/ tablet/ smartwatch has become an extension of you. These devices are extremely helpful, but this method encourages balance by allowing you to disconnect from your devices for a moment during your busy day. After all, balance is a key concept in traditional Chinese medicine and promotes health and harmony within yourself and your environment.
The Handwritten List Productivity Method
What I Like Most About This Method
Handwritten lists are simple, focused, allow for quick visibility, and are recyclable once fully completed. According to how you fold your list, you can view one category at a time without distraction. Ok, so let's apply this to real life; you get an unexpected moment to handle errands, phone calls, and shopping. This opportunity might only come up during your extended lunch break and you may not get another quality chunk of time until next week.
This is exactly the moment when we need simple and direct focus. Fold your paper so that it shows your “shopping” category and GO FOR IT! For shopping, I also find it helpful to make a quick outline of the places I need to go, along with the order in which I should visit these stores to maximize time and productivity.
And there you have it, you just knocked out your weekly shopping list on your lunch break!
Personally, I find it rewarding to get rid of the list once everything is completed. This way, you avoid that “overflow” and minimize chances of overlooking the one item that keeps making it’s way to the next list (because we've all been there). So give yourself that mini-catharsis and recycle it. Plus, letting go of clutter is an excellent way to support your metal element in traditional Chinese medicine.
If you've tried this, let me know your feedback in the comments below! I'd also love to hear about any other productivity tips you use to create a balanced and happy lifestyle.