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Welcome beautiful people! I am Laura, a beauty lover and chocolate addict. I love to share my thoughts on the best (and of course the worst) of all things beauty related.

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Sparking Productivity

One of the most common questions I get asked by my readers is 'How do you do it? How do you manage working, life AND doing your blog on the side?' And it's a great question. To be honest I don't know how I do it, but I thought I'd do a post on productivity anyway.

To try and make sure I have good quality content to share regularly I have to make sure I use my little bit of spare time well. Productivity is, as they say, key! By no mean am an expert in being productive, but this is what I find works well for me.

*Newsflash* bloggers have to work to pay the bills. We are not all Chloe Morello's, Lauren Condrad's and Zoe Foster-Blake's. We don't make a living off creating content, no matter how much we wish we did. I work five days a week, despite being part time. Aside from uploading to Instagram, I do NO blog work during the week. How many days does that leave me to create content? Two. Only two days a week. So I have to be hella productive with my time.

These are my top five things to help me maximise my productivity.

1. Write a killer to-do list

I shoot all my content in the morning, between 7am and 9am to be specific. That is when the time is best for the lighting I like to use in my images. With a dynamite window between 8am and 8.30am. When ever I am planning on shooting content I always write myself a list of what I need to get done during that shoot.

The night before each shoot I will write down a list of all the products I want to shoot and all the blog posts I need content for. Then as I am shooting, I will work through the list, ticking things off as I go. This helps me to make sure I smash out everything I need for the week ahead, and that I keep up with the products I have received during the week. Some shoots don't go to plan and I need to reshoot the next week, so I just add it to that to do list. I find this just helps to keep me on track during my shoots, rather than wasting time wondering what I should be doing. Work smarter, not harder.

I also have a to-do list where I write down blog post ideas. I come back to this when I am stuck for ideas and pull one out to create it. 

2. Turn up the tunes (or the podcast)

While I am working on my content I like to pop in some tunes or turn on a good podcast, depending what I'm working on (music for writing content, podcasts for shooting content). Dave often uses the weekend to get some of his uni stuff done, so I like to put some headphones in. The Sudio Tolv* wireless headphones have been my go to pair recently. Because they are wireless, it makes it easy for me to move around as I am shooting content, without getting tangled (and frustrated) in chords.

Use the code 'THELIFEOFLAURA' to save 15% off your Sudio order.

3. Blue Light Filters

Our eye's natural lens is not designed for exposure to artificial blue light and yet we’re constantly exposing ourselves to it, from fluorescent light bulbs, and LEDs in our digital devices such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones. I have always been a big believe in taking care of your eyes and that starts with how you go about looking at screens. 

I recently received a pair of Exyra Hetzel glasses* that have a blue light filter in them. They have my prescription in them as well, so I can see what it is that I am working on, but also protecting my eyes from my computer. They help to reduce headaches, migraines and fatigue that can occur from the prolonged use of screens. Whether you need glasses to see or not, I would highly recommend investing in some blue light filter glasses. Especially if you find that you end up with headaches at the end of the day. They are a game changer. Yes, I thought it was gimicky at first too, but since changing my glasses up, I have noticed that my eyes don't feel as strained after looking at screens.

Use the code 'THELIFEOFLAURA' to save 15% off storewide on Exyra products.

4. Take breaks

Quality over quantity. My typical Saturday looks like this:

8am-9am: shoot content, work through my to-do list.

9.30am-10.30am: gym time (another big tip - make time for working out and moving your body, it will help your mind be more focused when it comes time).

10.30am-12.30pm: time for me. Lunch and relax. Read a book or watch Netflix.

12.30pm - 2pm: sit either listening to a podcast, or watching Netflix while working on a blog post or two. 

2pm-3pm: Break time!

3pm-4pm: More blog work. Respond to emails. Send out emails. Finish blog posts. 

4pm: Finish blog work for the day.

By working in short bursts of time I find that I get more done. If I sit down at 9am to work through writing and creating content all day, I'll achieve nothing. If I do a little bit here and there I will get way more done. It will be better quality and better. Don't beat yourself up for taking breaks, you body needs it. 

5. Finish the day with a 'I achieved list'

If you are the type of person who doesn't respond well to a to-do list, this might be for you. Whether you write it down on your phone, on a piece of paper, or just think of it in your mind as a form of reflection, at the end of the day go through what you achieved. No matter how productive you have felt, this will leave you feeling a sense of accomplishment. For example, on the day I wrote this blog I can say this:

"The things I achieved today: making a slice, doing two loads of washing, cooking lunch, writing three blog posts, shooting and editing my content for the week, and scheduling my Instagram for the next fortnight"

Not every week will look this good, but if you work through a list of things you achieved you are taking a positive mindset of what you completed, rather than getting caught up in all the things you didn't do. 

They aren't rocket science, but I find doing these five things helps to keep me on track with what it is that I am going to be creating and managing my blog. At the end of the day, it's important to be kind to yourself. For me, my blog is a hobby and a creative outlet, but I have a life and a job that are also important and will take up time. I never force myself to work when my body needs to rest. 

What are your top tips for productivity? I am always looking for ways that I can make my time more productive. Let me know in the comments below xx

*DISCLAIMER – Products with * have been sent for trial/review purposes. Although this product was sent for me to trial and review, all views and opinions are 100% honest. All opinions are based purely from my own experiences. The Life of Laura is not by a professional or expert. Please do not confuse my opinions with professional advice.


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