Running a design and marketing company, I end up being a lot more than just that for my clients. Their businesses are personal. They are their passions, dreams and purpose. I help them plan and organize and some even ask “How do you do it?”. I put this list together as a reminder of these things that almost everyone (I would be shocked if this was new, but hey – if it is, good on you for taking a step forward!) already knows.

1. Plan Your Day

You will save so much time knowing what you have to accomplish in a day. At the end of every day, I plan the next day. I make a nicely organized list with checkboxes for completed items (checking a box gives you a sense of accomplishment!). I use a three tier system; must do, should do and could do items. You might know this system as an ABC system. It works.

2. Get Enough Down Time

The more quality down time we have, the more productive we will be during our scheduled work blocks. Some say that every 45 minutes you should stop what you are doing and do something else for 15 minutes (such as go get the mail, have a snack or talk to your colleagues about their weekend).

3. Meditate

It’s amazing how much you will benefit by meditation. Those who already meditate know this and don’t sweat the 15, 30 or even 60 minutes a day they dedicate to this ancient practice. The best way to create more time in your day is to clean your mind and feed your soul. Sitting for 15 minutes at the beginning may seem like a long time and your mind won’t stop the chatter. I find using a candle to focus on helps a lot, as well as having a specific meditation space. A mat, a pillow… something separate from your regular life. This is your special space.

Here is a nice 15 minute beginner meditation, click here

4. Take Care of Your Body – Water, Vitamins & Food

Hydration is paramount to being productive (and healthy!). Drink quality, filtered water with a good amount of minerals in it. You can consult with a nutritionist or holistic therapist to help you find the right blend of vitamins based on your lifestyle, diet etc. Make sure you purchase good brands that utilize whole foods and are easily assimilated by your body. And finally, you are what you eat. Enough said. Eat clean, organic, local if you can and I really believe in eating cruelty free animal products.

5. Exercise & Sleep

30 minutes of exercise per day is minimum. Get on it. Go for walks, do yoga, jump on a rebounder, join up with an exercise accountability group or go to the gym. Whatever your flavour, there is something out there for everyone. Exercise and sleep are equally important. I like to follow the mentality that you only require 6 hours of quality sleep per night (there are other opinions out there, and you know what your body really needs). Do not look at your cell phone or a TV at least 30 minutes before bed, the light the emit confuse your brain. Also, don’t sleep with your cell phone in your bedroom if possible – the electro magnetic frequencies aren’t good for us. There is a lot of info out there on EMFs if you want to learn more.

6. Read

One of the best ways to get smarter is to read. End of story. Read about everything and keep a nice variety. Read about finances, health, your industry, and everything in between. Discuss the books you read with friends and family to further your retention of the content and if you choose to make the time, join a book club. This will open your mind even more to books you might otherwise pass by.

Instead of purchasing a Kindle, I downloaded the Kindle app to my iPhone and iPad. Kindle books are on average $9.99 and are stored in a library accessible by any device you have the app on. Your place in the book is also remembered so you can pick up wherever you left off.

If you have sensitive eyes at night like I do, you can dim the screen with the standard control. If you want to dim it even more (like I did), click here for instructions. Within the Kindle app, I choose the sepia tone background with a larger font.

Here are a few books that really changed how I see the world:

Eat, Prey, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin Sharma

The Last Days of Ancient Sunlight – Thom Hartmann

7. Get Organized

This goes along with planning. Organize your files, your desk, your accounting, your fridge, your bathroom and most of all your mind. Organize your thoughts and always move towards those that serve you and your higher purpose. Discard those thoughts that hold you back. It’s the ones that are always saying “are you sure you should do that”, “what if this happens?”, “what if that happens?”… notice those thoughts, consider them and let them go!

An organizational tool that I heavily rely on is Trello. Click here to go to my resources page where you’ll find a direct link to Trello. By clicking the link on this page, you’ll be supporting Humble Bee and getting an awesome new organization tool to help get you to where you want to be in life 🙂 Oh, and best of all, it’s completely FREE.

Thanks Trello!