January is an experimental month for many of us as we explore what works and doesn’t in helping improve our lives in the new year. A pet peeve of mine is when I waste hours of the day on nothing that felt meaningful to me. So for 2022, my goal was to live up to my desire to juice the productivity and intention out of every hour of my day — whether it’s personal or work-related.
I consulted tried and true methods and did a lot of YouTube sleuthing to organize my experiment. I learned a lot to make meaningful progress on my work, health, and life admin goals and truly feel set in good, new habits for the new year.
Here are some of my favorite changes that I set into motion in Q1 and were successful for me.
Notion’ed my Life
I grabbed a bunch of life-organizing Notion templates from a couple of YouTubers and it has been immensely helpful in organizing my days into a productivity cadence.
There’s something that felt neurotic to me about creating daily checklists for my life, but putting focus and intention into how I want to live every day also stopped me from going off the rails and gave me incredible peace. It also stopped me from binge-watching HBO because I had so many things I (happily) needed to do, so I consider that a win.
This Notion template is low-key genius — if you click through to the Q1-Q4 pages and then further dive into each month where it gives you weekly and daily checklists + reflections, it’s an amazing way to stay present. Every Sunday I do a reset and map out my checklists for every day of the upcoming week to give myself a guiding hand.
Did you know that your body naturally gets tired around the afternoon because of your circadian rhythm? That’s why you hit an afternoon slump around 2–3 PM. Instead of fighting this every day, I confronted it. Similar to a morning or evening routine, I decided to create an afternoon routine to give myself a softer landing.
If I’m working out of a coworking space that day, I always leave around 2/3PM to walk 15 minutes back to my house — this walk wakes me up and gives me a second wind.
If I’m working from home, I focus on doing something hands-on — I either draw or run an errand outside. During my afternoon routine, my only rule is that I’m not allowed to do something that’s sight-focused like watching or reading something (because that’ll send me straight to snooze town).
This was a great tip I picked up during my YouTube dive. Whenever I’m stuck or feeling uninspired about something, rather than searching for answers, I spend 10 minutes questionstorming, where I brainstorm as many questions I can about a topic.
At the end of the day, improving your life has everything to do with asking better questions than you did the day before. If you’re feeling lost about your next step, questionstorming will give you the nuggets of inspiration to think in a specific direction rather than drowning in an ocean of possibilities.