5 Tips to Increase Productivity

Adulting is hard.  Not only is it hard, sometimes it seems downright impossible.  There just never seems to be enough hours in the day to get things done.  Of course there are the things you HAVE to get done, like go to work, take the kids to school, and do the laundry so you have something clean to wear tomorrow, but when that’s all said and done, where’s the time to do the things you actually WANT to do??

Over the last several months, I’ve been learning what my new life is like as a mom, wife, employee, and myself.  I threw that last one in there because until I started to get a handle on how to get things done and still have time for me, I kind of lost myself.  That’s ultimately what led me to make a shift in my daily life to make sure I could increase my productivity.  I’m happy to say, not only am I now more productive, but I’m much happier since I’ve gotten into a routine and have actually found some ‘me’ time each day.

If you need a little boost in your routine and could use some more ‘me’ time, here are a few tips to help you increase your productivity.

1 – Make a list.

Make a list of all the things you HAVE to get done so you can check them off as you go.

5 Tips to Increase Productivity - Make a list

Create your list the night before so you can devote a bit of time to really thinking about what you need to accomplish the next day.  And while it is tempting to put absolutely everything you can think of on your to-do list for the next day, it’s important to limit it to no more than a handful of items so you’re not setting yourself up for failure of overwhelm.

2 – Don’t sit down.

Once you sit down you fall in to the distraction trap that will suck you in for longer than you planned.

5 Tips to Increase Productivity - Don't Sit Down

When you’re busy working around the house and trying to get things checked off your list, it’s perfectly natural to want to sit down and take a quick break.  This is especially true if you’re completely crushing your to-do list.  The problem with this is that when you’ve got that momentum going, sitting down even for a moment is like slamming on the brakes and will make it that much harder to get going again.  Not to mention, in this day and age it’s hard to just sit down ‘for a moment’ thanks to the constant pull on our attention by technology.  You may intend to only sit down for five minutes, but 45 minutes later you find yourself still scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest (of course I’m not speaking from experience here or anything, ahem 🙂 ).

3 – Limit multi-tasking.

“Don’t half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.” -Ron Swanson

5 Tips to Increase Productivity - Limit Multitasking

Somehow we’ve been conditioned to feel like if multi-tasking = productive.  That’s not always true.  In fact it’s often time the opposite.  When you’re trying to work on too many things at once, the quality of your work can suffer and it can also take much longer to complete each task, or potentially create the need for re-work.  A good example of this would be if you’ve ever tried to type while talking on the phone.  When most people do this, the result is sometimes like playing MadLibs – words that are said in the conversation end up being typed and vice versa.  Depending on who you’re talking to or what you’re typing, this could result in a lot of confusion and you’ll likely have to do it all over again.

4 – Do your work BEFORE you have fun.

You mom was on to something when she said “You have to do your homework before you can go outside and play.”

5 Tips to Increase Productivity - Do your work BEFORE you have fun.

When you’re an adult you think you’ve got it all figured out – you can have fun whenever you want and clean your room when you feel like it.  That is, until you realize you have no clean clothes to wear on your next adventure.  By prioritizing the ‘have to do’ items above the ‘want to do’ items on your list, you’re setting yourself up for ultimate productivity.  You’ll essentially be in a mindset to get through all of the ‘have to do’ items so you can have more time for the ‘want to do’ items.

5 – Don’t procrastinate (too much).

Procrastination isn’t usually a good thing, but sometimes it gives us the kick in the pants we need to get things done.

5 Tips to Increase Productivity - Don't procrastinate (too much)

Deadlines are what most adults unfortunately have to work with – presentation due for work by Wednesday, kid’s science fair project due on Thursday, in-laws coming for the weekend on Saturday, etc…  Because being a busy adult means lots of deadlines, we’re frequently faced with competing tasks which almost always forces us to procrastinate on something.  So if there are any items on your to-do list that don’t have a particular time they need to completed by, establish one.  This will help ensure the task will get done as opposed to constantly being moved to the bottom of the list.

10 Best Free Fonts for Spring

10 Best Free Fonts for Spring | www.RhinestonesandSweatpants.com

Gloss & Bloom | Lie To Me | Sweet Pea | Clemente | Florence | Strawberry Whipped Cream | Always Here | A Little Sunshine | Yellow Butterflies | Callie Hand

Spring has sprung!  Well, sort of.  Here in the Midwest, the Daffodils and Crocus are up and trees are blooming, yet there’s snow in the forecast for this weekend!  Oh well, the fact that we’re in March tells me that we’re close enough to Spring to go ahead and start decorating for it!  I’ve rounded up my favorite Spring fonts to share with you to give you a little inspiration for your next project.  I can’t wait to bust out my Silhouette Cameo and whip up some cute crafts using these fonts!  I’m thinking a cute banner for the mantel may be in my future. 🙂

Please share any projects you’ve created with these – I’d love to share the inspiration with others!

*Please note that these fonts were not created by me, but rather rounded up from the web.  Please check font use guidelines prior to using fonts for more than personal use.

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Beyond the Picket Fence

10 Must Have Maxi Dresses Under $50

10 Must Have Maxi Dresses Under $50

It’s technically still winter, but many parts of the country are experiencing warmer than usual temperatures.  Here in the Midwest, we’ve had a few days over the past week or two that reached 70 degrees or more!  Despite being winter, it feels like spring, which makes me want summer. 🙂  This all means that I’m in the mood for maxi dresses!

In the spring and summer, maxi dresses are my equivalent of sweatpants – they’re so comfortable and easy to wear so I usually try to stock up on as many as I can if I can find some good deals.  Since the demand for these dresses will likely only rise over the next several weeks, I thought I’d try to get a head start on scouting some new maxi dress additions to my wardrobe.  Plus, since we haven’t even technically reached spring yet, there are several retailers that are offering maxis on sale to clear out inventory.  Click below to see my 10 favorite maxi dresses of the moment and where you can get them!

My Favorite Things

Every week I seem to have a few new favorite things that I seem to be using more than usual, so each week I’ll round up my favorite things from the week and feature them here.  At the end of the month, I’ll be hosting a giveaway that will include some of my favorite things from throughout the month.  Enjoy!

My Favorite Things | Sparkly Soul, Eos, Goody, Kendra Scott

Sparkly Soul | Kendra Scott | eos | Goody

Wide Satin Headband by Sparkly Soul • $17 • Athleta – I’ve had the same Sparkly Soul headband for at least 3 years and I wear it nearly every day.  Despite the probable overuse of my poor headband, it still doesn’t slip, hasn’t stretched out, and still looks amazing.  I rely on it so much that I panic when I can’t find it because there are seriously no other headbands as reliable as this one.

Kendra Scott Tessa Druzy Button Earrings • $65 • Neiman Marcus – My husband bought me these earrings for Christmas one year and while I don’t wear them often, they’re my favorite pair of earrings.  

eosTM 0.25 oz. Lip Balm Sphere in Strawberry Sorbet • $2.99 • Bed Bath & Beyond – I just started using eos lip balm a year or so ago when I got a bunch for Christmas.  Since then, I’ve become pretty reliant on these little spheres and I keep them everywhere – one in the car, one in my purse, one in my nightstand….you get the idea. 🙂

Goody® Ouchless Elastic Minty Fresh kit – 37 ct • $4.79 • Target – At any given time you can find at least a dozen of these around my house or in the bottom of my purse.  I have insanely thick hair and there are few hair ties that can actually hold it all up, but these hair ties have been my go-to for as long as I can remember.  And the good thing about these? You can find them just about anywhere!

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10 Best Free Fonts for Winter

Here in the St. Louis area we finally had our first real snowfall of the season! I have a love/hate relationship with snow. I love to watch the snow fall as it’s so relaxing and peaceful. However, I hate to actually go out into the snow for anything.

In honor of the first snowfall and to celebrate my (partial) love of snow, I’ve rounded up my ten favorite free fonts to use in all kinds of winter crafts and other projects. Enjoy!

10 Best Free Fonts for Winter | Rhinestones & Sweatpants

Snowinter | Coneria Script | Carrington | Snowflake Letters | Soulmaker in the Mountains | One Starry Night | Beyond the Mountains | Maple 3 Cartoon | Odstemplik | Rechtman