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5 Productivity Hacks from Maria Aldrey

Have you been struggling to be productive lately? Because tbh, the more sunlight we lose, the more we find ourselves wanting to stay in bed… Work can wait, right?

Unfortunately, we know as freelancers, work can’t always wait. So to help you get through your work more efficiently we are sharing 5 productivity hacks from Maria Aldrey, productivity expert and founder of

What does it mean to be “productive”?

Our productivity centers around balancing three things: our time, attention, and energy. When these pieces of the productivity puzzle are properly balanced, we can find ourselves in a flow state where work time goes by quickly. To maximize your productivity you’ll want to find where your time and attention peak.

Willa Tip💡: Log everything you do over several days and what you accomplish during different blocks of time to help you find this peak.

Don’t forget- time is relative. There will always be different responsibilities or different things we want to do. Mindset matters a lot when it comes to productivity, so focus on creating a feeling of time affluence. This occurs when you feel your time is helping you move towards your goal and do meaningful work. Time poverty on the other hand often feels like we do not have enough time and leads us to feel stressed and behind. Reframing tasks into how they are helping you achieve your goals is one way you can help recenter what you are working on into a feeling of time affluence.

1. Know the top bottlenecks to productivity

Productivity bottlenecks are the top things that hold people back from maximizing their productivity. Recognizing where you are falling short in your systems can help you resolve that component of the productivity puzzle.

  • How you manage your tasks: Do you have a system in place to help you know what needs to get done and manage your projects?
  • How you prioritize your goals: Do you have a method for determining what your most important tasks and goals are?
  • How you organize your knowledge: What do you do with your learnings from projects and how can you turn them into something you can use in the future?

2. Get everything down on paper

Using the mind sweep method from David Allen can help you get all of the ideas and tasks floating in your head on paper so you won’t forget them! This also ensures you are using less brainpower to remember what you need to do and more time spent focusing on the task at hand.

3. Prioritize with the Eisenhower Matrix

If you are struggling to decide what is most important, check out the Eisenhower matrix below. Essential tasks are those that you are responsible for, re: something bad will happen if you don’t complete them. Important tasks are not as urgent, but still important for your long term goals.

Willa Tip💡: When prioritizing make sure to add a deadline to each task (even if you are making it for yourself!).

4. Break projects down into bite-size pieces

If you are often working on projects, make sure to break them down into each individual step that needs to be completed. Once broken down you can focus more clearly on executing the tasks at hand and they will be more easily scheduled when you work on your weekly plan.

Willa Tip💡: Worried about not knowing how long a task takes? Time it using something like Toggl so you know how long it takes later.

Another option for breaking tasks down throughout the week is to schedule time blocks for certain tasks (like 3-5pm for emails) or schedule certain days for particular types of tasks (Monday’s are content days and Tuesday’s are for admin work). Maria also suggests focusing your planning sessions on tasks for the next month to one quarter.

5. Don't forget to make time to reflect

Reflecting each week will give you the opportunity to note what worked in your schedule and what did not. It may even help you identify your most productive hours (do you get more done in the morning or evening?). This is also a great time to tidy up your workspace and get out any thoughts from the past week that are still lingering to help you wrap up your work week!

Take Action

Are you ready to get a jump start on your productivity? Dusts off planner...