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1023 Springdale Road, Building 6B
Austin, TX, 78721
United States

Austin's favorite stationery shop and workshop studio.


The Paper + Craft Pantry blog is home to our latest DIY projects, current inspiration sources, and small business advice. 

Small Business School: 7 Ways To Stay Productive

Pei Sim

Paper + Craft Pantry 2019 Small Business Blog: 7 ways to stay and be productive this year

Happy new year friends!

A new year brings a fresh start and there’s something just magical about it don’t you think? Over the past few years, I’ve been working on finding ways to improve the flow of my days and work weeks and I just couldn’t pass up a chance to share with you guys. It’s easy to feel motivated and feel that new year “high” but these 7 tips have helped me stay productive and motivated not only for the new year, but for the remaining 11 months of the year.

I’d love to hear what y’all think, and if you have any tips share them in the comments below :)

7 Ways to Stay Productive

The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Getting your favorite supplies ready are the best motivator to start planning.

1. Write it down

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you feel like you have too much to do or when you don’t know where to begin. I try to start my week out by writing down EVERYTHING I need to get done during that week. I’ll look over my schedule and give every task on that large list a specific day so it spaces things out and breaks things up.

I also am a big stickler to picking 5 things. Actually only picking 5 single things on my list to tackle each day where I’m not allowed to work on anything else on the list besides those 5 first. This really lets me prioritize what’s really urgent or important. It’s something I encourage our studio assistants to do when they come into work for the day- that way they can stay focused and flow into how the day goes at the shop.

2. Take a break

When you’re feeling distracted, instead of forcing the work- lean into the flow and take a break. I really think it may seem counterintuitive to stop working when you’re busy or feel like there’s a lot to do but taking a short break- even if it’s just 10 mins can really help you reset and refocus. I’m a fan of of going outside for some fresh air, a quick walk around the block or to check the mail, sometimes I’ll even use it as an opportunity to grab a glass of water to rehydrate or even sit up against the wall to do legs up the wall.

3. Eliminate unnecessary meetings

What I’m about to say may upset some people… but I really feel like meetings are a waste of time. At least they can be. I do understand the importance of a meeting and know that from time to time it’s important- but filling your days with meetings can actually be a waste of time as you have to constantly switch gears between meetings that takes up valuable time in your day vs. just getting things done! I try to only schedule a handful of meetings a week- and only when they’re necessary! And when I do have a meeting, I have a really clear agenda to move through so it’s actually a meaningful time spent.

4. Set a timer, put your phone away

I actually do this regularly- I set a timer for 30 mins- an hour or even two hours and leave my phone out of sight. That way I can really dive into what I need to work on and focus on it- I know that when my phone alarm goes off, time’s up!

5. Find an accountability partner

Tell a friend what you are working on- someone who can check in with you. I really believe in sharing what you are working on with someone you work with, or someone who can hold you to what you say you’re going to do. Someone who asks you how your project is going- and I think the simple act of declaring what you are doing outloud allows you to hold yourself accountable.

6. Clear your desk

I am so guilty of this, when I feel like there’s a lot going on in my life or on my plate it tends to reflect the state of my desk in the office. Aka, it’s like a tornado blew through my office when I have a ton going on. To start each day, I take a few minutes to go through what’s on my desk so I can literally make space for myself and my work. Clear desk, clear mind!

7. Set aside times for emails

Don’t check your email every 5 minutes. Set aside a few times a day to check and respond to emails. I know a lot of people who block their emails into chunks based on the time of the day- that way you’re not spending a few minutes here and there to go through your inbox but can dedicate a solid part of your day to it and dedicate the rest of the time to work!

The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Setting up our desk to plan on our computer and favorite notebook.

Have any productivity tips you want to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!