3 Simple Steps to Maximizing Your Productivity

3 Simple Steps to Maximizing Your Productivity

One of my goals for 2017 is to increase my productivity. For me, a lot of valuable time was wasted in 2016 by going with the flow and spending countless hours on Facebook. (I swear Facebook is a black hole and once you get sucked in there is no getting out.)

I am excited to share the 3 simple steps I put into place to drastically improve my productivity. These steps not only allowed me to be in control of my day, but I also got more done in less time. Resulting in me spending more time with my family and less time stressed out.

What you need: Daily Planner, 1 sheet of paper, pen and a clock or timer.

I use the Brilliant Business Planner and love it. It is so much more than just a planner. It is a to do list, habit tracker, planner, journal and more. (Above is a referral link that will save you $5.00 if you want to get the Brilliant Business Planner too. Please note I will receive monetary compensation from your purchase with this referral link.)

1.  List

The first tip to increase your productivity is to list what MUST get done during the week and list what you WANT to get done. I suggest two lists; one for your business and one for personal items.

Take a few minutes to do a brain dump and write down everything that comes to mind on your sheet of paper.

Business & Personal List - Productivity

2.  Prioritize

The second tip is to prioritize.

Go through both of your lists and determine what absolutely MUST get done in the upcoming week. These items are given first priority in your schedule.

Second priority is given to the items you WANT to get done during the week.

The items that do not have a deadline you can move to a running to do list.

3.  Scheduling

The third tip is to use time-blocking for your daily schedule. This may feel very rigid at first, but I promise you will be amazed at how much time-blocking increases your productivity.

Start with your daily routine and any appointments. Be sure to block out the appropriate amount of time for the appointment and required travel.

Next, designate your working hours. Fill in your schedule with items given first priority from your lists. These top priority items MUST get done, so they need to be scheduled first in your day. (Before checking your email or any social media. You cannot get sucked into the black hole.)

When scheduling an item estimate how much time you need. For example, you MUST prepare a marketing report and estimate the report will take 30 minutes. You would then block out 9-9:30am on Monday in your planner.

After you schedule each top priority, you will schedule next the items you WANT to accomplish. Note, you do want to leave some blank space in your schedule. I leave mine at the end of my day. The blank space allows for projects that were not completed or that came up last minute.

Lastly, if you have several open spaces you can pull from your running to do list. You can also use your running to do list to fill the time at the end of your day. Those days when you are so awesome you complete everything scheduled!

Time-blocking  - Productivity

Bonus Productivity Tips:

  • Do NOT over schedule yourself. It will only create a feeling of overwhelm.
  • Use a timer to ensure you follow your daily time blocks. (I use the timer in the clock app on my iPhone.)
  • I schedule checking my email twice a day. During lunch and at the end of the day. Outside of those times I have my email program closed, so it is not a distraction.

Getting Personal

I suffer from anxiety and often become paralyzed with overwhelm. These 3 simple steps alleviate my anxiety and increase my daily productivity, while creating a happier work environment for me. I would love to hear how these 3 steps help you and if you have any additional tips to add. ~ Rae

Disclosure:  This post contains the following affiliate links: http://brilliantbusinessm.refr.cc/raewalaska  This means we will receive monetary compensation if you make a purchase using these links. We greatly appreciate your purchase and support of your fellow entrepreneurs.

4 Exciting & New Pinterest Updates

4 Exciting & New Pinterest Updates

Pinterest Updates

Have you logged into your Pinterest account recently? Pinterest has made some exciting new updates and BIG changes! I can’t wait to share the new Pinterest updates with you.

I am including photos with examples for you to see what I am talking about. Or you can hop on over to the She Sells Studios Pinterest page and check these changes out for yourself.

Slider Showcase

pinterest slider

The first change you will notice is Pinterest added a Slider Showcase that features 5 of your boards of your choice. We highly recommend choosing your top 5 boards or the boards that are popular for the current season. You can change your featured boards as often as you would like.

pinterest slider options

The next change you will notice is Pinterest changed the sizes of the boards and the board cover graphics. If you have board covers you will need to resize the graphics to fit the new boards.

Tip: The board cover and the first graphic on the upper right are the same image. The reason is because the smaller graphics show what your last pins were to that board. To prevent a double of the cover image you will want to pin 4 additional items after you pin your board cover graphic.

Board Cover Graphics

The good news is the board covers are now square. The covers were previously rectangular on a desktop and square on a mobile device. (For those of us, that are Type-A and want everything just right, it was a pain.)

The board cover graphics are universally square across all devices and are sized at 200 x 200px. Please note, the cover graphics can be bigger, as long as the graphics are square.

pinterest covers

Tip: Board covers help make your Pinterest boards look more organized and appealing.


Tried It

The Tried It! Button is the newest feature I am the most excited about. In order to use this feature, first click on the pin and then near the top you will see a “Tried It” Button next to the Send Button.

Our Tried It! Button is between the Send Button and the Tailwind Schedule Button. (Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduler. If you don’t have Tailwind, you won’t have this Schedule Button.*)

New Pinterest Tried It! Button

When you click the Tried It! Button to say you have tried this pin a new window will open. Next, in the new window you can tell others how your experience was. As a result, you can rate the pin with a “Loved it” smiley or a “Not for me” frown. You can also leave a note or tip and attach a photo.

Pintrest Tried it! Button Review Box

Of course, you are probably asking yourself, “Now where do I find these reviews and the people who have tried it?” Did you notice the little check marks with a number that are now listed to the right of the pin count?

Pinterest Tried It! Notification

The check mark represents having tried it and the number is the quantity of people who have hit the button. All you have to do is click on the check mark to view the people who have tried it and read the reviews they left.

Pinterest Tried It Review

Tip: Go in and explore pins that have the Tried It! Button. You can even do a She Sells Sister a favor and leave feedback on pins you have tried.

Loved it or Not for you

What else have you noticed has changed on Pinterest? Which changes do you hope stay and what do you hope goes away?

Happy Pinning!

*Please note Tailwind is an affiliate link. By clicking on the Tailwind link you will be provided a 1 month FREE trial and we will receive 1 month of free services! A win-win if you ask us.

A Not So Happy Holiday: Managing Stress, Grief, and Anxiety

A Not So Happy Holiday: Managing Stress, Grief, and Anxiety


With the holidays coming upon us we often focus on the merry & bright, but for many there is another side to the holidays.

A time of grief and stress. Grief from missing our loved ones that have passed on and stress from family, finances and work.

During this time there are several coping mechanisms that you can put into place to help you get through the rough times and make the most of your holidays.

The most important thing is to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Stress and grief can be made worse by a lack of self-care. Be sure to eat balanced healthy meals, get in 20 minutes of moderate exercise, sleep 7-8 hours each night and take time for yourself. When you have “me” time you may choose to meditate, read a book or get a massage. These items will not only help with relaxation, but will help you feel in control and conquer your stress.

When coping with grief and loss do not feel that you have to suffer silently. Be open with your friends and family. Share stories about your loved one and do something special in their memory for the holidays. You can make a donation to a charity that meant a lot to them, watch their favorites sports game or visit their favorite restaurant.


The most important thing to help you have Happy Holidays is to have a positive attitude. Don’t dwell on the negative or everything that needs to get done. Instead think about the things you have accomplished and what you are looking forward to this holiday season. If you are having a hard time doing this. Plan something special for yourself. Ultimately, you control your own happiness.

So, what are you going to do to be happy this holiday season?

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