productivity tips

3 Effortless Ways to Get More Done

Do you ever wonder how on some days you seem to get so much accomplished, while on others, you barely get a few things checked off your to-do list?

I recently noticed how on Saturday’s, I get so much done. I’m like a blur… everything from cleaning the house, running errands, grocery shopping, getting some reading and writing in, a little shopping at the mall, and a nice dinner with my hubby.

It got me thinking… what is it about Saturday’s? After all, it’s a day that has the same 24 hours as the other days of the week.

Could it be I’m feeling a little more relaxed after a busy week that is scheduled down to the minute.

What did I do differently on Saturday’s that I could apply to my weekly schedule to get more done in less amount of time. I started taking note of everything I did and here are my top three ways to get more done, effortlessly, any day of the week!

1. It’s the Time of Day!

I’m one of those people who is full of energy in the morning and ready to make things happen, so I start off by knocking out my least favorite things first, like cleaning the house.

During the week, I find like most people, checking email is my least favorite thing to do. So what do I do when I first hit my office? That is right.  I check my email and handle anything that needs to be taken care of.

One great thing about doing the things you like the least first, is that it eliminates dread and procrastination, which saves you time and energy. How awesome is that!

2. Focus, Focus, Focus!

On Saturday’s, I check my phone first thing, then I put it up until I have everything around the house done. I love having a smart phone that allows to me check my email, all my social media feeds, text family and friends, video chat and talk, but it’s not too smart if starts taking up your time, instead of saving you time.

I follow this same rule while in the office. I check voicemails, emails and social media at certain times of the day, then I close them out and get busy.  This  allows me to get my work done faster and more efficiently, while not getting distracted.




3. Play Some Music!

Music energizes me. My favorites are rock n’ roll and disco. So on Saturday’s after catching up on the news, I shut off the TV, turn on my Sirius Satellite radio and tune into my favorite stations, then I get started on my to-do list. It’s just amazing how much faster you get things done when you’re jamming out to your favorite songs.

While in the office,  when I’m not coaching one of my amazing clients, I also listen to my favorite tunes. I used to be a fan of talk radio, but I noticed that it was actually distracting at times.

These are just three ways I found to easily be more productive during my week.  How could you be more productive?

When you have those days where you go… “wow, I got a lot done today”… start writing down what you did during the day and at what times. And then do the same for the days were you feel like you just didn’t get anything done.

I bet you will start to notice a pattern of ways, you too, can effortlessly get more done… any day of the week.

You can find Julie Barnes at  After experiencing a devastating tragedy, Julie learned how to move beyond her grief and into a brighter future.  If you are hurting but ready for your breakthrough, join Julie in Finding Your Phoenix.


  • Razwana

    Energy peaks and troughs are definitely one to watch. I’m a morning person too and I find I can get the difficult tasks out of the way before the afternoon slump sets in. That’s on weekdays though. On weekends, it’s the other way around!

    I guess if someone doesn’t know what patterns suit them, it’s time to experiment a little!

    Thank you for this post, Julie.

    – Razwana

    • You’re welcome, Razwana! Yes, it is time to experiment. It’s a great way to learn how we all work the best and most efficiently. Have a great weekend!

  • Great advice! I second that getting something important done early on in the day – an early win – sets the tone for the rest of the day and is a great way of getting into that productive zone.
    I’d also recommend sorting your todo-list by 1. Important / Urgent 2. Important / Not urgent 3. Not important / Urgent 4. Not important / Not urgent. Then focus as much as you can on getting the stuff sorted under number 2 done. This advice from Stephen Covey has helped me become a lot more effective.
    Thanks for sharing, Julie!

    • Thank you Patrik and thank you for sharing the great tips as well. I like your tip of sorting out my “to-do’s”. Enjoy your weekend!

  • Hi
    For me, I notice that I get lots of works done during the day by focusing on the plans that I set out to do in the morning and do it. Usually, the less emotions I put in going about my plan for the day, the more things I can accomplish. Let’s say I plan to do some ironing today and at some point I feel a bit lazy. Instead of relenting to this, I brush aside my “laziness” and proceed doing what I set out to do.
    Taking breaks also help in increasing my level of productivity for the day. Just sharing :)

    • Thanks Mulyadi! I also find taking a “brain break” as I like to call them throughout the day helps with my creativity and productivity too. Have a great weekend!

  • I actually take most Saturdays off. I get my work done weekday mornings and evenings so that I can spend quality time with family and friends on the weekend. My key: getting up early and doing it.

    • I like that Dan! Doing a weekend to-do in the early mornings during the week, so my weekends are free and clear, is a great a idea. Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your weekend!

  • Thanks for the tips Julie! I think I need to focus more (I need more music too)

    • …might not be EVERYONE’s style…but this album is full of some great worktime jams. Shawn Lee’s Incredible Tabla Band.

      • I actually like it Sean. Thanks for sharing! It sounds like great writing music too. Have a great weekend!

    • You’re welcome Diana! Music makes everything better! Have a great weekend!

  • Lots of great advice Julie!

    “2. Focus, Focus, Focus!” ..I know! I need something that will deliver a little zap when my attention starts to wander.. Geez

    Music is a new one I haven’t tried! I’ll give that one a whirl.

    thanks, darlene :)

    • Thank you, Darlene! Give it a try!

      Pandora is another great resource for music. They have just about any kind of music you can think of for your listening pleasure. Enjoy your weekend!

  • Tadeusz Szewczyk

    Starting the day with email is the worst thing you can do. This way you only do what others want you to.

    • Hi Tadeusz!

      Thank you for your comment. I have heard this theory before, but I found that when I jump right in and handle my email first thing, then it’s done and I can move on and not wonder about what’s in my inbox. I know some people that handle email at the end of the day, so it’s whatever works best for you and makes you more productive. Enjoy your weekend!

      • The moment you reply to emails the people will reply again so at the end of the day you got even more to do. This way you can email back and forth all day. I sort and answer emails in the evening and plan each task that takes longer than a minute for the next day or later as an extra todo-list item.

        • Hi Tadeusz!

          I typically close out my email when I’m done until my next scheduled check in, so I avoid the back and forth.

          I love your system though. This would also be a great experiment for people to try, to find out what time of day checking email works best. Thank you for sharing! Enjoy your day!

    • I respectfully disagree Tadeusz. Following the GTD time management methodology I can somewhat agree that email can inhibit productivity and our ability to actually make progress during the day, but it depends entirely on how you handle it.

      I personally either delete, archive, or delegate email. If reading the email will take less than 2 minutes then I’ll read it and decide whether to reply now or later. Answering email first thing is important for me as it allows me to make changes to my daily schedule if need be. I also wrote a post about keeping your email inbox at zero.

      Each to their own though!

  • David

    I totally agree with the idea of listening to music when going about my daily activities. It also energizes me. I listen to music when working out as do many others in order to become pumped, there’s no reason it can’t apply for other tasks.

    • Hi David!

      Thank you for sharing. I also found that I get a much better workout in when I’m jamming to my favorite tunes. Have a great weekend!

  • wini

    I agree with you on all your points. One thing that helps me in addition to what you listed is to make a to-do-list for the next day, so my mind is not filled up with planning. And another thing is to eat healthy and light food, to stay energized.

    • Hi Wini!

      Thank you! I love your food tip. That is so important. Thank you for sharing! Have a great weekend!

  • I love seeing productivity posts on here :)

    I typically do small tasks first thing in the morning, such as checking emails and replying to blog comments. It helps me build momentum. I’ve tried experimenting with harder tasks first which works okay, but normally causes me to forget about the small tasks.

    I like to use high intensity focus periods, generally 60-90 minutes at a time between meals. I then break this up into 30 minute slots where I have a very short break in between to check social media. I find that if I don’t check social media often then I end up staying on there too long. It’s refreshing to check Facebook and realize nothing’s happened since half an hour ago, it’s less attractive that way and ultimately allows me to be more productive.

    And I wish I could work with music! I can do simple stuff, but as I was writing this comment I had to turn it off! I like music so much that I begin to focus on the music instead of what I should be doing 😛

    Thanks for the great post, Julie!

    • Hi Sam!

      You’re welcome! I love your tip of using high intensity focus periods. That is an awesome idea. Thank you for sharing your productivity tips too! Have a great week!

  • Patty Gardner

    I find I’m most productive on Monday (I’m home full-time), a little less on Tuesday, and it goes downhill from there.

    • Hi Patty!

      That is great that you know what days you are most productive and can schedule your week accordingly. Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

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  • Romane

    I enjoy the read and I can surely relate to it ,days leading up to my day off I plan for my day ,the key is to identify what is really important to you and try to overcome procrastination.Getting a good night rest the night before is also important.
    Thanks Julie!

  • Grammargrrrrrrl

    Saturdays as a plural should not be spelled Saturday’s. more info: