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  • Writer's picturehana-piranha

Productivity Tools for 2024

Around the beginning of last year I went into a real self-development phase. I read many self-help and productivity books and started to really refine my working days and the time and ways that I took care of myself in general. I'm really passionate about this so I thought I'd share the top things that have helped me in the last year.

  1. Write my journal first thing. I never used to journal at all, I would have vague intentions of keeping one but always ran out of time to do it. Last year I read a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod which, in summation, suggests taking an hour first thing in the morning to start your day well. It has lots of good ideas and inspired me to make my journal the first priority of my day. As a result, I have written my journal every single morning for the last twelve months. As someone who forgets what I've done from one day to the other, it's a really important tool for understanding myself. I have also become a bit addicted to journaling; expanding into a dream diary, a health diary and a gratitude diary. Most importantly, I have also kept up a practice diary, which has really helped me to streamline my practice in a more focused way.

  2. I don't have to do this, I get to do this. One of the most impactful books I read last year was called Manifest by Roxie Nafousi. It had many gems of inspiration and this was one of my favourites. It made me remember, for example every time I do a workout, how lucky I am that I have a healthy body that allows me to do this. Or, every time I feel like I can't be bothered to go to a ballet class, how lucky I am that there is a ballet class in my area and I can afford to go.

  3. Stay in your lane. This was another nugget of wisdom from Manifest. It compares you and your journey to success to runners or swimmers in a race. They would not be looking around to see where their competitors were as this would impede their own pace. In the same way, it's pretty counterproductive to be constantly comparing yourself to others. "Stay in your lane" is something I say to myself every time I find myself wasting time scrolling social media or feeling like a failure because I see others who are doing "better" than me. It really helps me to just get off my ass and continue with my own work. Another phrase I once got told by my harp teacher was comparison is the thief of joy. We all have a different path and deserve to live our lives in a way that is authentic to our true purpose. This is something I am a huge advocate for with my music.

  4. Pivoting: I know what it is that I don't want - what is it that I do want? I got this one from an Abraham Hicks book The Law of Attraction which is all about sending out positive vibes to receive what you want from the universe.

  5. Love your bills. This is from a book called You Can Heal Your Life Louise Hay. It kind of goes in line with the Law of Attraction by viewing money as just another kind of energy that flows in abundance. The idea is that by giving money out you are allowing space for it to come back to you. Whether you believe this or not, I think operating in this spirit of generosity is a really healthy way to live your life.

  6. Habit Trackers. I'm basically still a child and I have always loved using star charts as a motivational tool. I have so many different things that are important to do on a daily basis that I use a weekly habit tracker where I stick a star for every task I complete. It helps me keep a very visual record of my consistency (with practice for example) and inspires me to get on with my daily tasks. This leads me onto the next very important thing:

  7. Taking the decision out of the process. At the beginning of this year I read a refreshingly short book called Awaken the Giant Within by famous life coach Tony Robbins. It talked about lack of decision also being a decision and it made me realise that I was a bit off-track with some of the things I was doing. I was using habit trackers but my list has more tasks than I could often hope to achieve in a day (especially gig or rehearsal days). The problem with this is that the list wasn't in any particular order and I was kind of scattergunning the stars each week. Reading this book kickstarted me into reflecting on my priorities. It made me think of Zuckerberg or Obama wearing the same thing every day to minimise "decision fatigue". Previously I would wake up and not have a fixed plan, spend a while looking at my tasks, and eventually decide to do all my piano practice just because it's more fun and easy than my other more important tasks. Now I prioritise things in order.

That's everything I felt compelled to share for now, although there is a lot more I want to add. My morning routine currently takes me about two hours and I have zero guilt about it as my productivity/efficiency seems to be increasing in proportion to the time I'm putting into myself. I'll be writing more on this self-care angle soon. To conclude, I'm sharing a photo of something that I would never usually share! This is what the blackboard in my music room looks like currently. To anyone who reads this: I would love to see/hear about your workspaces and the things that you do to get stuff done. I am constantly learning and developing this side of myself and very open to inspiration! Please let me know in your comments 😊



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6 Comments


Guest
Mar 06

I love this, and it's really inspiring to read about! 'You Can Heal Your Life' is a wonderful book too, it was my first intro to the power of affirmations.

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hana-piranha
hana-piranha
Mar 08
Replying to

Ah I'm so glad you've read it too, she has some really great wisdom to share!

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Guest
Mar 05

Its quite encouraging to hear that spending more time on your self care is actually enhancing your productivity. With the demands of Art, let alone hussle culture, I tend to sacrifice well-being for the sake of 'doing' well so this is very inspiring, thank you! My workspace is digital so I use a lot of online tools for my own organising tactics. One thing I find critical is Mind Maps for project management (for release campaigns, even gig preparation, music practice etc). It works for anything I need to think through when my head is exploding with too many ideas or a nebulous cloud of ideas that need clarity. Then I use Trello to organise further into To-Do lists.

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hana-piranha
hana-piranha
Mar 08
Replying to

Ah Trello is so good, I plan at some point to transfer some of my visual tools to a digital workspace like you do!

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Mishkin Fitzgerald
Mishkin Fitzgerald
Mar 05

I love the quote from your cello teacher, absolute gold. Very insightful and practical, thank you!

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hana-piranha
hana-piranha
Mar 05
Replying to

Thank you! Yes I love that quote so much!

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