May 7, 2022

11 Holistic Hacks I Use For Productivity

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It’s taken me four loooooong years to be able to write this post. I struggled with ADHD my whole life and was on medication for a decade (from my sophomore year of college to just before conceiving my first child). After coming off of Adderall cold turkey in the Spring of 2018, I’ve found some unique and holistic productivity hacks I want to share with you! These are the best tools I use for productivity as well as some of the most effective holistic practices that have allowed me to be med-free for over four years. 

pinterest cover: 11 holistic productivity tools

Before I get into these productivity hacks, I want to acknowledge that our society places WAY too much of an emphasis on getting THE MOSTEST done in a single day. This is especially true for mothers. 

With increasingly fewer resources and help, we’re expected to do more, be more, and give more of our time. To add to this conundrum, we have less confidence in ourselves than men do. We compare ourselves more to other women and perceive them as being more “successful” and “productive” than we are. The reality is that these women are forever on the brink of burnout.

I don’t condone or exemplify this at all. As you’ll see below, I think the most most important aspect of “getting shit done” is to put your physical, emotional, and spiritual health first. With that being said, in terms of best tools for productivity, there are lots of ways to “work smarter, not harder,” which I share below:

Skip around to where you need it:


Ahhh the benefits of journaling. Where do I even start? I know that every TikToker and her mother is showing off their aesthetic journaling routines, but it’s more than just a trend. The art of journaling has been practiced by leaders in every field (I mean, hello, we drew ancient pictures on caves before we had language). 

There are as many different many different ways to journal as there are people in the world, but not all of them are centered on productivity. So in this post I want to focus on how journaling can be a tool for productivity. First and foremostly, get yourself a copy of Atomic Habits, it will change your life and gets into journaling quite a bit. Secondly, try these journaling tactics below:

Ana flipping a page in her productivity planner
  1. Journal in the morning using a process called “morning pages.” The first 45 minutes after you wake up is a precious time to journal because your ego hasn’t fully set in yet, so it’s a great time to get everything off your chest before you start your day. This can be as quick as a 5-10 minute session (but can go on longer if you have the time!). Try to fill 3-5 pages. 

Even if you don’t know what to write, start with “I don’t know what to write.” It doesn’t have to be complete sentences. I don’t practice this everyday because… kids. But when I do, I notice a major shift in my mental clarity. It feel like I'm taking the little annoyances and fears out of my head so I have more room for productive thinking.

  1. Try these journal prompts when you’re starting a new project or need to refocus on an old project (even if it’s a household task like spring cleaning or purging your closet – it works):
  • What tactics will I use to remind myself of my goals? How will I stay accountable?
  • How and where am I going to record and keep track of my progress?
  • Who can I rely on to help me reach my goals? What pressing tasks can they take off my plate this week? (parent, spouse, therapist, friend, boss, colleague, assistant – remember, no woman is an island). Outsource. Outsource. Outsource, baby! 
  1. Gratitude is a powerful emotion and can help put you in a better mindset for focused and productive work. It sounds wuwu, but it’s science: the energetics behind gratitude make it one of the best tools for productivity. At the top of a notebook page or even in your favorite notes app, jot down one thing (or 10 things if you’re feeling it!) you’re grateful for before you get down to business.

Block Scheduling

Remember the good ole’ highschool days?! Okay so maybe they weren’t the best years of our lives, but have you ever felt like you were the MOST productive in highschool and college compared to other times in your adult life? There’s a reason for that: block scheduling. In high school, your entire day was mapped out for you, and essentially all you had to do was just show up. Your daily schedule may have looked something like this:

  • Math
  • History
  • Lunch
  • English
  • P.E.
  • French
  • Sports/After school job
  • Homework
  • Time with friends/family
  • Bed

What you probably didn’t realize at the time is that the reason you were so productive (especially if you have ADHD) is that your days were pre-planned with almost military precision. All you had to do was report to your assigned class or task and you’d be forced to do the work. That’s the gist of block scheduling. 

One really helpful tool I use for this as a working mom is the Productivity Bootcamp Planner from The Page Company. You can use the code WILD for 10% off your order. Full disclosure I bought 3 of these planners and loved them so much I reached out to them (not the other way around) to ask if I could have an affiliate discount code and they said yes! 

Ana writing in productivity planner, filling out blocks

What I love about this planner is that the daily pages are set up in a block system that you can fill in with your daily blocks. They can look different for every person, but the most productive people in the world always have a routine that they stick to religiously. Block scheduling helps me hone in on that routine, while still allowing for flexibility and plans changing.

Here’s how I structure my blocks:

Ana's daily blocks in her productivity planner

In true womanly fashion, I do overextend myself sometimes, but this planner has helped me to have a better understanding about how much I can realistically get done in a single day as a working mom who is also the primary caregiver (I wish we had a nanny, but we don’t!). 

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Sleep is essential for productivity, but it’s easy to fall into habits that disrupt it. In the last year or so, I’ve become more aware of the effects that blue light has on my health. I’ve been trying to counteract this as much as possible but my work 100% virtually so it’s hard. One of the best and easiest ways I shield myself from artificial blue light is with these blue light blocking glasses from BLUBlox, an Australian-based company.

Ana wearing wired headphones and blue light protection glasses

Yes, they are pricey, $99 for the pair I got (BluLite Morris Computer Glasses) which is the least expensive one. I went back and forth about it for months, but when I dug into the science a bit more, I was sold on this specific company. BLUblox’s founder Andy Mant realized that most blue light blocking glasses don’t actually filter the appropriate wavelengths of light to make a real difference. So he decided to create his own brand from high-quality materials.

A note about blue light – blue light from the sun is essential. The reason people get SAD in the winter is that they don’t get enough blue light exposure. Artificial blue light (from phones and computer screens) can negatively impact your sleep, health, and mood. You can read more about it here and here.

graph showing how cortisol affects melatonic

Too much daytime exposure to blue light increases cortisol (Source).

I had a cheaper pair of blue light blocking glasses from Amazon for a while (til they snapped ) before I got my pair from BLUblox which I had been eyeing for several months. I’m so glad I got them!! Within just a few days of wearing them during the day, I noticed less eye tension and was even able sleep more soundly at night. For now, I only have the daytime computer glass (again, price ), but eventually I’ll add the red sleep glasses for night time. Which brings me to my next tool…

Nighttime Reading Light

For now I tryyyy to avoid screens after sunset and use BluBlox’s sleep clip to read. Again – I can’t stress enough the importance of good quality sleep for productivity. And this is coming from someone who hates sleep!! I’m kidding, I love sleep just as much as the next tired mama, but I also loveeeeee being awake after the kids go to bed. It’s when I get to be alone! At peace! Doing whatever the fuck I wanna do! It’s a constant conundrum in my life. 

But the blue light kills me. 

It's not directly going to be a tool you use for productivity, but I included it because BluBlox's sleep clip is blue and green light-free which allows you to get better sleep overall.

Ana reading with the BluBlox red light sleep clip.

It is SO CLEAR, if I scroll on my phone or computer for over an hour after 8 pm, I’m done. I’m up til 1, 2, sometimes 3 am. Because I literally can’t shut my brain off (the blue light won’t let me). So I (try to) have a hard cutoff of 10 pm and if I want to stay up later, I read using the sleep clip or meditate.

EMF sticker on Macbook

Side note, if you get a pair of glasses or the sleep clip from BLUblox, make sure you add a few EMF harmonizing stickers to your order! They’re only $15 and block 99% of radiation from your Wifi-enabled devices. I have one on my phone and laptop – and got one for every member of my family… as well as gifts for people. So don’t be surprised when you get an EMF sticker from me for your birthday

Box Breathing

Box Breathing is my little secret weapon when I am feeling stressed or anxious but I need to get in the zone!! I really only work 2 days a week and nap times, so I can’t waste that precious time! 

This breathing exercise provides the same benefits as mediation by reducing cortisol, but it helps the body calm first, which then calms the mind, and allows you to concentrate. EVERY single time I spend 5 minutes box breathing I experience both the physical and mental calm that makes me feel better and get my shiz done. 

Productivity Guided Meditations

In the same vein, sometimes I just need someone to talk me into a more productive state, so I’ll do a quick YouTube search for 5 or 10 minute guided meditation. Even short meditations will have an impact on productivity. Even when I feel like I “don’t have time” for one, I find that I’m actually able to focus more when I add in this little step before I need to do work that requires a lot of concentration, critical thinking, or creativity.

Some good ones:

High Frequency Music

If my house is silent, I happily work in peace. But if my house is noisy… if Ryan’s on a call, landscapers are mowing outside, kids are getting out of school, I’m worried about something… I get so easily distracted (thank you ADHD). So one thing I’ve found that helps a lot is listening to high frequency music with headphones on. It kills two birds with one stone because it drowns out the noise while also helping to elevate my mood because of the high frequency sounds! (Source).

I created a playlist of my favorite high frequency background music. Check it out below:

Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity hack for procrastinators of all kinds. Seriously, it’s been a game-changer for me. You set a timer to work for 25 minutes, then you take a 5 minute break. Then again for another 25 minutes followed by a 5 minute break. My day flieeees when I work this way and I end up getting so much more done. The “pressure” of the clock ticking keeps me on task and away from emails I don’t need to read or scrolling social media.

It works for chores, too. The reason it works is you’re training your brain to hyperfocus on a task. There are 2 important tips to follow if you want this to work though:

  • You can only focus on ONE task, no multitasking
  • Your 5 minute break must be away from screens, because otherwise your brain won’t register it as a “break.” Going outside and getting sunlight is ideal, but you can also do a couple yoga poses, get a drink or a snack, or just sit look out the window.

Delete Social Media

For someone who works on social media, I preach about detoxing from it quite a bit . Guys, it’s been three looooooong years of me trying to make the whole social media thing work. If there’s one thing I learned, it's that I need to straight up delete it from my phone sometimes. 

And I don’t mean just making a promise to myself like “I’m just not gonna use it for X amount of time,” because we all know how that shit goes. I learned this from Atomic Habits: when you add extra steps to your “bad habits,” it makes it that much easier to kick them. When I feel the urge to scroll, I remember I have to go through the whooole process of reinstalling it, figuring out my password, etc. and it’s so much easier to decide against it.

I’m doing a social media detox this week and I have been ON FIRE . I’ve been banging out work I’d been putting off for weeks. It feels so dang good. Yes, there’s a lot of good and a lot of learning and inspiration on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, etc. BUT even with the best intentions, we all know we get sucked in. I promise you, after a day, a week, a month off social media, you won’t miss anything important. That’s what newsletters are for! 

Diet Linked to Productivity

Okay so this one probably seems obvious, but I have to mention it anyway. Choosing whole foods over processed foods makes such a huge difference in my productivity, it’s almost unquantifiable.

Ana picking up a banana from a white bowl

Some specific things that have helped: 

  • Loosely meal-planning. I don’t plan meals for the whole week but make sure to have at least the freezer and pantry stocked so I don’t feel the pull to order takeout.
  • Beef liver. Grass-fed, organic organ supplements (especially liver) from Heart & Soil or Ancestral Supplements.
  • Supplements. Working with a functional medicine practitioner to figure out what supplements my body actually needs, not what the latest health fad is on Instagram. 
  • Limiting alcohol. As much as I hateeeee to admit this one, if I overconsume alcohol (more than 1-2 drinks) it seriously messes me up the next day. Like I can’t get anything done. I know biohackers will tell me I should kick the habit altogether, but dang, I love me a good glass of wine or a cold beer on a Friday night! I just try to not go too crazy and definitely not the day before I need to be productive.

I wrote an entire blog post about my food philosophy. I go into more detail about which foods and ingredients that have helped me thrive, and which ones I avoid like the plague!

For some whole-food meal planning, check out some of my favorite simple recipes:

ground beef and broccoli with rice in a bowl
granola in a red skillet on a stovetop
sweet potato protein waffled on a white plate with a yellow towel


Or any kind of exercise, really. But yoga is an especially powerful tool for productivity because it bridges the physical, mental, and spiritual connection. 

As long as I’m moving my body regularly, I’m so much more productive. Even on the days I don’t do a full-on workout, I make sure to go for a walk or dance it out with my kiddies. Movement is so incredibly powerful. It releases feel-good endorphins. And when I feel good, I’m much more likely to tackle difficult projects, I’m more creative, and more solution-oriented.

I did CrossFit for 5 years as my main form of exercise but have recently switched over to Yoga as my main gig. I love that yoga connects the physical and the mental aspect of the body. I’ve been so much calmer and inspired which has also helped with my productivity. 

Positive Affirmations

This is a new one for me, but I’ve been digging into the science of positive affirmations as a tool for productivity and there is a ton of it out there! I finally found a therapist I really like and we just started working together, and she also mentioned that she uses positive affirmations as part of her practice. 

You can say them out loud or write them down, I find a combination of the two is the most powerful for me. Give these a try:

  • Words will flow out of me.
  • Success comes naturally to me.
  • I am worthy of success in every area of my life.
  • I can do this.
  • I am capable.
  • I trust in my abilities and the universe has my back
  • My time is productive and efficient
  • I trust that I use my time well

I’ve been trying to teach Marina about positive affirmations, too. Take a look at our little car-talk in this Instagram reel.

Moon Bath

Okay so here’s where I get really wuwu . You can take it or leave it, but on March 30, I went to see a tarot reader in Staten Island named Chanel. I’m not going to get into it here, but everything she said was SPOT ON so I took her advice on this.

She suggested I try a “full moon ritual” to help balance my crown chakra. She told me that when my crown chakra is out of alignment (which for me is often), I find it difficult to concentrate. In order to help me stay more focused and productive, she suggested I do a full moon bath to help bring me closer to my alignment and help align my crown chakra. She said it would last for about a month (until just before the next full moon). 

So on the last full moon, April 16, I tried it. And you guys. I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect, or if it’s a reflection of how far I’ve come in my mental/emotional/spiritual journey, but I seriously feel… different. Not just different, but like I said before, I’m on FIRE. 

Okay so if you’re a hippie like me, or if you’re curious, here’s how to use the energy of the moon to create magnetism and manifest productivity in your life:

On the night of the next full moon, draw a bath and add 2 big tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of oil (I just used olive oil), and your desired cyrstal(s). Soak for at least 15 minutes. Meditate, just relax, whatever. After the bath, go outside with your crystal and sit under the moon. Soak up its energy for at least 15 minutes. I also left my crystal outside overnight to “charge.” 

bathtub with lit candle and crystals

Call me cuckoo, but I think there is something to this. The moon carries an immense amount of energy, backed by science. I mean, if it literally has the power to change tides and cause hurricanes, is it really that far-fetched to think that it also affects humans on a physical and spiritual level?

Cyrstals for Productiveness

Another recent wuwu experiment of mine. As part of the moon bath described above, I used the energy of the moon to “charge” my crystals as directed by Chanel, my tarot reader. The verdict is still out on whether crystals and stones actually work… But I love to believe in magic because it makes life that much more interesting.

ana holding a clear quartz stone in her hand

Some people believe crystals carry energy at certain frequencies which allow them to influence your life. Other people think they’re a symbol, a physical reminder of what you are manifesting. I fall in the latter category – I have a clear quartz crystal that I keep on my desk as a symbol of what it is that I’m seeking, which is clarity in life and business. Since I put an intention behind it, I really love the reminder of how pure joy, love, clarity, and all of these holistic practices have impacted my productivity and my life.

pinterest cover: 11 holistic tools for productivity

So that's my complete roundup of the best holistic tools I use for productivity! Let me know if you try any of these by tagging me on Instagram @lifesprettywild!

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