Location: Manila, Philippines

Don’t you sometimes wish that there were more hours in a day? I can’t even count how many times I wished for this while I was stuck in traffic. Sadly, we can’t control time—but what we can control is our productivity. Since I work as a fulltime blogger, it’s easy for me to just laze around and take advantage of the fact that I don’t have “working hours.” But I never treat it that way. I look at it as any regular creative job wherein I set an alarm, catch deadlines and allot 2-3 days to write or edit videos. Being a blogger for almost 8 years, I’m pretty proud of myself for lasting this long in the industry—and I think productivity plays a huge factor here. The more productive I am, the more projects/campaigns I book! Which also means I get to spend a few days/weeks off to travel! It’s all about that work-life balance, yes?

Being cautious with how we spend our time is very crucial to getting more done during the day. Believe me, there are a number of ways to make the most out of every minute—all you need to do is to stick to the ones that works for you. With that, I hope these simple hacks will help you get more done in a day.

  1. Set an alarm and wake up earlier – Ever since I was a student I would never stay up late for a homework, a school project or thesis. I would always sleep early and set an alarm the next day–that way I get enough sleep and get more things done. It’s kind of like starting with a clean slate. One of the reasons I love waking up early is that it’s still quiet and there are fewer distractions. You don’t need to wake up so early that you feel sluggish and lazy the whole day, just and hour earlier than usual would be ideal.
  2. Start your day with an exercise – Working out first thing in the morning can automatically put you in a good mood and boost your productivity. I usually have a gym bag ready the night before (so that I have no reasons to be lazy the next day) and spent at least 1.5 hours in the gym. I take a shower there as well and go to a nearby coffee shop to check emails. If your schedule does not permit, at least squeeze in an exercise during the day.
  3. Have a planner and make a to-do list – Every morning I list down all the things I need to accomplish that day on my planner. I draw small boxes before every task so I have something to tick off when I finish them. This will get you organized and focused on what you have to do each and every day. Plus, there’s a huge satisfaction when you accomplish everything on your to-do list.
  4. Focus on one thing at a time – This is honestly something I’m still working on but I feel like it’s very important if you want to accomplish more in a day. Whenever I have so much things to do, I get overwhelmed as to which one I should do first–which in the end results to procrastinating and not doing any of those tasks. I read somewhere that as humans, we constantly overestimate what we can achieve in one day, and underestimate what we can achieve in one year. I learned that we need to set big goals for ourselves in life, but set small achievable goals for our day to day activities.
  5. Answer your emails right away – Sort every email out once you open your inbox. Respond right away, draft, delete. Don’t let it sit there for weeks. Keeping your inbox clean leads to an organized life.
  6. Take the public transportation – Now before you beat me up for this, I know we don’t have the most efficient train system, but it’s still the fastest way to get to your destination. With a little skill, you can conquer the MRT and LRT in no time. I should know, I’ve been a commuter all my college life. I would take the MRT from Quezon Avenue Station (North EDSA is the nearest one from my place but it’s the craziest/busiest since it’s the first station) then get off at Taft Station. From there, I walk to the LRT Taft Station then get off at Vito Cruz station. Now that I am working, I still take the train/P2P bus especially when I go to The Mall of Asia (Taft Station), Glorietta/Greenbelt (Ayala Station) or Mega Mall (Ortigas Station). It saves me more time and I get to catch up with my emails, post and lurk on social media while on the way!
  7. Get a beep™ card – Thought about sharing this with you guys since a lot of you are students and yuppies who commute to school/work everyday. Now, what’s a beep™ card, you ask? Basically it’s like the Octopus Card of Hong Kong or the EZ-Link Card of Singapore. I discovered this last year when there was a long queue at the MRT North Edsa station and I saw a booth selling the beep™ cards. Curious little me went out of the line and bought a beep™ card. I love that we’re taking a step forward to increase the efficiency of our public transportations. Too bad they didn’t have this yet when I was in college!

The beep™ was launched early last year as the unified tap and go card for LRT1, LRT2 and MRT3. It is the first smart card that can be used in all 3 rail lines. beep™ offers commuters an integrated payment system that can make their daily commute faster and more convenient because they don’t have to purchase a ticket every time they ride the train. A few facts about beep™ card:

  • The beep™ card has a Near Field Communicator (NFC) chip that enables contactless payments. It is a reloadable, pre-paid or stored value card that retails for P20 (without load) and is valid for 4 years.
  • No registration is required to purchase the card, just get one at any of the rail stations or the bus terminals of BGC Bus and Citylink, load it and you’re ready to go!
  • You can now load your beep™ cards and use it to pay at FamilyMart! You can also check the remaining value of your beep™ card at the counter area. How convenient right?
beep1 beep2 beep4 beep3

You can use your beep card at: LRT1, MRT3, Family Mart, HM Transport’s Airport Loop, BGC Bus, Citylink Coach Services, P2P Buses (RRCG and Froehlich) and CAVITEX.

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