How to Implement My 2-Week Productivity Process …

(Snippits from our oh so popular Digital Glue Podcast!)

We see it so often … especially at the beginning of a new year, all the articles titled “How to transform your life in 2 weeks”.

Many of us have trained ourselves to look within and reflect on the past year and make some changes for the coming year. And in 2020, we had more time than ever to reflect seriously and adjust!

Now, the facts state that it can take 14 to 26 days to form a habit and a bit longer for an action to become automatic.

So, if we want to start making better choices and make our working lives happier and more manageable, two weeks is a great way to start.


We at Virtually Untangled are committed and dedicated to professional and personal growth. And we strongly believe in the magic that happens when we pause to reflect on how things are going on the outside — with our levels of productivity — and on the inside with how we feel, and then make a plan of action to make things flow more smoothly. We believe in work-life balance and making our workspaces our own to promote creativity, productivity and fun! We always want to strive for happiness, regardless of our ambition or activity.

So, when we look within and find that we are feeling unsatisfied with what we have accomplished at the end of a day, or our to-do lists are growing way faster than we can keep up with (such is the life of an overachiever am I right?) that tells us that we need to make some adjustments in the productivity areas of our working day.

The last thing we want to do is to take our fun projects on the to-do lists and make them feel like actual work … actually, like chores! Our lives should be nothing but a well-rounded mix of fun stuff and work stuff. And when we feel like we are getting buried in them both, our mindset can suffer, and we need to take five and tackle a new list entitled “How to break this cycle!” I have spent a long time honing my skills in what I can do to get myself out of a lousy mindset with my productivity. And I know quite a bit more now than ever before about what sparks me from within and gets me cranking out quality work like never before. And the positive boost creates a new cycle of happiness and satisfaction.

So, let’s take some time together today to dive into my tips n’ tricks for getting the juices flowing and giving that negative voice inside your head a break.


First, let’s start with the basics …


People can only function if they take care of this fundamental need. And you’ve heard me stress this many times in our 300 blog posts and on our new-found podcast journey with you.

As entrepreneurs, we are always so busy, and often our minds are full of ideas 24/7, so a good 8 hours sleep seems like a dream. But sleep allows your brain to process and refresh itself. You need to get at least 8 hours each night to avoid causing problems with your concentration, organization and even decision-making.

If you can’t fall asleep because your brain won’t turn off (which tends to be me some days when I’ve overly full of excitement and ideas!) and it’s running through every single thing you want to accomplish the next day, it may be time for a new bedtime routine. It’s also important to know when your optimal time to sleep is. If you are a night owl and love to get work accomplished all night and sleep all day, that’s what you should do. It’s time to build your routine around your body clock, and good things will happen.

So next up in the life “basics” category is creating a tremendous wake-up routine!

Creating an enjoyable morning routine would benefit you to set your intentions for the day and feel refreshed. Waking up early is a habit shared by most of the world’s most successful people.

Doing so adds time to complete your most important tasks — business and pleasure — and allows you to get started on your work needs and desires with a clear, alert, and refreshed mind.

This last “basic” is a complete no-brainer …

Fresh drinking water is non-negotiable throughout your day to keep your body and mind hydrated and SHARP!

So, when you feel like the day is dragging and making you sleepy, try a glass of cold water to refresh your focus. Same thing with exercise … I know for some of us, the natural response is, “Who has time?” but try building this into your workday by taking some stretch breaks, walking during lunchtime and using the stairs as often as possible. The long-term benefits will astound you. Even a concentrated 20 minutes per day can change the course of your schedule in such positive ways. The surge of endorphins can give you the kick-start you need for a busy afternoon when you usually would be ready to snooze, especially for those of us who spend long periods sitting.


Next up is one of my favourites … Yup, planning and organization!

It’s TIME to create your to-do lists ahead of time.

I am a list maker and a nerdy list lover. The key word here is PLANNING. And your productivity depends on it. A considerable tip is to refrain from attempting a to-do list the day of. You are perhaps anxious about everything you feel “needs” to be done, which can lead to over-planning your day with unrealistic goals. Then at the end of it all, you will only make yourself feel bad for not getting it all done … Thus, perpetuating the negative cycle.

See where I am going with this?

You will honestly be able to tackle your to-do list much more effectively by organizing your thought train and writing it all day (or night) before, as this gives you the time you need – and deserve — to mentally prepare for each task, project, and goal. You will also save more time this way as you will already know your day when you wake up. Granted, not every list-tackling day will run as smoothly as we all hope it will … There will be tech hiccups, unplanned client calls and emergencies. But at least this way – whether those hiccups present themselves or not — you can dig in and get started instead of planning around how you’re feeling or what you feel up to doing that day.


Keeping lists making in mind … A handy dandy tool I discovered, which is now one of my absolute fav things EVER, just so happens to be my very next tip …

Keeping a planner with daily and monthly tasks and goals.

I also want to do a quick “shout out” to the ladies that run The Happy Planner, as everything they do is my JAM! And everything they share with the world is completely amaze-balls and helps make my virtual world go round! I buy one of their amazing planners every single year. I get so excited for a fresh new one hot off the press that I race to the store the second they come out in early August so that I can get the pick of the litter. Why? Because in today’s entrepreneurial world, it takes more than just a simple to-do list to keep track of everything you want and need to accomplish. Yes … we go mostly digital with tools like Asana, Trello, BaseCamp and Slack … But there’s nothing truly like having your agenda right in your face at all times! It can be way too easy to miss important tasks, meetings or even contract renewals and get side-tracked by other projects and duties that arise. Especially for us creative thinkers, one thought can lead us down the path of other thoughts and before you know it, your focus is gone, and it’s dark outside!

So, by keeping a planner that is filled with inspirational goals, projects, meetings, scheduled days off, “Soul” days (thanks for the idea, Nancy!), team and client birthdays, contract renewals, lead opportunities, personal reminders, and so on … will allow you to get everything your heart desires done. It will also remind you of all the long-term goals and plans you have set out for yourself.


Now, in reality, this is just step one.

Setting priorities to get these things accomplished is step two.

One way you can achieve this is to sort out all those wonderfully amazing goals, projects, and tasks according to the impact they will likely have on you and your business vs. the effort it takes to complete them. Because if it looks “too hard” or like it will take “too long,” no matter how badly you want this goal for yourself, you’ll sluff it off and choose something easier from your list.

Organizing your planner this way saves you time and helps you avoid spending energy on things that don’t yield much return.

And with that being said …. if you haven’t already … head off to your local craft (I’m a total sucker for a good ‘ol Michaels trip!) or office supply store and pick out an annual planner that works for you.

Remember, grab something fun! And something that suits your personality!


Okay … Part of the planning process that is ever so important is next up …

Setting yourself some truly realistic deadlines.

Deadlines are SOOOOOOOO important because they provide the framework for us to get things done. They can also help dictate the pace and priority of a specific project to keep us on the straight and narrow.  

But on the flip side, they can also be very intimidating. So, remember to establish deadlines for yourself that are realistic and manageable given the goals and projects at hand — and the time available to you to accomplish them. Try to build some flexibility for dealing with anything unexpected that will inevitably come your way. And also, try to schedule in such a way to include your well-deserved breaks, and that brings your JOY!


Next up … Extended planning!

Okay, really now … HOW EXCITED are we to FINALLY be looking at an almost fresh new year … right in the face?! I, for one, am ecstatic to get out from under all that crazy weirdness of the past few years and plan this coming new year in all its glory. If I want my team and I to succeed, I need to set us up with some goals. Without goals, you will lack focus and direction. And when that happens, things tend to get sticky, messy, stressful, and completely overwhelming.

Goal setting allows you to take complete control over your business’s direction and provides a benchmark for determining your future direction.

So, list everything you’d like to accomplish in one calendar year to get the ball rolling. Then break that list down to your top 3 items. Take your top 3 things and break them down further into a specific timeline of what you need to do to accomplish this goal. All the while, of course, attaching dates for each. Then joyfully plunk this all into your new planner!

Okay … After adding your larger goals to your planner, you can see your top priorities and plan out other items in and around them.

Seriously … Go right now and schedule yourself some quiet time to fill in those blanks! We’ll wait here for you.

One of my favourite quotes is from the great Tony Robbins, who said …

Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people over-estimate what they can accomplish in a year -- and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!

Read that ONE. MORE. TIME.

Okay, are you done?



Now let’s make our workspace a place we love to be every day.

For many of us, 2020 demanded that our homes become our new workspaces, so much of this work may have already been done. But …

What if you have decided you can never return to work anywhere but at home? Or the workspace you created yourself during this transition happened all too quickly, and you are just not happy about it and feel it’s slowing you down?

Well, now it’s time to make sure your unique space is in tip-top shape! And that it’s for you and you alone!  

Studies suggest that a cluttered workspace increases stress, drains energy and hinders concentration. So, when your space is messy, it makes your job even more complicated as it’s utterly impossible to find things.

Take a few quiet moments to tidy up and clear your workspace before the end of each day or before you start each morning. This includes your digital workspace, too … Not just what’s lying around in front of you.

And doing this is indeed the easiest and most effective way to boost your productivity levels … By simply creating a workspace you LOVE.

So, after you’re done with all that “Marie Kondo” type de-cluttering, take a note from someone who lives a life filled with colour and add some to yours! Yup … It’s TIME to “spark some joy.” Add beyond adding all that colour-filled greatness to your space; also, make sure to add some good lighting.

There you have it!!! You are on the right track to a happy day filled with positive vibes!


Okay … Now let’s talk about a natural productivity killer, distractions.

Nowadays, it can feel pretty indulgent to turn the ringer off of our phones, but honestly … Do it! We are so used to being available to our clients – and everyone else under the sun! — and feeling obligated to run your life and business this way can create tremendous stress and unproductivity.

So, when you are in the thick of it all … working, turn your phone and other technology devices to “silent.” Some devices even offer a “temporary” silencer option.

Then add a time to your schedule for returning emails, text messages and phone calls. And do try your best to stick to this unless there is an emergency.

And not what someone else deems “an emergency” but an actual emergency!


Okay … Now, how about that tangled-up inbox of yours!

That can be a HUGE distraction.

Especially if it’s filled with old, useless information and contacts, this can easily be fixed by taking a portion of a day – I suggest at least once a month — to go through everything you have saved.

  • Delete old contacts.
  • Unsubscribe from things that are no longer relevant to your goals and interests.
  • Create folders that flow with your information and contact lists.

Keeping your inbox clean as a whistle is one of the most important things you can do to help your business grow and stay organized. I like to use something called UnRoll.Me … You should check it out!

Now that we’re talking virtual clean-up … You may feel a tad bit overwhelmed because you feel you have so many other more important things to do. And that you cannot take on this task right now.

Well, we’ll do you one better … There are SO MANY project managers and virtual assistants out there (myself and my team of honorary “untanglers” included) who are exceptionally skilled in this area and are more than willing to help you get — and stay organized. Don’t tell too many people … But we actually nerd out with these kinds of tasks … They’re mindless, fun and something we can groove out to with some fun music! A break in our day from all the mind-hogging tasks like coding n such! So, don’t be afraid to tackle this on your own — or if you’re not up for the adventure … ask for help. More on the land of virtual assistants later!


Okay, now this next one is again one of my favourites. It’s something that we as entrepreneurs are so lucky to have, and that is …

Control of our working environment and its overall vibe.

So, what can we do to make us feel happy and energetic?

Play music!

Musical influences are so strong that they can engage our body’s sympathetic nervous system. Research suggests that playing upbeat and motivating music can boost energy levels and significantly stimulate alertness. Some studies even showed that it makes people work faster, more efficiently, and engage more with others because they are happy. So, pump up those jams and enjoy your day!


Now back into the nitty-gritty of working … Let’s talk about working in time intervals.

Doing just one thing at a time helps you remember more. It enables you to get more done in less time. It helps you bring more attention and focus to the task at hand. And it even allows you to work smarter instead of just harder. So, start by setting a timer to help pace tasks and remind you to take more breaks, move around and re-focus. And when taking a planned break, also choose a time for a break to catch up on social media. This should be separate from your “move your muscles” break!

Even though most of us use these platforms for business-related tasks, checking your accounts throughout the day consumes a lot of time and can break your concentration. So, set aside some particular social-land time, but only when the time is right! By creating these time intervals for yourself, you can be set for when you make your to-do list for the day ahead. And they can be adjusted as you find your sweet spot with each task.


Okay … It’s tools for workflow improvement time!

Technology sometimes has a bad reputation for being complicated and intimidating. But we love how it helps us automate some of our daily grind tasks! In addition to the endless resources the virtual container of the internet provides, there is a world of technological goodies out there that can help you automate #Allthings! Some of our favourites include email campaigns, creating killer content and pre-scheduling all that awesome sauce content you just made! It’s a time saver! It helps keeps things in the same tone and on the right schedule and ticks stuff off our list without lifting a finger.

A big one for me is to take physical note of my weekly achievements. I decided early on to dedicate one of my working days each week to focus on my own business. (Thus, being Fridays at the moment.) This way, my team and I get to take a break from client deliverables and take a breath by assessing our week, the week to come, and other creative goals that may have popped up and dive right into our own “untangling” needs and desires! Not only does this spare us the dreaded burnout of a client-driven week, but it helps us to remember what WE want to achieve as a team and what my CEO goals are as Virtually Untangled grows and expands.

And one of my “musts” for this day is to see my accomplishments on paper.

This practice can put things into perspective and keep you focused on your goals. So, set a time at the end of each week to create a list of your large and small achievements to boost confidence and motivation.

Okay … back into VA-land for a moment as I promised I’d get back to that …

Earlier, I mentioned that hiring a virtual assistant can help your productivity in many ways. This topic is so important to us over here that I will dedicate an entire podcast to the topic one day very soon! But with that being said … I will leave this with you here …

Delegating tasks to another passionate and talented professional and building up your virtual #DreamTeam is priceless.

  • It will take things off of your plate.
  • It will invite talent and camaraderie into your work life.
  • It will help you learn things and grow together.
  • It will do nothing but inject positivity into your work vibe!

And finally …

And I want to scream this from the mountain tops — remember to reward yourself for your hard work and dedication to building the best work-life you could ever dream of!

  • Do something you love.
  • Eat something you love.
  • Unplug, put your feet up and recharge.
  • Do something fun (once the pandemic moves to the wayside, of course!).

By treating yourself as well as you treat your clients and your team, you will reinforce all those positive feelings that got you started on this adventure in the first place. And keep yourself motivated.

So, be good to you.

And when you DO, that ripple effect with only grow …!


Let the digital “untangling” BEGIN … Just pop in your earbuds and hop onto one of your favourite channels by clicking any of the links below!


You can also find The Digital Glue Podcast HERE on our website, or by subscribing to our YouTube Channel.

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Picture of Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal is an artist, a writer, an organizer, a dreamer, a doer, and down-right proud of it NERD!.

Struck with a love for #AllThings creative at a very young age, Crystal dreamed of a life fueled by her passion for creating and bringing the stories and images in her mind into reality.

As she worked toward her dreams, she earned a diploma as a Computer Applications Specialist then another in Graphic Design and from there began to develop her extensive background in multimedia and the arts. She began her worked in the magazine industry as a layout designer and had a succession of design jobs thereafter. It was her role as a graphic/web designer that gave her the first real glimpse of her future. Soon she began a side job as a freelance designer while keeping one foot in the corporate world. A spark was lit! She turned her freelance gig into a full-time business combining design work with her other passion: creating organization from virtual chaos.

Crystal is one of the most organized individuals on the planet. She is by all means a Zen master of her crafts. She excels at helping others become “untangled” and provides her clients with tools to run their businesses smoothly while she takes care of the details behind the scenes. Thus Virtually Untangled was born. A successful business where her work as a top notch creative in graphic and web — with a twist of virtual assistant — married into one amazing place where clients can come with their virtual messes and become magically untangled. Crystal can always make sense of even the most unorganized chaos and offers a virtual detox of order and peace, so her clients can get busy doing the work that they love the most.

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