3 Biggest Rules on Effective Productivity

Salam lovely ladies!

As some of you already know, elmodesta is my new venture. My new project, that stands for what I believe in very dearly in my heart. It is the epitome of how I want to live every day for the rest of my life. (Of course with some cheat days. We’re not born to be rigid!)

This is also my first take on a blog post for elmodesta and I hope you will be able to benefit from all the tips and tricks I’m about to share.

Firstly, just to briefly recap; elmodesta is all about being as productive and efficient as you possibly can in everything that you do. That includes how you cook, how you clean, how you get ready in the morning every single day and it’s also about how you view every task on your to-do list.

Whether you’re a career woman, a busy mom, or both, I am sure you will be able to benefit from this productivity checklist as much as it had me. Because I am just like one of you!

So here are my top tips to stay productive.

List down all of your tasks for that day.

This would mean whatever you need to complete on that very day, just list them down on your notebook or tablet, whichever you prefer. If you’re not sure if you need or should be completing it that day, it’s ok. Just list them down for now.

  1. Look at all the tasks and start thinking about its importance and urgency.

For each task, think about how important and urgent each of them is. The more urgent and important they are, the higher you rate them. The less urgent and important, the lower the rating. You will eventually see if any of them are urgent but unimportant or important but not urgent.

Here’s an example.

  • Assignment or project deadlines. These are the things you have to tend to right now. They’re considered important and urgent.
  • Responding to a text from a friend about random stuff. In this day and age, we feel the urge to respond to a text immediately. But if you think about it, if you have other things piling up, the text can definitely wait. So here I consider this less important but still urgent. (You don’t want to leave your friend hanging!)
  • Paying the phone bill that is due in 2 weeks. Phone bills are no doubt important. But because you have 2 weeks to complete it, it’s not exactly considered urgent. These are your ‘not urgent but must do’.

Now with the help of my checklist, write down each task in the appropriate boxes.

  1. Now that you have 3 different categories, start listing them in order.

Tasks belonging to category a) go to the top of the checklist. Next b) then c). You will end up with all your tasks in order.

You may also realise, hey, what about unimportant and not urgent tasks; like catching up on Netflix. Well these to me, are great tasks but should be kept to the end of the day. Once you have completed everything promptly, you will definitely have time for Netflix, I assure you!

And how about, “Oh no, it’s already 5.45 pm and I’m still only halfway through the checklist!”. It is time you think about whether you’re overachieving in one day. Think about it this way. If you try to achieve too much, you may be setting yourself up for failure. This will negatively affect how you feel about productivity.

My advice is to keep tasks manageable daily. If you have too many big-ticket items on one day. Rethink how you will manage that. Can you negotiate deadlines? Can you break them down into smaller tasks and get help?

  1. Give yourself a break in between.

We are not made to work without breaks. I would go deeper in future blog posts but for now, for every big, completed task, give yourself a much-needed break. Grab a cup of coffee, bubble tea, or even take the time to perform your daily prayers. This is the part where you take the time to think of nothing about your to-do list. Taking breaks helps to reset your mind a little.

What I honestly like to do is just aimlessly scroll through Google News or to do various random Google searches. If you know me well, you know my favourite app on my phone is Google search.

And that is it! I hope you found the checklist useful. Let me know what you think of it. Has it helped you? What is the one thing you learnt from it? Stay tuned because I have more tips up my sleeve on increasing productivity. But for now, let me grab my elmodesta scarf before I run some errands.

Till next time!


-Sarah Z.



Great ideas! I will dwell on these thoughts this week!

Marcela Londono

Thanks for the useful tips … I will try them definitely

Fellow Sister

I came across your IG then saw you have a blog,. I always feel like I have so many things to do and always rushing. I like how u said that maybe we are overachieving if we still can’t get things done in time. It made me open my eyes that maybe yeah it could be I’m trying to do too much. Thank you for this blog!

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