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How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight

How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight

Wondering why I started this blog? As a multi-passionate creative, I used to be plagued by the idea that success meant choosing one thing and sticking with it. The problem was choosing just “one thing” left me unable to show up in the world as my most authentic, full self. One day I woke up and decided to finally embrace and share all of my gifts. My next thought: I should start a blog as a space for my passions to play. I never looked back after that moment. 

psst. over here.

Does this scenario sound familiar? You crawl into bed at the end of a long day. You close your eyes and try to focus on your breathing, maybe even listen to a guided meditation. Still, you can’t help but think of all the tasks you didn’t accomplish. You drift off to sleep with your thoughts settling on what you need to tackle the next day. You wake up, reach for your phone and feel the need to dive straight into work. You do the best you can to work on your business, answer emails, engage on social media, only to crawl into bed at the end of the day and start the cycle over again.

How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight | Joi-Knows-How.com

The reason I can describe that scene so vividly is because for a long time, that was my daily routine. No matter how much work I did, I always felt like it wasn’t enough at the end of the day. 

After months of feeling like my efforts weren’t good enough,  I started applying a new process to my nightly routine that literally changed my life. It’s a simple journaling exercise that I call it the “Three Small Victories Project.” This process has sparked a profound boost in my self-confidence and tripled my productivity overnight (literally). As usual here on the blog, when I create a process that has a positive impact in my life, my next step is to share it with you. Are you ready to try the journaling exercise that takes less than three minutes, yet has a major impact on your productivity? Keep reading and I’ll show you how.

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What is The Three Small Victories Project?

The Three Small Victories Project is a simple journaling activity that I created to end the cycle of self-defeating nightly thoughts. Each night, before bed, I open my journal and list three “small victories” that I accomplished that day. The idea here is not to look for big accomplishments but to focus on smaller moments that would otherwise go overlooked. For example, my small victories list might say:

  • Washed clothes.
  • Went for a walk.
  • Smiled at a stranger.

These moments may feel like nothing to brag about, but taking time to focus on what you are able to accomplish, versus what still needs to be done, is a very powerful tool (more about why this is so effective later).

Simply put, the Three Small Victories Project is a list of moments you write down at the end of the day to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments, no matter the size.

How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight | Joi-Knows-How.com

How Does This Process Increase Productivity?

Okay, so you may be thinking: The Three Small Victories Project sounds nice and all, but how will it increase my productivity? Consider me the test subject who has tried to this process for several months and is returning to you with the lab results!

How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight

I started this small but mighty list as a gratitude exercise. I thought that by writing down three small wins from my day, I could drift off to sleep more peacefully. It came as a complete surprise to me that this short list could have such a huge impact on my productivity and overall self-motivation. Here’s what I realized pretty quickly: Focusing on what you are able to accomplish each day, no matter how small, is a way to practice self-love. It’s a way to show yourself that even on the most non-eventful days, you are still able to celebrate your abilities, rather than dwell upon your shortcomings.

How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight | Joi-Knows-How.com

Taking the time (and we’re talking about less than five minutes) to focus positively before bed led to me waking up the next day with a renewed sense of self-confidence. As I continued to write down my small victories each night, I noticed something else. My small victories were getting bigger! It was never my goal to “outdo” myself, but it was a surprising side effect. When I took my focus away from what I was not able to do, and instead celebrated what I had already done, there was a snowball of productive energy.

How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight | Joi-Knows-How.com

A few More Thoughts

To be clear: The idea of a “small” victory is entirely relative. I’m sensitive to mental health awareness and therefore feel it is important to make this distinction. If “got out of bed,” or “took a shower” feel like small victories for you, then write them down! Please don’t judge yourself based on how small your victories are. On the same note, your “small” victories might be more complex than mine, that’s great too. We’re all at different points in our journey.

How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight | Joi-Knows-How.com

Some of you might prefer to share your small victories out loud during dinner, or just say them out loud to your partner before bed. These are great strategies as well. However, the reason I suggest keeping a written list each day is that the act of writing your victories down helps to solidify the habit. Also, if you’re having a crappy day, it’s nice to look back on your victories for a little pick me up.

Try it For Yourself!

Grab a notebook and pencil/pen and put it by your bed. Each night, before bed, write down your three small victories. Some days you may have more than three things on your list and that’s great. Always make sure you have a minimum of three wins on your list.  Do this for at least one week and see what happens when you set aside time in your day to celebrate yourself. Notice how you feel when you wake up after doing this exercise several days in a row.

Remember, (I can’t stress this enough) to find small moments. Here are a few more examples of what might land on your list:

  • Read one chapter of my book.
  • Cooked my own meals for the day.
  • Told my kids that I love them.
  • Took a bath.
  • Ate lunch outside.
  • Made my bed.
  • Smiled at a stranger.
  • Took a nap.

Celebrate what you are able to accomplish each day. Even on challenging days, push yourself to find your three small victories. Try to stay as consistent with this process as possible, and watch as your productivity grows overnight!

How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight | Joi-Knows-How.com

So, how did I do? Have I convinced you to try out my secret to more productivity? Let me know what you think in the comments! As always, feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

PS. Take a snapshot of your 3 small victories list and tag it with #3smallvictories to be featured on my Instagram!

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Ready to up-level your productivity OVERNIGHT?

How to Increase Your Productivity Overnight

Thanks for reading! Until next time, celebrate even your smallest victories.

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  1. Eliina

    March 5th, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    I love this idea! Going to try it out tonight 🙂

  2. D'Ana Joi

    March 5th, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Yes!!! Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  3. Jovonne Harris

    March 5th, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Definitely going to try this starting this evening! Thanks!!!

  4. D'Ana Joi

    March 5th, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Hey Jo!

    Yes, please do! Let me know how it works for you. Thanks for reading! Xo

  5. Quinn Alana

    March 5th, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    What a beautiful habit!!! I can imagine it is a much greater motivator than a to do list. Love it 🙂

  6. D'Ana Joi

    March 6th, 2018 at 6:02 am

    Hey Quinn!

    It definitely is a great motivator. I hope you’ll give it a try! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  7. Bg Jimy

    March 5th, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    I need to try this 😍
    Let’s do this for two weeks 🙏

    That’s a lovely blog post as always ❤
    Thanks for all the time and effort you put to help us, share you tips and tricks…etc

    Big wave of love 🙌🙌

  8. D'Ana Joi

    March 6th, 2018 at 6:05 am

    Hey Bg Jimy!

    Than you for reading! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. It feels amazing to share the things that have enhanced my life, I truly hope this can help others learn to be more kind to themselves and focus on the good!

    Let me know how you feel after the two weeks and don’t forget to use the hashtag to be featured! Xo

  9. D'Ana Joi

    March 6th, 2018 at 6:06 am

    And big wave of love right back!

  10. Allison

    March 6th, 2018 at 5:49 am

    I love this! I’m going to try it tonight!

  11. D'Ana Joi

    March 6th, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Hey Allison!

    Awesome! I had a feeling you would like this idea. Snap a pic of your list at some point so I can feature you if you’d like. Xoxo

  12. Teri

    March 6th, 2018 at 7:05 am

    The Power of Positive Thinking always produces victories! Great ideas here.

  13. D'Ana Joi

    March 6th, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    I agree, Teri! Positivity and self-love can produce some amazing results!

  14. nicole stetter

    March 6th, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    So simple yet so impactful. I’m so hard on myself. This is really refreshing.

  15. D'Ana Joi

    March 6th, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Nicole!

    It really IS so simple. Sometimes we just need to un-do conventional methods to find what works for us. Thanks for reading! Have fun CELEBRATING yourself. Xoxo

  16. Allie Bock

    March 6th, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I am going to try this tonight!

  17. D'Ana Joi

    March 6th, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Yay!!! Try it for about a week and you will feel the difference.

  18. TeAsia Battle

    March 6th, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    All of pictures in this post are beautiful! I really enjoyed this post especially the three small victories. I’m going to try incorporating that into my day to see how well that works for me.

  19. D'Ana Joi

    March 16th, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Hey TeAsia,

    Excused this late reply to your very kind comment! Thank you so much for reading and I would love to know how the project is working for you!

  20. Breanna Patricia

    March 6th, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    WOW. Love your blog

  21. D'Ana Joi

    March 6th, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks Breanna!

  22. Breanna Patricia

    March 10th, 2018 at 5:07 am

    You’re welcome

  23. hadassah

    March 6th, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    starting tomorrow! ove the idea and could use a boost

  24. D'Ana Joi

    March 8th, 2018 at 6:59 am

    YES!!! Be sure to use the hashtag #3smallvictories if you join the project. I’m going feature a few folks over on my Instagram! I can’t wait to hear how it works for you! Xo

  25. Darcy

    March 6th, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Great idea! We do this at work, it would translate well to personal stuff too!

  26. D'Ana Joi

    March 16th, 2018 at 9:54 am

    It’s so cool that you do something like this at work! Thanks for reading. xo

  27. chantellysays

    March 6th, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    I never really thought about how making a list of things that I want to accomplish the next day could have a negative impact on your mood before bed and maybe even transfer into the next morning. It does make sense, though! I really like this idea of 3 small victories. There are days where I feel like I didn’t get much done at all in terms of work, but that’s not always true. Sure, maybe I didn’t get what I wanted to get done, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t do anything, you know? This is pretty genius.

  28. D'Ana Joi

    March 6th, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Exactly! You’ve got it!! It’s much more beneficial to go to bed feeling accomplished and we all deserve more credit for the little things than we get done day in and day out. 3 small victories is a hero of the mundane. I hope you’ll give it a try!

  29. Stephanie

    March 7th, 2018 at 2:11 am

    I love this idea! I’m a competitive person by nature so anything that makes me feel like I’m almost outdoing myself each day or week is great. I’m going to try this.

  30. D'Ana Joi

    March 7th, 2018 at 6:20 am

    Awesome! Just remember to focus on SMALL victories so that you can always have 3 things on your list. Try it fir a week and pls let me know how you like it!! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  31. D'Ana Joi

    March 8th, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Be sure to use the hashtag #3smallvictories if you join the project. I’m going feature a few folks over on my Instagram! I hope you enjoy the process and the results, Stephanie! Thanks so much for reading. Xo

  32. Rachel

    March 7th, 2018 at 7:43 am

    I absolutely love this idea. I am so guilty of focusing on what I didn’t accomplish rather than paying attention to all the things I got done that day. I think this mindset shift could make a huge difference. By the way, your photos are absolutely georgeous. I love all of your plants!

  33. D'Ana Joi

    March 8th, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Hey Rachel,

    I’m so glad you see the benefits of this idea. If you do try it out be sure to use the hashtag #3smallvictories. I’m going feature a few folks over on my Instagram! And thank you re: plants. They make any photo more lovely so I always try to include them where I can. 🙂

  34. blackgirlwhitewine

    March 7th, 2018 at 8:14 am

    This post is so timely. I have so many things on my to do list, I can’t help but focus on what doesn’t get done. I definitely plan on changing my mindset and focusing on the things I do get done!

  35. D'Ana Joi

    March 8th, 2018 at 6:57 am

    Yes, and they don’t even have to be major accomplishments. That’s the best part! You’ll notice your momentum start to build if you do this consistently. Be sure to use the hashtag #3smallvictories if you join the project. I’m going feature a few over on my Instagram! Xo

  36. Sheena

    March 7th, 2018 at 8:21 am

    First comment: I love your website layout. I try to be as productive as a Can each day. My focus is becoming more Intentional with my time. I will definitely try your method.

  37. D'Ana Joi

    March 8th, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Hey Sheena,

    Thanks so much! Be sure to use the hashtag #3smallvictories if you join the project. I’m going feature a few folks over on my Instagram! I hope you will see the benefits of this process unfold in your experience. Xo

  38. Olwin Guthrie

    March 7th, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Love this! My partner is always telling me to focus on what I did accomplish for the day instead of what I didn’t. I guess I should start listening to him! I have gotten better lately but I think actually writing them down and having a visual will help me out even more!

  39. D'Ana Joi

    March 8th, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Yes! He’s got the right idea for sure. And focusing on Small Victories is super easy because they happen every day! Be sure to use the hashtag #3smallvictories if you join the project for a feature over on my Instagram! thanks for reading. Xo

  40. Tom @ {Tech} for Travel

    March 7th, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I agree. Celebrating even the smallest of victories makes you want to do it again and achieve more.

  41. D'Ana Joi

    March 8th, 2018 at 6:55 am

    YES! You get it! Be sure to use the hashtag #3smallvictories if you join the project. I’m going feature a few folks over on my Instagram!

  42. theunspokentestimony

    March 7th, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I love this ❤️ I’m always writing to-do lists and of course, some things aren’t always attainable. Like for instance, there’s a book that I promised myself to read but it’s either I am too busy to get to it or lack the motivation to finish. Definitely think if I started incorporating this into my everyday, I’d be more motivated to get it done! For sure, it will take away the pressure of “having to do something”. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  43. D'Ana Joi

    March 16th, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Hi there! Excuse my late reply. Yes girl, I’m the same way I have a to-do list in every room! Keeping up with my 3 Small Victories project really helps me to approach those to-dos with a lot more self confidence and motivation. I hope you’ll give it a try! xo

  44. Joelle K.

    March 8th, 2018 at 2:36 am

    Definitely starting with this TONIGHT! Thank you D’Ana 🙂

  45. D'Ana Joi

    March 8th, 2018 at 6:10 am

    Awesome, Joelle. I hope you enjoy the results! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  46. jporebasoc

    March 8th, 2018 at 11:50 am

    That’s such a lovely post! I sometimes find it awkward to smile to strangers! As many people look at you like you crazy, unfortunately 🙁

  47. René

    March 8th, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I definitely plan on implementing this strategy!

  48. D'Ana Joi

    March 16th, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Hey Rene! Did you give it a try? Would love to know how it worked out for you! 🙂

  49. simplyshannonagins

    March 8th, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    GORGEOUS pictures, first off. Second, I really love the idea of the 3 small victories project. I am so much more motivated when I feel fulfilled and accomplished than when I realize how much I haven’t done. Thank you for sharing!

  50. D'Ana Joi

    March 16th, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Hey there! Thank you much, I had a lot of fun doing the photography for this post. I hope you’ll join the project! It really does make such a difference. Thanks for reading! xo

  51. Aimee

    March 8th, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    This is awesome thanks for the tip, I am one that i don’t like writing my list to do the night before I rather the same day after I practice gratitude but this is awesome thanks !

  52. Ari

    March 8th, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Love these tips! Small victories are so important to a happy life!

  53. Marquita

    March 9th, 2018 at 5:55 am

    I love the idea of having 3 small victories. I will need to try this for my upcoming week.

  54. throughherhespeaks

    March 9th, 2018 at 7:59 am

    I have been focusing on acknowledging something that I am grateful for every day. I am also going to start writing down my three small victories. Great post!

  55. SoDazzling

    March 9th, 2018 at 8:23 am

    I loooooove this idea!! I’m definitely going to start doing this because some days I feel so defeated and I overlook the “little” things. Thank you for sharing this!

  56. Giselle Santos

    March 9th, 2018 at 8:24 am

    First I want to let you know that your photos are beautiful!!!!! I love how you did them for this post. Second, I will be trying this out. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and then feel bad for not getting everything done. This will definitely help me see the bigger picture as a busy single mom.

  57. BehindTheSchmile

    March 9th, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Love love love this post! First of all your photographs are amazing! But I also love the way you write AND you’ve given practical advice! I’ve actually been doing this alot lately and it has definitely helped my productivity! Thanks for sharing!

  58. Olivia

    March 9th, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I am always looking for ways to be more productive this is a great system! Also, really pretty photos!

  59. RUDii

    March 9th, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Wow, I’m going have to try this for sure. I love that you were able to make progress. I never thought of anything like this before, I’m most definitely am going to start tonight

  60. D'Ana Joi

    March 16th, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Hey Rudi! If you give a try, feel free to snap a pic of your list and tag it with #3smallvictories for a chance to be featured! I hope you enjoy the process and results. Thanks for reading!

  61. Gwen

    March 11th, 2018 at 7:23 am

    I love this so so much! Such an awesome post! Definitely givin this a try!!!!!

  62. D'Ana Joi

    March 11th, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Hey Gwen!

    Thanks for reading. I’m so glad you’ll be joining the project! Don’t forget to snap a pic of your list and use the hashtag #3smallvictories to be featured! Xoxo

  63. Kareem Trini Edwards

    March 12th, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    This is a great idea. Trying to establish or consistently complete tasks daily can have a negative effect on one’s self worth/motivation levels when you fail at either. This is a sure fire way to satisfy yourself and act as a start point for more elaborate lists. I’ll definitely start, given I often have chanllenges sticking to my own prepared lists. Thank you!

  64. D'Ana Joi

    March 16th, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Hey Kareem!

    Yes, you totally understand where I’m coming from with the 3 Small Victories Project. It has helped me so much with staying grounded even when I have a lot going on. It has been my saving grace. I hope it will have the same effect on you! Let me know how it goes and you can use the hashtag #3smallvictories and snap a pic of your list to be featured on the gram. 😉 Thanks for always reading and supporting the blog! xo

  65. shannon silver

    March 13th, 2018 at 8:16 am

    I will absolutely need to try this! I find at times I have no idea what needs to get done and when and I can get so scattered. Thanks for the inspo!! xx Shannon || http://www.champagneatshannons.com

  66. D'Ana Joi

    March 16th, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Hey Shannon! This is more about focusing on what you have already accomplished as opposed to thinking about what needs to be done. Thanks for reading and I hope it helps. xo

  67. Karisha

    March 29th, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Definitely worth trying! I may not get to write them down every night but thinking it through and even sharing with my family would make a huge difference!

  68. Marquita

    March 29th, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Love this! I’m going to find me a new journal to start doing this. Let me start by saying my 3 small victories today: caught up on important email, started next blog and caught up on videos.

  69. searchingformyinnerzen

    March 30th, 2018 at 3:30 am

    I just stumbled across your blog and your beautiful layout and photos instantly grabbed my attention. Looking forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

  70. D'Ana Joi

    March 30th, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Hey lovely! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking some time to look around. I appreciate that so much. I’ve got a new post all about houseplant care coming out later today. I hope you’ll enjoy it!! Xo

  71. Kunal Desai

    March 31st, 2018 at 4:41 am

    Wonderful. Excellent. Awesome. Inspiring.

  72. TailoredbyMeganTaylor

    April 22nd, 2018 at 4:29 am

    Thanks for what you wrote, some great advice and very well written!!! I’ve recently written about something similar that I think you might enjoy! let me know if you check it out and what you think 🙂 https://tailoredbymtaylor.wordpress.com/?p=1025

  73. D'Ana Joi

    April 24th, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Ah, I love finding a blog post that has a similar idea to mine! I can’t wait to check it out. Thanks so much for reading! xo.

  74. Nickle

    April 25th, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Awesome. I kinda had the same idea a few weeks ago but never actually got around to doing it. Sometimes it takes hearing it from another person before it hits. I’ll give this a try now.

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