Let’s face it, many will tell you there’s a science to being productive; I rather call it, an art!
Whether it’s juggling of family or work and for many it’s both. A lot are overwhelmed because they’re going about it all wrong. Being that I’m in the productivity business, I’m going to let you in on my secrets to managing my time wisely.
- Prioritizing is Key – Let’s begin by being intentional on what goes on your To-Do list. Most of us have lists but many chose to start and finish a task in the order they’ve been written in instead of what’s most important.
David Allen wrote a great book called, Getting things DONE, he talks about how to set up systems to deal with incoming tasks, projects and papers. It’s about deciding which task requires immediate action, and which can wait. If you’re interested in his book, click on the link above.
- Have a Game Plan – The most successful people always…yes, always have a plan. Before bed, take some time to prioritize your top five items you want to accomplish the following day. With so many distractions competing for our attention it’s impossible not to lose focus if not prepared. You can use your phone, a notepad, dry erase board; whatever suits you.
If you want to take a step further and maximize your potential — planning ahead is key.
- Become a Planner – Looking well ahead is never a bad idea. Add a virtual or physical calendar is always a great tool. Jotting down important dates, deadlines, and events, will simplify your life. People who plan their days, weeks, months; even their year prevent overextending or overcommitting themselves. If you’re a visual person like myself, it will help you visualize how committed you truly are; it puts things into perspective when a new commitment arises.
Personally, I love my google calendar because it’s synced to all of my devices, it has my business and personal commitments. Also, never forget to add some R&R to your calendar, too!
- Reminders – Setting up 15 minutes to 1 hour reminders; depending on the task or project is very effective. It gets my butt in gear when I realize I have only an allotted time remaining before my next commitment.
For me, depending on the importance of the project I set reminders a day before so that I begin mentally preparing myself for my project.
- Training your Brain – Is an extremely effective trick I’ve implemented; its all about training your mind to stay focused within a task or project. Set-up an allotted time slot for example; from 10am to 2pm. I use this method when I need to provide a blog piece to my Virtual Assistant. The overall goal is to provide a blog to her by 3 pm on any given day. Within that time frame I make a point to only work on my blog piece and that’s it.
Since adding this method into my schedule, I’ve noticed I’m a lot more focused and incredibly creative; especially when writing and creating for my business.
- Clustering – More often than not by clustering similar tasks together you’ll already have the tools, mindset, and items you’ll need to accomplish these tasks all in one swoop. Once you’ve started it will be easier for you to keep the momentum flowing. Take advantage of the synergy you’ve created and continue the flow.
Like I said, partly to being a master of productivity is to being more than just time conscious; it’s about being creative.
- Block distraction – Eliminating distractions are imperative for optimal productivity; whether it’s facebook, your cell phone, computer, kids; avoid it completely. Giving yourself an uninterrupted hour will do wonders for your goals.
Telling parents to avoid their kid(s) isn’t easy; but being intentional with your time gives you more satisfaction. Especially when you get to go back to your family and give them your undivided attention.
- Stop Wasting Time – Time wasters are detrimental to productivity. One minute I’m reading an interesting article then realize I’ve been sucked in by a series of funny animal videos, again. You know it’s true! Did you know the average person spends almost 2 hours a day on social media? Yeah, I know! The best thing you can do is to avoid these at all cost.
Delete any and all social media apps from your phone and stay focused by having only one to two tabs open on your computer, that way you won’t be distracted by someone sending you a facebook IM.
- Delegate, Delegate and Delegate some more – How much is your time worth? Ask yourself, what would you rather be doing? Wouldn’t you prefer to focus on the project that can generate hundreds if not thousands to your bottom line? Or taking a vacation with your family; which is priceless?
For some, delegating is really hard; whether it’s because you’re a, I rather do it myself kinda person or its a monetary reason. It’s all about prioritizing your value and re focusing your intention. Whatever the case may be, we all need and deserve a little help.
- Leave buffer time – With certain projects it’s always smart to give yourself an extra 15 – 30 min to wrap up your project. As someone who takes on a lot of projects, I always give myself some extra Just in Case time. This is for all the s* happens moment – the printer ran out of ink, the internet went out, a traffic accident etc. Don’t allow the uncontrollable take control of your day.
The real beauty of the buffer time method is to give you some time to catch your breath on heavy days so you can take a peaceful walk, grab some coffee or lunch, re-center yourself so you can re-energize through it all.
Well, that’s it folks — you now have what I’ve been carrying in my goodie bag.
The best part is you can use these in your personal and professional life. However you chose to use them, it will help with your crazy busy schedule. So, feel free to pick whichever tip suits you best.
Which will you implement right away?
And when the time comes for you to delegate the things you’re not inspired by or don’t have time to do, call on us, we’re here for you!