LIFESTYLE: HOW TO SKYROCKET YOUR PRODUCTIVITY FOR 2017
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. – Steve Jobs
How do you guys feel about how productive you are? Do you procrastinate? Do you manage to knock all your big tasks first thing, and then move onto the next, lesser more important tasks? I've always found this topic fascinating, but since going solo with my business, it's been even more at the forefront as I navigate, grow and learn more effective time management skills. What does this mean, it means getting smart about where my time is going, and what I'm doing. Because anyone can make themselves busy, but is it effective, and will it elicit growth? When I first started a few weeks in I realized I was spending way too much time on social media, most notably twitter, on trying to connect with businesses and make myself 'visible', but a few weeks in I realized this wasn't that important, yet. The key to all of that is drawing people to my website, but I don't really have anything to 'buy' (yet), as most businesses with products do. So I learned and figured out how much time I have each day, and how to put to put myself to work, so I can be productive, and not just 'busy'.
Way too many entrepreneurs fill their days with 'stuff' that doesn’t serve them, or they jam their calendar full of meaningless tasks simply to get the slight thrill of ticking them off their to-do list (even though — if they were really honest with themselves — they’d have to admit that it’s all just fluff and filler that’s not moving them forward toward their big goals and dreams).
Worse still is when our calendar fills up with things we think we “should” do, yet have absolutely no desire to do — the stuff we do out of obligation, duty, or because we’re simply too scared to say ‘no thank you’. (Hello, resentment!)
Guilty, when I first started this was me. I'm still learning, and what I've learned these past few months is humans natural tendency to procrastinate, it's built into our systems, so we have to try that much harder to push through it, it's not easy right? We are always going to want to put off hard, intimidating, fearful, out of comfort zone tasks, always... it's unknown, we have to push ourselves to put ourselves out there, and it's scary. It just is. What I'm learning though our ways to push through it, and how to manage my time and calendar better than ever, but in no way am I perfect. Do I still procrastinate? YES! But I'm slowly, but surely pushing past this, and procrastination is falling by the wayside. I've developed some 'rules' and tips along the way, which I want to share with you today.
As we approach the New Year, this is something I will continue to work on. It doesn't happen overnight, and I'm still learning and growing through it all, while trying to be my most productive self. It's also a little harder when you work for yourself, and no one is pushing you to do something, and you don't have deadlines to meet, which I've learned are so important. It's more if a challenge but it's so do-able, and so thrilling to start tapping into your true potential.
So here we go! I hope this helps or inspires you as we move forward. Making these changes aren't easy, but so worth it.
MY TOP TIPS FOR SKYROCKETING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY :
1.LEARN TO LET GO OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Not for good, don't worry, but what I'm trying to do is just post twice a day, and allotting specific chunks of time for this. Today we are consuming more content in a year than our great grandparents would have consumed in a lifetime — it’s no wonder we struggle to disconnect! And social media is a massive contributor to this. So limiting the time you spend flicking through your feeds will superpower your productivity and sanity. For me this looks like, once in the morning between 830am-9:30am and then again between 3 and 4 pm. This includes all channels. I will do posts at this time, but I'll also just check in on my comments, and messages, so I can respond accordingly, as I like to respond right away :) This doesn't include checking my personal FB page, as it creates too much noise and distraction. And I think I've made the decision to get rid of it completely in the new year...
2. KEEP MY PHONE ON SILENT AND IN ANOTHER ROOM
When I'm working I either keep my phone on silent, in another room or on airplane mode, except if I'm expecting a important call. This is new to me! I no longer keep my phone near me, so I'm unable to get distracted with text messages or phone calls from family and friends. Not that they aren't welcome, they are with so much love. I just found I was getting too distracted with working, getting in the zone, and having my phone near me. It can be too much at times, and again we are so stimulated, that I've started to create these small boundaries, and it's been so helpful. I will get back to text messages in the evening or the next day, and the same with phone calls. When I'm 'off', but I've had to create work hours, because it's too easy to just let things flow into one, and not set boundaries, so I've had to be more strict with myself.
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. – Muhammad Ali
3. GET DIGITAL
I love, love, love having a pretty day timer and I tried it for the later part of the year, but I constantly came back to my google Cal, which I now love. It just makes things so much easier, streamlined, and effective. I can share appointments with clients in a heart beat, and can lay out my day hourly. I also find it so helpful to see my month at a glance, instead of having to flip through multiple pages. I also always ran out of room in my day timers, and didn't want to lug around a big binder for a DT, so going digital has made things so much easier, and effective when scheduling, booking clients, and being more productive as everything is in one place.
4. SWITCHING OFF AT NIGHT
I know lots of people can work into the wee hours of the night, but I'm truly not productive or effective when night falls, never have been, never will be, so I'm not going to push myself to work nights. I love sleep, and I'm a huge advocate for getting restful, rejuvenating and long sleeps. I get up between 5-530am every weekday (weekends range from 630-730am) and get my day started then. I'm much more clear, energetic and focused in the mornings. I love everything about them, so this is where I'm channeling my time and energy. I also don't respond to e-mails or messages past 7pm (SO if you try and get ahold of my then, you won't hear from me until the next day :) ) I either turn off my phone completely or put it on airplane mode. You have to create these boundaries, and it's something I feel really strongly about. We are bombarded with SO much during the day, and work so hard, that I love to use the evenings to wind down, take a bath, read / research, spend time with my Fiancee and get ready for the next day. It allows me to be my best self, and when I do work, I'm focused and go all in. It's not to say I don't do anything at night :) This past week I've actually conducted two Nutrition workshops, and I've had some late nights because of it. I loved every second, but I know my body / mind will feel it a little, so I'm just more mindful of catching up on my sleep and going to bed even earlier.
You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar
5. DOING MY BIG AND SCARY TASKS FIRST THING
What I mean by this, is things that I've been putting off due to fear, or big tasks that are hard to tackle or will take a lot of time and effort to complete. I tend to work on them in the afternoon, or spread them out a little too much. I've been dedicating and focusing time in the morning, and first thing to grab a hold of these, and do them first thing. I
6. NOT KEEPING MY E-MAIL BROWSER OPEN AND NO NOTIFICATIONS
I've turned off all notifications on my phone, because I don't need to respond that second to a text message, instagram like or e-mail. I've been doing this for the past six months, and I wouldn't go back! It's glorious and much less anxiety ridden. I'm also working on not keeping my gmail email page open all day, because I have a tendency to want to respond ASAP. It's natural to want to respond right away, but usually these e-mails do not require immediate assistance, so it's okay to let it go, and save those messages for dedicated time, as outlined above, for checking messages, social media, etc. I also have mail on my MAC, and I've switched it from checking every minute for e-mails, to checking it manually. This has helped so much! I know if I'm writing, working away, it's too easy for me not to inquire, read the e-mail and get totally distracted and start to procrastinate, which leads me to low productivity for the hour. You might be so much better at this then me, but I've had to find ways to cut distractions, and be a little bit 'stricter' with my automatic pushes, notifications and the addictive habitualness of scrolling (!)
7. CLUMP MEETINGS TOGETHER AND PICK ONLY ONE OR TWO DAYS TO HAVE THEM
I've become more efficient in grouping my meetings into one or two days. Ideally I like to meet on Tuesdays and Fridays in the afternoons, or just one of those days. This means that the rest of the time, I'm working, and have to treat it as such. It's way too easy to deviate off to other tasks (cleaning, organizing, running errands), or making dates with friends, and often times I have to say No to friends during the week, which is SO hard, When I do have meetings during the week, I make sure they are effective and beneficial for both parties! IF I've worked really hard on a Monday, come 3-4pm I will run some errands, and get some stuff done before dinner, or do something that gives me SO much joy. I'm not militant, but I'm just learning to be so much more productive with my time.
So friends, these are my top tips for skyrocketing your / my productivity. In no way am I perfect, and follow these to a exact T, as life is every changing and evolving, and there will always be special circumstances and LIFE. But these are what I've been working on these past few weeks, and it's made such a huge difference in how I carry about my business, and personal life. If I don't put these into practice, and I'm alllllll about practicing what I preach, I'll never reach my goals and the impact that I hope and dream of doing. Ultimately helping, healing and bringing health, wellness and happiness to as many people as I can!
I hope this helps you in anyway, especially if you're struggling with productivity or completing a big task that you've been putting off for a really long time. The only thing standing between you and it, is YOU. You have the powerful, tools and gifts to get it done. It just sometimes takes a little push, and a whole lot of discipline to get it done.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney
Happy Monday Beauties!