So, it happened again. You PROMISED yourself you'd actually accomplish something today. You wrote a cute little list in your expensive ass Erin Condren planner and you just KNEW that today would be THE DAY.
You were going to get some work done, work on your biz and avoid Facebook like a champ... But, it happened again. You hopped on Facebook just for a "second" to see how your friends were doing (cyber stalker much?) and then things spiraled out of control.
Before long, you look up and realize it's hours later and you're halfway through the new season of Person Of Interest...... If that sounds REALLY specific, it's because I'm speaking from experience! I think we've all been there.
I have good news and bad news... The good news is, you're an Entrepreneur! Hooray, you're your own boss!
The bad news is... You're an Entrepreneur! You're own boss!
That means, that YOU are responsible for managing your time effectively. Now, that's where I come in. I'm a single mom and a business owner. I know firsthand the struggle of time management! Back when I started my first business, I was still crapping unicorns and rainbows. I thought that being an entrepreneur would give me so much free time (feel free to laugh yourself to tears, I'll wait...) Eventually, I learned that having a SOLID productivity plan was going to be paramount to my success, and I was right!
Ready to boost your productivity? Let's do this!
1. START WITH A BRAIN DUMP (I promise it's better than it sounds!)
Before you begin working on something important, it's essential that you clear your mind. So before you get started, you need to perform a "brain dump". A brain dump is just what it sounds like. An emptying of the brain. Sit down for 5 minutes and just write. Write whatever is on your mind. What are you stressed about? What do you need to get done? Write it all down and clear your mind!
2. SET YOUR INTENTION
Now that you've performed your "brain dump", you're ready to get started working. It's time to take a moment to "set your intention" for your work session . What do you want to accomplish? Close your eyes and quiet your mind. Envision yourself being productive and "get your mind right". You'll feel the stress of the day fading away and clarity will ensue!
3. SET YOUR GOALS
You set your intention for this work session, correct? Great! Now it's time to jot down some CLEAR goals regarding what you want to accomplish! You #goalgetter, you *wink* You want to write down realistic goals, for the time you have, but don't be afraid to push yourself a bit! You'll be surprised by just how much you really can accomplish!
"PRODUCTIVITY IS NEVER AN ACCIDENT. IT IS ALWAYS THE RESULT OF A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE, INTELLIGENT PLANNING, AND FOCUSED EFFORT." -PAUL J. MEYER
4. ASSESS YOUR WORKSPACE
Have you ever heard the phrase, "cluttered house, cluttered mind"? Well this may very well be true for you. I know it is for me! Take a few moments to organize your desk. A clean workspace eliminates distractions which can interrupt your flow of ideas. With less to distract you, you can devote 100% of your attention to doing what needs to be done.
You know all those pesky notifications you get on your phone? Or that compulsive need to check your email? Avoid them! Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram and every other social media site CAN WAIT. If you MUST have your phone within view, just set it on silent. Again, we want to minimize distraction around us and achieve mental focus on the tasks at hand.!
6. TIME BLOCK
Used well, time blocking is SUCH a powerful productivity tool! "It may sound extreme, but it's honestly one of the simplest and most effective tactics for anyone to live by."- Gary Keller. Take those goals you set and place them in blocks of time. For example, take 2 hours to work solely on one task. If you're writing a book? Write. That's it nothing else. Once that time is up, take 15 minutes off. Look back on what you've accomplished and what you can do differently in the future.
7. MOVE THAT BOOTY!
Schedule some time to get moving throughout the day. I personally LOVE working out on my "lunch hour" because it gives me a huge boost of energy. Even something as simple as jumping jacks or push ups will do wonders for your stress levels and provide oxygen to your brain. Do this during your scheduled break from time blocking to get your creativity flowing and get your mind ready to work!
8. QUIT MULTITASKING
There are different opinions on multitasking. But given the choice, I think it's best to devote your all to ONE project at a time. This goes hand in hand with time blocking. Time blocking and multitasking don't fit together. So focus on one thing at a time and reduce your stress levels!
9. EVALUATE WHAT WORKS (And What Doesn't)
Remember, everyone is different. We all have different learning styles and work styles. Think about the days you've been most productive. What was your method? What time of day was it? Why were you more productive? Sit down, analyze it and take notes for next time.
For instance, some people work best focusing on one area of work per day. If that's the case, schedule your time blocks using one particular area of focus, per day. (Advertising, marketing, reading etc) Time block just one focus per day!
Take a moment to look back on what you accomplished. How amazing are you?? You have skills and talents unlike anyone else. You've managed to accomplish SO much, and with time and practice, you'll be accomplishing even more! Now that you've increased your productivity and accomplished SO much more this week, it's time to celebrate!
I'm a firm believer in positive reinforcement. What good are achievements if we don't celebrate them? So do something you love, indulge in that dessert tonight..... you deserve it! Our brains are wired to respond to this type of reinforcement. Now the next time you follow these steps, your brain will remind you of that celebration and you'll crave it!
Now it's up to YOU to KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM! Follow these steps daily to ensure you remain on the path to productivity. Jot down what worked best for you, for the next time. Productivity really CAN be yours, and the more you get done daily, the less guilty you'll feel about having the occasional Netflix binge!