Latest Entries »

Every Day Is Humpday


It’s Wednesday…AKA Humpday. A lot of people struggle to get to the middle of the week and once they’re through it they somehow feel a sense of relief since there are only 2 days left afterward.

From where I’m sitting, I see is that every day is Humpday. The hump isn’t the middle of the week, but instead it’s what keeps you from getting things done. Until you eliminate the hump, every day is Humpday.

 


Given that productivity is personal, your tools have to be a personal fit too. They’ve got to fit like that favorite pair of stilettos. What usually happens is that people choose the latest and greatest thing to hit the market and often because of its bells a whistles. They’re attracted to the fun perks, but not necessarily looking at what it offers them in terms of staying on point and on purpose.

Think about tools from the hardware store. There are tools for different things and each is uniquely suited for a particular task. Some might be for multiple tasks. Productivity tools are no different. Tools serve and support and will help you get through your day if you have something that’s a fit and that can do the heavy lifting.

What tool do you use on a daily basis to help you stay on task? Some people use their phone, at least to some extent and others use paper tools. You may not have a designated personal tool and you might use a bit of everything. Take inventory of what you are using now. Is it working for you? If not, in what ways does it not work? Making note of what isn’t working will show you where your gaps are. Make a quick list of those gaps. Then determine if what you’re using is a fit for you. Your personal tool should be a fit for your Productivity Persona. If your persona is more conducive to digital tools, then paper is going to be a challenge for you. Your Persona might indicate that a combination tool is what works best for you.

If you have to find something new, make sure you do your homework. Be sure that what you choose has the features you’re looking for, otherwise you’ll end up with something that can’t serve you. The tool you choose is the first piece of your personal productivity system and is a key piece, so choose wisely. Take a close look at what you have, what you need and look at what’s available to see what fits and will do the job. In addition to your personal tool, take look at digital pieces that serve as good add ons. I recently updated my list of favorite tools that I use and recommend and shared it in my Productive Alchemy Facebook group. If you’re looking for recommendations, you’ll find it there in the files section.

 

 


I’ve said it before, and you’ll always hear me say it…productivity is personal. It’s my belief and part of my philosophy around my business. It has been for as long as I’ve been in business. There are several things that come into play here, but the primary thing is that your personality impacts your productivity. Who you are has everything to do with how you approach getting things done and it speaks to your strengths and weaknesses in this area.

When you understand who you are in your relationship with this illusion, AKA “Time”, you see your strengths and can understand why you’re good at somethings inside the get it done equation. When you look at your weaknesses you gain an understanding of why you’re challenged with certain things. When people discover who they are…or their Productivity Persona, the fog begins to lift and they start to see why things are the way they are, so confusion starts to leave.

From the point of understanding it then becomes about addressing the challenges with remedies that fit so that the challenges can be met on any given day before they show up, if they do. That point also allows you to pull your strengths into the mix as you create your foundation and a system for getting things done that will get you through your days, because it’s tailor-made to who you are.

This also includes pulling the other pieces of your Persona into the picture and that brings you full circle, with a very clear understanding of who you are in your relationship with time and how you should approach getting things done. It tells you what tools fit and what habits to build as part of the support system to get you through your to do list daily.

Who you are supports you, most times unknowingly, in the realm of productivity and it also hinders you. Your personality makes it dictates behaviors that make knocking things off your to do list difficult. Using your strengths to shore you up and transforming the weaknesses to address the challenges is what helps you get through your days and get it done.

 

Inbox Invasion


What’s in your inbox? Maybe a question you don’t want to answer, right? Ideally you would want to find correspondence from clients, colleagues, email subscriptions, those you want to learn from and stay connected to, with perhaps an occasional cold call sales proposition. Most find their inboxes overloaded daily and we also find ourselves subjected to being added to lists without signing up, asking to be added or giving our permission. One of my biggest pet peeves.

Recently I found myself in this situation just one-too-many times and followed my usual process by trying to see if I had signed up for their lists and had somehow forgotten. That wasn’t the case. In each instance someone thought it was okay to add me to their list without my permission. One seemed to be shocked about my asking to be removed suggesting that I pass the information along if I didn’t find it to be useful. Seriously?

Okay, so here’s the thing about all that…

Years ago before the “Can SPAM” Act was in place it was commonplace for people building their list to add email addresses of those they met at events to their list. Not that this was ever appropriate at any time mind you, but it was common.

Personally I find this to be quite rude and a poor business practice. This is the virtual equivalent to walking up to someone at an event and shoving your stuff in their face without introducing yourself and having a conversation. Without knowing if they’re your ideal client or even want what you have to offer. Besides being rude, you’re not targeting the people you are a fit for what you do. Is this really how you want to build your business or the reputation you want to create? You’re taking up prime real estate in my sacred space and that’s just not cool.

I prefer to have things worthy of that space in it. Things that will serve me, help me learn and stay connected to those I want to connect with. That’s what your inbox is for. Inbox invasion is just one reason people suffer from email overload. When you clean up your inbox regularly, leave those with poor business etiquette out of the mix, get off the lists that aren’t serving you and keep it that way.

 


Like most people you have an inbox. Tell the truth about it and you’ve got multiple inboxes, right? Hopefully you have multiple virtual mail boxes because it’s your way of separating your business and personal worlds, not because you added them frivolously.

Given the times and the overload of information we each get on a daily basis, people are inundated with email. Most of us receive about 150 emails a day and for many the majority go without being read. This has become the norm and people have come accustomed to being on multiple email lists and part of their regular rhythm is to continue to subscribe to more.

There’s way too much going on that has your inbox (or inboxes) get and stay bogged down and cluttered and this does absolutely nothing for you in regards to staying productive.

  • An average of 150 emails a day
  • Most go unread
  • Staying subscribed to lists that no longer serve you or your interest
  • Missing what you need to have access to

Your inbox deserves better and so do you. Treating your inbox like sacred space means setting a criteria for what is allowed. So now you might be saying, “But where do I start?” because you’ve got 30K emails plus and just can’t see it happening.  You can get there one step at a time and here’s your check list:

  1. Take inventory. What’s there? Emails that haven’t been read, things you kept because of the attachments or other info? If you haven’t read it, delete it and if it’s from a list you subscribed to, get off the list. Chances are you haven’t read much of what they’ve send and won’t. Save any attached documents to your computer, get info into a file and dates into your calendar and delete, delete, delete!
  2. Get off the list. Sort your inbox alphabetically by sender so you can see what you get regularly. You might not even remember who some of those people are, so open one of the emails, scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe from what’s not relevant. If you have a long list of subscriptions, check out Unroll.Me and instantly see all your subscription emails and get rid of what you don’t want. Once you’re done, delete those emails.
  3. Make your list. Now determine the email that you want to allow; what deserves space. Be tough and make sure you can justify why something needs to hit your inbox.
  4. Set up an email tool like SaneBox to keep the order. It will review your email history and habits, keep the unimportant stuff out of your inbox so you can focus on what matters. The unimportant things got to another folder for you to review later. Once you set it up and have a clean inbox, you can clean up the “Sane Later” folder and then do the regular maintenance.
  5. Create supportive habits. Moving forward you need habits to keep your inbox sacred so set times to check email during the day, use folders and filters to send certain emails to designated folders and check them regularly. Download attachments and info you need and delete the email and empty your trash folder daily.

 

Time and Space (c) 2015, 2011 [ Back to top ]