Tag Archive: habits



office-620817_1920There are way too many productivity tools out there to mention, making it even more important to choose the one that’s a perfect fit for you. The tool you use to support you on a daily walk through your to-do list should fit you as well as your favorite pair of shoes. After you’ve done your homework to learn exactly what the tools you’re attracted to can do and determine which is the best fit based upon your Productivity Persona™, you can’t stop there. Once you have the perfect tool for you in your hot little capable hands, you’ve got to work it if it’s going to support you. There are three major things you’re going to want to do:

  1. Set Yourself Up For Success-It’s important to use all the features to support you daily. When you get your tool, invest the time in setting it up completely, and no half-stepping! Add your contacts, and for electronic tools, sync it with your calendar, and add your business email so that you have access to it. It’s convenient to have it all in one place, not to mention the time you’ll save.
  2. Develop Habits– Once it’s set up you want to build the muscle of using your tool every day . If you haven’t been using something to support you on a daily basis, you’ve got to allow yourself the time to get into the swing of things. Use reminders to help you build this muscle if you need to. On a regular basis, add new calendar items, contacts and any updates, and use it to plan and to guide you daily.
  3. Back It Up!- Sync and back up your electronic device regularly—at least twice a week. It’s a good practice to set reminders in your calendar so that you don’t forget to sync and back up. There’s nothing worse than losing or having something happen to your electronic device and not having that back up. I’ve helped clients work their way back from that disaster and it’s not pretty. If you’re using a paper tool, maintain it the same way and share your calendar information with your assistant or another trusted party. If you’re a one-woman show, keep a second copy in a safe spot for easy retrieval in the worse case scenario.

Email Overload


E mail concept Modern Laptop andThere are so many people who struggle with inbox woes daily. It’s not uncommon for people to have upwards of 3000 pieces of email in their inbox and a lot of them aren’t even read. Sometimes it seems like there’s just no way to get a handle on it, but I promise you, there is.

Right now, go to your inbox and look to see exactly how many emails are in your inbox. You might cringe, maybe you don’t even want to look, but just go take a peek. You have to know how bad the problem is before you can take steps to resolve it, so go look.

With technology getting better and better and people becoming more reliant upon it and since it’s always readily available, email it seems, is here to stay. So that means that you have to get a grip and gain the upper hand. If you don’t it will be and will stay out of control. An overloaded inbox is a form of electronic clutter and it can get just an out of hand and be just as much of an issue as physical clutter in a space.

So what do you do to start the process of gaining control and eliminating email overload? Go back to your inbox and take inventory. What’s there? Ezines or newsletters you signed up for but haven’t read; emails that you’ve read but kept because they have useful information or attachments that you need?

If there are lists you subscribed to because you wanted particular information and you got it and used it, or didn’t, it’s time to unsubscribe from those lists. If the information is still of value to you, meaning that you can and will use it, save it in a document, bookmark the link or if you use Evernote save it there and keep it moving. Same thing goes for those precious attachments you’ve been holding onto via email. Download them to an appropriate folder and delete the email.

Once those things are gone, look to see what else is there and more importantly WHY it’s there. Get rid of the obsolete things and if there are emails you need to archive, create folders for them and start the drag and drop process. Keep it up until you’ve cleaned it up.

Once you’ve cleaned up your inbox, create some rules for yourself and some new habits. When you check email read, reply, download, archive and delete. Set up filters and related folders for email from lists you want to stay subscribed to so those emails go directly to their designated folders. You can do the same for emails related to particular clients or projects you’re working on. If your inbox is really overloaded it might take a few weeks to get things under control, but it can be done.

 


Desktop mix on a wooden office tableLet me start by saying that I know you may not have a daily routine when it comes to getting things done. You probably have things that you do in the morning as you start your day, like making breakfast. If you have children you’re getting them ready and maybe off to school. Maybe you include mediation or a workout. It’s a given that you have something you do every day, even if it’s general, like eating and getting showered and dressed.

Your morning sets the tone for your day, so you want to purposely structure it and you also want to purposely structure your work day. Now some see structure as a bad thing, I know that my creative people out there may not even be able to hear anything about structure, but trust me you can do this.

Once you get to your office, whether it’s inside or outside of your home what do you do? Do you sit down and dive right in? If so, what are you diving into and how? If you’re jumping into your inbox first thing, stop it. Let today be the last day that you did that. If your start isn’t intentional you’ve have to revamp the way you start your work day. If you’re on top of things, you will have all of your to-dos and calendar items in place, so you don’t have to think about it, you just have to review it.

The first part of your routine for the day should include getting present to what you want your experience to be that day and how you want to serve or have your clients experience you. You should also make time to review your agenda and see if you’re led to change something. Maybe something doesn’t fit or something has to shift. Make the changes and then step into your first task.

Continue with your day based upon your to-do items and your calendar making any adjustments you have to make along the way. Determine when in your day you’re going to check email and stop leaving it open all day and set a time for making and returning. Neither of these should be happening during your prime time. Use your prime time to focus on your priority tasks. Get in at least two quick breaks into your day and time to refuel your productivity. Finally, determine how you’re going to end your day, making sure to include looking at your list and calendar for the coming day so that you know what’s up.

The idea here is to create a routine with regular habits that work for you, make your day work and help you get it done. What do you need to make standard in your day? Look at the trouble you have every day and that will give you an idea of where the gaps are and what you need to make customary. This keeps you focused, on point and on purpose instead of floundering endlessly day after day.

 


Green road sign choicesAs people go through their days fighting against what seems to be all odds to get things done, a lot of them are wishing they could get more done, or just get something done. The same thing happens for them day in and day out and they’re stuck. One thing they don’t realize is that being productive is a choice. It’s not something that you have to be gifted with. I’ve heard many people say, “I’m just not organized or I’m just not productive” thinking that if you’re not wired that way, then you’re doomed. That’s not the case.

Life is all about choices. We make them every day. You have to make a conscious choice about how you want to work. So if you’re having trouble getting things done one of the things you have to ask yourself how you want to work.  Make time to answer that question for yourself. Do you want to work in flow; do you want your office to be peaceful? These might seem a bit obvious, but if you don’t think about what you want and make the conscious choice to work that way, then it’s not going to show up in your world.

After choosing how you want to work, the next step is determining how you want your day to look and how you want to experience your day. They might be crazy right now, but step back and think about what you want your ideal work day, your ideally productive day to look like. You might want to have time each morning for that work out that you never seem to be able to fit in, or to have some time to yourself…even just the few minutes you’ve been craving. If you’re looking to work in flow, what does that look like on a daily basis? What challenges and non-supportive habits would you have overcome?

Once you’ve made the conscious choice about how you want to work and you have an idea of what it looks like, you have to create the structure for it. That means building the foundation that will give you the day you want to live inside of your business. So you seek to discover how you relate to time, you choose the tool that’s right for you based upon that, and build your system around it to support you getting and then staying productive. Then you can bring your day to life and have that experience every day.

Having the productive days you want isn’t difficult, it’s just about creating them.  If you’re looking for support in creating your ideally productive day, I invite you to check out my Zen Day session. Invest one hour of your time with me and we’ll lay the foundation for the day you want to create and you’ll be ready to take the steps to make it come to life.

 


Mercury Retro-Refocus Regroup RenewOn May 18th we entered Mercury retrograde and the energy will be present until June 11th and we’ll be in it’s shadow for a short time afterward. Mercury Retrograde occurs when the planet appears to be moving backwards, into its shadow, which causes communication, scheduling, transportation and even our judgment to become a bit cloudy or error prone.

You can use this retrograde to stay productive and continue moving forward. With things in the outer realm being challenged, it’s smart to plan for delays and errors. It’s also a good idea to double check due dates, meeting times and to make sure communications you’ve sent are received and clear. You may find that you have email issues during this time as well. It has been said that this is not a good time for planning new things, but rather a time to continue planning things that have already be started, or to revisit projects that aren’t yet complete. Be sure that you have your technology covered, meaning that your files, contacts, etc are backed up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients and others tell me that they don’t have their files and other important information backed up. I’ve also witnessed people go through that painful process of losing all of the files on their laptop or all of their contacts and having to start from scratch. Definitely not somewhere you want to be

While things in the outer realm may be challenging during this time, this is a great time retreat within. To make the time to reflect for introspection and to work on ourselves. As you take that retreat, look to see where your habits have you hung up and what steps it will take for you release them. Don’t look at your habits as good or bad, just simply that they are either serving you or they’re not. What do you see hinders you on a daily basis when it comes to getting things off your to-do list? How can you shift things to create a habit that will support you. Engage someone else if you feel you need accountability in making that shift.

Use the energy that is present now while we’re in retrograde to refocus. Maybe you’re off track on a few things or feel as though you haven’t paid enough attention to something. Now is the time to get back on track. Regroup in your outer realm as well as the inner and allow things to be renewed so that you’re back on point and you can use this period to organize or reorganize your office, and restructure things by getting systems in place to shore up your foundation. This can be a very empowering time if you allow it to be. Refocus, regroup and renew to empower your productivity.

 

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