Tag Archive: increasing productivity

WomanClockFaceBelieve it or not, your personality plays a direct role in productivity. Right now there are probably things that you can think of that you haven’t been able to finish or even get started. Something’s always getting in the way or there just never seems to be enough time. As much as you might wish you had it, you aren’t going to get any additional time. The magic number is 1,440 and that’s all you get each day.

You can’t add to the amount of time that you get each day, but you can shift your approach to how you manage things. If you’re a regular reader or a client you know that I have a totally different approach when in comes to productivity. I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. They don’t work. My perspective and my approach are that it’s personal. You can try those boxed solutions and maybe even have them work a bit or for an amount of time, but at some point, you’re going to hit a bump in the road, which will leave you right back where you started.

When you shift your approach to managing time, first of all realizing that time isn’t real, so there’s actually no such thing as time management, you gain a new perspective. To increase your productivity, you have to look at your relationship with and to time. How are you relating to time right now? You might find it to be somewhat of a dysfunctional relationship, one that you never really knew you had and you certainly haven’t thought about how you relate to time, right? Your personality should be at the core of how you manage your time.

Once you get past the fact that time doesn’t exist, you have to look at who you are to see what’s going to work for you when it comes to getting things done. Here are a few key points:

  • How you relate to time. You can begin to get somewhat of an idea if you look at your challenges with it.
  • The things that are revealed from looking at your challenges should be taken into consideration when you look at tools and systems to support you. That helps you personalize them.
  • Look at your personal rhythms or what I call your Prime Time. That’s the period of time when you’re at your best mentally and physically.

These key points will get you on the track to personalizing how you get it done. They are each a part of your Productivity Persona. Your Persona indicates who you are when it comes to time. It reveals specific elements of your personality, productivity challenges and lets you know what tools will best suit you. (I’ll be sharing more about my Productivity Personas in the weeks to come.) Once you know how your personality impacts how you deal with time, you have a foundation to build upon. You have a guide to help you set yourself up for success. Having your personality be at the core will take you from struggling, and finding tools and systems difficult to manage to a higher level of productivity, getting you from “to-do” to “done” with ease.


MeTimeYes, that’s right…this blog post is about making time for you. I know for so many of you it’s a big challenge. I know that 99.9% of my readers are women and if you’re like most, your plate is more than full. There are a lot of things that get onto your calendar, but you aren’t one of them and that has to change. When you give yourself the time to do the things that you love to do or want to do without thinking about anything or anyone else, it actually makes the rest of your life work.

If you want to be able to focus on all of the things on your agenda, you’ve got to take care of you first. I like to use the example of the instructions you get from the flight attendant before take off. When it comes to the oxygen mask, you have to put ours on first THEN help children, elders or others with theirs. Your me time is like your oxygen mask.

When I teach clients to plan, the first thing that we get in their calendar is their time to themselves, followed by time off from their business. Then we add the project and other business related items. Giving this time to yourself is so important. How long has it been since you had me time? Can you even remember?

Instead of trying to squeeze in more time for work and family duties, make the time for you. It’s essential to your health. Stress produces cortisol, which can  impact overall health. Furthermore, it’s necessary for you to be at your best for your family, friends and your clients. Getting in that me time contributes to being the best you that you can be.

Figure out how you’re going to spend your me time. Choose an activity and schedule it once a week. You can also consider adding time at the beginning or end of your day just for you. As time goes on you add additional times. As you plan each week, get your me time in there first. If you find that you just can’t seem to make yourself schedule the time, you might want to ask yourself if there’s something else going on around self worth.

If you always feel short on time, if you’ve got a tight schedule, feel guilty about spending time by yourself, don’t take care of yourself first, if you feel like you should be doing something when you have free time, or fill all of the open spaces in your calendar with something, say “yes” before you check to see if you’re available…you clearly don’t have enough time to yourself. Remember, me time is your oxygen mask. It allows you to be able to take care of everything and everyone else.


ShiftHere’s yet another way to make your Monday productive. Shift from the routine stuff. Take a look at what you usually do during the course of the week. As you think about that, and start a list making note of the things that you usually get distracted by. What things usually have you veering off course? Do you stop to chase the BSOs (Bright shiny objects)?

Then look at the habits you practice, whether they support you or not. Don’t look at your habits as “good” or “bad”, they’re just habits. Then take a look at the things that typically keep you from starting off running at the beginning of the week. One thing that I see often with clients is that they start off checking their email, which is a bad move.

Once you have each of those lists, go back through them and on the right side of the page across from the distractions, non supportive habits and the things that hold up your fast start, write what you will do instead. As you start your week, pull out the list and look at the alternative things you created and get them into your Monday mix. If you keep it up, these new things can help you create an entirely new routine that keeps you more productive. It makes for a great way to start your week!


Making Time

SpiralClock-Smaller2Time!  There never seems to be enough of it to get in all of the things we want or need to do. That’s the thought or conclusion on everyone’s mind. Well, here’s a news flash for you…YOU AREN’T GOING TO GET ANY MORE TIME! What you have is what you get.  That’s it; no more!  You get the same amount of time as I or anyone else and no matter how hard you wish, want, complain, or ask, more time is something that is not coming your way.  The thing about time is that it’s elusive and intangible, which makes it pretty slippery, so you have to learn to work with what you’ve got.

So now that I’ve given you that rude awakening, let me clue you in.  No matter what stage your business is in—start up, just starting to fly or one that’s been established for quite some time, the thing that you must do is manage your business appropriately.  That means understanding not just what it takes, but the amount of time that it takes to do so and planning accordingly.  You can have everything set up, have the knowledge to run your business under your belt, and be ready to rock and roll, but none of it means anything without you being in action.  Before you take action you’ve got to make the time to consider what needs to be done, how and when it’s getting done and who’s doing it.

When it comes to business, most owners think of all the logical or practical pieces of the puzzle that have to come together.  What they don’t think about is setting up systems to make things run smoothly and maximize their time and if they do think about business systems, they almost always forget about having one that supports managing their time.  If you don’t learn how to manage time, time and other people will manage you simply because you haven’t made the time to go about setting up that system.  As with the creation of other systems, you have to consider what the process is and determine each of the steps in the process.  After that comes choosing the tool or tools to support the process and finally, the people who will perform the tasks.

Once that system is set up, the focus has to be on implementing it and using it every day if you actually mean to get anything accomplished.  Some argue that planning wastes time, but the opposite is true.  For every minute you spend planning, you save 10 in the execution phase.  As you plan your day to day to-dos, properly estimating the amount of time that things take is key.  If you’re unsure of how long something is going to take, take a realistic guess, then log the amount of time that you spend on that task.  Once it’s complete you’ll know how long it took and will know what amount of time it will take in the future.  Over time you’ll get better at estimating your time so that your days aren’t crazy.

In consideration of what some say about planning, let’s look at the cold, hard facts.  Saving yourself ten minutes in the execution of the plan translates into the time that you make to plan giving you a return of ten times, which is 1,000 percent on the investment of your time and personal energy.  That is huge!  Where else can you make an investment and get this kind of return?  Another fact of the matter is that it only takes about 10-12 minutes to plan your day.  That small investment will save you about two hours every day, which translates to about a 25 percent increase in your level of productivity.  Regular planning has you spend more time on activities of higher value, which increases your effectiveness and your efficiency in everything you do. When you look at the facts you can see the advantages that making time affords you.  It’s a key component when it comes to the foundation of your business and without it sooner or later you end up paying the price.



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