Tag Archive: Productivity


I Want My Hour Back!


hourglass green sandToday Daylight Saving Time started and the first thing I remember saying to myself this morning is, “I want my hour back.” I wanted back the hour that was snatched from me. That hour of peace and quiet for my Sunday. Then I heard my own voice in my head say the same thing I tell my clients, “Remember that time doesn’t exist anyway, and you have all the time there is.” All I could do was laugh.

If you’re like me you may be wanting your hour back too, but like I reminded myself, we have all the time there is and since time doesn’t exist, there’s really no loss. We get to create what time is for us and learn how to walk that fine line between knowing that it’s just a concept and operating in a world where people allow it to run their lives. When we remember that and take control of our days, there are ways we can, so to say, add time back into our day.

  • Get & Stay Focused-Staying focused is a primary key when it comes to your day to day to-dos. Once you have clarity, you can create the vision and once you have the crystal clear vision, you can focus and stay on point. It becomes much easier to know what your priorities are because your vision is clear…you know what you’re up to and what’s important.
  • Let Go-Delegate the things that don’t require your expertise to do. Make the time to explain the how-to hand it over to a highly capable party and focus on the things that only you can do. Also let go of the things that aren’t important in relation to what your focus is. Those tasks that have been on your agenda for a while that you just can’t seem to get to, so they keep getting moved, or those things that you do as a way of avoiding what really needs to be done.
  • Make Your To-Be List-You’re so caught up in the things that have to be done that you lose your focus and forget to think about who you’re being. Before you can even think about what there is to do, you’ve got to take a look at who it is you need to be. Being an entrepreneur requires you to be bold, tenacious, fearless just to name a few ways of being. When you determine what you’re creating for yourself you have to step outside of who it is that you’re usually being, so make your to-be list first.

Putting these things into action can help you get up to two “additional” hours in your day. Get your hour back and then some!

 

 


I recently sent an email out to my list giving them a chance to borrow my brain and get any question they had about productivity answered. That week questions came from other places too. One question I was asked while on the phone with a colleague was, “How is it that I’m productive for three days in a row then have no energy or the right attitude to get things done?” What she shared with me was that during the last few weeks she found herself in a space where she was able to focus and get things done for about three days and then she just couldn’t bring herself back to that space again. She couldn’t stay focused and definitely wasn’t in the frame of mind to do so either.

Each of those days she had started working mid morning and worked until after dinner, sometimes stopping to eat dinner and then coming back to work and at times burning the midnight oil. She was burning herself out, which many women entrepreneurs do. What I suspected was that she wasn’t giving time to herself as was the case. No breaks to grab a healthy snack or take a quick walk or just breathe. She may or may not stop to eat lunch so she could continue to work her way through the things on her list and be farther along with her project. Plowing through those days got things done, but depleted her physically and mentally and it took a couple of days to get things moving again.

If you don’t have time during the day when you give to yourself, now is the time to start doing it. Create a morning routine that allows you space to breathe and to get grounded and focused. You might add a work out or some yoga and meditation. Let the focus be entirely on you. Not your family, not even your business, but on you. Create times during the day when you stop to take a break from work. Step away from your desk or out of your office and again focus on yourself. What do you need in that space? Maybe you need to fuel your body or take the dog for a walk. You will find that those breaks leave you refreshed and ready to knock off the rest of the things on your agenda for the day. Finally, know where to draw the line. Choose a time to end your work days and honor yourself and your time by sticking to it. This will give you the energy, focus and frame of mind you need and will put an end to the weeks where you run out of steam.

 


To-Do List and Pocket WatchThe list of things to do is so long that it can be difficult getting to the things that really matter. You know what it’s like to have a long list and have more things that need to be added before you can cross off the tasks you already have. Things get jammed up because you’re not organized, don’t know how to manage it all and if you’ve got productivity challenges or habits that don’t support you, it makes it even harder. To the point that you give a lot of time to putting out fires and not getting to what matters most.

Add the velocity of life and it’s even more challenging. Usually, people spend time working on things that are important and urgent because time isn’t given to planning, taking advantage of opportunities, and the all-important, highly avoided recreation and relaxation.

It’s time to dissect, clean up and fine tune your to-do list! Start by looking at everything you have on your plate and the things you would like to place on your plate. Make sure to include the things you’ve been walking around with in your head.

Once you’ve got everything listed, mark each item as something that either has to be done right now or something that doesn’t have to be done right now. As you do, keep in mind that you’re tearing apart your list here. The end goal is to only end up having things that are important left on your list, so this means letting go of all the things that don’t fall under that category.

Next, go back through the list and label each task either important or not important. Be very careful here, this is where things can get a bit tricky. Let go of the notion that everything is important, because it’s not. If something’s not related to your big picture, it’s irrelevant. It might be hard to do what I’m going to tell you to do now, but it’s necessary. Draw a line through everything that you’ve designated to be unimportant. Again, remember that you’re cleaning things up. Once you do, you’re only left with the things that matter.

Now that you have a list of only the important things left, you can see which have to be done right now and the ones that don’t because of the labels you gave them earlier. This is your new, fine-tuned to-do list and these are the things that should get your time. Focus on the things that have to be done right now first, then move to the things that aren’t a “right now” thing.

Moving forward, continue to focus on only the things that are important. Create new habits that have you planning and not waiting until the last minute so you have less fires to put out and things aren’t done in haste. You’ll have to face the daily temptation that will come from the things that aren’t relevant, but stay the course! Celebrate your wins, whether they’re big or small and make time for yourself. Continue to constantly and deliberately choose and remember that your focus is to drop the things that aren’t directly in line with the big picture you’re creating.

 

Being In The Flow


Meditating At The WaterI remember a conversation two friends had about me years ago that they shared with me. One of the things that was said during their conversation was that they had no idea how I managed to get everything done. At the time I was working 40-50 hours a week, going to school full time and I was a single parent. The truth is, I didn’t even think about how to get it all done, I just did it. Looking back at that time and the number of things I managed to stay on top of without missing a beat I saw that it was my intention that helped me.

I had learned to give myself a more stable foundation for getting things done and took steps to personalize my approach to it all and those things along with having a system worked, but intention was what helped me flow. Intention is a powerful thing.  It can be described as a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Desire causes intention, which causes action, which of course then causes the outcome.  Intention is what starts the momentum; the flow, and allows it to grow if you align yourself with it.

Aligning yourself with it means applying leverage by delegating the things that don’t require your expertise to complete. It also means making time to relax, the really breathe and appreciate things as they are and visualizing your outcome. Once you create the alignment, you can follow with inspired action which leads to more momentum and places you in the flow of things. Your mind shifts and is a part of the flow you’ve created and everything begins to line up.

When you are in this space of flow, there is no stopping you simply because you have set the intention and have a willingness to do that which needs to be done. You begin to see what things belong on your daily agenda and which don’t, so you delegate or remove them altogether. You’re able to start your day knowing there is much to do and that you will handle every task before you, and it happens just that way. You know when to ask for clarity and when you need to ask for help. Having the physical things in place to support your productivity is necessary and when you purposely create the environment within your being so that you flow, you become more effective and more efficient than ever. Being in the flow is how you get it all done.

 


To-Do ListThere is always plenty to do. Many people keep those things in their head instead of actually making a list. That’s where they make the first mistake. The place that things on your daily agenda reside shouldn’t be your head. You’ve got to get it in writing, so make your list. Only the things that are deserving of your time should end up on your to-do list. The same things goes for your calendar. Getting through your to-do list can be challenging, but if life is going to work you’ve got to get through it. There are a few key points that will help you establish a new foundation and get through your list daily with ease.

I believe that productivity is all about perspective. What I see is that people automatically hand over their personal power because of how they learned about time. They pick up the linear view where time is limited to a set number of hours and there’s never enough of it to go around. Seeing things through the Time Wielder’s™ lens, time is conceptual with no past, present or future. There is only “now”. Time never runs out because it doesn’t exist. People struggle because they’re trying to manage something that doesn’t even exist. When you approach things from this angle, everything shifts.

Productivity is not a one size fits all kind of thing. It’s individual. It’s time to ditch that mentality and the behavior that goes along with it. You have to look at your personality, or what I call your Productivity Persona™. Who you are, how you operate and relate to time has everything to do with how you get things done. Incorporating that when you start looking at how to achieve a higher level of productivity, can make the difference between whether or not you’re effective.

Ideally, you want to be at a point where you are scheduling your priorities, instead of prioritizing your schedule. What I mean by that is if you know your priorities ahead of time, when tasks hit your calendar or to-do list they already have an assigned priority.  If you get your priorities straight and assign them to your projects and goals, every task related to each of your projects and goals will have the same priority level. If they’re already set, you don’t have to play with your list and decide the priority level of everything on your agenda.

Making the shift in your perspective, taking the personal approach to productivity and knowing and working according to your priorities will make you more effective, keep undeserving and irrelevant things off of your to-do list so that you can work your way through your list, completing the tasks at hand and end up with a life that works.

 

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