Much to my surprise, the season of my life I was the most productive was the fall following the birth of my daughter.
Who would guess that having an infant was like having your very own promodoro timer?
It was during that time I really mastered productivity. I had less time to get more done- a full time job and a new Beautycounter business and wanted to spend less time stuck in front of my computer.
Here’s how I did it:
- Plan, Plan, Plan. Make a plan, then work the plan. Spend the first and or last ten minutes of your day planning and blocking out your time. Find a to- list system that works well for you. I love Trello– it’s really satisfying to move the cards from to do to done, and you can attached a ton of information so it’s all in one place. Check out the link!
- Focus on one thing at a time. Part of the planning should be grouping like activities- phone calls, emails, reviewing projects etc. Do one of those tasks at at time. Make all your phone calls at once. Respond to all your emails only a few times a day. Run all the reports you need. Research is varied, but switching tasks costs you major time and focus. Mute those notifications!
- Take breaks. With my Human Promodoro timer, she’d nurse for 15 minutes and I’d reply to email or do research. Then we’d play for 10-15 minutes and she’d sleep for 45 minutes to an hour- also known as go time. The play time was key to feeling refreshed going into the work block.
- The 80:20 Rule- spend 80% of your time doing things that actually move your business forward and only 20% paper pushing. I know sometimes it seems like attacking that pile that needs organizing is productive, but it’s not nearly as important as making a client call, researching a trend or producing great content. Does it really need to be done? Are you the only one that can do it? Can you hire someone to help you?
- Make time for big picture thinking. My friend and mentor Trish Blackwell taught me this (and it loops back to number one)- divide your plan into sections. Green Machine- money making activities. Mellow Yellow- recharging activities. Red tape- must dos- paying bills, ordering supplies etc. The last one- Blue Sky- is just as important as the other three- take time to work on your business, not just in your business. Journal, brainstorm, network- big, unrestricted dreaming and planning. Then, work the plan…
Productivity is a mindset. Believing you have the skills and the time to get it done is half the battle. Resist the urge to make everything perfect- progress every day is the goal. Focus on what’s important, do the best you can, then step away and cuddle that little bundle that makes it all worth it. Heck, maybe even cuddle your husband while you’re at it!