Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Each day offers only 1,440 minutes. Unlike dollars invested in the stock market that we anticipate will give us back more dollars to reinvest, each minute can be spent no more than once. Are you getting the desired return on investing your limited time?
If you're experiencing hiccups, consider these time management tips to boost productivity:
1. Stay true to your priorities, intentionally aligning your actions with those areas of importance and better avoiding burnout. As priorities shift, it’s important to be flexible, shuffling how your time is invested to keep your actions focused on achieving your highest priority goals. It's important to regularly revisit this alignment, assessing how well you are staying focused on what matters most and investing your limited minutes in those priority actions.
2. Learn to say "no". What actions are being asked of you that don't actually need to be done? Are there tasks on your to-do list that could be delegated to someone else who can do them equally well if not even better so you open time for what only you can do? Alternatively, should you consider "not now" for something that can be delayed until a later deadline?
3. Utilize work-life integration for more overall success. Create harmony with goals for home, work, society and yourself by allowing them to complement one another rather than compete with each other. Focus on actions that can accomplish multiple goals at once, plan how you can invest your time with each of your most important priorities at the forefront of your emphasis and maintain pliability to easily address your priorities as they evolve over time.
4. Cut back on distractions with fewer pings and dings. When distracted, it can take us an average of 23 minutes to fully re-engage in the task at hand. Each time we receive a notification for a new email, social media update, text or voice mail, those are the distractions that steal our time. Stop bleeding minutes throughout the day! Turn off the notifications and schedule set times to check each platform. For folks requiring immediate responses, make them VIPs to utilize Do Not Disturb on iOS and Priority Mode on Android.
How do you make sure the limited number of minutes you have in each day is moving you forward in crafting the life you want to live? Make every minute matter!™️
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
List out your goals. It's only by knowing what you want to accomplish that you can best integrate all elements of your life for your greatest fulfillment and summer productivity. Therefore, take a few moments to jot down all your must-do activities, projects and tasks for this season. Think of it like a bucket list but take into account your goals for work, home, society as well as your self-care via mind, body and spirit. Once everything is culled into one place, it'll be so much easier to assign time for each and work through your checklist.
Calendar the craziness! Line up calendars for the months of July, August and September on your wall so you can see everything at a glance. These might be wall-hanging paper or dry-erase calendars; the key is to have all three months visible at once. Then, add vacation details for you and your team members, holiday celebrations, impending deadlines and personal or family commitments, including swim meets and camp registrations alike. Include all elements of your life, considering a different color for each bucket. When you know what is coming, you can more proactively invest your time in achieving all of your desired results for each area of life and address "all the things" that matter most for the life you want to craft to achieve your highest priorities.
Focus your efforts on individual activities or tasks, not projects. It's not possible to check a project off your to-do list in one sitting. "Plan a party" is not a single action item; instead, there are many actions that make up that project. As you are mapping out the next three months, take time to break larger goals into smaller, bite-sized action items that can be completed as individual tasks. Make sure these are actions that move you forward with regards to goals in the areas of your life that matter most, avoiding the "shoulds" so you focus on your priorities. Start each task with a verb so as to fuel action, break each task down to as simple of a function as possible, estimate how long each action item will take to complete so you readily know those tasks taking 10 or 30 minutes, and assign a deadline for each task's completion. It is only in the instances that we assign a "when" for each "what" to be accomplished that we get more done so move your "someday" tasks to a specific date and time. Your future self will thank you for this emphasis on crafting the life you want to live.
Invest some time to reflect inward. With erratic schedules during summer, many companies have fewer meetings that would otherwise be held at normal intervals; this can be the ideal time to review and reset some of your organization's key elements. When was the last time your team updated its mission, vision, values, goals, processes and workspace organization? If it has been awhile, block out time during the dog days of summer to look them over, adjust as needed and, thereby, boost productivity for what really matters most. Maybe you'll want to freshen up clients' experiences, update what messages you are conveying across all mediums and put yourself in the client's shoes. Further, this can be an ideal time for a personal audit, where you assess what you have learned and achieved thus far this year, what priorities need attention in the coming months and what "someday" actions need to be scheduled so they move from to-do to done. Do your goals for work, home, community or self-care need to be adjusted, and how can you realign your actions to focus on achieving each?
Make time for fun and frivolity. If you block out time to truly enjoy the season, you'll be less distracted by what you are missing when you are focusing intently on getting things done. Brainstorm what cool things you can do to dive into summer enjoyment; then, once you've blocked off time for those activities, your mind will be less likely to drift from working towards wondering when you'll actually be able to celebrate summer fun. Plus, when you are taking time to enjoy all this season offers, you can truly take a break from everything else since you've planned for when those other goals will be addressed, boosting productivity overall.
What steps can you take today to get the ball rolling? With whom can you partner to hold each other accountable in creating your plan and, then, following through on that plan, even as things might need to be tweaked and your flexibility might get tested?