The key is TIME MANAGEMENT.
Last week we discussed the foundations for being more productive. This week discover how to make the most of your time by unlocking the secrets to time management. Follow along with this multi-part series to learn how to be productive!
How to Be More Productive – Part Two
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DENISE: Welcome and thank you for joining into today’s Positive Forward Motion. This is your host, Denise Scattergood.
Each week I discuss a topic that is designed to help you get more of what you do want, and less of what you don’t want, both personally and professionally.
My goal is to add value to other’s by sharing a topic in 8 minutes or less. Topics that will empower, motivate, and inspire you to have more happiness and success.
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DENISE: Today’s topic is How to be More Productive – Part Two!
In last week’s episode “How to Be More Productive – Part One”, we worked on the foundation to being more productive. Because just like building a house that will last, a firm foundation is important when learning how to be more productive.
Here is a quick recap on we worked on:
One: First, we were to Identify the hardest task by taking one personal task and one professional task that you have on your plate
And Step 2 was to as you got started doing, what you were working on was writing down your distractions and also identifying why these distractions continue to pop-up in place of getting your task completed. And I’m curious, did you identify some of your distractions as maybe fear of failure? Perhaps you identified that your personality is to be sure everyone else’s needs are met before you own? Or perhaps you identified that you can just get a little lazy and it’s easier to do all the easy things first, leaving you no time to get the hard tasks done.
And number 3 was to write out your to -do list the night before which we learned will give you a better night sleep, as well as help your brain organize the tasks you have listed.
So, I hope you had success with these and are feeling well rested and ready to take on your day!
This week we are going to work on time management.
Time management does not mean that you fill every waking hour being productive, it means making the most of the time you put aside and to find more time to be productive.
I am going to give you 4 steps to practice this week and focus, so you can spend your time being more productive and less time wishing you were more productive, because as I remember hearing someone say before: “wishing is not a strategy”. If we want to be more productive, we need to start doing.
So, let’s get to work
- The first step to good time management is learning to prioritize. Last week you practiced identifying your hardest project and now that you’ve identified that project, it’s time to create your to do list. And don’t worry about over thinking this part, just get a pen and paper and start writing a list of all the things you need to do in order to accomplish this goal. The longer the list the better. Don’t worry about it, just start free writing! Okay. Once you’ve stopped writing and you have your list, you need to identify the most important place to start.
And This is where my 80/20 rules come in handy …what you are going to do it prioritize your priority list by identifying and circling the top 20% most important things on that list to do first. For example, let’s say you have 10 items on the list. Then you’re going to pick the top 20%, which means 2. Just take two of the ten and get started there. Once you finish those 2, you will repeat these steps and continue repeating, and repeating, and repeating, until you have accomplished your goal.
- Stop the brain drain. Did you know that for every minute you allow yourself to get distracted by checking that text, email, social media post, or another pop up on your cell phone, it takes your brain more time to get back on track, and it makes it harder for you to focus on that important task you are working on.
That’s right, and there have been numerous studies on how our cell phones create what’s called drain brain. The findings even brought up sufficient evidence that just having your phone close to you while you are working on that task can be distracting. So, here is what I challenge you to do: When you are ready to work on that top 20% of your task list, turn your phone off and leave it in another room. Do this for 1 hour at a time, and watch, not only your productivity, but also you focus, and quality of your work will improve immensely.
- Create your stop doing list. That’s right, a stop doing list! So many times, we focus on creating a to do list that we forget to cut out all the things that suck our productivity. So take this lesson from Steve Jobs he said that what made Apple “Apple” was not so much what they chose to build, but all the projects they chose to ignore.
So, I want you to write a list of what you can cut out of your life to help you reach your goals and be productive.
Here are a few that are very obvious:
- Stop watching TV
- Stop Eating unhealthy
- Stop Hanging with negative people
- Stop Complaining and start doing
- Stop saying yes to everyone and everything. If you do this, is it because of your fear of missing out, or are you a people pleaser? Do you make a habit of pleasing everyone else and then have no time to please yourself?
So, identify and create your stop doing list.
- Give yourself more time by finding more time!
Identify your areas of opportunity by logging your time for a full week. And I mean from the moment you get up to the moment you go to sleep. For one week, start tracking your time and pay attention to it all.
- Do you spend 10 minutes looking for your car keys, shoes, or whatever else it may be to get out the door?
- Is you morning filled with kids, animals, and household duties that overwhelm you before you can even get started on that important project?
- Do you spend a half hour at work trying to decide what you want for lunch, then you take your hour lunch break? If so, what can you do to stop this? Obviously, bring your lunch to work!
- Was your night filled with vegging on the couch before crawling into bed? Then you woke up hurried, disheveled, and unorganized?
Once you recognize where you can stop wasting time then you’re going to give yourself more time.
So, here’s an example of what I’ve done and it’s stayed with me for years. When I went back to college, I did this while I was running a company, while I was raising two daughters, caring for a home. In our home we had lots of love and fun and animals… And I would set my alarm to wake up ta 4:30. This would give me 2 and a half hours of uninterrupted quiet time to focus and get my studying done before my house woke up… To this day, I savor this early morning peaceful time of day.
When the world does wake up, I am happy, and energized because I am feeling ahead of the game and I am better equipped to handle the day.
I am super excited that you’re spending your time with me to learn how to be more productive, so here is a quick recap of the 4 steps in a nutshell:
- Practice the 80/20 rule by doing the top 20% of your list first Also, I do have an 80/20 rule podcast that you can take a listen to.
- Stop allowing your cell phone to drain your brain!
- Identify the things that you can STOP doing and write your stop doing list, and
- Find more time by identifying where you are wasting your time.
And I’m going to leave you with this quote from Mozart:
“The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time.”
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DENISE: Thank you for supporting Positive Forward Motion! And don’t forget to tune in every Wednesday for a brand-new episode that will empower, motivate, and inspire you to be your best both personally and professionally!
And as always, you can find a free PDF worksheet of my action steps under each podcast episode on my website, DeniseScattergood.com.
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If you enjoyed this episode, please review and share to help spread our message of positivity, and remember no matter how small your step is, as long as you take it in the right direction, that’s what I call Positive Forward Motion!
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