Updated: Mar 11, 2021
I've been asking myself recently, am I busy or productive? We all have "busy work" to do and for me that's emails, filling out endless spreadsheets in Google docs, editing, writing, scheduling, researching etc. Then there is the non "busy work" but what I call my productive results driven / life changing work.
Take this website for instance. I have been putting this off because it sounded too overwhelming to start. I kept my writing, photos and ideas tucked away for too long and finally dusted them all off during the pandemic. I am working towards my dreams, building a business and turning my passion into a full time job.
Since I started scheduling my goal achieving tasks first thing in the morning, I have become more of a productive person with tangible results to show for my time and it FEELS SO GOOD! For me, I am focused between 10am -1pm. During that time, I get a lot done. Otherwise, if I do the busy work first, I just get sucked in and before I know it, it's time for lunch. Make it easier on yourself and do the hard work when you're most alert. It has made ALL the difference for me! I've heard people refer to this as "working IN your business" verus "working ON your business".
I love my planners because I needed to stop doing 100 semi important or low priority things per day instead of 1-2 crucial things per day. My mentality is always wanting to do more, reply to everyone quickly, answer questions quickly etc. but the reality is that those things can wait. Checking my email 2-3 times a day instead of every hour, and working on things in between with zero distractions.
6 months of harcore focus and alignment can put you 5 years ahead in life pursuing your dreams and goals. Don't underestimate the power of consistency and desire. We all have what it takes to become the best we can be. Stop doubting yourself! Harness your power and exceed your expectations!
I love to listen to The Skinny Confidential podcast and what really resonated with me was that I didn't need to make a "To Do List" for my entire life, everyday. It's overwhelming and wildly unproductive. What Lauryn Evarts Bosstick aka The Skinny Confidential suggests is....
"Flip it on it's head, just focus on your objectives for the day. What this simple tip does is work on what's going to move the needle without the distraction of the menial tasks that don't matter. You're essentially respecting your time."
If you have meetings and deadlines that day, of course those are non-negotiables. But, you can start by dedicating a day or two where those precious focus hours are for yourself, your hustle and whatever goal(s) you have!
Like Lauryn, "I have my top 3 non-negotiables and separately a list of 7 things I would like to get done in order of importance, so my list is really never bigger than 10 things. It is honestly brutal to have more than 10 to do's. Usually I end up doing about 7. I focus on completing one task before moving on to the next. You should know I keep a separate long ass scroll list in my notes app for stuff that's not pressing, but I never let that list consume my day."
Time batching or time blocking is effective because it builds structure and boundaries around blocks of time, so that you can dive deep into specific tasks without interruptions that break up your workflow. I take breaks in between each task.
Here are just a few ways to work smarter:
Plan out your days and weeks in advance.
Set clear intentions, so you have a plan.
Planner / whiteboard / google calendar
Invest in learning
Use "Do Not Disturb" on your phone
Do important work only
Limit doing email to 3x's per day or less.
Measure results, not time
Stick to a routine
Works in blocks
Turn off phone notifications for unimportant apps.
Relieve stress. Reward yourself for your hard work (self care)
Find tasks to eliminate
I'm sure this applies to some of you even if you're in a drastically different career. We all want to do the easy tasks first that are the fastest, but they might not be the most important. I just wanted to share how I've been scheduling my day and maybe it can help you get closer and closer to your goals and dreams too!
Do posts like this bring you value? Let me know in the comments section below!