Tag Archives: schedule
If you are a committed worker, you certainly have your little tricks to maximize efficiency and increase productivity. Also, you should be aware that saving time is quite important. Let’s go through some productivity tips that might be helpful.
Organize Your Real Time
Remember that the time marked by the clock and real time don’t always match. Basically, it is important to remember that real time is the time devoted to work, which should always be your point of reference. If, for instance, you have 8 or 9 hours, you will probably be able to use 6 of them to complete your job, considering breaks, loss of attention, phone calls and distractions. “6 hours” is your real time. Be realistic with respect to the time available and you’ll be able to offer realistic deadlines.
Organize Your Effort and Your Calendar
Small sprints are very efficient. When you have a big project, break it up into a series of smaller goals. This will ease the pressure and it will also allow you to be more efficient, as Gantt demonstrated. Furthermore, use your calendar in an intelligent way, so that it will contain all the relevant data without requiring excessive attention. There are many programs that can save you time, energy and stress, you should learn how to use them. If you use Google Mail, for instance, you can opt for Google Calendar. You can also try Streak, it is very easy to use and extremely helpful. Plus, there are all kinds of applications that help you synchronize the calendar with your smartphone.
Organize Your Working Life
Productivity is measured not only in terms of operational skills, which constitute only a small part of your working life. Brainstorming, meetings and research sessions are, in fact, extremely important too. You have to make sure you leave enough time for these activities, because creativity and knowledge are essential if you want to maximize your productivity. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, if you spend enough time thinking you will do things faster.
Also, close anxiety and worries out of the office. Among the many distractions that characterize a working day, there are many small things that are related to your personal life and that can deeply affect your productivity. Finding a good school for your children, knowing they are safe, hiring a trustworthy person to take care of the house and finding a reliable company to look after your yard (here is an example, if you are looking for a good one), are all ways to increase your inner peace and your productivity.
Knowing that you will return to a clean, welcoming house with a garden full of flowers and colors, and having the certainty that your children are happy and safe, will free your mind and will save you a lot of precious time that you would otherwise spend preoccupying for everything and everyone. Your productivity and your efficiency are truly the consequence of your skills but never forget to take care of your emotions. We are, and we will always be, much more than workers: we are human beings.
Clutter can take the form of too many things to do with too little time. Clear your schedule by removing the things that are not your biggest priority. Focus on the 3 things that will really move you toward your BIG goals. Try it – you will feel a huge sense of satisfaction and much less frustration!
Clutter is always a messy business!
In my world and in my book, I call clutter muck. Very often clutter is not visible. This is also why as a professional organizing generalist, I organize space, time, data and objects. Muck is anything that makes you stuck or unable to move forward. It does not have to be messy or a pile of junk. It can be an overcrowded schedule or an old belief that no longer serves you.
I recently listened to a Lorin Beller Blake, a very successful entrepreneur and dynamic keynote speaker at the Moms in Business Unite Conference and wanted to share her tips with you to help you achieve more balance in your life:
1. Quality time with family. Choosing to pick up my daughter from school each day is one way I choose to have quality time with her every single day. So, choose quality time with family. It does not have to be long. A few minutes each day is invaluable.
2. Book it! I also put in my calendar my work out schedule on a weekly basis. That schedule is just as important as my work, if not more important! Schedule things that you typically let go by the wayside if you are committed to impact your life here.
3. Daily goal review. Look at your goals on a daily basis (or at least weekly) and be sure that, within your week, you create the time and space for each area of your life.
4. Three goals per day. Set only three goals each day taken from your goal sheet or “to do” list – no more. Meet your commitments to yourself (more on this later in the book, SPLASH!). Accomplish those things early in the day and then allow the rest of your day to unfold naturally.
5. Keep it simple! People think that in order to have more fun and recreation in life it means more vacations! Crazy! What could you do every day for five minutes that is pure joy and fun for you? It might be to walk outside and notice the flowers, stop and really listen to the birds, or bring a massage therapist into the office every Friday for everyone that wants to partake. Bring fun and joy into every day, rather than put it off for the next vacation! Bring a tiny bit of the feeling of vacation into your world today. It changes the feeling of the day.
6. Acknowledge. Take two minutes out of each day to acknowledge someone, either at home, at the office, or both. Doing this has us switch our energy to what we are truly happy about rather than things that frustrate us. Acknowledge those around you; it changes the tone of the day!
7. Bold Actions. Take a bold action every day toward a big goal. Progress makes us feel productive. It makes us feel that we are in a state of action and makes us feel in charge of our world. Bold actions are key to balance. Take a bold action in each area of your life on a regular basis.
8. Health and Fitness. Years ago, I was in the fitness industry. We (mistakenly) make people feel like workouts need to be an hour to an hour and a half long. This is really not true for basic good health. Dr. Mehmet Oz, cardiac surgeon and co-author of YOU: The Owner’s Manual and YOU: On a Diet (among others), debunks some of the ideas we used to have about fitness, including:
• Increase your heart rate only 60 minutes per week! We need this for peace of mind anyway. That can translate to taking three (3) 20-minute power walks a week. Take the break to do this during work hours if you can. You need it!
• Walk 10,000 steps daily. (Wear a pedometer to see if you are close!) Park a few rows out in all parking lots. Take the stairs, not the elevator, and you’ll quickly make headway toward reaching 10,000 steps.
• Work in only five minutes a day of stretch/flexibility exercises! (I do this with my daughter when she wants to get on the floor and play.)
• Incorporate strength training into your workout schedule. A total of 30 minutes per week is sufficient!
9. Simplify! Throw things away. Be clutter free. Messiness and accumulating “stuff” creates negative energy that truly leaves us feeling more heavy, more unbalanced, and adds to our “to do” list. I am a huge believer in creating clutter free space!
10. Stop multi-tasking! Yes. Stop! We think that this allows us to get more done. But really, it makes us crazy! Do one thing a time and do it well. Let’s get more mindful about whatever the task is at hand. Love the task at hand. When we multi-task, we do not fully enjoy anything we are doing.
So above I shared HOW we can get more balance in our lives… now, 10 tips on BEING more balanced! It IS a state of mind as well!
Finally, Here are some tips from women who have created businesses models based on the 30-hour work week:
Lorin Beller Blake is an inspirational and powerful leader of women business owners. Since launching Big Fish Nation – a set of creative tele-programs, books and tools designed to guide and empower women business owners – in 2001, she has served thousands of ‘Big Fish’ and helped empower them to realize their ideal lives – not just as successful, prosperous entrepreneurs, but as women who feel balanced and fulfilled on all levels.
How do you get started when organizing seems like a big elephant looming in the background? I have so many things going on in my life and I have many different images. At work, I spend my energy trying to please other people, I come home to another set of people to nurture, playing chauffeur for the kids and meeting my husband’s expectations.
I guess the real question is when do I find the time to get organized and also spend time nurturing myself? I know that everything I touch at home demands thought and resolution. If it is an item in my closet, I have to think about if I need it and if not, should I donate or consign and on and on… How can I come home and approach my items without too much mental drain?
You present a two-fold question. You are already a step ahead because you are aware that all your possessions demand energy. Knowing this is the beginning of controlling what occupies your time and enters your living space. That is always the first step.
Once you understand that every item within your home demands energy from you, you are much more diligent about what you let into your home environment. For example, a new pair of shoes demands much decision-making; Do you need to make room and get rid of another pair of shoes so the new ones will fit into your closet? If so, which pair should you discard? If not, where will they live while not on your feet? How much did they cost? Did you have the money to spend or was it the result of a terrible day of overspending to feel better? If so, in addition to the decision energy, it’s possible that the shoes could create a guilty feeling every time you glance at them in your closet, so in the end might not be a good addition to your wardrobe. These are only a few of the examples of how possessions can zap your energy.
The easiest approach is to take small steps on a regular basis. Make a list of your intended projects. Divide these tasks into five-minute time chunks. Try to do at least one five-minute session every day. Choose a regular time based on your family schedule. Stick to this pre-determined time as close as possible every day. Some moms can steal five minutes when they first arrive home because the kids aren’t home yet. Some moms can focus for a few minutes just before sleep because the house is quiet. Whichever time works for you is fine as long as you commit to this standing appointment with yourself every day.
You can accomplish a lot in five minutes. Some nights you might be able to focus for 10 to15 minutes and other nights it will be all you can do to focus for five. Even if it is only five per night, you will see a shift and your elephant of chaos will shrink down to a mouse. Results inevitably happen with consistent effort.
The same holds true for nurturing yourself. Commit to spending at least fifteen minutes a day doing something only for you. Maybe it’s simply a soak in the tub, curling up with a book, or sitting in the park for a few minutes on the way home form work. Again, with consistent daily quiet time for yourself, you will feel less overwhelmed. Your family will benefit greatly from your time spent alone. You will be more effective at work, as a mom and as a wife when you give yourself daily quality quiet time to nurture yourself.
I would also suggest planning a pre-designated night out with your girlfriends or colleagues. If possible, create a schedule that contains a once-a-month free night for you and a free night for your partner, taking turns spending time away from the family.
It is also very important to build in a date night at least once a month where you and your husband can spend time catching up and nurturing your relationship together. These nights sometimes require a lot of energy to coordinate but always pay off in the long run.
Please submit any additional questions or comments below in the comment section.
Take time to schedule and manage your emails and phone calls
a. Never check email or voice mail first thing in the morning
b. Schedule regular times to check emails and stick to it
c. Read recent emails first
d. Allocate the amount of time you will spend and stop promptly
e. Create email signatures to sign off with one click
f. Read it, delete or move it
Pre-plan and then plan again – keep your eye on your large goals
a. Plan next week either on Friday afternoon (business) or Sunday evening (mom)
b. Plan your day before it plans you!
Set your intentions and goals for the day in advance of that day
The day before, the night before or in the morning before you begin your tasks for that day
c. Allocate specific time slots for recurring tasks, do them over and over at the same time each week
Gasoline, banking, grocery shopping
Calls, reports, marketing
Arrive early for appointments
Spend the time you wait for others to plan what you want to accomplish in the meeting
a. This will decrease your stress level
b. You will appear poised, professional & in control of your schedule instead of harried and disorganized
Umbrella Your Day
(create chunks of time for related activities)
a. Divide your main responsibilities into 5 days, for example:
1. Planning Day – (Friday or Monday)
2. Current Large Project
3. Outside Appointments, Errands
4. Bills / Paperwork
Create an exit area in your office for all items that need to leave your space.
a. Place things there as you find them.
b. Choose an area on your desk or credenza that is positioned towards the door
Create ‘To Do’ Lists
a. Complete the three most important tasks each day before you move onto anything else
Take Control Your Papers
a. Check it, move it into a predetermined place off the counter until you are ready to take action
b. Handle it only once before you work on it
Learn to say NO
a. Don’t volunteer until you take a moment to determine whether you have the time to fulfill the commitment
b. Give yourself permission to reconsider commitments
Delete unnecessary tasks from your schedule that detract from your BIG picture goals
c. Don’t automatically respond to another person’s problem / fire before you determine whether it is going to foul up your agenda
Time is a finite resource. Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day and the same amount of days in the week. When your schedule is overbooked, the result is often subtle. Minutes and hours evaporate each day from your life. (more…)
1. Learn to say NO
“Life is a journey, but it is not a race. Do yourself a favor and slow down.” Richard Swenson, MD
One busy mom at the Blue Suit Mom / Logitech event yesterday said that she uses technology to create more time.
She employs online banking, smart phone connections and her online calendar to track bills.
She and her husband also sync calendars together on Outlook so they keep track of who is going where and when. What a smart mom!