I remember the days when my things to do list was a long checklist of unrealistic fluff, hopes, and dreams. Seriously, each day I set myself up for failure because I created a never-ending to-do list. But over the last several months, I’ve accomplished a great deal because I’m more strategic about doing less to accomplish more.
Here are 6 ways I’ve become a lot more productive.
1. Create theme days – Each day I dedicate a topic specifically related to my business.
- Sanity Sundays – I spend about 3-4 hours planning my week ahead so I can hit the ground running on Monday.
I literally do a brain dump and then prioritize my task. This includes scheduling social media posts, adding important task as reminders to my calendars (I block out the number of hours in red on my calendar so I know it’s a non-negotiable) and I even send a few emails to get the ball rolling on my projects or strategy sessions with clients.
- Money Making Monday – I focus on income producing tasks such as marketing, pitching clients, proposals, contracts, I create and send out invoices.etc.
- Talk Tuesday and Thursday – On these days, I have client and partnership meetings and conduct interviews for my print and digital articles.
- Write Wednesday- I write blog post and articles.
- Follow-up Friday – My follow-up includes anything from mentorship to partnerships. I re-connect with my mentees via email, Google video chat or lunch. I send thank you notes and check-in emails to other entrepreneurs or business besties. I follow-up with anyone I may have met at a networking event. I also follow-up with invoices, as needed.
2.Reduce the number of task on your to-do list – Each day I have a list of 3-6 things that I absolutely must accomplish. The Daily Muse recommends the 1-3-5 rule. Here’s how it works: “On any given day, assume that you can only accomplish one big thing, three medium things, and five small things, and narrow down your to-do list to those nine items.” Although I use a “1-2-3,” rule of thumb, I think it’s a great format to follow.
3. Protect your schedule and limit meetings – Listen, I hate meetings, especially long ones with no agenda or call to action. Unless it’s a strategy session or contract signing, I see no need for meetings over 30 minutes. Usually, I don’t take any meetings on Mondays. And most days, I don’t schedule meetings until 1:00 PM, so I can reserve my mornings for focusing on the #1 thing that I have to do. I’m an early morning person (most days, I wake up at 5:30) so I get my best work done early in the day. I realized that when I scheduled a morning meeting with someone, the remainder of my day was focused on their agenda—and I was more likely to lose control over my schedule.
4. Reduce the number of times you check email – Hello. My name is Kandia and I am a recovering slave to email. Seriously, I used to check my email every hour on the hour. But like social media, email is a distraction. Currently, I only check emails 3-4 times a day (Admittedly, every now and then I still have a few slip-ups.). I don’t have an email app on my phone, and once I review and respond to necessary emails, I sign out of email on my laptop.
5. Unplug from social media – Admit it, one too many times a 5-minute scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed unexpectedly turned into 2 hours. Unplug or log out of your social accounts and “Get Sh*T done.”
6. Turn off your cell phone ringer – My cell phone is not a tracking device. I have the right to ignore calls or text and focus on what’s important at the moment. Sure it sounds harsh, but the only way my “1-2-3 rule of thumb” (listed above) will work is if I get insanely focused on my task at the moment.
*Bonus Tip: – If your personal attention is not needed, figure out how you can “Automate, Delegate, and Delete.” It took me awhile to get this, but success can be found in your daily routine..Which routine activities can you complete in a shorter time frame? For instance, using my “Write Wednesday” as a theme day, I can write 6-8 articles in one day which covers my client requirement for 2 weeks. What systems can you use to make your life easier? I love applications such as CoSchedule and Hootsuite for scheduling social media marketing and Fiverr for finding freelancers for a variety of things such as website migration, logo design, editing, and Google Analytics implementation.
Do you have any tips to share? Drop me a line below.