Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?
Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?
Have you ever wished you could start your day well prepared, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?
You know what? You CAN.
Here's the secret keys.
5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....
- Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
- Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
- Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
- Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
- Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.
Productivity Mastery Key Three - COMMITMENTS
Ok so it's not actually your calendar that's smart, it's how you set it up and use it that is smart!
Here are the basics of calendar set up and what I teach my one-on-one coaching clients.
Move to a fixed calendar by blocking your projects or recurring tasks when your brainpower is at its peak (and when it's not).
This could mean that your deepest thinking or focused project work is blocked in your calendar first thing in the morning.
Meetings, client calls or any other work that doesn't require your brain to be at its peak, gets booked later in the day, for example.
Theme Calendar Batching
Use themes in your calendar for recurring tasks to batch similar work such as "Marketing Mondays", "Catch-All Fridays" or "Writing Wednesdays".
This is a great way to get a lot of work done in one area as you are super focused on the specific task at hand.
The other advantage to calendar batching is when you know the work you need to do in a certain area is already scheduled in your calendar for Monday for instance, you can confidently put that task aside until Monday.
Use Your Project and Master Tasks List to Block Your Calendar
Use your *project and master task lists to help you plan your weekly and daily calendar. Your master task list has everything on it you need to do broken out into categories, types, and prioritized. so you are able to quickly see what time in your calendar needs to be scheduled in.
Other than recurring tasks, booked appointments, meetings, birthdays or other reminders, don't schedule tasks in your calendar too far in advance.
I suggest only one week at a time. Your master task list is an ever-evolving thing and we all know how quickly priorities can change from week-to-week, day-to-day and even hour-to-hour.
Resist the urge to put every little task in your calendar. Only block it in bulk with generic titles such as "Project Work", "Research", "Client Care".
*We cover this topic in detail in our blog Productivity Mastery Key Five - Routines.
Don't Over-schedule Your Calendar
Leave "white space" in your calendar for travel time, all of those unexpected things that inevitably pop up, family time, fun time, downtime and self care.
We all tend to believe we can accomplish more than we actually can or our tasks won't take as long as they actually do.
When we leave breathing room in our schedules, this allows for those times when we need wiggle room.
This is your life and your calendar and you are now smartly in control of it!
Remember your vision? Now is one of the times to refer back to it.
Review your current calendar entries.
- Is everything on your calendar an absolute necessity?
- What commitments can you let go of?
- Are you making casual commitments you don't really mean?
- Does your calendar closely mirror what you have already identified as your most important work from your project and master task lists?
- Is what you are committing too actually going to move you closer to your big vision?
Everything in your calendar should make you say "Heck, yes!". Okay, maybe not every calendar entry will make you feel this way (I'm looking at you unnecessary work meetings!).
The point is that your time is precious and you must set clear boundaries around what you commit your precious time to and don't allow the agenda of others take precedence over your priorities.
Meetings are probably one of the worst productivity and time wasters ever.
That being said, there are some meetings which are necessary and meaningful, but the vast majority of them are big time suckers. Meetings are literally where your productivity goes to die.
Before you consider setting up a meeting and adding to you and your team's calendar clutter, ask yourself:
- Do we really need a meeting? No? Well then don't.
- Could I email this information instead? Yes? Then don't hold the meeting!
If you have determined that a meeting is necessary, follow these steps to ensure your meeting is meaningful and productive.
- Prepare an agenda.
- Invite only those people who are crucial to the conversation.
- Respect the time of others by starting and ending on time.
- Keep the meeting as brief as possible - not all meetings need to be an hour.
- If possible, book all meetings in the afternoon so your best brain power is used in the morning!
- Assign meeting roles.
- Capture all action items, deliverables and next steps.
Alternate Meeting Ideas
Try micro meetings (10 minutes or less), standing/walking meetings, quick in-person or virtual huddles where only 3 questions are addressed.
Your productivity will thank you.
Productivity Mastery Key Four - EMAIL CONTROL
Read our next blog in our 5-part series Productivity Mastery Key Four - Email Control as we discuss the fourth key to overcome your productivity overwhelm.
Email control....either run the day or the day runs you.
Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book
I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.
I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organized and more productive brings.
The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm to confident and in total control of your work.
To claim your copy of my exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $49), use the link below to download your copy of this valuable resource.
You are ready for this!
Additional Resources & Links
Productivity Mastery Key 1 - PRIORITIZE
Productivity Mastery Key 2 - TASK MANAGEMENT
Productivity Mastery Key 3 - COMMITMENTS
Productivity Mastery Key 4 - EMAIL INBOX CONTROL
Productivity Mastery Key 5 - ROUTINES
Top 10 Productivity Secrets
Perfectionism is the Enemy of Productivity
FREE GUIDE: Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season
It's True You Can be Productive While Working From Home and Here's How
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