22 Mar Marla’s Top 11 Ways To Increase Productivity
I want to share with you some of the ways I have learned to increase productivity within my busy life. For years I have heard people say things like “I can’t believe all the things that you do in a day”, or better yet “How do you find enough time in a day to accomplish all that you do?”. The best though is when my husband says “My wife is the busiest woman I know!” Sure there are plenty of days where I am exhausted and plenty of days where I am invigorated, but it all boils down to being DISCIPLINED and DRIVEN.
Yes it can be demanding when you have 3 kids, 2 dogs, and a husband who travels. It can be challenging to run a real estate brokerage and coach high school tennis along with being involved with a special needs tennis program, pressing to find time to play competitive tennis, golf, exercise and feed my soul spiritually along with my friends, family and colleagues emotionally all the while parenting, trying to be a good spouse and member of the community.
I don’t necessarily think that I am special or extraordinary by any means, but there are some good practices” that anyone can incorporate if they chose too. It’s really just my philosophy on how to “Git er Dun”. There was an article titled Top 11 Ways to be Productive in which I shared in some tips but also some that I didn’t necessarily agreed with:
#1 Know Yourself
You have got to know when you are the most productive doing certain things during whatever time of the day that works best for you physically, mentally and per your lifestyle.
*For me I work best on MILITARY TIME at 0500am! I am rested, I am focused and I am sharp which makes my productivity increase by 3-5X. Yes my clients get emails that early and at times I forget what time it is when I send texts…sorry!
#2 You Must Multi-Task A Non-negotiable!
This is A Non-negotiable! You absolutely must be able to multi-task; especially if you are a professional who is also a mother!
* I disagree with the Study out of the University of Sussex that says media multi-taskers are damaging their brain and the Study conducted out of Stanford University that says multi-tasking reduces your efficiency and performance. I think the trick is pairing up an important task with a mundane task that still needs to get done.
For example, when I am working from home, I can make customer calls or listen to a webinar AND at the same time be doing laundry, emptying the dishwasher, making the bed, etc. Get the picture?
#3 Prepare and Execute To-Do Lists
The trick though is to make them the day before based upon where you are going to be, what you need to accomplish and how much time you have. Plus your list needs to ALWAYS be readily accessible and at your fingertips! Embrace technology!
*I am a true type A personality and I love lists, plans, step-by-step instruction programs, etc! The good news is there are so many ways to house your lists! I love using Alexa to make my grocery list! I love using Siri to populate my calendar and personal lists for my work and family obligations on my iPhone. I have a mini-legal pad list which I can prioritize on a daily basis which I carry in my purse. If I did something in the day that was not on the list, I would write it in and cross it off! (I know there are so many more of you out there in the world with this obsession so don’t deny it LOL)
#4 Trim Your To-Do Lists
These are so critical and your road map each day, week, month quarter, etc. to be successful! The key is they have to be prioritized, timeline defined and realistic to be attainable.
*Don’t have one massive list that continues to keep growing as you are continually completing tasks. Relish in your daily accomplishments! If I didn’t have my lists I would miss so many tasks that need to be accomplished.
It is so important to use resources that are available to you whether at a cost or free!
*I am so guilty of this on a personal level! I have 3 kids who are ready (not always), willing (usually never) and able (absolutely) to take on things that need to be accomplished around the house on a personal level and if I take the time to show them simple work tasks like labeling and stamping mailers, organizing a designer binder, etc. then that makes my life much easier and frees up more time for me to be productive and revenue generating! Just do it!
#6 Eliminate Distractions
Focus – Focus – Focus and if you aren’t very good at it then you need to Compartmentalize!
*I am blessed to be able to do both and I attribute that by making the conscious choice to not be distracted. I rarely watch television and I don’t sit down until all that I need to accomplish in a day is finished.
#7 Plan Your Phone Calls & Be Geo Smart
Planning is the key to ALL your activities to be productive!
*I cannot stress enough the importance of this one! Each night I review what I have to do the next day, pack all of what I need (work files, laptop, clothes, athletic gear, you name it), load it in the car and lay out my clothes in my closet that I am going to wear when I leave the house. I live in my truck and literally it is my mobile office. I could not live without a hot spot to be able to log on anywhere.
Do you realize how much time you waste driving to a Panera or a Starbucks and set up your workspace rather than staying in your car? I geographically plan my day so as to be fuel efficient, time efficient and productive! You would be surprised at how much time is wasted that could be spent productive when in-between activities. Take your work with you everywhere. While you are sitting in the orthodontists office with your child accomplish something! Plan for accomplishing something specific during that specific time and bring it with you! There are days when I leave the house at 0645 and don’t return until 2145.
#8 Break Up Work Periods with Exercise (or whatever reward works for you)
Not only is the feeling of accomplishment important but the feeling of being rewarded is crucial.
*I will reward myself throughout the day and make small goals to achieve. I make it a point to workout or exercise at lease one time each day whether that is doing an hour video, taking a class at the gym, playing a sport, etc. The trick is to do it whenever the opportunity may arise so that may be 0530 or 1300 or 2000 hours. I think the mistake is made when people try to set their workout schedules daily and miss them because they are either distracted or something more important came up during that allotted time. You must be fluid throughout each and every day!
#9 Be Optimistic
I think we are all guilty of letting the “little” things bother us. It’s hard when you are self-employed to keep yourself motivated and upbeat all the time.
*Here is how I try to look at things. Yes money unfortunately has a big part in making the world go round in which we must live in however you can’t take it with you. Work will always be waiting for you tomorrow so if you have a chance to live in a moment today take it. If you believe that what you are doing is the work of God and are conscious in helping others through whatever gifts He has bestowed upon you personally or professionally he will provide. Surround yourself with people who share the same values, ethics and moral fabric that defines you. Time is precious and in short supply!
#10 Get Enough Sleep
LOL is that really possible?
*I think I am going to shock people with this one! The clock function on my iPhone is a feature very important to me which allows me to sleep anywhere at anytime to catch those much needed Z’s! For example, one day I had about a 45 min window between appointments and I was downtown. I reclined my seat back, set my alarm and went nighty night in the Bank of America parking lot downtown. Wow can you feel re-energized after a little cat nap! You have the power within your day to create time for anything; you just have to plan for it and be creative.
#11 Stay Healthy
*God grants us one body to walk this Earth and we need to take care of it. Schedule those annual physicals, dental appts, mammograms, colonoscopies, whatever. Be PRO-ACTIVE with your HEALTH so you and be PRODUCTIVE in your LIFE.
I hope these tips are helpful and hopefully have provided just a glimpse of insight as to how I can be so productive in all that I do. Certainly I have many more tips and tricks but what good magician discloses all their secrets!