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Productivity

Jouornal blog 2

4 Ways to stay Motivated after January

4 Ways to stay Motivated after January

It’s all fun and games making New Year’s Resolutions.  It is another thing altogether when you are put to the test to see them through.

If you are like the rest of us, February 1 is when the excuses roll in.  ‘I’ll go to the gym tomorrow night.” or “The Bachelor is on, I’ll just have this Monday night glass of wine, tonight.”

That is my experience.

I had to take Resolutions into a different category if I was to see them through.  I changed them to intentions and had to do a little extra work to see them through.

Here is my 5 ways to keep motivated ALL YEAR LONG:

#TransparentWrite them down

I mean this. Every day, EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. I roll out of bed, when I said I would the night before and stumble to my journal. Even if I only have 5 minutes. I scribble out what I am grateful for, my 10 goals (Resolutions/Intentions), and mantras (like…”What kind of person do I want to be 10 years from now? Show up today as her…”  that kind of thing).

#Transparent-2Do a Cleanse

Not a diet cleanse, but a comparison cleanse.  If you keep your eyes on your own paper (I am talking to myself here) you will be far happier if you stay in competition with yourself.  Go back to #1, keep your personal intentions fresh at all times, then go easy on the social media game. You will also find that 30 minutes added back into your day gives you more time to reach your Resolutions. Did you know that 30 minutes a day of mindless scrolling adds up to 22 missed workdays over the course of a year?

#Transparent-3Get a New Toy

If your budget can afford it, choose something that is worth fighting for and practice delayed gratification.  It could be, “Go to the gym 4 days this week, on the 5th day get the Starbucks” Work for something. Your confidence will SKYROCKET.

#Transparent-4Post It

I am a believer that you can achieve what the mind conceives.  I write my goals down and post them above my faucet on my bathroom mirror.  I write mantras that I want to remind myself of. I write goals. I do this because I never remember them first thing each morning.  Life is busy, crazy, and hard. I need these posted as reminders. All this work on the easier days makes determines what type of person will show up when life gets rocky and resolutions are likely to be forgotten.

What do you do to stay motivated?

Copy of XO,

Originally posted 2020-01-26 02:38:45.

What is distracting you more small

WFH

WFH

What is distracting you more lately? Netflix or News?

If you are new to working from home, welcome to your new office.  I’m not new here – maybe I can show you around.

If you are like me, these distractions are lurking in unlikely places…take laundry for one.  Laundry is typically a last resort or chore. When you are working from home and facing an email you don’t want to write, a difficult task, or uncomfortable conversation, laundry folding can become a welcome distraction. Laundry folding “feels like working”, is a chore and is necessary to do, but when it comes to work that you need to accomplish, it is a distraction. Laundry can become the at home equivalent of the break room.  Beware 😉!

I had to train myself to stick to a work schedule during my work block. Here are a few “best practice” tips.

#TransparentGet dressed each day

This is inspired by “Dress for Success.”  I admit I don’t EVER want to do this, but AFTER I am dressed my mindset is far more positive and productive and goal-oriented.

 

#Transparent-2Dedicate a place to work

No matter what it looks like, you need a designated place to be present to get your work done!

I have an unfancy “make-shift” office.  My pretty office has no doors or carpet to buffer the sounds of the family who are doing life in the next room. It made more sense to turn a space (with carpet and a door) into my space.  I have recently heard of friends putting a table, lamp, and chair in a closet. The acoustics are great & the distractions are low. It is ok to get creative.

Staying healthy and happy while working from home.

#Transparent-3Plan your TOP 3 the night before

It is hard to make it up on the fly.  If you can decide, as you close down at the end of the day, what your top 3 things for the next day are, your odds of being more productive increase greatly.  A mentor once said, “Focus on doing what is important, not urgent.” The top 3 help with finding where to focus.

#Transparent-4Block Time

This is a productivity hack. I will set an alarm (for 25 minutes or 50 minutes..depending on the task)  and power through things I don’t really want to do.  Somehow, feeling like I am beating the clock helps me to tackle tasks with more efficiency… probably because my mind knows I only have a few minutes.  This worked for me when I was a student with my math problems.

No matter, it all comes down to consistency.  Consistency compounds. This blog is an example of that. I didn’t want to get up and get dressed, but I did it and headed to my office where my calendar said to write.  I set my timer, opened my laptop, and voila, a productivity list about what I did to be productive.

You’ve got this!  What do you do to be productive?

Copy of XO,

Originally posted 2020-04-18 11:34:00.

All dressed up

Let’s Get All Dressed Up to Stay Home

Let’s Get All Dressed Up to Stay Home

Day 16, here we are!

It is time to train the strongest muscle, and possibly your worst enemy, your mind.  It is time to train it well.

Here are my Top Tips for working from home. I have been doing these for over 10 years.

Pre Covid-19, I did plan little outings, networking events, and lunch meetings to feel less isolated.  Well, that has changed, and we are no longer doing those things. I am sure most of you are accustomed to a corporate structure to anticipate each day.  Since most offices have directed employees to work from home, I thought I would give a few tips that I have learned over the years.

#Transparent

Get Dressed to Stay Home-

 

This one is SO important, especially now.  There are psychological changes that happen when you get dressed. You perform better when you are dressed for success.  It is mindset…your mindset. Getting dressed is a winning mindset.

#Transparent-2

Make The Bed

 

It doesn’t matter if you have a big house, little house, or apartment, this is a discipline that teaches  consistency and proves that you can do something over and over, even if you don’t want to. It prevents afternoon naps, and sets the tone for  accomplishing more tasks, and then another, and another….Plus, it just looks better.

#Transparent-3

Set a Routine

 

A routine brings a sense of normalcy.  There is nothing normal about this time. You will have to be disciplined to do this.  Going to bed at the same time, getting up on time, treating the work week like a work week (not one month Netflix holiday).  A morning routine is probably the most important one to protect or establish. I start the day with my coffee, list my gratitude, intentions, and tasks for the day….Errrrrrday.

#Transparent-4

What about the Kids? And the Husband? What if THEY Are Home?

 

This is especially distracing.  There is working in shifts, at a designated time, in rooms away from the common areas. We take BREAKS together, then return to our “corners”  (We are lucky with space. I work upstairs, DKC works in the basement, and we give the rest of the humans the main floor). Since there is no playdate 1:1 time, Do not beat yourself up over extra screen time.  This is the great equalizer, we are all (kids included) going to struggle and have to back track and re-learn. We are all in the same boat.

#Transparent-5

There Needs to be a Space For You

 

I started out at the dining room table, until it didn’t make sense anymore.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a desk or home office, just work from the same space each day, and designate it as you “work space”.  It won’t take long for your housemates to know that is your spot.

6

Don’t Just Sit…

 

Brendon Buchard (High Performance Habits) suggests setting a timer for 50 minutes.  Every 50 minutes get up, stretch, get a drink, close your eyes, breathe. This 3-5 minute break can do more for your productivity and sanity than anything.  There are times that I take conference calls and wash down floors, dust, fold laundry…even do squats or situps. Be creative and keep moving throughout the day.

7

Get Fresh

 

If you are able to, go outside for a walk and some fresh air.  Plan a daily walk, drive, or open the windows and let in the breeze.

 

8

 

Turn it On & Turn it Off

 

This is the hard one, have a start and stop time.  That said, you may have to make it look different depending on the season of life you are in.  When our kids were little, I would work an hour, and turn it off. I would wait for relief, DKC, and when he got home and could take over, I would turn it on again.  I had “Office hours’ that I tried to stick to. Now, I set work hours with breaks. I could find myself with my laptop at 10 or 11 at night sometimes. I set a start and end time to the work day. I do this with social media (for the most part) I turn my phone in at 8 o’clock.

9

Dial Up the Communication

 

Monday morning team meetings, 5:00 after hour cocktail hours, whatever…Zoom and Facetime are technology gifts for staying connected with coworkers and loved ones.  Out of sight, out of mind can make social distancing feel even more isolating. Be sure you are on “top of mind” and being extra communicative.

 

Copy of XO,

Originally posted 2020-03-29 10:00:36.

Journal blog

The one thing you can do tonight to dramatically increase your productivity tomorrow. HINT: It has nothing to do with food or sleep.

The one thing you can do tonight to dramatically increase your productivity tomorrow. HINT: It has nothing to do with food or sleep.

This is something that I have done FOR YEARS to keep my family and house running, grow my business, help with getting ready for big events, and absolutely grow my personal life.  This helps with being productive, not busy.

I have shared before that a big part of how I start my day is by journaling.  I will get really specific another time, but in a nutshell, it is me and my water ( boring alert: I start with the water and lemon) with a blanket and my journal.  This is MY journal.  I am not concerned with another person reading it, so I SCRIBBLE every part of my morning time.  I may or may not go back to read it and penmanship is of zero concern to me.  This is my time to get mentally ready for the day, so I focus on these 3 things.

Part #1: What I am ridiculously grateful for.  I site things like batteries and light bulbs. They seem to remind me to be humble and that they are a luxury item.

Part #2: I recite my top 10 goals that I am working toward.  Some are SMART goals and time-specific, some are long game goals and act as a moral compass for me.

Part #3: The intentions and mantras I need to dwell on all day. “It’s happening for me, not to me”,  “I am in charge of my emotions, my feelings are not in charge”, “What does how I feel about it have to do with anything?”

That is the morning.

The other is the night. This is what I want to share.

(I am told that it is fine to do in the morning if you are that kind of person, I tend to need to know ahead of time what I am excited to be working on and where to start). I don’t like the stumped feeling of  “What should I do today?” I always come up with something, but it feels like I am responding when I am asking that question rather than being proactive.

Turns out that this is called the IVY method.

In 1918 Charles M. Schwab was one of the wealthiest men in the world.

Schwab was president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the largest shipbuilder and the second largest steel producer, at that time, in America.  Thomas Edison once referred to Schwab as a “ master hustler”. He was constantly scaling upwards, with the edge over the competition.

In 1918, he was on a quest to increase the efficiency of his team and establish a better way of getting things done, so Schwab set up a meeting with a highly respected productivity consultant  named Ivy Lee.

Lee was a successful businessman and is known today as a pioneer in public relations.  The story says that Schwab brought Lee into his office and said, “Please show me a way to get more things done.”

Lee replied, “Give me 15 minutes with each of your executives.”

Schwab, “How much will it cost?”

Lee, “Nothing, unless it works.  After three months, you can send me a check for whatever you feel it is worth to you.”

So, during each of the 15 minutes with each executive, Lee explained his simple daily routine for peak productivity.

  1. At the end of each workday, write down the 6 most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow.  Do not write down more than 6.
  2. Rank the 6 in order of importance.
  3. When you arrive tomorrow, only focus on the first task and work on it until it is finished before moving on to the second.
  4. Tackle the rest of your list the same way. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six for the following day.
  5. Repeat every day.

The strategy sounded simple and Schwab and his executive team at Bethlehem Steel implemented it.  In 3 months, Schwab was so pleased with the progress of his company that he called Lee back to his office and wrote him a $25,000 check.  This was in 1918, that check would be $400,000 in 2020.

This is the type of  time blocking, where you focus on one task at a time.  If you have not tried it, it is time. This method allows you to focus your priorities on what is IMPORTANT (not the riff-raff or what is URGENT to someone else).

I follow this method, but limit myself to 3 tasks.  I have my top 3. I seem to do better with 3. I write down my 3 tasks every night.

  •  It is simple and all you need is paper and pen (in my case my Michael Hyatt journal/calendar).
  • This makes you prioritize.  Choose 3 or 6, either one a magic number because you won’t be overwhelmed with a list of 20 things.
  • This takes the guesswork out of where to start (I mentioned that earlier).  If you think about it, it’s easy to waste a lot of time “thinking” about where to start. This is when scrolling can be a deadly time sucker.
  • It turns you into a single-tasker rather than a multi-tasker.  Focusing your energy like a laser on ONE THING to completion gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride!

To wrap this up. This is a productivity tip that helps with productivity, concentration, organization, and allows your brain to focus on what needs to be done.

Did this post add value to you?  It has CHANGED MY life…

Copy of XO,

Originally posted 2020-03-15 12:26:37.