05 Mar Your 3 productivity secret weapons – part 2
In part one we looked at batching and how grouping similiar type tasks together makes you more productive. (If you missed it you can read it here)
Being productive is very much about being in the ‘flow’. Here’s a definition of flow from Wikipedia:
Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.
You know when you’ve been working on something for a little while and time has run away with you? Or when you’re in the middle of something, you get interrupted and then you get mad as you were in the zone? That’s ‘flow’ in action.
To be in the flow you need to be focused on one thing at a time, which is where batching starts and the next secret weapon comes in….
Weapon 2 = Scheduling
It may not sound very sexy or exciting but trust me – scheduling is your next secret weapon when it comes to getting more out of the time you put in.
What is it? Just like it’s name suggests, scheduling is all about planning in and putting aside a certain amount of time for key tasks.
Like all tools, it works best with particular types of tasks.
Have a look down your to-do list and have a think about the types of tasks you never seem to get round doing (even though you know they will add value to your business and move you nearer your goals). Or, think of all the jobs that you need to get done on a regular basis and keep adding them to your to-do list each week or month.
There, you have identified what you should be scheduling in each month.
Here’s my top 4 tips on how to use scheduling in your business.
If you dislike marketing or you struggle to find the time to do it, then try and schedule set time in your diary to just do marketing activity. This may be having a set day a week or doing an hour every day – whatever works best for you.
Marketing is ESSENTIAL to your business success so if you’re not giving it the time it deserves your business will not be successful.
2. Planning & Strategising
No time to plan and strategise in your business? Not good enough.
Schedule in a day or half day a month to be reviewing your plans and objectives and get a ‘helicopter’ view of where your business is at and where it’s going.
Not doing this will land you in serious trouble – it means you’re drifting along with your fingers crossed hoping for the best, instead of behaving as a responsible business owner.
(If you think you don’t have time to do planning in your business you should have a look at this quick video where I show you how it can be done in just 1 hour)
3. Goal Orientated Tasks
By this I mean the smaller, chunked down tasks that you need to do in order to hit your big goals.
Sometimes those big goals can look a little too big to know where to begin.
Break them down into smaller tasks, and schedule the smaller tasks into your diary throughout the year.
This takes it out of your head and off your to-do list and blocks the time out in your diary to go and do it!
4. Have regular office days
Schedule in a day a month, fortnight or week where you are going to be in your office (wherever that it is for you, and whatever it looks like) to catch up on all the bits and pieces of work you’re never getting round to.
This brings us back to being in the flow. So, rather than being in and out of meetings and switching from one thing to the next, have a day where it’s just you and your office and your chance to catch up.
A word of warning
Scheduling only works if you stick to it. Once you start moving your scheduled time around in your diary to fit around other things, then you’re back to being unproductive.
Also, use it reasonably sparingly to avoid the temptation to move it around. You can’t schedule your whole week or month or advance – business just isn’t that predictable, but agree certain key activities in your business now that you can schedule in next month and make it happen.
Over to you – what activities are you going to schedule in next month? Leave me a comment to let me know.
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