Productivity

Managing Ideas And Boosting Your Productivity

Managing Ideas And Boosting Your Productivity

Managing Ideas And Boosting Your Productivity

We all have a hundred different ideas that we feel could be a smashing success in our industry.

Whether it be the idea for a new product or service, there’s more ideas than there is time.

This is where you need to learn to reign in all of those ideas you have and construct an action plan that not only fleshes those ideas out so you can weed out the likely winners from the duds, but it will help you focus on boosting productivity.

Why do you need to do this?

Because it’s been proven that the human brain can’t focus on more than one thing at a time.

When we try to divide our attention, we end up scattered. Our quality also suffers. While learning to multi-task may seem like a great idea, narrowing your focus so that you’re tackling one task at a time will always produce better results.

So, what can you do when you have more ideas to grow your business than you have time for?

Begin by jotting down the top ideas that come to mind.  Don’t write summaries or get carried away with hashing out the details. Instead, write down titles for each idea.

Then, tear them apart, one-by-one. Be realistic with your expectations and the time you have to spend on each project.  Think about your core audience and what they’d be most interested in.

Create a priority list based on all the ideas you have.  Again, keep your audience in mind because the ideas you have may not align with what your market is actively looking for.

Thinking about ways to maximize your outreach, further your brand and provide additional value to your market is important but if you’re struggling to focus, you need a way of segmenting these ideas so that they make better sense. 

Otherwise, you’ll spend more time thinking about and analyzing ideas, versus bringing those ideas to life.

A project management system is a great tool when it comes to not only fleshing out potential ideas but in staying on track with the projects you’re working on.

Day-to-day operations can be exhausting to keep track of. With a system in place that makes it easy for you to assign value to projects, allocate time and be able to generate a quick snapshot at where you are during each project will make it easier to stay focused on your end goals.

There are countless project management tools available to you including Asana and Basecamp.

You can easily create schedules using Google Calendar found here:

https://gsuite.google.com/learning-center/tips/calendar

More Tips & Strategies To Increase Focus And Productivity

By now you probably realise that there are different ways you can improve focus and subsequently, increase productivity and quality output and I have covered a number of them in this and other blog posts.

And now I want to give you a few more tips and strategies that I hope will help you. You can never have enough ways to boost your productivity, right?

Commit To One Thing At A Time

Previously I have mentioned the importance of narrowing your focus down to one main goal at a time since it’s been proven that our brain responds better when we are working on one project at a time, rather than attempting to multi-task.

So, begin by choosing just one idea, create a schedule that includes goal-based milestones, allocate time to each task and get started!

Use project management tools such as Asana or Basecamp to help you stay on track.

Prioritize Your Goals

What projects aren’t panning out? What do you feel is less likely to be a success?

What tasks could be wiped off the to-do list? Take a step back and evaluate the things you’re spending your time on, staying on the lookout for ways to free up your time and improve your focus.

Work On Only What You Love

This is an important one when it comes to staying focused. If you’re finding yourself burned out working on tasks that you are simply not interested in, chances are the quality of your projects won’t be up to par.

Instead, learn to delegate the tasks that you don’t personally enjoy. Not only will you be able to increase output, but you’ll be able to provide a higher level of quality to your customer base by turning to the experts.

Consult with Experts & Mentors

Struggling to complete a task because you lost focus?

Consult a mentor! Not only can this person hold you accountable for the time you spend on projects, but they can be a powerful guiding force throughout your business and help shape the foundation for your brand.

And finally…

Give Yourself A Break!

We all struggle with focusing on tasks, especially repetitive or mundane ones. Even the most organized  of us all has those moments where no matter what we do to try to refocus on our goals, it feels as though we’ll never get ahead.

So cut yourself some slack when this happens. Acknowledge the fact that you can only do so much.  Sometimes taking a step back and giving ourselves permission to simply take a creative break is enough to boost productivity and re-focus on the bigger picture.

Creating laser focus and becoming a productivity machine takes practice and effort and you need to find ways to help minimize those distractions that may be holding you back from focusing on what is most important.

Here are some steps to take that may help you with that:

  • Identify those time killers
  • Don’t forget that the best way to be productive is to take care of yourself.
  • Clear your workspace of clutter.
  • Use some of the productivity apps listed.
  • Practice Deep Work techniques that will help you focus.
  • Don’t forget to reward yourself!

Well, as I’m sure you can appreciate, there is a lot more to be learnt about increasing focus and productivity; far more than can be covered in this short post, but if you’d like to know more about this, then click on the featured resource below where you can pick up a free report, Stay Focused For Success, that covers this topic in more detail. Download, read it and take action 😊

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Waste Time To Be More Efficient

Waste Time To Be More Efficient

Waste Time To Be More Efficient

It seems counterintuitive to state that you could be more efficient by wasting time. But, the truth is, when you allow yourself some flexibility in the process, you have the potential to make efficiency happen.

This is not to say that you can spend six hours out of an eight-hour day wasting your time. You need to keep the ratio skewed to being productive. But, trying to get too much done without having some “you time,” is going to burn you out.

The phrase wasting time is actually a misnomer in this case. What you are doing is setting aside some time to be creative or to get some exercise, etc. It could even be a time that lets you clear your head by taking a walk or sitting in a room by yourself to get away from the grind.

People make proclamations that they are too busy to waste time in the manner specified. But, that could be a huge mistake. When you set aside that time to do something out of the ordinary or spontaneous, you often discover ways to do your main tasks better.

For instance, suppose you went to the gym during your lunch hour, and you took a class. In the class is someone who is involved in the same kind of business you are in but works for a different company.

You both get to talking and become friends. Then, you exchange ideas and in the process discover information that you incorporate into your work.

This exchange may not have happened in your workspace. Sometimes, it takes outside entities to get our creative juices flowing. Therefore it’s always a good idea to look for different ways to accomplish the same tasks or talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to on a routine basis.

You will need to make sure this time-wasting process if it can be called that, is limited to a small percentage of your day or your to-do list. You still need to get your work done.

But, there is a reason why companies don’t harp onto their employees when they take some time to socialize in the coffee room, etc. Even within different departments, you can expand your knowledge base, and that is good for the company as a whole.

Some people will go overboard with this and end up being late on their deadlines. Avoid this at all costs. Set goals for the day that give you a certain amount of time for yourself after completing a large portion of your daily routine.

Can Being More Efficient Lower Stress?

When you learn how to be more efficient, you get more work done, and you tend to do it better, all things being equal. This makes your boss happy which means you won’t get in trouble for not getting your work complete. You may be given more responsibilities as a result, but as long as you maintain your efficiency, you should be able to add those to your workload.

Efficiency also means getting others to help you out. As you prove your effectiveness and your responsibilities increase, you should be able to get support for having others pitch in.

When you get support from your boss, it will be more difficult for your colleagues to resist your authority. Besides, when you show them how to be more efficient, it will get them on board. They will likely ask others for help when that happens.

This increase in efficiency is going to mean more work gets done, but it will take less time. You will constantly look for ways to do things better, whether it be via automation, or use delegation, etc.

Since you are getting more done with less, your stress levels will decrease, and you will be happier at work.

There will be some managers who don’t see the forest for the trees and the more work you get done, the more they see it as an opportunity to increase your workload.

This can get to the point of adding to your stress levels if they don’t support you. For instance, if they discourage you from delegating these new responsibilities, or they don’t give you the tools you need, this will overwhelm you and add to your stress. If talking it out with your manager won’t help, it may be time to look elsewhere.

The good news is your increased skills in being efficient will help you land a new job quicker.

When you learn how to be more efficient, you have greater control of your workload. Most people find they actually free up time when this happens due to economies of scale.

This free time gives you breathing room, and you won’t be so flustered all the time. You won’t be scrambling to get your work done by the deadlines.

Efficient people tend to have more opportunities available to them, in their current employment situations as well as outside the organization. They will always be in more demand. The great part about this is it won’t add to their stress levels.

How To Make Your Workouts More Efficient

One of the reasons people hate going to the gym is because they have to spend hours there to get any benefits. But, there are ways to make your workouts more efficient, which means you won’t have to spend as much time at the gym.

Do some of your exercises at home. If you have some dumbbells lying around, keep them in your family room or whatever room you spend most of your time. While watching television, stand up and use the dumbbells for one set. Do this on commercial breaks.

You can also do a set of sit-ups while watching television or whatever you do in your spare time. If you can get several sets in while you are home, you will have less to do at the gym. By staggering these exercises, you will be more inclined to do them.

Consider using the services of a personal trainer. These people go through a certification which means they learn the best exercises to do in the shortest time possible.

They will also show you how to do them right and correct you when you are not. The downside to this is they tend to be expensive and require you to work with them on a weekly basis.

You should also consider working out with a friend. It’s much easier to keep after each other than it is to try to motivate yourself. A friend may also help to motivate you into going to the gym when you start losing that drive.

It’s probably a good idea to keep the number of people you work with small. The larger a group is, the more they become distracted with talking too much, etc. This can still happen when you work with one person. If it does, you can try to choose someone else as your workout partner.

Another way to make your workouts more efficient is to come up with an actual plan for your workout. You could choose to hire a personal trainer just to come up with your plan and then do the workouts on your own.

But, there is also plenty of information on the internet that can help you structure your own plan. Try out different plans you may find and write them down. Make sure you are consistent in working your plan and have a way to measure your success.

Make sure that you factor in your diet when you are working out. Many people believe they can eat whatever they want since they are working out. This is false, and you will not get as much out of your workout when you do this.

Want to learn more about increasing efficiency and productivity? Then check out the featured resource below to grab a free report; download, read it and take action 😊

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The Truth Behind Procrastination

The Truth Behind Procrastination

The Truth Behind Procrastination

Every single one of us can waste time either intentionally or not, but when it comes to building a successful business, often it’s far more of a subtle beast that we need to conquer: it’s our own fears.

When you’re dealing with self-doubt, everything feels a lot more difficult than it is. We find a million reasons not to get something done because internally we’re constantly sabotaging ourselves believe it’ll likely fail, so why bother?

Procrastination is a business killer. It’s also a dream killer because if you’re allowing negative thoughts and self-doubt to lead the way, you’ll never have enough faith in your abilities to see things through.  You’ll not only take longer to get ahead, but chances are you’ll never reach your desired destination.

Procrastination has been called the closest ally to underachievement, and for good reason.

Many of us are afflicted by negative, self-doubt so if that’s you, know that you’re not alone.  Feeling like we’re not good enough, or that any success we’ve experienced was somehow unworthy is a common struggle with entrepreneurs all over the world.

The “I’m not good enough” monster is only amplified when you see others in your industry succeed. You might wonder whether you know enough, are informed, skilled or equipped enough to be in a position of authority.

If you’re a coach or course instructor, it’s easy to feel as though you’re simply not knowledgeable or experienced enough to be charging people for your information.

Deep down, you know it’s not true. You’ve likely worked hard to get to where you are and deserve every bit of success you achieve.  Overcoming those feels will take personal will and determination, but if you make the commitment to yourself and your business, and you persevere, nothing will stop you from reaching those goals.

Don’t be your own worst enemy in business.  Be careful not to sabotage your own efforts.  Identify your weaknesses and move on to focus on your strengths.

Take action every single day so that you’re too busy killing it in your industry to let that negative voice cost you those aspirations.  Dig deep and diligently work towards improving your work flow while letting go of those negative assumptions.  

No, it won’t always be easy and it’ll take a determined effort on your part, but if you work towards reprogramming your way of thinking, you’ll vanquish those success-constricting messages and reinvigorate that desire that made you take the leap from employee to self-employed in the first place.

You got this!

Eliminating Distractions

You now understand the effectiveness of chunking (read the article here) and that by implementing this into your workweek you’ll get more done in less time, but we need to dig a little deeper.

Your work environment is just as important as your workflow.  You should do everything possible to separate your personal life from your work life, which means talking with friends and family who may feel that just because you now work from home, you’re free for conversations throughout the day.

Create a routine for yourself and try to stick with it.  If you can create a realistic work schedule that everyone in your life understands, you’ll be able to minimize distractions while making each hour count.

Doing this will also help you avoid burn out.  You can only go full-speed ahead for so long before you’ll suffer the consequences including a dried up creative well.

Pushing forward without breaks or any sort of normal schedule will also leave you scrambling to fix errors, revise projects and will cause you to overlook important tasks.

You’ve likely been through this already.  You gun so hard on a project for so long that you end up forgetting important information or overlook something that causes your project to fail.  Allow yourself time to reset. 

As for your office environment itself, it all depends on what helps you to stay focused. For some, they find that music helps them focus while others need it to be completely silent.

Do your best to figure out what kind of routine will get you into a working mindset.

Does working out in the morning help?

Do you have to shut off your phone, close your email, or fire up a playlist in order to spring into action?

Find your groove and stick with it.

Your family, your mental health, and your career will thank you for it.

Holding Yourself Accountable

Hopefully you already have ideas as to how to create an organized system that will boost productivity and help you place a value on your time.  If not, make that your top priority.

And your second?

Hold yourself accountable when you mess up.

If you’re struggling to get things done, it’s easy to switch up your routine believing that will help you get back on track.

However, if you take the time to analyze why you really fell behind in the first place, chances are you’ll be able to identify where things went wrong and it’s not always deserving of a new routine.

Take a step back and think about where and when your efforts were derailed.

Were you spending too much time in email or on social media?

Did you fail at prioritizing your goals and ended up spending too much time on things that don’t matter as much?

Self-correcting and holding yourself accountable are two very important lessons when it comes to being successful in your business.

The key is to develop habits that help you to work and to play.  Sound strange? It’s not really.  Just like you need to figure out a way to get into work mode, you also have to develop habits that help you shut it down when your creativity or quality begins to decline.

It’s way too easy to say, “just one more hour”, or to push through and get that “one more thing done”, but it does you no good if you end up having to revise that work because you were so burned out that you didn’t give your very best.  Your business deserves the best of you and so do your clients or customers.

Holding yourself accountable isn’t always easy, but it’s the enemy of procrastination. If you take the time to identify where you went wrong, you’ll stay clear of self-doubt by immediately correcting the issue and moving on.

And remember, one way to stay productive is to be focused and many people struggle with this. If you want to learn more about staying focused, check out the featured resource below for a free detailed  report; download, read it and take action 😊

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Manage Time With A Success Mindset

Manage Time With A Success Mindset

Manage Time With A Success Mindset

So, you’re anxious to reach those goals you’ve set for yourself and your online business, but you quickly realize that there’s only so much time in the day. No matter how hard you try, you feel as though you’re always one step behind.

One thing becomes very clear: You need a plan.

No matter what business or industry you’re involved in, learning how to effectively manage your time is one of the most important skills that will set you on the path towards ongoing success.

Without a system designed to place a value on each hour you spend working on your business, you’ll find yourself frantically scrambling to meet deadlines, follow through on launches and prioritize what is most important to your business.

This article has been written to help you get more done in less time by levelling up your productivity score quickly and easily.

The strategies contained in this article are designed to help you learn to value your time, make informed decisions about the kind of work you’re focused on and ultimately, beat the clock.

Let’s begin. There’s no time to waste. 😊

Lose The Employee Mindset!

One of the reasons so many people seem to struggle to gain traction in their business is entirely due to the way they manage their daily activities.

This typically points to one major problem: People are stuck in an employee mindset!

They’re so used to that 9-5 grind that they aren’t equipped to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, which will help them make the transition so they can train themselves to focus on the most important tasks: prioritizing their time and assigning value to the time they spend building their business.

When you work for yourself, your time is more valuable than it has ever been. You’re no longer an employee, paid for each workday regardless of the outcome. If you aren’t ruthless with focusing on the most important tasks, you can easily fall behind or find yourself constantly treading water trying to stay afloat.

As an entrepreneur, you’re solely responsible for your business, so your ability to value your time and make every minute count will have a major impact on how successful you’ll be.

Fail to make this important shift in the way you spend your time, and you’ll always struggle to get to where you want to be.

Thankfully, it’s not all that difficult to break that cycle and transition your way of thinking from that of an employee to a boss.  It starts with preparing yourself for the realities of being an entrepreneur.

This means you need to:

Set Realistic Goals. You must be honest about what you’re capable of getting done on any given day.  Then you need to determine how many hours you’re willing to invest in your business and then assign those hours to specific projects.  

Break tasks down into smaller, focused projects.  Tim Ferris, author of “The 4-Hour Work Week”, refers to this as “chunking”.  We’ll talk more about the importance of this in a bit because it’s a great way to boost your productivity and get more done in less time.

Cut out Distractions.  Your work environment will change drastically from what you may be used to as an employee, and you need to optimize your workspace so that it’s supporting a focused, productive workflow.

Identify the Truth Behind Procrastination.  This is one of the hardest things to acknowledge at times, especially if you’ve gotten into the habit of procrastinating for reasons you aren’t aware of.

We’ll talk more about this in an upcoming chapter because it deserves a section of its own. It’s that important.

Be Ruthless in Prioritizing.  Does your email really need to stay open while you work so that all those notifications cause you to continuously check your inbox?

Cutting out distractions, as we just mentioned, plays a huge role in your ability to prioritize. Every hour needs to count, and you’ll get a lot more done if you focus each segment of your time on only one task. No outside interference!

Now let’s take a closer look at how you can learn the chunking technique, which will immediately boost your daily output and keep you focused on meeting your goals.

Time Chunking 101

For years, I would fire up the laptop and start my day doing several different things at once.  I’d check email, then maybe do some writing, then head over to social media, and then back to email yet again.

This cycle cost me valuable time, and while I thought I was proficient at multi-tasking, the truth is even the most seasoned go-getter will struggle to get everything done if they’re trying to tackle all things at once. Time management needs to be more purposeful to be effective.

Chunking is where you decide to focus on just one major task at a time (or even per day). Depending on the type of business you’re involved in, this might include one day exclusively focused on graphic design, then one day dedicated to marketing.

Consider creating a detailed task list of all the important aspects of your business; the things that keep it all afloat and absolutely require your time.

This can be tricky because we tend to things all things are important, but the reality is, they’re not.

When it comes to any business, there are a handful of critical tasks that need to be taken care of daily, and the rest just adds a little more gas to the tank. They can be done later once the main tasks are out of the way.

You need to learn to place a value on every ounce of “fuel” you have left.  That’s where chunking comes into play.

By focusing on one main task a day, or at least per segment of allocated time, you are not only able to focus strictly on getting it done on time, but the quality of your work will likely be much better because you’re not being constantly derailed.  Give it a try!

Don’t be tempted to multi-task because this is a productivity killer! So many people make a big deal of being able to multi-task, but all you end up with are a number of tasks that are partly done and an increasing amount of frustration because you never seem to be able to clear things off your to-do-list; sticking to one task at a time is much more productive, believe me!

And remember, one way to stay productive is to be focused and many people struggle with this. If you want to learn more about staying focused, check out the featured resource below for a free report; download, read it and take action 😊

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A Plan To Beat Procrastination!

A Plan To Beat Procrastination!

A Plan To Beat Procrastination!

Now that you know all the components of procrastination, you’ve had a chance to determine which ones might apply to you, and you’ve learned the skills you need to get rid of or diminish them in your life.

Many people give up before they ever really get started, and procrastination is one of the biggest reasons for this; it really is a dream killer!

Let’s put it all together so that you have a coherent assessment of yourself to bring to your tasks, your projects, and your life going forward.

You will finally be able to get stuff done and start achieving your goals, and these may be business, career or personal development goals.

Whatever the goals you are aiming for, getting laser focused and having a plan is really going to help you to beat procrastination and get you to your end result.

Follow the 8-step plan below to help you beat procrastination once and for all.

Putting It All Together

Using your computer or a paper and pen, answer the following questions in as much detail as possible:

1 – Identify the areas in your life where you procrastinate. It could be with tasks or projects or relationships. It could be in your home, on your job, in public situations, or with friends and relatives. Where do you want to make changes? What are you dissatisfied with?

Write down a description of the situation you want to change. What is it like right now? Give as much detail as you can.

How do you see it changing? What is your vision for the future? Write this in as much detail as possible.

2 – Remember, you achieve change through a combination of dissatisfaction with the present plus a vision for the future plus a plan plus taking the first steps.

Now, give yourself a challenge. Write down each change you want to make in phrases starting with,” I will…….…”

Look at each thing you want to change and ask yourself:

    • What’s my payoff if I leave things the way they are now?
    • What are the negative consequences if I don’t change?
    • What are the benefits if I do change?
    • Are there any negative effects if I do change?
    • Can I handle them?
    • Prioritize your changes in the order you want to tackle them.

3 – Next, turn your challenges into goals. Decide when you want to achieve the goal, and write this down for each goal,” It is(the date) and I have achieved this goal. Make these goals real in whatever way you want: for instance, a vision board, a journal, or by telling your friends about them.

4 – You need a way to measure your success. How will you know if you’ve reached your target goal? What will success means you? Write it down.” My success criteria are…….” Do that for each goal.

5 – Write down each goal, leaving some space beneath each one. Think through all of the negative things associated with that goal. What will the obstacles be? What can you do in advance to diminish the obstacles? For each goal, finish this statement,” I am removing the barriers to success with this goal by………”

6 – Now it’s time to break your project into steps. We know by now that this will make it much more manageable and give us reason not to be overwhelmed or afraid. Develop two or three first steps for achieving your goal and write them down.

7 – Now take a look at your first steps. What are the positives? What are the negatives? Choose the first steps for each goal that you determine to be the best ones.

8 – Next, plan the rest of your project step by step, going back and assessing each step as you did in number seven. Remember to build in flexibility in time constraints to allow for unforeseen events and obstacles. Remember also that it’s completely acceptable to amend these steps as you go along.

A few more pointers to remember when you’re actually working in your project:

  1. Review your goals and projects periodically. Ask yourself these questions:
  • What’s going well with my project?
  • Am I on track to achieve my goal?
  • What adjustments do I need to make?
  • Is there anything new that I need to do to keep my project on track?
  • Do I need to get help in any area to achieve my goal?
  1. Assess whether you’re using the skills you’ve learned in this book. Ask yourself how well you’re using them. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Make a written note of what you’re learning about yourself. You’ll be able to use it in the future for your next project.
  2. Remember to take care of yourself as you’re working toward your goals. Get regular exercise, eat right, and practice some stress relieving activities. Don’t forget to give yourself some treats along the way. You deserve them, especially if you’re doing well. Change isn’t easy.
  3. When your project is almost completed, take time to evaluate your achievements – that is, how well you’re completing your project and how you’ve changed for the positive internally. Look at your goals and see how close you’ve come to achieving them.

Are you falling short? Are you exceeding your goals? Which aspects of overcoming procrastination have you conquered? Which ones do you still need to work on? Make a written note of what you’ve achieved, point by point. That is, after all, your most important goal.

  1. Now your project or your task is completed. It’s time to celebrate. Allow yourself this luxury. Do it now! Go big and put yourself first! Even if you didn’t achieve everything you set out to, you’ve finished your project and you’ve made progress. You have the skills to overcome procrastination, and you have the rest of your life to improve on your progress.

Well done! Celebrate you!

I hope that you have enjoyed this 4 part series discussing the problem of procrastination and that you have some useful actionable tips that you can use to blast through any areas in your life that are being affected by procrastination.

It seems such a small thing to put it off until tomorrow, but it is insidious and suddenly procrastinating becomes a habit, and it is one best avoided if at all possible!

And remember, one way to beat procrastination is to stay focused and many people struggle with this. If you want to learn more about staying focused, check out the featured resource below for a free detailed report; download, read it and take action 😊

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