Boost Your Productivity & Ignite Results

Do you find yourself looking back on your day (or week) and wonder where time went?  Is your to-do list getting longer and dreams of success going unfulfilled?  You may be busy and doing lots but are you doing the right things at the right time to get the right results?

Recently I led a conversation with some clients which pulled some excerpts from Seth Godin’s best selling book, The Dip.  This book looks at those time when you face minor set-backs and lack the excitement when you first began pursuing that goal.  What stops you from moving forward?  How can you rekindle that passion to take the next steps?

This conversation really resonated with me as I faced a major, life-changing event last summer which has had a huge impact on my own passion.  My goals are still there, and the passion to pursue them and not take a different direction, still exists, yet taking the first step seems more like a giant leap.

timeblockingThis forced me to look at the tips I give my coaching clients when they are facing their own “dip”.  I encourage others to use time blocking to focus on those tasks that are a high priority and high importance to reaching goals, yet may not be part of your day-to-day focus.

Time blocking is the term given to setting aside a specific time in your calendar to complete a specific task — an appointment with yourself and your goals. Yes, it’s a calendar entry and can be easy to blow off when you are busy with other things in your business, but aren’t you and your goals worth some time too?  The advantage of booking it in your calendar, is you won’t book another meeting during that time.

Once the time is blocked into your calendar, the next step is to set yourself up for success.  Part of the process is to include some time each day (either at the beginning or end of the day) which you dedicate to preparing to work.  This includes pulling the tools and resources together that you need to do each job so they are on-hand and you won’t waste time searching.  When its your blocked time, the goal is to focus on getting things done!

What I have found is that when I block the time, I am 10 times more likely to do what I’ve planned, than if I only had it on a to-do list.  More importantly, when the time is assigned to a task I really don’t enjoy doing, I know I only have to spend those few minutes and I can then move on!  It’s amazing what you can accomplish in short periods when you eliminate the distractions.

Here are a few tips to making time blocking work for you.

  1.  Identify small tasks that don’t take very long (i.e. 5 minutes or less) that you can do when you have a few free moments.  I do these items while on the bus, or when I arrive early to an appointment.  It always feels great to just get them done.  Some things I do is return emails, post to social media, enter expenditures into Quickbooks Online, update Trello with tasks that come to mind etc.
  2.  Always plan prep-time each day.  Use this time to review your day and the next day, and to pull together the information, tools and resources you will need to complete the tasks scheduled.
  3. ID-10076595 Photo by Zuzzuillo. Freedigitalphotos.netDetermine the length of the each block.  Each block of time doesn’t have to be equal.  I find 20 – 30 minutes to be ideal and more motivating than long blocks.  The longer the block the more easily you can become distracted.
  4. Set a theme to each block.  You may want to focus on client calls or writing articles, or creating social media posts, or working on a new program for clients.  It’s ok to be a bit broad in the description in your calendar.  The more definite details can be determined during your daily prep-time.
  5. Recognized your own patterns.  If you’re not a morning person, maybe its better to schedule creative tasks later in the day.  If you need quiet and are an early riser, schedule these tasks first thing in your day.  When you schedule creative tasks at times when you are more likely to be productive, you will get more done!
  6. Stick with your blocked time schedule.  This may feel rigid but if you are going to achieve your big goals and be successful, its important to stick with your plan.   As the saying goes, you won’t regret what you did, you will only regret what you didn’t do.   The time you block is “your time” and just as important as your client appointments, fitness time, etc.
  7. Avoid distractions.  Turn off the ringer and notifications on your phone and computer.  Clear your desk so other distractions are not within eyesight. The goal is to focus on the one task you planned.
  8. Set a timer.   You can use a kitchen timer or a calendar reminder on your phone – whatever works for you.  I find people really like the time when they are doing something they don’t like doing.  The timer lets you know when you can stop!  It may sound counter-intuitive but it works.  If you’ve hit a wall, then you have given yourself permission to stop and move onto another task. If you are on a roll when the timer goes, feel free to keep going!
  9. Keep detailed notes of what you have done and what you still need to do.   Just like your prep-time, your Pen in handnotes offer you great feedback on what lies ahead so you can “get in the groove” and take action quickly.  Switching your mind from one task to another can be challenging at the beginning.  Your notes help you know where you left off last time and where to begin today.  I use Trello to keep notes on my activities and have checklists to mark things off.  My notebook allows me to just write or draw thoughts and ideas and keep them in one place.  Take pictures of your notes and upload into Trello or Evernote.
  10. Celebrate your successes.  It’s important for you to recognize your efforts when you reach a milestone.  What treat or “self-reward” will you enjoy when you reach each milestone as you move through your “dip”?

 

If you are struggling to reach those big goals or keep hitting a wall and unable to push through it, book an Ignition Call where we will explore what your biggest obstacle is and how you can take the first step forward.  Contact us today!

5 Reasons You Don’t Take Action

During the Ultimate Women’s Conference earlier in February, one of the sponsors had a sign that said “What’s in the rearview mirror doesn’t matter”.  This got me to thinking about how so many people spent time thinking about the past and what could have been if only they had taken action.

You can’t change the past but you can be the leader in your future.  The cost of indecision and inaction can be huge!  Only you can determine what that cost is to you.

Here are 5 reasons that business leaders don’t take action.

 

1.  Not Enough Time  

We all have 24 hours at our disposal.  Time is not the issue.  How we choose to use the time available is the issue. In business, time is money. I love this quote from Dan Kennedy.  He says it so well.
Disciplined use of the time everybody else wastes can give you an edge. The now rich and famous writer of legal thrillers, Scott Turow, wrote his first novel using only his morning commutes into New York City on the train. All around him, others just killed the same time. For most people, these minutes don’t matter. But they can. So when you say to yourself ‘it’s only 10 minutes,’ you miss the entire point of time.” – Dan Kennedy
What can you accomplish in 10 minutes?

 

2.   Fear of the Unknownqueery-cartoon

Your Gremlin (that little voice that drives self-doubt, magnifies fear and forces you to second-guess yourself) can be very destructive.  Change and growth both involve taking steps forward into the relative unknown.

Planning is key to conquering this fear and will quite the Gremlin. Planning involves taking a large goal, breaking it down into manageable tasks and then taking small steps forward.  As you take action, you review and reassess the results you achieve and rejig things along the way.

 

 3.   Need more time to plan

I hear this so often.  Planning takes time and I;d rather just jump in and move forward.  In some instances your plan may not have to be written its just in your head and you know what steps you will take to get the desired results.  Larger and more strategic goals will span a longer time period and frequently get derailed by day-to-day operations or “bright shiny objects” that look great but take you off course.
One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”  Anthony Robbins
Planning doesn’t have to take a lot of time – instead it takes some focused time. When you plan you want to think through the required steps and tasks and identify resources need as well as the who, what, where, when, why and how of what you want to achieve.  Write down these plans either in a mindmap, a journal, a vision board, a spreadsheet or list.  Once this is done you what to go back and look at this plan and measure your progress.

 

4.  Lack of resources

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” – Stephen R. Covey
 
We often don’t think about it but time is a resource, one that is frequently taken for granted.  One key skill that is often underdeveloped and under utilized the is ability to delegate.  Can you outsource some of your actions to a Time Wasted _ clock in bin 9491623_sfamily member at home, a colleague who is more skilled or knowledgeable or a virtual assistant or employee?
One tip to assist you is create yourself a “how to” document or operations manual that can be used by others to accomplish the tasks you need help with so that you can move on to other higher priority, higher revenue generating tasks.   Invest some time in these resources and the results they achieve in meeting your desired results are far more likely and less frustrating for everyone involved. Delegation does not mean abdication. You will both be confident when you touch base along the way.

 

5.  Don’t want it bad enough

“Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.”   Brad Henry

If you really want something, you are more likely to put it on the top of your “to do” list and you will invest the time and money and other resources needed to accomplish that goal.  Self-confidence, recognition of your own passions and dreams will help you along the way.
If your mind becomes cluttered with other thoughts, and you spend your time doing other things, this is a signal that you need to reconsider this goal and determine if you want it bad enough.  What is the cost to you if you drop it from the list?  What would be a good replacement that you do want bad enough?

 

 

www.freedigitalimages.netPlanning and time play key roles in achieving the success you want to achieve.  Along the way, you have many opportunities to make decisions which will impact the end result.  Keep your mind and eyes wide open and recognize when your Gremlin is getting in the way.

Contact us today if you want to reach your full potential and make better use of your time and efforts. A complimentary Business Assessment Session can help identify your next steps. Book yours now.

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.igniteleaders.com/tag/time-management">
YouTube
YouTube
LinkedIn
Instagram