The definition of productivity is often confused with busyness. Just because you are scrambling around your little pink office, doesn’t necessarily mean you are completing your to-do list efficiently; or at all. Productivity is the act of producing something (go figure) and in order to produce ladies, we must actually finish. Completing a project requires efficiency, preparation and following 5 steps to a productive day.
I should have received a medal at my old J.O.B for “looking busy” those last few months. No longer engaged with the work that needed to be done and rarely headed home feeling as if the effort was worth it. Able to get by with minimal engagement and low productivity levels. A productive day was not on my radar. What does that say about managers that never even noticed?
I no longer loved what I was doing. Leaving a position that didn’t fulfill me was the best choice. I now wake up excited to head to work (upstairs with my faithful Tukker) and ensure that I’m getting *ish done by planning what I want to accomplish.
5 Steps to a productive day
Step 1 Plan the night before
The best laid plans are not enacted in a rush. Prepping for your next day before shutting down the laptop each night is one way to maximize your efficiency first thing in the morning. Grab your calendar and review what’s on the to-do has to be done tomorrow Top 3. Do not wait until 9am on the due date or you’ll already waste precious time simply by making decisions.
An hour before you leave each night, look over what has to happen in the morning to have a productive day. Schedule it if you haven’t already and be ready to get to work on item #1 as soon as your little bum hits the chair in the morning. I keep my Top 3 in my actual daily planner and sometimes (because I’m a bit of a post-it addict), I’ll write them a second time and stick it to the laptop face.
The minute I’m in my office, I’ve got a productivity plan that helps me accomplish my tasks for that day.
Step 2 Clear space on your office desk
Do not even try to start working in the morning if your desk looks like a bomb went off. Now I know that some of you will claim to be that brilliant mind that works best in a mess…but news flash…it’s been proven that visual clutter will cloud your brain space. I sure as hell don’t want cloudy brain space!
Before you leave each night, replace all writing utensils to their cup, wrap up the 10 random electronic cords, throw away your snack wrappers (is that just me?) and run a wipe across your desk and keyboard.
Your desk will beckon you in as soon as you walk into the room tomorrow morning. Scrounging through piles to find your to-do list will waste time. We don’t have time to waste ladies.
Step 3 Get plenty of sleep
Building a business that blogs take alot of work. You have to take care of yourself or you’ll burn out and your productivity will suffer. There are tons of articles on the amount of sleep that your body needs but women do best listening to their intuition.
I don’t use an alarm clock anymore. My body is tired around 10:30pm and I rarely sleep in. Most mornings, I have started the day’s laundry, walked the dog and prepped dinner by 8:00am. It seems to be the right amount of time for my body to recoup each night. I know this because I wake up naturally the same time each day. Yes. Even. Weekends.
Feeling refreshed helps me get ready to tackle the blog tasks that need to get done. My sweet spot for sleep is met and as a result, I wake up ready for a productive day. Work with me and we’ll get an early jump on your day too!
Step 4 Eliminate or delegate
No 5 step plan for a productive day would be complete without eliminating repetitive tasks that are time sucks. Or unnecessary. Or could be delegated. Being productive means you are completing items on your to-do list in the most efficient way possible. You should not be going over the same ground every day nor should you as the business owner be handling menial tasks. Your time is much too precious and needed for high level creation.
Most business owners start their business by doing every single task themselves. As your business grows, you implement systems or add staff that can ease your burden. Get to this place FAST! Productivity demands that you work on the business chores that only you can handle best.
If you find yourself doing the same things over and over each day, you are wasting time. If adding help isn’t an option right now, then find a way to eliminate any non-essentials or simply streamline the process.
I created a photo template with color scheme, font size, font name and specs that I use for every photo. I don’t have to remember this information every time I write a blog post because I use the template instead. My VA can do the same.
Don’t fall into the trap of “that’s how we’ve always done it”. Take some time to rework your process; find gaps that can be filled with a quicker system and fill it.
Step 5 Batch your tasks
Bloggers often talk about “batching“. Essentially that means to take tasks and to-do list items that are similar and do them together. Great examples of batching are:
- Writing blog posts
- Taking photos
- Recording videos
- Scheduling social media shares
It may seem strange at first to write the entire month’s worth of blog posts on one Friday night, but it’s increasing your productivity because you are getting more done and staying in the same frame of mind. Sit down to spend the full day writing and you are sending a strong message to your brain to focus on that task.
Instead of writing one post, then stopping to take a few photos outside, then coming in to schedule your tweets; you simply do each task independent of the others and on separate days. For instance:
- Monday-write all posts for the month or week
- Tuesday-schedule social media shares for the posts you just wrote
- Wednesday-promote the posts online
Batching helped me get control of my schedule. I know it’s easier for me to focus on the same task instead of switching between them.
Productivity requires finished projects and progress. Being busy will look and feel awesome but you won’t be getting as much done as you could have had you focused on completing in a timely manner. Take 5 steps to a productive day and you’ll work more efficiently and get more done on a daily basis.
What tip do you have to be more productive? Which step will you try first?
Your blog biz best friend, Cee Lee
PS: Setting business goals that are keepers is a great way to ensure you are productive in your business. Don’t you think?