Everyone wants to have productive days. All employers crave productive employees. As business owners, we want to maximize our days and end the day feeling accomplished and productive.
Now, I am working on my relationship with productivity. I often found I was going overboard with this whole productivity thing. I wanted my worth as a human to be based on more than just the amount of work I produced. I wanted the quality of my work to matter, I wanted my values to matter, I wanted my compassion and kindness to matter.
But, I do also enjoy my work, have big goals and have busy days full of both work and extracurricular activities. I would never get nearly enough done if I hadn't figured out a system that worked for me to be both productive and still enjoy life.
You want and deserve to live your life to the fullest also. You deserve to live without compromising your work and work without compromising your life.
So, you need a system that works for you and allows you the life you want to live.
I use Michael Hyatt's Full Focus Planner. I had a client buy me a subscription a few years ago and I have never looked back. It's the best planner I have ever used and as a person with ADHD, I actually keep up with it, which is a miracle.
Here is what the Full Focus Planner includes:
I love reviewing the week before so I don't continue to do things that aren't helping me gain momentum and so I can review what is working and keep doing that.
This is a really helpful tool for me because I often find it hard to assess these things in the moment. Sometimes I just want to push through and get it done and it's not until after that I sit down and think that there might be a better way to do it.
To increase your productivity don't skimp or brush over this part. Knowing everything that happened from the week before and being able to evaluate its efficacy is a great way to naturally help increase your productivity.
If you're anything like me then you're very visual. I like to see things and seeing them as a week helps me to plan out my week in the best way. I think less of days than I do of weeks. I want to plan out things over the course of the week so I know that every moving part fits in and flows together in the most productive way.
Things to include in your weekly calendar:
I do this both in my Full Focus Planner as there is a weekly calendar section but I also have a monthly wall calendar. I recommend using a form that works best for you. I have friends who have a big washable wall calendar and others who put everything into digital. I would love to be able to do digital but for me, out of sight is out of mind. I do use Google Calendars for my meetings and to block off time in case people are looking to book but that's it.
Something I committed to doing this year was starting my morning doing Skillshare classes. I try to mix up the topics so I've learned a lot of really great things during breakfast.
I got a great productivity hack from a Skillshare class called Productivity Habits That Stick: Using Time Theming by Mike Vardy.
You can record your thems however you want but I like using Evernote.
Here's what you do:
Here is a snapshot of my weekly themes as a Copywriter, editor and virtual assistant.
Monday - Writing
Tuesday - Systems/Research
Wednesday - Content
Thursday - Technical
Friday - CEO Day
Everything I do can somehow fit into one of those categories. Eventually, as my copywriting and editing grow I will add another writing day and take out one of the virtual assistant days.
Now the weekly plan needs to translate to the daily plan. This is why it's so important to plan the week first so you don't have a bunch of disjointed days.
First, I start on the side that says notes. The FFP gives you an entire page each day for notes. I set up different headings (Work Time Tracking, Personal Tasks/Errands, Chores, Dinner, Learning and Self-Care). I fill in 3 personal tasks, 2 chores (1 is mandatory. I have each chore separated by day of the week on the whiteboard on the fridge), a quick idea for dinner, 3 ideas for learning (Skillshare class, courses I'm working on, a non-fiction book, etc.) and 3 ideas for self-care activities. For learning 1-2 is what I strive for each day and all 3 self-care activities I strive for each day.
Then the planner has a small calendar for the day so I fill in my activities for the day (red pen for personal tasks, black pen for my work blocks and blue pen for my meetings).
Then I add my big 3 tasks for the day (the highest priority I need to do). I add 2 that are client-based and 1 for my business directly.
Then I add all of the other tasks that are on the weekly plan. I then highlight based on the priority of the task. Pink is high priority, blue is medium priority, orange is low priority and green is for daily tasks.
This is how I plan my weeks so I can maximize both my productivity and my life. I enjoy having a balanced life as I genuinely enjoy the work I do and I also enjoy my hobbies and other aspects of my life.
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