TOPIC: Multitasking. Effects on Productivity

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There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get our work done. That’s why many of us turn to multi-tasking, which represents our best, noble attempt to accomplish multiple tasks. But it turns out that multitasking may actually limit productivity and ultimately affect your level, and your health. According to athlete and international and TEDx speaker Katie Brauer,

 “Higher productivity happens when you limit multitasking and stay focused on completing a task at hand. Studies show that multitasking makes you 40 percent less productive and increases stress levels.” 

While acknowledging the difficulty of focusing, especially at work, Brauer suggested that implementing a few simple steps in your workday can help you focus and make a dramatic difference in your rate of work output.

That got me thinking. So, I reached out to a few other entrepreneurs running health-related businesses for their take on ways to stay more engaged and productive during the business day.

Preparing for the start of the day is a great time to get focused. You can get focused when you avoid doing certain things first thing in the morning such as checking your cell phone.

In order to achieve higher productivity, it’s important to clear or reduce mental clutter.

Do not check your phone or email when you first wake up.  Wait at least 60 minutes, so you are not jumping right into a ‘reactive’ state of mind. I believe in easing into the day. Start out by stretching, drinking a glass of lemon water and meditating. You’ll notice a calmness and clarity while you do this.

In order to achieve higher productivity, it’s important to clear or reduce mental clutter. The mind benefits from the combination of having structure and being clutter free. When it comes to raising your productivity level, try working on projects with your email and sound alert turned off.

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TOPIC: Prioritize The TO-DO List

There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to take care of everything. We fight the same battles to manage our time and tasks.

If you have a to-do list, you are ahead of the pack. However, there are ways to make your list and time management plans more effective. Here are five tips that will be help you to get a few more minutes in your schedule:

1. Prioritize the list.

Each day, look at your list and mark those items that are the top priority. Consider the urgency and the importance of each task. Obviously, things that are both urgent and important will rise to the top of the list. Items that are neither urgent nor important can wait.

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 Place items that are urgent, but not important lower on your list. Evaluate just how “squeaky” that wheel is before spending your precious time on it. Give more time to those tasks that are important, but less urgent. These items, when completed, add more value.

Use some type of visual reference so your priorities are clear. You might rewrite your list in order of priority. Highlight your top items in yellow and then again in pink when they are complete. Or number items in order of priority. Once you have established priorities, follow them. Don’t get sucked into the trap of focusing those things you can finish quickly, so that you can put lots of checks on your list.

2. Estimate how long each item on your list will take to complete.

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It’s common to underestimate how long tasks take. You may fail to include time for interruptions, travel, review or getting steps approved. What about “pondering” time? We all need time to think about our tasks before moving forward. Developing or creating takes time. When you fail to include time for these parts of the process, you are doomed to underestimate how long your tasks will take.

3. Use your calendar.

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Once you become more effective at estimating how long tasks take, the next step is to move them to your calendar (at least those tasks that will take more than just a few minutes). Schedule the time to execute your tasks. If you have a calendar that is loaded with items not on your to-do list, there is an obvious mismatch. You are highly unlikely to accomplish many of your top priority items.

 

4. Don’t pack your schedule.

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Be realistic about what you can actually accomplish in a day. It doesn’t matter how hard you work — you can’t put nine women on the job and get a baby in a month. Putting too much on your calendar can lead to cutting corners, sloppy work or just being frustrated that you can’t get it all done.

5. Get help.

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If you truly have too much work, it may be time to bring in some help. Spend your time on high-value activities. How much is your time worth to the business? Put a dollar value on an hour of your time. Then ask yourself if you need an assistant to provide administrative help.

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Time is your most valuable commodity and the quantity is limited. Your personal productivity may be the difference between success and bankruptcy. Implementing these tips will help you achieve your full potential.

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TOPIC: Organizing your Schedule. Sub-Topic: Cleaning

YOUR CLEANING SCHEDULE ORGANIZED

Have a time and a place for everything, and do everything in it’s time and place, and you will not only accomplish more, but have far more leisure than those that are always hurrying.

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Topic: PRIORITY. Sub Topic: Prioritize your To Do list

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Tips of PRIORITY when making a TO DO List

  • Be realistic about what you can accomplish in one day
  • Schedule meetings with a start and end time so they don’t drag on or waste time
  • Schedule errands based on geographical location. Don’t waste time with extra driving.
  • Whenever possible schedule your appointments for first thing in the morning. The later the appointment, the better chance you’ll be delayed.
  • Avoid placing overwhelming tasks on your To Do list. Breaking large task down into small one. Identify the large task and then write down all the steps you need to take to complete that task. Then set a final deadline for the task and wok your way toward it, accomplishing one step each day.
  • Store your schedule or To Do list electronically instead of on paper.
  • Complete tasks. You only get points on the scoreboard when the goal is made.
  • Consider your time too valuable to waste.

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pmo

Topic: PRIORITY (cont.)

“Action expresses priorities.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

RUN YOUR FAMILY LIKE A MANAGER OF A COMPANY/BUSINESS

1. Identify your core values. Companies define their core values because they provide a great framework for making all kinds of decisions. To apply this idea to your family, think about what common traits each spouse admires in the other.

2. Establish a single top priority. If everything is important, nothing is. Too many companies fail because they spread their time and energies too thin. Answer this question: “In addition to our day-to-day responsibilities, if we accomplish one big thing as a family in the next few months, what should it be?” And then work on it. It could be anything from “Help Dad get healthy” to “Spend more time together as a family at home.”

Image result for manage your family like a company abstract 3. Keep your values and top priority visible. You don’t need an engraved plaque to remind you of what’s important. But it’s good to have a ready reference. Strategically stick them where they can be seen every day, to remind each member of your family, specifically your spouse.

4. Don’t make snap decisions. Companies (and families) tend to take on commitments out of peer pressure or guilt, before they understand what’s involved. Often it’s not a single big project, but the dinner date, bake sale, and sleepover that all add up to make a family frantic. Which leads us to number 5

5. Understand your opportunity cost. In business, when taking one course of action prevents a company from accomplishing other tasks, we talk about opportunity cost. Example: Deciding to let your sons opt out of Cub Scouts (the opportunity), which was eating up our weekends (the cost). Why cut that and not, say, guitar lessons?  Cub Scouts may be a little too regimented and that music better suited your style. Knowing the decision reflected one of your values―creativity―removed any sense of guilt you might otherwise have had.

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6. Assess which balls bounce and which ones break. Sometimes tasks that feel urgent can actually be ignored. (In other words, those balls will bounce.) Basically, prepare for  something by it’s sense of urgency. ie; prepping for the birth of a new baby vs. landscaping your yard

7. Don’t confuse long-term strategies and short-term tactics.For parents, this can take the form of discussing what to have for dinner in the same breath as whether to change jobs. Or trying to make a decision about finances or discipline while brushing your teeth and getting the kids off to school. Vital issues can get short shrift or be entirely lost in the minutiae if you don’t stop, filter them out, and return to them later.

8. Meet often to review your progress. Don’t groan. This is not a bad episode of The Brady Bunch. But families do need to meet once a week, for no more than 10 minutes, to review what’s going on and what adjustments need to be made to their time and priorities. Let the children participate. They love to see their role in it.

 http://momitforward.com/strengthening-family-how-to-set-up-a-family-meeting

 9. Get out of the “office” from time to time. Are you an adrenaline addict?: They’re convinced that they can never slow down and think about the big picture because there is so much to do right now. Which inevitably ends in burnout. Parents should also take time as a couple to review calmly the bigger picture of their family, even if it means just going for a drive with the radio off. A long date or a weekend away can pay huge personal dividends even if you have to shell out for a babysitter.10. Welcome productive conflict. When executives can’t argue, they can’t make good decisions and commit to them. Families are the same.

Topic: PRIORTY – An Exercise

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PRIORITY EXERCISE

**Grab a sheet of paper and a PENCIL with an ERASER**

ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR PRIORITIES:

  • What do I value most?
  • What are the things most important to me?

Some examples: good health, travel, friends, clean house, education, fun, money, fame, children

Why am I here?  Where am I going?

  • What is my purpose?

Make a list of your top 10 priorities. If you don’t select them, others will decide for you. Post this list where you can review it on a regular basis. Maybe on your nightstand, your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror…Make a list of all of the activities you currently participate in. Compare this list with your top 10 priorities. Decide on activities that can be be eliminated to make room for your top 10. Focus on cutting out activities that take your time and don’t bring you joy.                                                                                                                         Pick up your planner right now and schedule and schedule time to dedicate to your top 10.   They may include:  Dinner date with your spouse, phone call to a friend you need to catch up with, time to exercise, reading time for you, work on a craft project…..

LEARN TO SAY NO!   SET BOUNDARIES!   HONOR YOUR PRIORITIES EACH DAY!

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PMo Nudges:

  • Read your top 10 priorities list on a regular basis
  • Minimize the time spent with negative people
  • Make a list of the things you and your family like to do that cost little or no money, and then try to do as many as these as you can each week.
  • The next time you are about to spend a large part of your time, ask yourself:  Does this activity help me stick to my top 10 priorities or is it taking my time away from them.
  • Don’t compare your life to TV, advertisements or celebrities. Live your life the way that is best for you and your family.
  • Accomplish more with the 10-minute rule. The next time you find yourself with a free 10 minutes, spend it working on a goal or project.

pmo

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