Archive of ‘Productivity’ category

The Only 3 Productivity Tips You Need to Know!

The Only 3 Productivity Tips You Need to Know

The Only 3 Productivity Tips You Need to Know

I talk about productivity a lot- and I share a lot of different tips, techniques, strategies- you name it! For someone just starting out, however, I realize too much information can sometimes be a bad thing, which is why I gave it some thought and narrowed down my top productivity tips to these key 3 things you should do if you want to get more productive. So if you are someone, right now, starting at zero on the productivity scale, meaning you don’t actively think about or pursue ways to increase your productivity, these three tips are going to help you get started working smarter, not harder!

1. Use a Planner

Yep- of course this is my first tip! It doesn’t have to be a paper planner, use whatever system works for you, digital, physical, a filofax, your iPhone calendar. The point is that in order to be productive, you first need to get in the habit of planning. When we use a planner and think about our days, weeks and months ahead of time, we are able to be more effective and efficient with our work. That doesn’t mean all your days will always go according to plan- in fact, they most likely won’t- but having a general idea of what you need to do and have all your plans and ideas mapped out in a system can help you do more of what matters and spend less time on what doesn’t!

2. Set a Daily Top 3

The Daily Top 3 is a productivity concept I love because it’s all about getting focused. Essentially, each day (or evening before) you will choose three things on your to do list that are priority items. These can be items with a deadline, things that need to be accomplished before other sequential tasks or just something important to you personally. You list out these three individual tasks and try to finish all three during the day, the sooner the better! I know we all have more than three things to do in a day, but forcing yourself to choose just three that are priority for a single day forces us to focus in on what really matters and teaches us how to sort through our messy task list for items that will truly impact our days.

3. Create White Space

So this is probably a tip that you would never expect a productivity guru to share with you, especially not in a top three list of the most important strategies but creating white space, essentially planning to do nothing, is too important. When you create white space in your day by setting aside time in your schedule to do nothing, you end up becoming more productive in a few ways. First of all, if you plan for some white space in your day and you have tasks that end up taking longer than expected, that white space can be used to buffer other items on your list so you don’t end up with tasks that need to be carried over to the next day. Second, studies have shown that people who have free time are more creative and produce better work. Why? Because when you can give yourself time to just do nothing, think and relax, you are able to dive deeper on your thoughts and come up with more creative ideas and solutions for your work. When we are forced to quickly complete a task, we usually rush and create a less than desirable result, but if we had time in our day to think about our work, we can come up with better solutions and better outcomes!

If you enjoyed these tips and would like to learn more about planning and productivity, I highly recommend signing up for my FREE Planner Peace Master Class. This video class will teach you my fundamentals of planning and productivity so you can get started using your planner of choice to organize your life and work smarter, not harder!

I hope these three tips give you a good foundation for productivity in your life. I would love to hear how you are integrating these ideas currently into your daily routine or if you have other must-have productivity tips you think might be more important, I’d love for you to share in the comments!

xoxo,

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How to Perform a Mid Year Review?

How to Perform a Mid Year Review

Since we are now at the mid way point of the year, this is the perfect time to perform a Mid Year Review to check up on your progress for the year and ensure you are making headway on your plans and goals. I recently published a video outlining my four step process for performing a mid year review, so I recommend that you check out the video linked below to learn the process and get you motivated and ready to review the first half of your year. I’d also like to outline the four steps below as a quick reference guide for you as you undertake the process for yourself!

Click the video linked above to watch the Mid Year Review Process!

Step #1: Perform a Brain Dump

If you are not already familiar, a brain dump is a process you undertake where you write down all the information, ideas and thoughts you are storing in your mind. Here is a link to a video on how to perform a brain dump if you aren’t sure of the process. The brain dump is step one of the Mid Year Review process because it gives us an opportunity to clear out our mental clutter so that we can use our brain to process information regarding the tasks and plans we will evaluate during the review process.

Step #2: Reconcile Old Tasks

The next step in the mid year review process is to reconcile old tasks, meaning that you should go through your planner for the first half of the year and make sure you have checked off any tasks you have already completed and migrate any incomplete tasks forward. This is an important part of the mid year review process because it gives us an opportunity to see how much we actually accomplished which can be very motivating if you believe you haven’t made as much progress on goals or work you had planned out at the start of the year. This is also helpful because it helps you to see what work you have left to do in order to accomplish goals by the years end.

Step #3: Review Goals and Plans

Next, you are going to want to review the goals and plans you set out at the start of the year to ensure they are still relevant. Often times things change throughout the year, so if you need to remove a goal or change some details of a plan, this is your opportunity to do so. You can also take this time to add new plans that might make more sense to helping you end the year strong if that is what you need to do!

Step #4:  Redefine Your Targets

Once you have reviewed your goals and plans, and perhaps made some necessary changes, its time to redefine targets for those goals. This means you may need to rewrite project plans, change expected targets and redefine certain tasks, but this is an important step to ensuring that you have reasonable expectations for accomplishing the big picture goals and plans you outlined for your year!

If you go through this process and find that you need more help setting goals and outlining project plans, I would highly recommend that you check out my You Got This Master Class! The You Got This Master Class is a video lecture and workbook that outline my goal setting and project planning process in detail and includes numerous activities and worksheets to help you set your goals, define your projects and organize your life so that executing on what matters becomes second nature!

xoxo,

Start the Second Half of the Year Strong with These FREE Planning Supplies

My July Sunnies Out Free Tech Wallpapers

The first half of the year is now coming to a close, so that means your July FREE Planner Printables and Tech Wallpapers are available for download over in my shop!

I hope you had a productive June and I hope these freebies help you work smarter, not harder this coming month!

xoxo,

How to Manifest a Successful Astrological New Year

How to Manifest a Successful Astrological New Year

How to Manifest a Successful Astrological New Year

As many of you may already know, yesterday was my live stream called How to Manifest a Successful Astrological New Year. If you haven’t heard, today is the start of the Astrological New Year as the New Moon Rises in Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. I love New Years, and luckily, there are a few different New Years celebrations throughout the year. You can make a fresh start or set your goals or intentions for your life at any point in the year, no matter what the day or moon phase but I find that if you can pair the positive and refreshing energy of a significant date with your intentions, that can lead to more substantial success. So, that was the heart behind yesterdays stream!

I was joined by my personal astrologist and tarot goddess Madeleine Joan of Written in the Stars and we paired a discussion of practical astrology with productivity. If you haven’t seen the replay yet- I urge you to check it out if you are interested in making a fresh start for the year or if you are interested in some of the more esoteric philosophies of life. The first part of our discussion goes through each zodiac sign and what specific energies the new moon is activating for you, paired with practical productivity strategy. You can use this information to help you set meaningful goals or intentions and help you manifest success for the year ahead! The second part of the video is an open Q&A where Madeleine and I helped some live viewers get some insight and clarity on questions or directions for issues they are struggling with. Now, I realize that watching someone else get an astrology or tarot reading may not seem helpful to you specifically, but I fully believe that the energy of the universe brings us all messages even through the struggles of others. So, if you choose to watch the second half of the video, keep your ears and mind open to receiving messages that resonate to you! If you feel a sense of synchronicity or alignment with a struggles of another, that may very well be the universe sending you a message as well.

I hope you enjoy this video and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the event and if you’d be interested in me doing more content on the topic of energy and manifestation, especially in terms of how we can harness such concepts for our own personal productivity and gain! Leave me a comment below- I’d love to hear your thoughts!

xoxo,

How to Manifest a Successful Astrological New Year!

How to Manifest a Successful Astrological New Year

It may be March but did you know the astrological New Year is right around the corner? Monday March 27th kicks off the official start of the astrological year with the New Moon in Aries and this is a wonderful time to hit the refresh button on your life and energy if you feel like 2017 just hasn’t quite gotten off on the right foot! So, to help you find success and learn what is in store for you this year, I am hosting a FREE LIVE EVENT called HOW TO MANIFEST A SUCCESSFUL ASTROLOGICAL NEW YEAR with my friend, fellow empire builder and master astrologist, Madeleine Joan of Written in the Stars!

Join us on Sunday March 26th at 3PM Eastern/Noon Pacific for a star guided and tarot filled reading to help you maximize your productivity and success this year!

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE PRIVATE WATCH PAGE and make sure to bookmark it for the day of the event.

Feel free to invite your friends and share on social media as well via the event link: bit.ly/2017astrony

Can’t wait to see you all there!

xoxo,

 

My Entrepreneur Spring Break Playlist {March 2017 Productivity Playlist}

Entrepreneur Spring Break Playlist

My Entrepreneur Spring Break Playlist {March 2017 Productivity Playlist}

I don’t think I mentioned this, but yesterday was my birthday (yay for me!) and I’ve decided that I am taking the rest of March as my own personal business Spring Break! I always remember in college that my spring break fell around my birthday which was awesome, but ever since then, I’ve failed to really take time off to rest and relax during this pivotal time of year for myself. Well, now that the launch of Empire Building is done, I’ve cleared my schedule and plan to spend a dedicated amount of time focusing on myself and my personal interests. I’m not going to pull back 100% from my business, but I do want to devote most of the hours of the day to doing my own thing. I’m not entirely sure how my days will be spent, but I can say that I really want to focus on meditation, physical activity and reading. I also have some personal home projects I want to accomplish, like organizing and decluttering some spaces that have been neglected. I’m thinking a life purge is in order and I’m looking forward to doing some spring cleaning and letting go of the old to make room for the new!

Of course, I’ll need some great tunes to listen to while I work on these projects, so today I’m sharing my Entrepreneur Spring Break Playlist with some of the songs I’ve been loving lately that seem to always empower me to get up and moving!

I hope you have a wonderful week and enjoy this playlist! Even though you may not be able to take a Spring Break, I’d love to know how you’d spend some extra personal time and maybe even how you can incorporate some simple activities into your days this week to take advantage of the Spring Break energy in the air! Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Successful Launch, Chanel Birthday Unboxing & Meal Prep {Work Week Vlog 5}

Successful Launch, Chanel Birthday Unboxing & Meal Prep {Work Week Vlog 5}

In case you missed it, yesterday I posted my latest Work Week Vlog to my YouTube Channel! This vlog is another week in my life episode that shows you the behind the scenes of my life and business from Monday to Friday. In this episode, I am focused on the successful completion of my launch for the upgrade of Empire Building, I unbox and haul a few different fashion and beauty related purchases, share the birthday presents I’ve purchased myself and meal prep!

As you may already know, I work for myself full time as an online entrepreneur. I create and sell digital productivity tools, including digital courses, info products, printable productivity inserts, and ebooks. The best part about my business, to me, is that my income is mostly passive- meaning, when I make sales, I don’t necessarily need to do anything in order to process orders. I have intentionally built my shop as a self-serve area where orders are automatically processed and customers have immediate access to their purchases. Of course, this type of business means I have a very flexible schedule, however, I do tend to keep pretty regular business hours, as I do usually have a steady stream of work associated with the content creation and digital marketing I do to keep my business growing.

These vlogs are my attempt to share a deeper look into my business and the way I live so that any aspiring entrepreneurs or business owners can see how I spend my time, how I plan out my work, and how productive I really am! Of course, I do like to share fun lifestyle goodies as well. As they say “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

I hope you enjoy this video and if you do, please consider clicking through to my YouTube channel and supporting me and my content by subscribing!

xoxo,

3 Life Saving Productivity Tips You Can Learn from SCRUM

3 Life Saving Productivity Tips Learned from SCRUM

3 Life Saving Productivity Tips You Can Learn from SCRUM

As some of you may already know, I recently read the book SCRUM: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland and JJ Sutherland! Now, this is a productivity book that has been suggested to me many many times, and I’m glad I was finally able to fit it in because it really is quite a gem of a book. In my mind, SCRUM picks up where my perennial favorite Getting Things Done by David Allen leaves off. Where GTD is all about organizing tasks and being efficient, SCRUM focuses on teamwork and project management. Now, while not everyone works as part of a team (myself included) their are a few strategies found in SCRUM that I think should be used by EVERYONE who is trying to move projects and goals forward- no matter what type of work you do. Let’s review:

Concept #1: Inspect & Adapt

In scrum, the concept of Inspect & Adapt is used almost like a mantra for checking your work. In the book, the author describes previous methods of project management used within the technology sector that essentially ignored the concept and led to project management disaster. When you check your work as you go, insuring that what you are working on it is functioning and still part of the goals of your project plan, you know you are moving forward and have little to tweak or go back to once you reach the end of the project. No matter what work you do, this concept applies because we should always make sure that what we are working on is actually functional and still necessary so we don’t waste our time on tasks that don’t matter or don’t work! Every time you complete a task, make sure the next item on your list is still relevant as well and you will avoid doing more work than necessary.

Concept #2: 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule is a concept that I’ve relied on for a long time and it’s an essential rule for various businesses and situations. The 80/20 rule means that 20% of your effort will end up producing 80% of your real results. It’s interesting to think about, isn’t it and almost unbelievable but true! When I worked in sales and marketing we learned that 20% of our products drove 80% of our sales, and 20% of our customers did 80% of our total business. So it makes sense that most of what we do to achieve a project or goal really doesn’t have a heavy weight on the outcome. Instead, it’s the essential 20% of tasks that really achieve our ends for us. Now, this is something that fascinates me personally because I am always striving to understand what exactly the 20% is in my business so I can cut out the excess fat of the other 80% of my work that is really either a waste of time OR just minimally moving the needle. In order to evaluate this for yourself, when you start off with a project plan, I suggest identifying the key tasks that need to be completed in order for your project to come to a minimal form of completion that fulfills the basic goals of your project. Then make a weighted list of other tasks that would be nice to complete if you have time once the minimal work is complete. That way you focus your time and energy on the essential parts of your project and set aside tasks that you would like to do if time permits!

Concept #3: Impediment Removal

The final concept of SCRUM that I think is essential for anyone to use in their own work is impediment removal. Meaning that as soon as you see or experience a roadblock to your work, an issue, a setback, that you deal with it as soon as possible. In the SCRUM framework, the manager has the responsibility to remove this impediments, so if you do work for someone else, make them aware of issues immediately. But, if you work for yourself, you are going to have to get your hands dirty and deal with the problem. That doesn’t always mean that you will have a perfect solution for it- I think it’s reasonable to evaluate your situation and decide to sidestep the issue completely if it doesn’t have any bearing on your project (sometimes issues come to us as distractions, not actual problems), but taking action immediately means you can move quickly through your tasks without having this issue hanging over your head or having to make accommodations for it.

I hope you found these tips insightful for your productivity! If you haven’t read SCRUM yet, I would recommend checking it out, here is a link where you can get it online and if you want to get it as a free book on tape from Audible, here is that special link I used to get 2 FREE audio books instead of their normal offer of one! Let me know what you thought of the book and these tips down in the comments.

xoxo,

Mastering Project Management | 3 Tools & Tips to take an Idea from Concept to Completion


Mastering Project Management | 3 Tools & Tips to take an Idea from Concept to Completion

Yesterday on my YouTube Channel I shared a fresh installment of my 3’s a Charm series that I think you are going to love! In case you don’t recall, 3’s a Charm is my new series where I will take a specific productivity concept or situation and provide three different tools, tips or resources to help you work smarter, not harder! In this installment, I am talking about Mastering Project Management and sharing three tools and tips on how to complete your projects, even big time consuming ones. Definitely check the video out when you have a moment and let me know what you think!

What You Will Learn About In this Video

  1. SCRUM: The art of doing twice the work in half the time by Jeff Sutherland and JJ Sutherland
  2. The Project Management or Brainstorm Board Technique
  3. Time Blocking for Project Planning and Management

I hope you enjoy this video and I’d love for you to share your personal insight into some tools, tips and resources you use for project management in the comments below! Of course, if you have any questions or need additional insight, leave me a question and I’ll see how I can help!

xoxo,

 

How to Complete Personal Tasks and Goals if You Struggle with Competing Priorities


How to Complete Personal Tasks and Goals if You Struggle with Competing Priorities

This week on my YouTube Channel, I started a new Q&A series to address the productivity issues experienced by my community. This is not a traditional Q&A series where I might take questions from a variety of individuals and answer them in one video, instead I’m taking one reader submitted email and breaking down their situation and how I would approach fixing the problem via a video response.

Dear Alexis,

I am struggling with finding time to do PERSONAL tasks during the week. I work from home as part of a team, I have goals and productivity standards to meet, and also a baby! So, I tend to accumulate personal tasks to do for myself on the weekend, but most of the time I end up accomplishing only a few of them. I would also like to blog more during the week, and not only on the weekend when I just want to switch off and spend time with my family. I noticed that in the past months I focused my attention on being productive at work, but I have to be productive with myself too. An example of my focus on work only: I call the baby sitter only to dedicate myself to work. Not for doing something personal. I feel like I am wasting money and time when I do not use for work the hours when the baby is not with me. This is not good, not only for self care but also for being productive at work as well.

Thank you so much for your work and help.

Cle

The Issues at Hand

  • Lack of Prioritization
  • Lack of Focus
  • Too Many Tasks

Now if this situation ressonates with you and you find yourself constantly pushing off personal tasks because of competing priorities, definitely check out my response in the Q&A video!

I would also highly suggest checking out my Planning for Success Master Class. The video master class is info packed and walks you through my process for setting priorities, goal setting, managing tasks and creating routines to support your time management. It also includes many other productivity tools and strategies to ensure your life is running smoothly and successfully. If you’re interested in the class, I’ll go ahead and leave a link down below in the description box for where you can find it on the charmed shop.com.

Thanks so much to Cle for submitting this great question to me as part of the video Q&A! If you have a productivity related question or issue that you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A video, feel free to email me and it may be featured in an upcoming video!

xoxo,

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