We all have a different way of working and managing our time, a different Productivity Persona if you will. For those of us that work from a home office the morning routine becomes even more important.
For some, creating the perfect morning routine where you get to spend time on yourself is the way to go.
With others, they’ve developed the habits and mindset to just do what they love in the morning – whether that be checking Instagram or taking a long breakfast.
The thing that brings these two examples together is that they both give space in the morning to do what works for you before ‘officially’ starting work.
I, if my children allow it, wake at 6, have a cup of coffee, do 30 minutes of yoga or or go for a walk, then focus on the priorities for the day.
The key is understanding and implementing the productivity system that works best for you. Here are three productivity tips that worked and continue to work really well for me:
Take 30-Minutes out each day to Reflect and Recharge
During my previous life, as Managing Partner in a successful marketing agency, there were times when I struggled with managing my time and getting the most important things done.
I was trying to build the strategy, drive the business forward, dealing with clients and make myself available to everyone within my team.
I struggled a bit with delegation and wanted to ensure that everything was being actioned and completed and the client was always happy.
Eventually I realised this wasn’t working and I needed to find a better way, a more strategic way and, most importantly, a more productive way.
To solve this, I started carving out more inspired thinking time, what I called ‘Profitable Productivity’. This game me the ability to spend at least an hour each morning thinking big picture and outlining the bigger life and business goals.
This time sometimes expanded to two hours a day at my most creative time. Sometimes it was in the morning and sometimes late at night. But I did it on a regular basis and this created so much freedom.
This thinking time dramatically changed how I worked within the company, with my team and with my clients in two fundamental ways:
- Having this time for thinking meant no emails, no firefighting or just dealing with stuff. My team took more control of the day to day running of the business and the relationship with many clients. This gave them more autonomy and responsibility.
- It gave me the chance to focus much more on long-term strategy and planning and focus on the shifts and opportunities available to grow the business. I was able to focus on One Thing and prioritise much better. A number of very successful campaigns came out of this thinking time.
If you don’t have the time to take an hour or more out start with 30 minutes to recharge, reflect and give yourself time for inspired thinking.
Imagine what you could do if you gave yourself just 30 minutes to reflect and think?
Focus on and remember the things that matter
With the hectic lifestyles we now lead we are surrounded by distractions – at work and at home. Emails, meetings, interruptions, social media updates, a huge To Do list. It can feel never ending. For many it’s all about hard work and hustle and cramming a huge amount of things into your day.
With so many things buzzing around our minds how can we focus on the most important activities and remember the most important things? If we see an article or video that will help us in our business or personal development what do we do with it?
We need help getting information out of our heads and into mental or remote buckets that we can focus on when needed. Here’s how I do it:
- Build up a list of places where you can store the information and create categories for each thing.
- If someone has recommended a restaurant I’ll place it in my restaurant list and bookmark the website for future viewing.
- If I really like an article I’ll email it to myself and save them to Pocket to view later.
- If I love something, be it an inspirational video or business article, I’ll save in my bookmarks under different categories. I’ll create ones around personal development, inspiration, learning, things to do, productivity etc.
- If someone has recommended a book to you keep that information somewhere so you can refer back. This could be as simple as bookmarking the page or adding it your basket on Amazon
The point is that you want to store this information quickly and make it easily accessible.
Make a decision and stick with it
One of my friends asked me the other day “Which book should I read first? Book A or Book B?”
The answer I always give is Whichever one looks good to you. The most important act is just to start, not to spend time procrastinating.
We have so many choices to make fueled by recommendations, or reviews of the next big thing or a sense of FOMO is other people are doing things we’re not.
We often want to make the “perfect” decision or create something that’s perfect or in this instance read the perfect book.
Actually, the decision to start reading and choose to read consistently can be more important than the books you actually read. It is just the act of starting.
Our ‘choice perfection’ happens every day. We:
- Read 50 restaurant reviews before picking the right one
- We read numerous Amazon reviews about often mundane products
- We explore 10 sites or watch numerous videos to find ways to boost our social media presence
- We spend weeks analysing the best weight-loss programs or books instead of just picking one to start
Once you crack the code to just starting something, taking action and making a choice you’ll feel more liberated and free from some of life’s minutiae.
The most important thing is to make a choice stick with it and start doing it. Focus on one idea or one thing. This is worth far more than 100 great ideas that you, more often than not, will never take action on.
About the Author
Mark Pettit is a Productivity expert, coach and consultant and the owner of Lucemi Consulting
A curious and results driven coach, Mark helps overwhelmed, time poor entrepreneurs and business owners become more productive and create more time.
By helping them focus on the high value activities that will grow their revenues and their business., Mark turns a lack of time, stress, stuckness and distraction into clarity, focus and increased productivity and profitability.
He combines over 20 years of leadership, coaching, strategic development, business management and marketing skills with his positive mindset to help his clients be the best version of themselves they can be.