What’s the #1 thing we strive for, lust after, dream about, fight for, get frustrated about and can’t quite seem to grapple? No, it’s not money. It’s time.
Time is elusive. It’s fluid. It’s seldom black and white. Sometimes it goes fast. Sometimes it goes slow. We are just plain terrible at estimating it. The one constant? Our battle for it.
Time is in fact our single, most precious commodity. It’s given to us, but it is finite. We can’t access more. Not ever. We have what we have.
But what we can do is manage our perspective of time, and our use of it.
“Time will pass whether you do anything or not.” ― Stephanie Burns.
First things first, don’t think of time as the enemy. Think of it as a gift. Each day you have 24 hours just like everyone else. The only difference is what you choose to do with them.
And time is powerful. It compounds. The little bits we show up for consistently, start to grow exponentially over time. High achievers in their respective fields are there, because they made specific choices about what to do with their 24 hours, every single day.
Given we all understand the value, we wanted to share some of our fave productivity hacks.
You probably all know by now we are big fans of batching. This is a must do. Batch similar tasks so you can get into a zone, with the right set up, and smash through it. Need to do deep work? Much better to get a solid 2 or 3 hour block in. Creating content like videos or podcasts? Batch them too. Set aside blocks for marketing, finance, admin. Create chunks in your calendar rather than zipping between items like a fly trying to find an open window. We all know how productive that is!
The simple no.
Your ability to say no to the things you don’t want to do has a huge impact on productivity. Presented with an option? Check your gut, are you thinking ‘I should’, well WRONG answer. If it’s not a ‘hell yes’ it’s a ‘no’. Top tip – keep it to a simple no. The more info you add, the more you are inviting the other person to come back with a counter that addresses your concerns. Remember… ‘No’ is a complete sentence.
Once you’ve mastered that, start compiling a ‘no’ list, things you know you might be tempted on, but want to remind yourself are just a flat no.
Average users check on their phones 150 times per day according to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers… that dear brigaders is a little terrifying. What to do? Put your phone in flight mode when doing deep work, and overnight. When you wake up in the morning leave it in flight mode for as long as you can so the day is about your agenda, not someone else’s. Turn notifications off for anything and anyone that are nonessential. Given how much we check our phones you aren’t going to miss anything anyway!
Have key apps for productivity on your home screen, move time wasters away (or better still delete). Wasting time looking for apps? Organise them by verb for example folders labelled Read, Watch, Listen, Connect etc. It speeds up finding what you are looking for.
Guilty of the email skim? Read over what’s in your inbox without actually actioning or deleting anything? Total. Waste. Of. Time. Think one touch from now on – when you open an email, make a decision. You can reply, delete, forward, or archive it. Add an action to your to do list. What you can’t do is leave it for later.
Having a squillion to dos is not great for productivity, it leaves you a little bit like the crazy fly referenced above. Every morning single out the 3 to 5 must do activities of the day – a today to do list. Complete them first before moving onto anything else. You will get far more done with this approach.
The ultimate productivity booster is looking after yourself. It feels counterintuitive because it requires an investment of that sweet, sweet time. But you will get paid back tenfold so make the investment. You know what you need – all the usual suspects. Good sleep, great nutrition, get your body moving, and meditate. When you are working make sure you take regular breaks, and look for opportunities for walk and talk meetings rather than death by zoom.
Struggling with your time?
A great exercise is to track your time for a week. Write EVERYTHING down. You will no doubt be shocked at where some of it goes. Then you can course correct and make some impactful choices moving forward.
Jodie + Em xx