It doesn’t matter if you are a mom of three or a CEO responsible for 300 employees. Each of us wants to be productive and make the best use of our time. So how do we do it? How do we accomplish the multitude of tasks before us and get things done? Here are a few ideas I use to juggle and balance the many hats for which I am responsible.
Calendar: I use Google Calendar to centralize the different companies I run, the clients I serve, and the daily tasks I have been assigned, or have assigned to myself. One of the values of Google Calendar is that you can create a variety of different calendars and share them with others. I have a personal business calendar, a general calendar for our business, and a personal family calendar. My assistant has access to all my calendars, however on the family calendar, she sees only “busy” on my personal appointments and therefore knows not to schedule anything during that time. Google also lets you color code your events which I use to differentiate appointments from tasks and other responsibilities. Once this has been completed, I turn the event “gray” which means I’ve accomplished that specific responsibility!
Prioritize: Each week I look at the events, meetings, and tasks that are to be accomplished during the upcoming week. First, I enter in all my family responsibilities onto the corresponding day, then the business deadlines, meetings, and finally all related tasks. By being aware of upcoming deadlines, I can breakdown projects into smaller bite sized portions and spread the tasks across the week or weeks. Believe it or not, my daily calendar is paper. I use it to identify my focus of the day, deadlines that need to be reached, and the schedule for that particular day. I have room to write notes from phone calls, office conversations or new ideas and/or tasks. If the day is a simple one, I use the other side of the paper for another day. For more complexed days with a lot of notes, I keep the copy in a folder for future reference. My focus of the day is the “frog” I’m going to “eat” that day. Confused? I highly recommend reading Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.
Review: Close to the end of my work day, I find it’s a good time to take review of my actions and accomplishments by asking myself a few questions. What was “checked-off” for the day? What needs to be carried over to the next day? Is it a frog that needs to be eaten? Do I need to rearrange anything to ensure the task can be completed on time?
I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions or your tips on being productive.