The image to the right totally cracks me up as I used to be really bad at writing things on my hand to remember them.
Unfortunately I am also a complete germophobe, and wash my hands incessantly - so that never worked out very well for me.
When it comes to increasing productivity, time management, and keeping up with tasks to move our business forward... we each have to find the thing that works best for us. And whatever that is, may not work all the time.
Which is something I've discovered recently while trying to use my usual methods, outside my usual mindset, and getting incredibly frustrated...
I'm generally a serious multi-tasker, knock my to-do list out VERY early in the day, and get more done before 10am than most people do in an entire day. That just hasn't been the case lately, for a number of reasons.
It's the end of the school year for my teen daughter, so of course my schedule and routine is changing. I always have a more flexible routine in the summer months, but it's a bit of a transition.
Add in that I really just haven't been myself lately, which I mentioned briefly in my birthday post, and I'm finding Time Management and Productivity a bit more difficult than usual... Well, a lot more difficult actually.
When It's Not Working - Fix It! My Solution...
I'm not one to STAY frustrated. When I realize something is not working for me, whether it's not working at all or just not working right now, I find a solution.
Given that I was feeling unfocused, scattered and stressed I decided to try a fresh approach.
First, I accepted the shift in routine and decided to just roll with it - instead of letting it be such a transition like it usually is (I can be very routine, even if not very "scheduled", and maybe a bit OCD -lol).
I know from experience it's best to work when you're motivated, write when you have creative inspiration, eat when you're hungry and sleep when you're tired. The lack of "schedule" can be a good thing, and even fun!
I also know from personal experience, that for me personally, a "sense of accomplishment" is what fuels me. That's the one thing that always brings back the focus and motivation.
I also know that a cluttered desk and a mess of multiple half-crossed-out-scribbled-on task lists just adds to my stress when I'm already feeling unfocused and/or overwhelmed.
So while up (extremely) late one night earlier this week, I took all of those task lists and copied the tasks into Evernote. And then I added a task at the top: "prioritize this task list".
From there, I started working strategically and methodically through the tasks. One at a time. Turning off my usual multiple screens & devices and alerts (ie turning off my multi-tasking mode) and staying focused on the task at hand until completed. And I broke them down into simple, easy tasks too.
As I completed each tasks, I moved it to a DONE list. This of course fed into my much-needed "sense of accomplishment", and by the end of the week... I was nothing short of amazed at what all I achieved, even while not at my best.
I chose this alternate method, when my usual routine was just out of whack, because the key is in consistency. Or in consistently moving forward.
You can't pull those crazy hyper-productive days all the time. Those are great phases, but you can't maintain them indefinitely. So when you're not in that "invincible super-human entrepreneur" mode, the best thing you can do is... anything. As long as you're doing something that takes you closer to your goals - no matter how small a task that is.
Those small, simple tasks can really add up by the end of the week.
Also see A Day in the Life of Lynn Terry for my Time Log Exercise.
What Are Your Favorite Time Management & Productivity Tips?
Like I said earlier, no one thing works for everyone. We're all different, and some methods work well for one person and not at all for another.
I would love to hear which Time Management strategies work best for you, and what you've implemented along the way to increase your productivity!