Do this one simple action for an absolutely productive day

Have you ever ended your day having done 100 things? And have you ever ended your day without doing the ONE thing that you knew you absolutely had to do?

You aren’t alone, and you probably know that. I’m not writing about anything you probably haven’t heard before.

There are so many articles on productivity and time management it’s crazy. Yet, here I am writing about it. And the reason why is because there is such a need for it.

Here where I live, in the United States, the culture is pretty much get as much done as you can and even more than you think you can physically do and you are a star.

So, we add and add and add to our ever growing to-do lists, calendars and schedules and we hope that we’ll be able to get it all done. When we don’t we are frustrated, unhappy and basically burnt out.

Is that anyway to live a life? Not at all!

The solution.

How then, can you end your day doing the ONE thing that you absolutely need to do in order to move your business forward?

Well, (now, hang on to yourself, because I know you are going to say, “that’s it?”) simple, set aside 15-30 minutes to plan out your day either the night before or first thing in the morning. Yes, that’s it.

It is the most simple thing you can do to end your day feeling amazing about yourself. Your productivity will improve and you will have more time which in turn helps you be a great time manager.

How to effectively use your daily planning time.

Below you will see the steps to follow during your daily planning time.

  • Set a timer. You only need about 15-30 minutes to plan your day.
  • Get out your calendar/planner, to-do list, any other support materials you use. This gives you an overview of what you want/need to get done.
  • Prioritize what is on your list. Do a rough outline of how long you think things will take.
  • Review your schedule, what appointments are already in there. This tells you where your time is already committed that cannot be filled with anything else.
  • Determine how much open space do you have. Look back at your to-do list and rough time-line and determine what you can actually get done in the time you have available.
  • Choose your top 1-3 things that you have to complete by the end of the day. I say have to, yet it can also be doing things you want to and that will feel good to accomplish.
  • Write down your priorities in a place you will see them during the day. This helps you stay focused and on target.

After you have completed the above, it’s time to get into action and started on your #1 top priority.

Next, all you need to do is do it. You already thought about it, planned it and now it’s time for you to succeed and end your day feeling productive and good about yourself!

Keep The End In Mind.

If this is a new action for you, keep in mind it takes time to create a habit.

Writing down your top three and placing it in a place where you see is paramount to your success. You use it as a touch point. It is your guide that will help you get to the end of the day feeling successful.

Each time you find yourself going off track (bright shiny objects anyone?!), this list will pull you back. This is your to-do list for the day and by thinking (or even saying) by the end of the day, I will have done this, this and this, the odds of you actually doing that are very high.

Also, you don’t have to struggle with this. If you’d like some help with planning or even going over these steps, I’d love to help you with that. Sign up for a 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Session.

Here is to your success!

Kim Ravida works with solopreneurs and small businesses to help them create fun, stress-free and results-oriented plans for their business success.  Kim’s clients have simple to follow plans of actions that have them seeing fast results in their business.

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Do you feel like you are in a rut?

Quote - Wayne DyerIn February I undertook a challenge; a blog challenge in that I would write every day. You may have read some of my blogs (if not, feel free to go to www.kimravida.com/blog).

What I discovered was that I loved writing every day and it was fun to post to my blog daily, receive and respond to comments, and interact with people. What I also discovered was that coming down to the end of the month, I was looking forward to it being over.

Kind of strange, right? I started out enjoying the challenge and finding something new that was fun to do, but after a while it was not as gratifying. It felt as if I got in a rut. Hmph. What is that about?

Well, I realized that while I love to write, there are other things I love to do, too. And because it took time out of my workday to blog, I had to let other things go by the wayside (to say ‘yes’ to one thing sometimes is to say ‘no’ to something else). Therefore, when the blog challenge came to an end, I had time open up in my day again to do the other things I missed doing.

Now, after thinking this over more I saw that the rut I got into was a routine I didn’t change up. Take exercise for example. Many of my readers know that I also am a group exercise instructor.  Some of you come to my group classes and know that I never do the same class twice. That’s because I like variety. I have a structure and a foundation, but I like to vary my actions.

Diversity is what keeps me motivated and energized. So if you feel you have gotten into a rut here are a few tips to get you going again:

  • Change up your routine. Instead of doing the same thing at the same time every day, reverse your activities.
  • Look for ways to do what you are doing differently. Using exercise as an example; if you regularly walk on the treadmill, try walking outdoors or use a different piece of equipment.
  • Switch your environment. If you work from home, go to the library or local coffee shop once in a while.
  • Set a revolving schedule. Every 10-15 days switch up your activities, where you work and what you are working on. You will keep your existing structure but instead of doing the same things at the same time and getting in a rut, you’ll be able to keep it fresh and new.

Often what happens is that our energy gets stagnant and flat. Changing things up is a great way to keep things light and airy and fresh.

Maybe you’ve noticed that this month my blogging schedule has changed; it’s how I can add a little bit of variety to the mix of things I love to do during my work day.

Your turn! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, please post to my blog or email me personally at kim@kimravida.com to share.

Want to be productive? Understand your work style!

ClockAs an entrepreneur or small business owner it is important that you understand your work style.  If you work from home it is especially important to understand this as your day can easily be filled up with things that aren’t directly related to your business, but things that you want to get done.  Like the dishes, the laundry, sweeping the floor, reading the newspaper, making that one quick phone call, etc.

When I first started my business I fell prey to all of those things I felt I just had to do before I went into my office.  I admit, I still do many of those things but it’s because I realize that I need a neat environment in order to feel productive.   I know how important it is for me to get the dishes done and neaten up the house before beginning work…I just put a time limit on it now.

That being said, my work style today is far different from what it was when I started my business because in the beginning I didn’t have a style.  Now my style is to get up early, have my coffee and plan out my day.  I then like to get ready slow; I eat and get dressed at a leisurely pace and then I pick up my house before heading into my office.  No longer do I have the hour long commute to stress me out so I enjoy getting into my office calm and ready to be productive.

And just like my morning routine, I like to start my work day at a slow pace and then gear up to full production levels.  What I mean is that I have more energy at the end of my day than at the beginning.  I know I don’t have to be in my office at the crack of dawn and I can work until later in the day because that is when I am most productive (just ask my assistant when, at the end of the day her inbox is full and mine in empty).  This was a learning experience in my work style too!  I wanted to get in and get out, but it didn’t work for me and left me feeling frustrated.  Knowing my style makes it easier.

So you see, when you understand your work style—when and how you like to work—you become happier and more productive.  Just like your life style supports your life, your work style supports your work.