How to avoid running around looking for things at the last minute

Does it seem like your things grow legs and disappear on you?

Do you often find yourself running around looking for items that you swear were there just a moment ago?

Are you constantly trying to remember where something is only to feel frustrated that it’s not where you thought it was?

The Solution To Stop Wasting Time Looking For Things.

Create a landing space for your items. Your items will always be found, exactly where they are suppose to be. And you’ll never have to search for a lost item again.

Now, doesn’t that sound nice? I know it does to me! Furthermore, once you have a designated place for your items to be, you will stop wasting your precious time running around looking for them.

One of the things that people often come to me for is help in getting more productive. My first question to them is how often do they spend time looking for things. If I hear them tell me “all of the time”, I know one of the reasons they aren’t productive.

Determine Where You Need The Most Help First.

Here are a few steps to get you started.

  1. Determine what item (or items) seem to go missing most often. If you tend to lose a lot of things, start with one or two items first.
  2. Determine where would be the place you think you’d know to look first. If it is your keys (been there, done that =) would a place near the door that you use most often to exit be a good place to put them?
  3. Clear out space and declare this is where my stuff goes. After you figure out your item(s) and the place they will go, create a space for it. You may need to put hang up hooks or get a bowl or tray for your items. Whatever you feel would work, do it.

Breathe a sign of relief because your racing around and wasting time days searching for things are over! With your system of having a place for things and things in their place, you’ll never have to say “I have no idea where my stuff is.” And you’ll never have to utter “Honey, have you seen my stuff?” Now, that’s a beautiful thing!

Be On The Look Out For What’s Next.

As you were reading, you probably realized ok, but what about the other things that come to me. Things such as mail, emails, texts, social media notifications and requests from others, to name some.

You will need a system for that and I’ll be covering that in future blogs. So for now, be on the look out for the type of things that come to you and what you currently do with them.

Like I said, I help a lot of people with becoming more productive. I also help them collect, assess/analyze, leverage their time and manage their stuff.  I call it the CALM System.  If you would like help learning some high value productivity actions, that can bring more calm into your life I can help you do that! Schedule your 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session now.

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Never again put your productivity in jeopardy

It’s a sad fact that a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs jeopardize their success.

Honestly, it’s not hard to do. What with all of the things that have to happen to first start a business, then be successful at it.

Recently I wrote an article that I published on Medium. It was a pretty popular article. So many people highlighted parts of it and commented on it. One man wrote:

“What I came to notice, though, in my own search for improving (or establishing at all) productivity is that prioritizing my tasks and planning for the day A) rarely works out; and B) can quickly overwhelm me. The former, I guess, is rooted strongly in being a freelancer. But the latter I think is something a lot of people can maybe relate to.”

And what he said got me to thinking.

To Be Productive, You Have To Be Yourself.

See, if you are truly to be productive you have to be yourself. I can tell you to do this or that but if it doesn’t fit for you, you won’t be successful with it. And I want you to be successful. I want you to be super successful!

So while my article gave the how to be productive and while many people liked it and are trying it, what if it doesn’t work for you?

Well first, go read it to see if it won’t work for you. And if you find it won’t, then we’re in business! If it does, then, we’re in business! The beauty is you will be aware of how to be you! Either way you’ll be productive.

Get Results, Your Way.

No, we aren’t talking Burger King. Well, yes, actually we are.

You can have your productivity YOUR way! And that said, in order to do that you still need to take some steps.

  1. Decide what it is you want for results. While I’m all for being in a flow and just going about taking actions, if you aren’t taking specific actions on a specific goal, forget about it. You will never get anywhere. And you do want to get somewhere don’t you? Yes, I know you do!
  2. Determine what you need to do to get your results. Like the photo in this article, if you are here, there and everywhere you’ll get nowhere. Clearly determine your action steps that you will take to reach your end results.
  3. Make a list of all your actions. This is valuable because you can pick and choose from your list and do things as you feel appropriate and that fits into your energy for the day. It gives you the opportunity to be you and just go with the flow yet still be productive.
  4. Create a timeline. By being clear about by when you want to have your results you will be able to have a feeling of free flowing yet you’ll be moving things along at a pace that feels good to you and with an anchor that will help keep you on target.

Tips For Not Jeopardizing Your Productivity.

Now that you know what it is you want, how you’ll get it and know how and when it will happen, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Allow for white space in your day. My reader mentioned that planning rarely works out and he’s correct (for the most part). Things do happen. And things do work out. When you give yourself space during your day, rather than jam pack it thinking you will be productive but rarely are, you give yourself freedom to be in the flow of whatever happens to happen during your day.
  • Give yourself permission to be who you are and work how you work. A lot of people will read my article and go I need to do that in order to be productive (and I’m not going to say no that isn’t true, because it is true for a lot of people) but if you are like my reader and are a go with the flow person, then give yourself permission to do that.

Remember it’s how you look at productivity that will have you being productive. Kind of like the saying “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.

You Are Your Best Expert.

Let’s face it, YOU are your best expert. I can give you all the advice, suggestions, tips, tools, etc. in the world yet if they don’t fit you they are useless. If you are having a hard time being you, another article I wrote can help you with that. You can read it here.

My suggestion to you (if you are willing to take it =-) is to allow yourself to be you. Work the way you know feels good to you. As long as you are getting things done, are being productive for how you define productivity and are seeing results, there isn’t anything wrong with what you are doing.

If however, you feel your go with the flow ways are not benefiting you and you feel you aren’t getting the results you want because of it, learning a few high value productivity actions will always help you.

If you would like help learning some high value productivity actions, I can help you do that! Schedule your 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session now.

The good news is that it isn’t hard and it doesn’t take long to learn to be productive, it just takes the desire to learn to do it.

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Success is what happens when you stay on target

You are 100% responsible for your results.

I say this a lot. And it’s so true. Yet, there are a lot of people out there who do not take responsibility for what they want and blame others because they don’t have it.

I hope that isn’t you. Though if it is and you are resonating with what you just read, have no fear. As of this moment, you can change it. You can have your life be different and you can truly be the boss of you.

Be YOUR Difference.

If you are willing to take on the mindset of “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me”, here is what I would like you to know:

“The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.” –Steve Maraboli

Did you see the part about WE greatly reduce OUR power? You have the power to make changes in your life.

  • What changes would you like to make that you may have been thinking it’s up to someone else to do?
  • Where may you be wanting to do something, yet have been feeling like it’s someone else’s fault that you haven’t been able to do it?
  • How are you letting someone else be the director of your life?

You are your greatest champion, your greatest supporter, your greatest cheerleader and the greatest leader of you!

Create Your Absolute List.

What do you want in your life that you don’t have now?

Create a list of what you absolutely want to have in your life. Take a look at your list and ask yourself what your top 3 items on it are. Put this list in a prominent place in your life, these will be your target goals. Without a target to focus on, you’ll never have any direction and you will never get there.

These will be the goals that you will work on, take regular actions on and move forward on regularly to see results.

Eyes on the Prize.

In order to be the difference and reach the successes that you want in your business and in your life you must stay on target. Having laid out that target by creating your absolute list, you now have a starting spot. Here are some things to help you stay on target:

  1. Create an action items list. This list will contain everything you will do to reach your goal.
  2. Create your timeline. This will be your beginning and end dates and the actions you will do in the middle that move your toward your end result.
  3. Bring in support. This can be anyone who you think will help you, family, friends, a professional, etc.
  4. Be accountable. Lay out how will you hold yourself accountable for staying on target and taking actions.
  5. Build in checkpoints. Create points for you to check-in on your progress and results.
  6. Review and Reassess. Take time to review what you are doing, have done, still need to do. Reassess where you are and what you want.
  7. Course Correct. If you find you need to course correct, do it. The goal is for you to stay on a target that you want to stay on.

You Are Solely Responsible For Your Results.

In a previous blog, I told you that if you aren’t 100% happy with were you are in your life and in your business, your thoughts may be to blame. And while that is still true, it may be you haven’t had a target or you haven’t stayed on target and so you haven’t been responsible for your results.

This will help you not only be responsible for your results, but have you in the drivers seat so that you can have the power to change your circumstances in your life and in your business!

If you’d like some help creating your target goals and a plan on how to reach them, I’d love to help. Schedule your 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session now.

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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!

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Introducing a remarkable way to get things done

I always do what I say I’m going to do, do you? Although this may have been true, some of the time, it wasn’t true for all of the time.

BUT, I created a new strategy for myself. And now I actually do what I say I’m going to do.

A new strategy to help you get things done!

I’ve been writing a lot lately about time management. One, because so many of my clients struggle with it and two, there are so many options out there it’s hard to find the time to figure out which will work for you.

My goal has been to share simple strategies that work so you can just get to the doing. You can read about fundamental of getting time on your side and several others over on my blog – I try to write short, informative articles so that you can read them and get going on implementing the actions I share with you.

The new strategy that I want to share with you isn’t anything you haven’t heard before. In fact, nothing really regarding time management is. The strategy is taking a NO EXCUSES approach to doing what you say you are going to do.

Excuses will kill your productivity

For the purpose of this article, an excuse is a reason why you didn’t do what you said you wanted to or needed to get done.

It usually shows up when you say things like:

  • I don’t have enough time
  • But I needed to do this first
  • I was tired
  • I didn’t feel like it
  • Ya but….(fill in the blank)

At the same time, you might be thinking ya, but, I have a good reason for putting it off or not doing it. To that I say you may think you have a good reason, but it is still killing your productivity.

Stop making the excuses. Instead, think on the positive side of what will happen for you because you did what it was you were going to do (or even supposed to do).

Your turn, what are the excuses you are guilty of using? And then, when will you stop making them? Leave a comment if you so dare!

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The fundamentals of getting time on your side

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Do you follow a schedule? Do you get things done? Or do you wonder what happened to your time and why you always seem to not have enough?

I could go into telling you that we all have the same amount of time in a day, but you’ve heard that before and I’d like to tell you something new (or at least a new spin on it).

There IS a better way to finally getting things done.

The better way is to schedule it. And I’m not talking about scheduling your appointments with other people. More than likely you already do that (or at least that’s my hope) so that isn’t a problem.

What I’m talking about it to schedule your tasks and activities. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here are a few examples:

  • Planning time
  • Writing your blog
  • Specific times you set aside for phone calls and follow up
  • Social Media Marketing (and let’s not confuse this with socializing)

Moreover, knowing what you are doing and how long it takes you makes is simple to put it into your calendar. And to that end, get it done. I wrote about this in a previous blog, which you can click here to read if you don’t know what you are doing and how long it takes. As long as you already know what you are doing, you can then schedule it and get it done!

Trick to getting things done.

Because I’ve had many trials and errors when it’s come to time and getting things done, one trick that I have learned is to use the time blocking method. It’s blocking off the time that I know I have to work with and scheduling in my tasks and activities into that time.

Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Look at your day (the night before is preferable) and get clear on how much time you have to work with. Since you already know what you are doing and how long it will take you, you can schedule appropriately.
  2. Enter that task/activity into the time you have for it.  Example: Writing a blog takes 1 hour, enter ‘write blog’ into the appropriate time slot on your calendar.
  3. When that time comes, you know what you’ll be doing so you go and do it.

Where most people go wrong is that they have a laundry list of things they want to do, are going to do or even need to do and they never seem to get them done. Whenever we fail to schedule, we fail. Plain and simple. I know this because a) it’s happened to me and b) my clients were doing this before starting to work with me and once they created their time management system they got things done – even those that they had had trouble doing.

Your Next Step – Take Action.

Give it a try and see what happens, my guess is that when you put what you need to do in your schedule and follow it, you’ll be getting many things done, feeling pretty great about yourself and reaching your goals!

And if you are still struggling and would like help. Schedule a 30-minute complimentary Business Strategy Session where you’ll walk away knowing specifically how to set your schedule for your optimal results!

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When you have clarity, you have a winning chance

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Why it’s important to focus on winning (especially for yourself)!

Winning feels great, it gives you such a boost in your life! However, so many of people set themselves up for failure. And when it comes to managing our time, well, while you might not be truly able to “manage” such a thing, you can absolutely use it wisely.

Do you remember the rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland?

Do you remember how he was running around saying how late he was for a very important date?

Do you find yourself acting like that and saying similar things?

You are not alone.

That’s the good news. The other good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way any more.

Women are famous (if that’s even the right word to use) at being able to do a lot of things at one time. And often some wear it as a badge. Can you relate? Now, for some things that may be an appropriate behavior. Though when it comes to creating and running a successful business, it more than likely is what is holding you back from reaching your goals.

Running around creating chaos?

What I find happens with my clients and other business owners that I talk to is that they are running around going here, doing this, that and other things and basically creating chaos for themselves. When this happens, what normally is happening is that they aren’t clear about what they are doing. They get an opportunity or an idea and they are off with it (kind of like the “off with his head” mentality the Queen of Hearts had). There is no plan, there are no action steps and no clear path to get to where they think they are going.

What usually happens next is they utter (often in despair) “I don’t have enough time”, “I didn’t have enough time to do what was important”, “I kept getting caught up in this or that”. Maybe this sounds familiar. Well, to give yourself not only a fighting chance, but a winning chance, you need to get clear of where it is you are going and what it is you will do to get there.

Getting there from here.

The fastest way to get results in less time is to be clear on where you are going and exactly what you will do (not can do, but will do) to get there and then go and do it. Meaning, plan it and then schedule it.

It may mean you need to figure out how long something takes to do, it may mean that you need to eliminate things (oh my) and it may mean you just get off your butt and do it (thank you Nike) and so be it. If you truly want to get to where you are going, you just have to do it! Trust me, you won’t be sorry in fact you’ll be doing the Snoopy dance.

Watch my Facebook Live video on just how you can get there from where you are.

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How to win at the game of time

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Who doesn’t like to win?

I know I like to win. I especially like to win when it comes to time.

Time and me, we go way back and time usually won. To put it another way, I had no idea how to manage my time. At the same time, I knew that I had to figure that out.

Time was not on my hands.

The saying “time on your hands” definitely fit here. And if I wanted to have more time, sooner or later I had to figure this out. Ever since I started my coaching business I never (and I do mean never) finished my work on time. I was always racing to start making supper before my husband came home (he actually does our cooking. I’m the prep-chef) and I never ever got there.

That was until I finally figured out how to beat it. It was (and still is) such a great feeling. I remember the day exactly. I had finished my work and closed up shop only to find myself standing in the middle of my kitchen wondering what to do next. That is to say I actually had time to prep for dinner. All things considered, it was an awesome feeling.

Time was winning.

It’s important to realize that before that day, I couldn’t seem to get my stuff done. There was always so much more to do, something I never got to and wanted to get done. Something that I just had to do. It was frustrating to every day end up with more to do and not enough time.

Until one day when I finally said enough. And decided to learn how to win at this (as I called it) time thing. As a result things changed in an instant for me.

To explain, I was working nights and weekends and not having much fun in my life because I always was doing one more thing. I felt I was playing catch up and that I was behind the 8-ball almost constantly. It was time to stop.

Game changer.

With this in mind, I decided that I had to get a handle on this time thing. For this reason, I did some research. I read many books, blogs and worked with my coach on my schedule, priorities and tasks. As a result, I came up with specific steps that work for me. And that’s how I now find myself with time on my hands.

Want to be the one with time on your hands?

To put it another way, if you are looking to win at time, get very clear on what it is you are doing, whether or not you need to do it and if you need to be the one doing it. Ask yourself: does it fit into your big outcome of what you want for your business and your life? Click here and read how to clarify your own priorities and tasks so you can win at time.

And if you are like I was and thinking to yourself, I so need help with this then you are in luck! Click here to set up your free 30 Minute Get Clear with Time Management Session with me. You will walk away with specific-to-you steps so that you win at time and find yourself with time on your hands time and again!

 

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Does It Feel Like Time Just Evaporates On You?

Time is elusive.

Do you ever say to yourself “where did the time go?” or “I didn’t have time to do what I wanted to do” or “I didn’t think it would take that much time”?

If so, you are not alone. One of the biggest challenges I faced when I began my business was time. I uttered all of the above and then some. The biggest one though was that I didn’t think things would take as much time as they did.

Time threw me off path many, many times. Time felt so elusive to me. It was a challenge finding time to get the things I wanted to and needed to get done. That meant I wasn’t achieving a whole lot – oh wait, let me rephrase that, I was achieving a lot – a lot of nothing! And once I was able to solve time being elusive to me, I was then able to achieve the results that I wanted – which was to start my business and work with amazing people like you to help you reach your goals and dreams.

How to get time on your side.

You need to know what it is you are doing each and every day and yes, practically each and every moment.

My clients do not like to hear that. They like to work in a free-flowing way. And when I tell them that they can do exactly that and be productive when they get time on their side, they are excited to get started.

Also, it’s the time piece that often throws people off. That place of not knowing how long something will take or how to be efficient with your time so you are completing things, moving things forward and seeing the results you desire. This is why it is important for you to get time on your side.

First of all, before you do anything, the one thing you need to do to get time on your side is to list out everything that you are doing.

Create a list of everything you do.

If you are struggling with time, it may be that you don’t 1) really know what you are doing and 2) have no idea how long things take to do. Since figuring out what it is you are doing means you’ll easily be able to figure out how long it takes let’s first get clear on that.

  • Get out a piece of paper or use your favorite electronic device and start listing everything you are doing in your business – don’t edit just write.
  • Categorize your list – you can use headings such as working with clients, marketing, administration and so on.
  • Drill down within those categories – marketing may mean networking, writing, creating copy, things of that nature – get clear on exactly what it is you are doing.

Establish a timetable for getting things done.

Then, once you have your list, estimate how long you think it is taking you to do each task, make sure you write it down. From there before you begin that particular task, note the time (I like to write it down) go to work and when you have completed it check the time again and note exactly how long it actually did take you. As a result, you now  know exactly how long it takes for you to do a particular task!

Finally, another thing you’ll do is to assess how you did. How close were you to your time estimate? If you were spot on, awesome – if not, you now know exactly how long it will take you to do your task – make sure you mark that down too so you never need to say again “I had no idea how long this would take” because you will know!

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Do you wish you had more time?

When I first began my business, one of the things that I used to say was “I wish I had more time.” Here is the kicker though, no matter how much time I had, I never felt that I had enough of it.

TimeAre you someone who constantly feels as if you never have enough time or wonders where your time went?  One thing that might help you is to learn how you use your time that will make the biggest difference for you.

Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law where work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion? It’s so true!  If you have an hour to get something done, it will take you an hour and if you have 15 minutes, then well, it will take you 15 minutes. So you can absolutely create more time simply by completing your tasks faster.

So that said, some tasks need to be done faster and some do need time to unfold and to build.  A key for your success is to know without a doubt which tasks need to be done quickly and which tasks need more time.

Most people struggle with the challenge of trying to figure out what is a priority because they think that everything is a priority. Stephen Covey created a Time Management Matrix to be able to help you prioritize better and have a better understanding of what is truly important and needs to get done and what is just urgent and has you hopping around putting out fires.

If you find that you are putting out more fires than you are getting to your important things, learning to implement time producers and eliminate time wasters is something that you can benefit from. In my brand new e-book 5 Essential Steps to Creating a Successful Business that is Profitable I have a section that will help you become a master of your time.

Download the e-book now and get started on being a master of time. After you have downloaded the e-book and taken action on creating more time for yourself, I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and victories, email me at kim@kimravida.com to share!