Do you begin your day full of grand intentions of all that you want to accomplish, yet somehow end up going to bed feeling as if you’ve gotten nothing done?
Whether you work from home or in an office, expert time coach and entrepreneur Elizabeth Grace Saunders has some quick tricks to help keep you on track. Try a few of Elizabeth’s personal productivity techniques listed below, and see just how much you really can accomplish today!
Like many of you, my daily priorities vary. But I have some standard mental tricks for staying focused and productive. Following my Morning Routine and Daily Planning, I use these techniques to implement the plan.
Elizabeth’s Daily Strategy
After planning and processing, I can’t wait to get things done!
- Follow Orders: Each day, I make a number order for my daily activities and try to follow it as closely as possible so the most important tasks get done early in the day and early in the week. Less pressing activities can be moved to another day if my schedule changes.
- Allow for Reflection: Stepping away from my computer and thinking about how to solve a problem or write a blog post or reply to a complex e-mail is not procrastination. This reflection time is immensely productive and seems to happen best for me over a snack or a quick walk.
- Reward Myself: To keep up my motivation and to allow for a quicker mental shift between types of activities, I reward myself with these types of breaks: replying to a few personal e-mails, a snack or a stretch break.
- Cut Up Large Projects: At the start of the 2–3 hour blocks of time I set aside for large projects, I scribble down a mini-plan of all of the action steps. Then I implement on that mini-plan within the time block.
- Evaluate the Cost: If a project starts taking longer than expected, I evaluate the cost of finishing it versus moving on to something else or getting it to “good enough” with the understanding I can come back if there’s time.
- Stuff in Little Activities: I try to do little activities like sending in checks or setting up appointments within small pockets of time between scheduled activities.
- Watch My People Levels: If I’m craving people time, I try to arrange a call or work in an environment where I’m around others. If I feel tired of being around others, then I seek out solitude.
- Capture the Next Step: If I leave a voicemail, I make a note on my calendar doc to follow up. If I leave a meeting, I make a note of when to complete the minutes. If I receive a blog post assignment, I make a note of its deadline and when to start it. Everything has a documented next step.
- Create Urgency: I always think of a few more things that it would be nice to fit in a day or the week than I think I could actually get done. That way I’m motivated to push myself and see how much I can do instead of subconsciously delaying because I’m not sure what would be next.
- Accountability & Transparency: I have four individuals that help keep me motivated by holding me accountable. I commit to being transparent with them about what I’m actually getting done, especially in terms of business and professional development. (They send me lots of encouraging affirmation in return!)
To your brilliance!
Your time coach,
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E®, which provides life coaching for individuals who struggle with time management.
Real Life E® empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule MakeoverTM process. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs.
Elizabeth has appeared in Inc magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and on NBC. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Amazing Women of 2010 by Stiletto Woman and as a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Mashable, and many other media outlets.
Elizabeth’s time coaching clients have the opportunity to go through her exclusive Schedule MakeoverTM life transformation process through phone coaching and custom action guides or in-person training.