101 things you can do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time [part 3]

July 23, 2012

by Terry Monaghan, on July 23, 2012

How is it going? Have you enjoyed the first 50 tips? Did any of them surprise you? Are you still feeling overwhelmed?

All of the tips have been tried out in the field, and they really do produce a breakthrough in productivity.

Well, hang on – here are 25 more! Try some of them – I promise they will help you with getting things done!

(Remember, you can send me tips you haven’t seen yet. What are your favorites?)

  1. Do something you love to do
  2. Hire someone to do your taxes (save you time AND money)
  3. Find a dry cleaner who will pick up and deliver
  4. Use a personal shopper
  5. Get a personal assistant
  6. The post office will pick up your packages!
  7. Get your regular household items delivered
  8. Order office supplies online
  9. Try meeting by phone or Skype or videoconference vs. in person
  10. Get your groceries delivered
  11. Block out time to focus
  12. Have your assistant monitor your email
  13. Use as much technology as you are comfortable with
  14. Hire someone to run your errands
  15. Hire someone to clear your house
  16. Hire someone to do your laundry
  17. Give up your to-do list
  18. If it isn’t scheduled in time, it isn’t happening!
  19. Schedule regular activities for the same day/time each week
  20. Create a weekly magic list – who will you reach out to? What will you create?
  21. One hour a day marketing (every single day) will have a HUGE impact
  22. Set aside a regular time for follow up
  23. Schedule a regular date night with your spouse/significant other (or social time if you are single)
  24. Do something that scares you
  25. Take time to laugh!

More to come…

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.

 


101 things you can do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time [part two]

July 4, 2012

by Terry Monaghan on July 4, 2012

Are you still feeling overwhelmed?

Are you ready for a breakthrough in productivity?

Still wondering how to get things done?

Did you like the first 25 time saving tips? Well, hang on to your hat – here are the next 25 …

  1. Open snail mail once a week
  2. Put junk mail into recycling immediately
  3. Do your grocery shopping online
  4. Keep ONE calendar (you have ONE life)
  5. Keep a notebook handy for dumping your mind
  6. Keep a notebook handy for notes during the day
  7. Remember to schedule preparation time for meetings or conferences
  8. Remember to schedule debrief time for meetings or conferences
  9. Regularly give yourself time to think
  10. Delegate as much as you can
  11. Getting from place to place takes time, plan for it
  12. Use an e-reader – you can read while you are waiting for something else
  13. Plan your meals
  14. Do all (or most) of your meal prep and cooking once a week
  15. Do regular computer backups
  16. Have a clear process for handling your email
  17. Debrief your day
  18. Don’t let other people’s emergencies distract you
  19. Take care of yourself first
  20. Review the next day’s agenda at the end of the day
  21. Keep your keys / glasses / sunglasses / purse / briefcase in one consistent place
  22. Get very clear about your strategy – what is the point of what you are doing?
  23. Set up your work space to work!
  24. Build your life support team
  25. Be sure to set aside time for your family

I’d love to hear what YOUR best tips are!

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


101 things you can do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time [part one]

June 27, 2012

by Terry Monaghan on June 27, 2012

There is a lot of talk about work-life balance. How do we get the best performance and productivity out of ourselves and our teams?

Many of us are looking for those magic pills – that one perfect idea that will instantly transform our lives. Well, good luck with that.

While you are looking, here is the beginning of my list of 101 things you can do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time!

And who doesn’t want more time? After all – if you can free up even a little bit of your precious time, you might be able to use that time for something really important (to you). Here goes…

  1. Deal with your email in batches, 2-3 times a day
  2. Create a template for your week – what would a perfect week look like?
  3. Give up multi-tasking – really – it doesn’t work OR save time
  4. Schedule focused blocks of time for different activities (even just 15 minutes will make a difference)
  5. Schedule regular time to goof off, rest, relax
  6. Focus on what you do brilliantly – spend most of your time on that
  7. Find out what you can automate – and automate it
  8. Schedule all regular medical appointments at once (for the whole year)
  9. Schedule all personal care appointments at once (for the whole year) – hair, nails, massages, facials – why not make a day of it?
  10. Make a map of your whole year (once a year) – it gives a very different perspective
  11. Stop doing everyone else’s job
  12. Don’t have your email push through to your smart phone (pull it in when you want to deal with it)
  13. Turn off all noise makers and pop up alerts for email
  14. Turn off the phone when you need to concentrate
  15. Determine your work hours, and stick to them
  16. Plan your work, then work your plan
  17. Manage your interruptions, as much as possible (which is more than you think)
  18. Focus on what is important
  19. Respond, instead of reacting
  20. Don’t set alerts for everything
  21. Take regular breaks – at least one every 90 minutes or so
  22. Schedule at least one full day off every week
  23. Take your vacation
  24. Set up email rules to automatically sort incoming mail
  25. Unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer read

More in the next post…

Now, what are your favorites?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


Has your exercise equipment ever attacked you?

June 21, 2012

Lessons From A Bruised Foot

Have you ever been attacked by a piece of exercise equipment? Or is that just me?

I was setting up one of the only pieces of equipment I own (something like a dancer’s barre), when the legs dropped quicker than I anticipated and a cross brace came down HARD on the top of my foot!

It was a heavy cross brace, and it really hurt! My foot immediately began swelling – so I hobbled in to the kitchen to get ice.

While sitting there with the ice pack on my foot I began wondering what could this teach me? I have had a few days to be off my feet and think, and I have come up with the following lessons:

Pay attention to what you are doing

I know, this is a real DUH! But, I let my attention wander for a moment and got thumped immediately. How often do we con ourselves – thinking we can successfully multi-task, not noticing what is about to drop on our foot?

Sometimes low tech is the best tech

Did I really need to set up that equipment? What’s wrong with swimming or walking – where they only equipment required is my own body? How often are we wasting precious time fiddling with some piece of equipment that isn’t working properly (but isn’t really necessary to getting the job done)?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

After Googling “how to tell if you broke your foot” and reading some great info by WebMD, I decided to take myself to the emergency room for an x-ray. I asked a neighbor if she would give me a lift. She not only did that, she brought a book and read while I was being taken care of, so that I would also be able to get back home easily.

How much time do you think you waste trying to do something on your own, rather than asking for help?

Make the most of every circumstance

I had already scheduled a fair bit of focused time this week, for thinking, writing, designing. So, having to be off my feet for a few days wasn’t a huge inconvenience. Rather than moan about what I am not getting done, I have propped up my foot, and accomplished more reading, studying, planning and writing than I had originally intended.

Instead of looking at what I was not going to be able to do, I focused on what I could get done. The result? See above! Plus, a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. I am ahead of schedule on some writing projects and workshop projects.

Now, what lessons might you be missing?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


3 things you can do to get (back) on track…

June 13, 2012

Have you ever set a goal, developed your plan, worked towards the goal and still found yourself way off course?

Yes, me too.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just stay on plan, stay on course, and follow a very straight line from point A to point B?

There is a poster on my wall as I write this that has five different routes we each take to get where we are going:

  • two steps forward, one step back
  • stop, start, go, wait – now what?
  • the long (complicated, confusing) and winding road
  • the tornado with a life all its own
  • smooth sailing

We all hope for smooth sailing, but how often does that happen, really?

Isn’t it more like a dance with each of the steps playing their part?

So, what can we do when we are off course?

Step 1: Remember there is nothing wrong with being off course. Staying off course is another matter, but being off course is part of the journey. Since I have done a bit of flying recently, I was reminded that the plane is off course for much of the trip, but the autopilot is continually correcting and adjusting so that we land where we were supposed to. So, give yourself a break when you find yourself off course. Stop for a moment, get your bearings, and proceed.

Step 2: Keep your eyes on the goal! You always go in the direction you are focusing on. Are you focusing on your goal? Or, are you focusing on the obstacles? Your choice, of course, but which one will get you where you want to go?

Step 3: Don’t give up. Can you imagine where we would be if we gave up at the first sign (or the second or third) of adversity? We would have never learned to walk, and would be creeping around on our bellies. Heaven knows where we would be living – explorers would have not gone out exploring. We have all heard tales of those who gave up inches away from ultimate success – and I don’t know about you, but that isn’t the way I am going to be playing.

Because, really, don’t you want to get to those goals?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


How do you manage interruptions?

May 30, 2012

Have you ever noticed how many things will interrupt you throughout your day? And how often?

I have heard that we get interrupted, on average, about once every 6 to 8 minutes throughout the day. And, that it can take us 10-15 minutes (or more) to get our focus back on what we were doing before the interruption.

There is a real problem with that! The math doesn’t work! By those standards, the first interruption will derail your whole day.

What can you do about it?

Dan Kennedy says “If they can’t find you, they can’t interrupt you.” But in these days of 24/7 connectivity and accessibility, how do you make yourself un-findable?

Here are some things you might want to consider:

Turn off your email

Really, shut it off. Not for the whole day (I can hear you hyperventilating), but consider turning it off while you are focusing on that report you need to write, or that project you need to give your attention.

Let your calls go to voicemail

Maybe I am odd. But, I really have no trouble turning off my phone when I am in a meeting, or when I am working on something that requires my undivided attention. The world will not end if I don’t answer my phone for an hour!

Work somewhere else

Book a conference room, and close the door. Go to a coffee shop, or the library, or the park. Take yourself away from your own environment – co-workers won’t be able to stick their heads into your office/cubicle, and all the things that are distracting in your own office are not where you are.

Have a specific place for your work

If you work from home, have a specific place in your home to do your work. This really helps me. It is too easy to goof off if I am working on my living room couch instead of in my office. Everything in my office is about work. Everything in the rest of my home is about relaxation or play. If you don’t have a separate room, at least have a work area you don’t use for anything else.

Give yourself a break

Don’t try to focus for more than about 90 minutes at a time (at the most). Give yourself frequent breaks. This is a great way to deal with bright shiney object syndrome. I can focus on anything for a while, knowing that I will be able to take a break and distract myself in a little while.

These are just some of the techniques that will support you in managing the inevitable interruptions. Because they aren’t going to go away.

Now, which one are you going to try?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


Is your schedule working against you?

May 23, 2012

How many of you are working from a schedule? Some kind of schedule?

There are many different ways to approach your schedule.

Some of you, I am sure, would rather be very spontaneous. So, your schedule is most likely kept fairly open, with just critical, time based items listed (doctors appointments, birthdays, events).

Others of you have the kind of work where virtually every minute of your day is tightly planned and scheduled. If you lost your calendar (paper, electronic) you would probably panic!

And still others will batch their work (or whole days). For example: Monday is admin day – a day for phone calls, paperwork, planning. Tuesday is for clients. Wednesday is for writing. Thursday is for clients again. Friday is planning, wrapping up, and sometimes special clients.

Whichever way you approach your schedule – is it working for you? Or is it working against you? And how could you tell?

Your schedule is working for you if you move through your days with ease and a sense of flow. There’s a rhythm and you move easily in and out of the different activities.

Your schedule is working against you when you find yourself frantically spinning your wheels, when it feels like you are running as fast as you can and getting nowhere even faster!

There is a rhythm to everything – in nature it’s seasons, the ebb and flow of the tides. Your work and life has an ebb and flow to it as well. Give yourself a little time to discover what it is, and build your schedule around it. Let yourself dance with your life’s rhythm, whether it is hip hop, disco, or ballroom.

Now, what is your life’s rhythm?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


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