Busy DOESN’T equal productive! Do you ever wonder where the day went? How come you are so tired from so much ‘work’ and yet you don’t see any results? Unproductivity is one of the biggest problems not just for entrepreneurs – but even for large enterprises. I honestly don’t think we were created to just work. Our brain has a tendency to wander, daydream, and get side-tracked. You wanna know something else? Our brain does NOT have the ability to multitask. The moment we start something else or look at something else, we stop doing or focusing on the previous thing. I read a lot of neuroscience books, and this keeps coming up! So, how can we truly stay focused and have a productive day? Also, having a healthy morning routine before starting your workday really helps! To learn more, read “STARTING YOUR DAY ON THE RIGHT FOOT: 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL MORNING ROUTINE”
Break-down organizing your day with these 9 steps:
1. Write down the top 3 priorities.
2. Under each priority, write down, in order, the steps necessary to accomplish the goal.
3. Set 2 or 3 specific times to check and reply to emails. For example 10-10:30am, 1-1:30pm, and 4-4:30pm. Do not look at your emails outside that time frame.
4. Make time for lunch and bathroom breaks/mental breaks. This can include a time for maybe checking social media or something like that. It has to be a specific time frame! Don’t try to multitask. Every time you get distracted, it takes your brain at least 15 minutes to get back to focus! So imagine doing that all day for each task!
5. On Mondays, revisit the goals for the week and what needs to happen each day to accomplish said goals. On Wednesdays, check current progress and see what you need to adjust for the rest of the week. On Fridays, reflect on the week and see what lessons you can draw, look at statistics and analytics, and regroup for the following week.
6. Set boundaries. If you have a meeting or call, make sure it has a start and end time–and respect that time! Think about it, if you were working for a company, you would not go to a coffee meeting for four hours right?! Just because you are your own boss, doesn’t mean your time isn’t valuable or important. You report to your goals! So unless extending the meeting is helping your hit those goals, stay away from chatting away.
7. Have you heard of the book Deep Work? I totally recommend it! But essentially, you want to work in blocks of time and focus on one thing at a time for an entire block. For example, I didn’t do ANYTHING but type while writing this article. Notifications were off, no cellphone, no social media, no snacks, and no ‘breaks’ in between. You do it until you get it done or the block of time is over but because you’ll be so focused, usually you’ll get it done! This process is also amazing for bigger projects. Say you are writing a book, obviously you can’t do it in one sitting or one block! However, setting say 3 hours a day on the weekends (or whatever works with your schedule and goals) will help you advance way more and give you better focus than doing bits and pieces here and there.
8. Once you get organized and have a system that works for you, just repeat over and over and make any necessary adjustments.
BONUS: Anything you can hack to automate and get out of your own way while working is a plus! Try meal prepping on Sundays, having your outfits ready the night before, setting up systems for repetitive tasks, having someone else clean your house, etc. These are all great ways to get you focused on your art/work/business and freeing up time for you to spend on self-care and with loved ones.
Contributing Author, Jessie Medina
A playful creative and curious intellectual, Jessie Medina likes to defy stereotypes and shatter glass ceilings. She climbed the corporate ladder in her 20’s working as a digital marketing and PR executive. She is now the founder & CEO of a global female empowerment community for Latinas @femlatinas and feminine branding agency @femgency. She is also a crisis communication and workplace equality consultant, speaker, business strategist, and podcast host. Jessie loves traveling, dancing, and cooking at home! She enjoys the beach and doing anything creative. Jessie is an avid advocate for female empowerment and helps women design their dream life.
Keep up with Jessie on her personal Instagram as well @jessiemedinaofficial.