Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Productivity Tips for Simplifying Your Life

I got tagged! Connie McVicker of Signature Worx who designed my super cool logo and made me the hippest business cards in town, tagged me! I love being tagged... it's that little push that inspires a new blog post. This tag topic was originally started by Ben Yoskovitz on the Instigator Blog.

My best advice for being productive is to set schedules and build routines in to your life.
My business has blossomed in beautiful ways over the last year thanks to all the support I have received from my special friends at the VA Revolution and VANA forums. Because of this rapid growth in my business I had to stop, reflect and get reorganized fast!

What I have found most helpful in being productive is setting a schedule, planning routines and sticking to them. I have a certain amount of hours blocked out on my calendar for each client every day.

Each week I review my master to do list, prioritize it and then plug time in to my calendar for the upcoming week. For instance, on Monday 9AM - 11AM will be Client A, 11:30AM - 12:30PM Client B, etc... I leave a half hour between each client to check emails, return phone calls, get refocused, take a small break, etc. Like Connie suggested, I turn off my email while I am focused on client work. I only check email at designated times. This one little step will change your life. Turn off those email notifications!!!

I also find following regular routines helps tremendously. For example, every morning I empty the dishwasher while waiting for my coffee to brew and I start a load of laundry before hopping in the shower. I always shower and get dressed before starting my day of work. Even though I am working from home and there is a good chance that no one will see me, I like to be ready for opportunities. What if a friend calls and invites me out for coffee at the last minute? If I am dressed, I am able to go meet her at the coffee shop right away. You never know... I might happen to meet my next potential client during that coffee date.

I've found that keeping a master to do list and breaking it down in to daily tasks allows me to be much more productive. To me, it's all about breaking it down in to doable tasks. Once I have decided what I am going to work on each day I then prioritize the daily task list and start doing the tasks one task at a time. I love it when I get to check that task off my list.

Now, it is my turn to tag some people. I tag Becki Noles and Jennifer Gniadecki. I'm looking forward to hearing your tips!

Here are the rules from the Instigator Blog:

  1. Write a post on your best productivity tips.
  2. Include links to other people that have written posts, or include their tips in your post with proper attribution.
  3. If you use Technorati Tags, then tag your post “ultimate guide to productivity.”
  4. Tag others in your post to spread the meme. Tag as many people as you like!
  5. If you link back to Instigator Blog and email Ben, he’ll be sure to include at least 2 links back to you.

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