My husband once said to me, “I don’t know if I could be in your head for a day. You’ve got a new idea, like, every hour. Whew.”
It’s true. Between my Myers-Briggs personality, Strengths Finder results and chosen career field, I’m wired to constantly consume media and information leading to a rapid-fire stream of ideas in my head. Some potentially brilliant (at least I tell myself this), and let’s just say others are best left in their Moleskin binding.
I can only imagine my fellow Roamers feel the same way. We’re all dreamers, innovators and pioneers. Process-oriented as I tend to be, I’ve sought some ways to synthesize all these great big dreams into manageable chunks.
Here are five productivity hacks to discipline my mind and manage my time well:
Hack your sweet spot time
I heard Jared Loftus on a Mavenly + Co. podcast say that he loves going to coffee with young, budding entrepreneurs – IF they agree to meet him at 6:30 am. Justin knows he’s in his creative groove in the mornings and afternoons. As an entrepreneur, he works to protect that fiercely, even to the point of weeding out mentees who are not willing to get out of bed before the sun rises. In my own life, this looks like carving out my mornings for writing projects – you’ll not find me making breakfast dates any time soon. And I’ve found that in the late afternoon when my mind is foggy, administrative tasks are my best use of time. When is your sweet spot time? Do some digging to discover when you come alive, and guard that time.
Segmenting my time helps me stay focused. This is the easiest step in the book: open Google, search “countdown.” I set the countdown on my laptop for one hour, and get to writing articles. It’s energizing to see the clock tick down, and plays into my competitive nature. And after the timer’s up, I know I can reward myself by scrolling social media for inspiration or reading through a Feedly article I pulled. Being strategic about the way you utilize your time can allow you to accomplish tasks more efficiently.
No better place to brain-dump! Evernote is a great platform for housing all kinds of lists, personal or professional. All of my business-related notes go directly into Evernote – cue brilliant ideas. I file quotes, product ideas, imagery inspiration shots (photos work great in Evernote!) and a list of articles to read up on. I can access it on my desktop or iPhone, which means adding and deleting items on my checklist is simple, even on the go.
I’m quite certain Co-Schedule gave me back an hour of my day. Grab the two-week trial of Co-Schedule, and create an editorial calendar so you can post on social media with such intention knowing that your thoughts are already organized. You don’t have to enter in the exact post, but what if you at least write out topics you want to discuss for the week, and then schedule tomorrow’s posts today? That sure would save you some time coming up with the perfect, insta-worthy caption.
In order to prevent your tasks and lists from building up, it’s necessary to clear and declutter your “idea bin.” At the end of the month, I set aside time to look over any noteworthy articles, websites and ideas I jotted down. I assess the content to see what’s useful, and then trash the rest. It’s refreshing to begin the month knowing that these stray thoughts and ideas will not blur my new set of objectives. Lastly, with pen in hand, I do a mental brain dump. After writing out every task that comes to mind, I highlight and tackle the ones that take less than 5 minutes. The rest go on a calendar, quarterly goal map or business plan.
I hope these hacks allow you to experience more productivity during your work week. You can never be too disciplined, and I’m always looking for new and better ways to manage my time. So if you have any tips or hacks, please share them on Network!