Change your life by becoming more productive, without speeding up the pace of life.
Whether you’ve set resolutions this year or not, we all desire to grow and have a more fruitful year than the last. At the same time, many of us mums are feeling like we’re pushed to the max already. At capacity, there’s not much room to do or be anything more. But instead of trying to just do more, why not take a little time to reflect on what you do, how you do it and when…
Here are 5 proven ways to increase your productivity whilst decreasing your stress:
Tip #1: Create clarity
Before you can do anything else, you need fresh clarity around your roles (both at work and in the rest of your life). Start by listing the various roles you have. Then under each role, clarify what exactly is required of you. What does success look like in this role? How do you want this role to look and feel like by the end of the year? What changes do you need to make from last year in order to facilitate this?
From all of this reflection, you might end up with an overwhelming list of expectations, but it’s impossible to hit any targets if we’re focussed on all of them at once. Rather, pick just 6 things you need to focus on over the next 6 weeks (6X6). This clarity will replace fruitless activity with real productivity. It will also help you to say ‘yes’ to the right things and ‘no’ to the wrong things.
Tip #2: Develop a great system
Next you need to start or tweak your own personal productivity system. Aim for a system that is frictionless – one that flows and protects your most productive times of day so that you can do the best work. Your system has to be better than your mind, so that your mind can let go of it. Some systems might include: the way you organise the early morning part of your life (who does what, school lifts, etc), another system might be choosing to disconnect your phone and email every day between two time slots so that you can do the most important part of your work.
Tip #3: Spend time proactively organising your ideal week
Now you can create your very own proto-week template. When will you fit in time to rest and exercise? When will your uninterrupted work times be and where? What about grocery shopping and general admin time to?
Tip #4: Get better at mid-term forecasting
Starting with the end in mind is one thing, but it’s equally important to stop mid-journey, look up, and check we’re still on-course. This will allow for mid-course corrections where it needs to be. In these moments of forecasting, don’t just look ahead to the next next week, but toward the whole month and year.
Tip #5: Use meetings better
If you have any kind of job that requires meetings from time to time, you’ll know how painfully unproductive meetings can be. This year, get ruthless with these. The person calling any meeting should have clear and compelling answers to all of the following questions:
What is the purpose of this meeting? Who is driving it? Who is leading it? Are the right people in the room? Does it have an agenda that’s realistic? Are you aiming for divergence (of ideas) or convergence (narrowing down ideas for consensus and action).
Make the last month the most productive month yet!