I don't know about all of you, but I often find myself struggling to get my thoughts in order and be as productive as I possibly can each day. I am not sure that waking up at 10am this morning was very helpful in my quest for better time-management and productivity..HA!
My kids are on break this week and I have the pressure of trying to make their little break fun while still being as productive as possible. Yesterday, we went for a two- hour hike, did some grocery shopping, and watched the last part of Breaking Dawn together. By the end of the day, I had accomplished having a great day with the family, but not much was done as far as business productivity is concerned. I know that sometimes, we need to take a break and spend time with family and friends. It is very important to do this, but it is also important for me to stay on top of work as well. I am supporting myself full-time with graphic design and custom art projects. My income continues to increase, but it is not even near where I need to be. The pressure is always on..haha
I am a very organized and motivated individual; however, I find that sometimes it is difficult to stay focused...especially when the weather is gorgeous outside!! I carry an ipad wherever I go, I have a custom built computer, over $15,000 in graphic design technology and software, and I will often use my ipad to waste time playing Tribez - the mindless game of building and thinking about nothing...hahaha. Instead of reading at night, I will often play a game of Farm Frenzy to settle my brain. I find that I have to do something completely unrelated to work in order to settle my brain. If I don't, then I find that I will begin to come up with ideas and end up back in the office for an all-nighter, which to me, is working until the sun rises. I typically will not get to bed until around 2-3am in the morning.
I keep "idea" books with me at all times and enough sticky notes to cover a Giraffe from head to toe. I keep a filing cabinet with orders and sales, a hanging file for current projects and projects to come, and I have just updated my glass wipe-off board. Even with so many things in place, I find that there are days when I seem to accomplish practically nothing.
I will typically check my emails first thing in the morning (which can take hours), get my to-do list ready, and then get started around 1pm to 2pm. This might be why I end up not going to bed until 3am everyday. This morning, I woke up late and was about to check emails when I came across an article by
Francesca Levy (editor of Linkedin) about productivity that I thought I would share with you. Click the title to read the article directly from Linkedin.
In a convention center packed with thousands of ambitious tech professionals and entrepreneurs trying to find time to choose from over 900 educational sessions, Scott Hanselman, Microsoft’s program manager of development, told hundreds of strivers they were doing it wrong.
“We think, ‘If I work harder, stay later, drink more red bull, it will all be OK,” he said. “But hope is not a strategy.”
Ummm... GUILTY!! I think this exact sentence (with diet red bull) is a daily part of my working vocabulary!! I am very goal oriented; however, I do struggle to pick and choose which priorities are most critical when I have a stack of things to work through about 6 inches thick. Then, while trying to choose, I am suddenly hit with more emails, messages, and other things unrelated to my main goals, that seem to take up my entire day - some days. Taking longer to plan for the day only seems to take up more time, but actually help to improve productivity.
I often will say how great I am at multi-tasking, but multi-tasking really does tend to slow me down. When I choose one thing to focus on and shut out the rest, I tend to get through so much more and feel so much better at the end of the day. I have really begun to manage my time more efficiently and when I read this article, I did not feel so bad about having to stay away from emails or social networking in order to complete something important.
In the article, Levy mentions how Hanselman encourages people to write down 3 objectives (outcomes) that would make us feel awesome if we finished today. I immediately thought of how I would plan out my classroom lessons - first beginning with the standard and content objective or end goal, then working my way to that end goal. If you are having a difficult time managing all of the things you have to do in your day (aside from teaching, meetings, kids, conferences, copying, cutting, eating), you can plan them the same way you plan out your classroom lesson plans. Begin with your objective and then work your way towards those objectives throughout the day. Tell yourself it is okay if something does not get done as long as these objectives are met. This means that you might have to stay off of Facebook for a day or not publish a post, but the whole idea is that you will feel more productive if you accomplish the main objectives for your day. I tend to plan and write things down - crossing them off as I get through each one. If, at the end of the day, I have more X's, then I feel like my day was productive. hahaha How do you all manage your time when it comes to juggling so much??
Last, I want to remind you that TODAY is the very last day to sign up for the Pass the Torch Linky.
Please click on the image above to read more about this AWESOME linky!!! I hope you all sign up! I can't wait to take a peek in your classrooms!!
Have a wonderfully PRODUCTIVE day everyone!!!
To-Do: Wednesday Post - CHECK...bwahahaha!!!