Take control of your diary and plan out your weeks, putting everything you need to do as a booking.
Each “important” thing you have to go to or get done by a particular time or day you book in your diary as a meeting. This allows you to work and live by your diary. I have been doing some research into mums who are highly functional with more than 3 children and the one thing that they all said makes it work is organisation. If you book it in then you have: #1 the time to do it and #2 an understanding of when it is due. For items that need to be done which are not compulsory, use to-do lists that are electronic. Todoist is a great app that allows you to share tasks with family, friends and work colleagues. I have been using this app across my iPad, phone and laptop and it has been amazing.
The PEP number 1 rule. Do it now! If you have time, then do it now.
Kerry Gleeson was a man well ahead of his time. He wrote a book about the art of efficiency and fitting more time into your day. What would you do if you had an extra two hours in your day? Would you leave work on time, go to the gym or spend more time with the kids? I have been re-reading this book and there is one rule that you should live by – “Do it now”. We have been taught to write out all the things that we need done and then to rate them in order of importance. This has not been found to be the most successful way to function. In fact, you waste more time prioritising the items than you do actioning them.
So stop putting things off. If you have time now then do it. Don’t interrupt what you are doing to start a new task. Complete the one you are doing and then start the next item. Do it now.
Take control of emails
Email can be one of the worst disruptors of productivity. We live in a world where we want everything now and we forget email is not the best form of communication for instant action. Instant message is what we use for instant requests and replies, not email.
However we live in a world where we want everything now!!!! It is important for you to get into good habits with your email behaviours. Email is for requests that need immediate action. Emails have a due date – this is important to remember when you are sending emails. Don’t send an email, barking an order, that needs to be actioned in 10 minutes. You can’t always guarantee that the recipient will be available or at their computer to action. Make your emails timely, realistic and measurable – include what, by who and when. This means when you receive emails book in time each day to answer them. Turn off auto alert pop ups and don’t touch an email unless you are prepared to read it carefully, in full and then action the request.
Take control of your paper mess and go paperless, less paper = less mess
More productive people are those who organise everything in one place and do not duplicate documents. They can easily access documents and scan and store effectively. Look at the way you function and see where you duplicate things. You don’t need a print out of a document if you have it stored electronically. Go through all your paperwork and file what you need (that are not stored elsewhere) and then get rid of everything else. A clean, organised desk allows you to start off your day organised.