Productivity Podcast Series
The Productivity Podcast Series will pull back the curtain to share with you what I do to get so much done!
Becoming a more productive person is a process that happens over time. The spacing of these podcasts will give you time to absorb and implement changes into your routine so you will become more productive, too!
As with all of my other organizational advice, this series will not come with a list of new apps, products to buy, or radical new time saving ideas. True organization comes from thinking about how you are spending your time now, what you desire for your time use to look like, and making slow incremental changes.
Podcast #2 Why Do You Want To Be More Productive?
Podcast #3 Plan Your Week
Podcast #4 Monthly & Yearly Checklists
Having a checklist frees your mind to remember and problem solve bigger issues than remembering when the last time
you changed the furnace filter was.
In the podcast today I am sharing the lists I use to keep items checked off my to do list and of my brain.
You can view the items on my monthly and yearly checklists here.
Podcast #5 Dividing Your Tasks Into Different Kinds of Work
All work is NOT created equally. Before you listen to the podcast this week, make a giant list of all the tasks you want and need to get done. Then listen in to discover how to reorganize your to do list to get the most done.
There are 4 kinds of tasks that end up on my to do list. Here is a brief synopsis of each one:
- Ideas- Oh boy do I have a BUNCH of ideas! Instead of putting my ideas on my to do list, I jot the idea on a scrap of paper and toss it in my Sunday Basket. Then every 2-3 weeks I read through my ideas and 80% end up getting tossed in the garbage.
- Repetitive Tasks I can be easily distracted from while doing them– Laundry, dishes, bill paying, cooking, grocery shopping, yard work, etc. These never ending repetitive tasks can easily be done while listening to a podcast or side by side my husband or kids while chatting with them. I save these tasks for Sundays and evenings when the family is home.
- Focused Work –These are the big things on your to do list that would make a difference in your home, family or career, but they require silence and focused work to get them done. Often these are the items that move from list to list because we don’t have the time to do them. News flash – the time is never going to magically appear. Sorry.
To change your life and get big things done takes prioritization and time. Start by finding 30 minutes a day to put toward your focused work. Just ONE goal. Then work your way up to 2-4 hours a day. This is NOT easy, but SO worth it! It will feel weird pulling that time from other areas, but once you accomplish one goal you will be hooked!
- Thinking time –This is not a to do on your list, but I find if I do not have any time for my mind to wander – while I am driving, walking the dog, or doing the dishes – I get cranky. I need time to think and dream about possibilities and solutions. I am an entrepreneurial creative type and we need lots of time to think. You might need some planned thinking time too!
Podcast #6 10 Ways To Find More Time
Once you have your tasks divided out by type, then it’s time to find new pockets of time to accomplish your to do list!
Here are 10 ways I have been able to find more time in the last 10 years.
Watch less TV.
- Limit my time on social media.
- Turn off my phone notifications.
- Shorten the amount of time I spend straightening up in the morning.
- Smoosh household tasks together.
- Skip household tasks all together on one day each week.
- Get up early – or stay up late.
- Hire help and use that time on your focused work.
- Trade a day with a friend or use dates to knock out to dos.
- Work faster and accept that done is better than perfect.
Listen to this week’s podcast to hear how I did – or didn’t use each of these strategies in different phases of my life.
Podcast #7 What Does Lisa Do All Day?
This productivity series has me searching in the far recesses of my mind to piece together how I have become so productive over the years.
If I had to boil it down to just two things, I would say productivity is the refinement of planning and habits.
What I mean is this… small incremental tweaks in my daily habits and continually looking ahead to what I need and want to accomplish in the next day, week, and month have made me a VERY productive person. 🙂
Today, I am sharing how I spend my days. Specifically, what I do in the morning, how I plan the work portion of my day, and what I do at night.
While it felt weird to talk all about MY day, I know I love reading and listening to how people I follow use their time to get so much done. So after many requests, here is what I do.
Remember as you listen, I have been focused on organizing my house for almost 5 years. And I am definitely in Stage 3 of organizing… maintenance and refinement.
You will get there, too… one day at a time.
Podcast #8 Time Management & Goal Setting
Today’s podcast came from a reader’s submission, “Now that I no longer have kids’ schedules dictating my time, I have no clue how to start planning MY time.”
I find this is SO true. When I have very little time, I manage my time and tasks well. When I feel like I have “all the time in the world,” I waste almost all of it.
In this podcast, I am diving deep into how we look at the time we have and how to make our own goals and deadlines to live the life we want.
Podcast #9 How To Hire Household Help
- Make a job description. In your dream world, what are ALL the things this person would do? When I hired babysitters for my daughter, I specifically looked for people who liked to cook and liked pets, two of my weaknesses and my daughter’s strengths.
- Invite 10-20 people to look at your job description. Many people will not respond, so reach out to between 10 -20 potential good matches. When you get a yes… The LESS hours you need, the more candidates you will go through.
- Schedule an in-person interview at your house on the day you want regular service. If you want a babysitter every Friday night, interview people on Friday night. If they can’t make the interview at that time, they won’t be able to accept the job.
- Be flexible. The best employee/employer relationship is a win-win. You win by getting the task done. Know what you want done… no matter what… and what would be a great addition, but not a deal breaker if it can’t be done.
- Hire for a long-time relationship, not a one-off task. Working in your home with your family is an intimate relationship. Trust your “gut feel” when interviewing and go for the candidate you feel most comfortable with.
- Remember this is a job. Don’t get too chummy too fast. Maintain your role as employer and have safe boundaries.
- Negotiate. Be fair with what you are willing to pay. If you are wanting just a few hours or a specific day and time, be willing to pay a little more for them to work around your schedule.
- Start with a trial. When you have picked your winner, start with a 30-day trial. Having a trial period of time allows you both to get to know each other and the expectations of the job. At the end of 30 days, you will be able to clarify any tasks that need to be changed, modify hours, and solidify the agreement going forward.
- Be a good employer. I LOVE being an employer. Appreciate your hired help. Treat them like a valued member of your team. Remember important events in their lives. Pay them fairly and ethically. Pay the taxes you know you should.
- Enjoy your new found time!
Podcast #10 How I Divide My Year Into Thirds
This final podcast in my Productivity Podcast Series will help you divide you year into thirds.
My 3 New Years.
I always thought that I divided my calendar into three separate years because I was a schoolteacher or because I had children. But the more I talk to women without children who work 9-to-5 jobs, the more I find that this way of looking at the calendar actually rings true for most women.
I will walk you through how I organize my calendar three times a year, and how each time block starts out structured and organized and ends up chaotic and unstructured.