Photo Credit: artsygeek.com
If you are anything like us, you are living a full life. For us, balancing a marriage, two small children, businesses and a household, means we are getting pulled in a lot of different directions. That’s why we’ve had to get really good at learning how to leverage small pockets of time throughout the day to create productivity. Intentionality increases productivity and also minimizes energy leaks in our days/life and can ensure that we are maximizing pockets of time. Energy leaks are things we do that are counter-productive or are not in-sync with our values. Consciously or subconsciously, we can do things that are draining our time and energy. Everyone has had a point in their life where they’ve had to focus in and operate in times of little to no energy. Whether you focused in intentionally on completing your college degree, studied for and took a major test or certification, played high level athletics, mastered an instrument… you name it, you learned how to become very self-aware and self driven. Often, energy leaks occur because we are so used to being told what to do, that we lose control of things we can be controlling in non-productive time frames. Allowing other people to dictate where we spend or invest our time, can also cause energy leaks.
First, we must be aware of energy leaks. Then, we need to put systems in place. Lastly, we have to own our own time. Below are 10 things that have really helped us to increase our intentionality and productivity as well as to avoid any energy leaks:
1. Move your body: Science indicates that you lose productivity focusing in on a single task for long periods of time. Research also shows the positive co-relation between mental clarity/productivity and movement. Exercise and movement can greatly increase productivity.
2. Get up earlier than you have to: we get a better start to our day when we nail our morning routines and get up before everyone else does. Even if you are not an early riser or naturally a ‘morning person,’ even waking up 15 minutes earlier in the morning compounded over the course of the year is a lot of time.
3. Minimize distractions on your phone: your tray indicates your priorities. Put distracting apps in folders, making them harder to find. Limit how long and how you leverage social media. Your phone can be a tool or a time-suck, it's your choice.
4. Time block: set specific time frames to complete important tasks/activities, these blocks generally range from 15-90 minute increments. Most importantly, be detailed. If you take out the distraction of having to make too many decisions, you are more likely to do the most important tasks.
5. Use a task management system: find a system that works for you to make sure you are getting those priority items done each day. Use things that are enjoyable (like sports highlights 🤷🏼♀️) as short, small rewards. (Emphasis on short periods of time).
6. Use and share a calendar- we share a calendar in our household. It is color coded and detailed, but it works. Designate one person to take ownership over managing the calendar.
7. Know your energy windows: all of us have times throughout the day that we have more energy and are most productive. Use them if you can. If you have small children, learn to be effective with times around sleep schedules.
8. Organize your thoughts and your notes: There are so many apps, technologies and tools to use here. Most importantly, find a good place where you can dump thoughts and/or ideas. Get them out of your head and in a space that you can easily find them again later
9. Use the 2-minute rule: If there is a task that takes you 2 minutes or less to complete, just do it. Clear the mental clutter and decrease procrastination
10. Turn self growth on and media off: When we have down time, playtime, idle time or non-productive time, we try to fill it with as much podcasts, audios and books as we possibly can. Even if it is just playing in the background, we are giving ourselves an opportunity to immerse our mind in self-growth.
When implementing strategies to help you increase your productivity, it is important to be as consistent as you can. Allow yourself to learn and develop your skills, and you can be certain that your productivity will continue to improve as well. Mitigate energy leaks, put systems in place and start to own your non-productive time.
Wishing everyone continuous growth!
Brandon & Amanda
Greatness is a choice.