Episode 010: Show Notes
We think a lot of people get surprised when they find out exactly how much stuff gets done over here at Think Creative Collective. We think you might be shocked by some of the hacks and the tricks that we implement in our everyday to stay on top of our goals, to make sure that our list gets done and of course so as not to get distracted. In this episode of The Strategy Hour Podcast, we’ll jump into the exact structure we use every morning that holds us accountable to getting stuff done. Plus, how we’re able to set up realistic expectations, not only for ourselves but for each other.
If you need some tips on how to lazy proof your day, especially when working from home, then this is going to be your episode!
The Importance of Having A Plan
When it comes to creating a structure for your business, it is really important to have a plan. Know exactly what your month, your year and your weeks need to look like. We personally use Trello to plan out everything. It helps you to see the bigger picture and then be able to break those things down into weekly, daily task and “to-do’s”. This ensures that you aren’t spending your precious time on creating content when in fact there is a more pressing client file that needs to go out that same day. We write down every single nitty gritty thing we can think of and it all lives inside Trello. By having a process, you don’t forget and that eases any tension from brewing.
Overwhelm Brings on the Lazy
Realistic to-do’s for each person might look a little bit different. We like to find our happy place at about six to four big tasks total as there is two of us, which gives each of us about two to three things to focus on a day. Some days, if we’re gearing up for a launch or if we’re trying to get ahead, there might be a few more small tasks shoved in there. We keep the list low because when you overwhelm your day, that’s when that lazy kicks in. When you are faced with an overwhelming list staring you in the face, that’s when you automatically start to shut down before you even get a chance to tackle anything on it.
The To-Do List Done Strategy
The strategy is really simple. As you start your day, before you do anything else, you get your number one priority checked off your list. For us that morning routine is so important and the first thing we do is the thing that generally gets done the best. So if you can tackle your number one priority first thing in the morning then you’re 50% done with the things that are important and you maybe haven’t even poured yourself a cup of coffee yet. Before the lazy after-lunch mentality slips in, take that moment and get your second most important thing checked off the list. With two of the most important things checked off your list, now you can slip in those little tiny small tasks and then you might even finish up early for the day.
Small Changes Improve Productivity Levels
Pay attention to the little details. Things like starting with a clean desk every morning can improve your productivity. After a day of work, try to always clean your office so that when you start again the next morning you have a fresh environment to work from. Next, is having great file management. Keep things off your computer desktop and focus on having a place for everything. Also, set actually office hours, not only with your clients and your customers, but with friends and family too. Start by implementing these today, and follow through for at least seven days and note the changes.
Scheduling A Time To Check Email
Probably the most important thing we did was to setup a time to check email. In the beginning, we used to check it every time we got an email, which was a huge problem. It would ding and we would stop what we were doing and we would read the email. This then led into us trying to figure out how to respond because we were so new at this. Every time you stop what you are doing to focus on something else for a few minutes you are losing precious minutes. You are essentially losing time in your day, and you probably don‘t have time to lose in the first place.
Turn Off Notifications to Stop Anxiety from Creeping In
Can we just talk about all the notifications for a second? Your desktop, your online apps, your phone — where does it end? First and foremost, now that you have set specific times to check your emails and other message platforms, you can go ahead and turn off those notifications! Turning off your notifications gives you the ability to check them when you have dedicated time to actually answer them, rather than previewing the message, getting more anxious about it, and then feeling like you have to read it before you even have time to respond.
Setting Intentional Time For Exercise
Working from home has many benefits, but it also makes for a lot less active lifestyle. There’s not a “water cooler” to walk to, or bathroom breaks to take you all the way down the hall. Often times your bed is only 10 steps away from your home office desk, and we all know what that means! So if you want to exercise more you have to make it a priority and you have to put it on your calendar or else it’s just not going to happen.
Accountability Can Kick Your Laziness Into Gear
One of the biggest things that has changed our lives is having someone who we can report to. Although we love being our own bosses, it is definitely a motivator to have someone there who has access to your calendar and can cheer us on to get through all those pesky to-do’s. It’s just a check and balance system and a great way to stay on track. Now you may not have a business partner, and that is completely fine. There are several other ways to get connected with accountability buddies to get you started.
Our Take On Batching
Batching is an amazing strategy to get things done and get yourself ahead of the game. Now granted, there are certain things that you just can’t do in high volume. For example, writing blog posts can be exhausting and often times you can only churn out three in one sitting. However, three in one batch is still a lot more productive than doing one a day. So batch what you can. For social media this is especially useful. You can get a whole week done in two hours without feeling totally spent. The key is just knowing what you can do together and what you just can’t. It comes down to learning what your body is okay with and figuring it out over time.
Our Miracle Morning Routine
As a team, we read The Miracle Morning, which has absolutely changed our lives. As a result, every morning we sit down, reflect and write both an affirmation and a daily gratitude. The affirmation is where you focus on the future, writing out a lofty goal. The gratitude part is really a reflection on the previous day’s thoughts. There are no hard and fast rules for this. Just get it out and the more you do it, the more you’ll get ideas on what they should be.
- Understand the importance of having a plan when it comes to your daily tasks. [0:01:34.7]
- Find out why having too many tasks on your list can lead to overwhelm, which brings on the laziness. [0:03:54.5]
- Learn about the ins and outs of the To-Do List Done Strategy, and how it can help you get more accomplished. [0:05:58.5]
- Discover the small changes you can make today to improve productivity levels. [0:09:05.8]
- Understand the importance of scheduling a specific time to check email every day. [0:17:04.6]
- Find out how turning off notifications can help to stop anxiety from creeping in. [0:18:46.4]
- Learn why setting intentional time for exercise is another key to kick your laziness to the curb. [0:26:04.5]
- Discover the importance of an accountability partner to help you stay motivated. [0:28:40.5]
- Find out how to effectively use batching to your advantage and when it works bets. [0:37:08.1]
- Get the inside scoop on our miracle morning routine, and how affirmations and gratitude have changed our lives. [0:40:19.1]
- Go read The Miracle Morning.
- Turn off notifications. All of the places, all of the ways, turn them off.
- Find yourself an accountability buddy