How much time do you waste every day? Are you easily distracted by the outside environment? In last weeks #FierceChat Angela Daffron was our special guest and we took on the subject of personal productivity. The chart above breaks it down into 6 distinct areas and you can concentrate your efforts in one or all categories to make pretty drastic improvements.
Q1: Welcome Angela. Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I work as a marketing consultant helping businesses with their online marketing strategies and implementation while working to improve stalking awareness with @jodisvoice and telling the world about women who have overcome challenges to create change w/@soulmodel.
Q2: Who are some of your clients and what services do you offer them?
I work with a variety of clients from Vegas strip hotels & casinos to re-modelers. I also help guide the strategy & implementation of their online mktg
Q2B: what kinds of strategy do you typically recommend for them?
It really depends on their goals. I develop plans specific to every client. The 1 constant is being social!
Q3 (From Angela to audience): What do you think personal productivity is and why do you think it’s important?
- Personal productivity is having a goal and accomplishing it with minimum time and fuss.
- For me it’s managing your time and projects well.
- Personal productivity is staying on task and meeting my goals.
- Personal productivity is doing something that will get you to a goal. It is important because it helps you move forward.
- Personal productivity means accomplishing your tasks efficiently and with little distraction or procrastination.
- Personal productivity is also maximizing my time and becoming an effective multitasking champ.
- Personal productivity is when you go to bed at night smiling about what you’ve accomplished that day.
Q3B How do you stay on task?
- I write everything down and a time frame when I would like to have it done, keeping in mind that things happen.
- I often promise myself small rewards for hitting benchmarks (a trip to the bookstore or a walk or time with friends, etc.).
- Keeping a strategically planned time-blocked to-do list works for me.
- Benchmarks are a great way! I use that all the time. It keeps everyone on the “same page” too.
Q4: What things during the day happen to eat up most of your time causing you to be less productive?
- Personal productivity = “What is the optimum way for me to spend this moment?” And that means sleep and rest too!.
- Social media is a trending answer to what distracts you.
- Torn with social media. It’s the tending of the garden you do today for a harvest tomorrow (hopefully).
Q5: Do any of you get caught up in “Firefighting” either at home or at work?
- Absolutely! When I have to put out fires it’s not just a temporary distraction: I have to completely reset. Getting back on track (back in your groove) can be difficult.
- For me it does not. I am a planner.
- I even try to schedule meetings for either first thing in the morning or at the end of the day.
Q5B: Is multitasking helpful to productivity or hurtful?
- I cannot imagine doing what I do without multitasking.
- You have to really hone your multitasking skills. It can go either way. Priorities make a difference.
- Honestly multi-tasking works well for me if I don’t have to have interaction (which takes complete attention).
- In my case, multitasking leads to extra work: Definitely hurtful.
- Multitasking is a myth IMHO. Just means nothing unless it has your full attention.
- Multitasking is a necessary evil: You may miss something if you stay in one lane all day!
- I need to see a project through, especially writing so no multitasking.
- Great statement! Busy without results = waste of time.
Q6: What are the components of personal productivity?
- Time management & planning = stress management & productivity for me.
- Planning is the key to everything. I plan time for my larger tasks to ensure my time is not eaten away and hold myself accountable.
- Focus, organization, prioritization, and a plan!
Q7: Which component is most important to you? Learning, Organization, Time Management, stress/ mental control, creativity, decision making.?
- Organization: Everything else falls under that. You can’t have an effective plan and be disorganized.
- In order: Learning, Time Management (stress/ mental control, creativity), Decision Making, Organization
Q7B: How does stress/ mental control impact your productivity?
- For me stress actually increases my productivity: I use it to stop thinking about what I’m stressing about.
- Stress leads to mistakes & lack of focus, but pressure is good for performance.
- Stress helps me too. It helps me focus on how everything needs to come together, even if it’s, well, stressful.
- I love pressure – not stress! I find stress can be self-induced!
- It helps me get the job done but it’s never as I like. I feel hurried. But even if I didn’t procrastinate Id work until the last minute.
Q8: What are some of your personal best practices to improve ur personal productivity?
- Keeping my priorities in order and staying organized. From there, things [mostly] fall into place.
- I plan & then plan more. Tasks lists for smaller items, scheduled in my calendar for larger items.
- Bench marking out my goals for whatever project so I have milestones to hit and not one large project, but many small ones.
- I sit down and write out a plan everyday! I have to: It may sound trivial but without a plan of action – I don’t act!
- I’m way more productive when I write tasks down. Mental plans seem to take much longer to implement.
- I’m more productive when I strategize on paper or a dry erase board and start crossing stuff off. It makes me feel good.
- Nugget time lines – chip, chip away and I live by daily, weekly, monthly, etc. on plans/lists
Q9: What tools do you use to be more productive?
- Google Calendar/Tasks & Evernote because they sync between my laptop, tablet and phone! They are available anywhere I am.
- Calendars, planners, ApplyMate.com for my job applications, lots of folders. Don’t ever let me into an office store.
- I use a pen, paper, a timer, a mini-dry erase board, and a full size dry erase board.
- I bribe myself to reach my established goals, time lines – it works!
- Oh that’s smart. I use ticktocktimer.com when I lose focus.
- I use Minute to Go (it’s an Apple app).
- I use an 18 month date planner that I can write in, cross off, etc.
- I have twin boys,I keep little mini notebooks, to remind myself of their needs.
- I sync notes to my cell weekly for reminders
Q10: What tips or links do you guys have that will help us better understand the tools you use?
- As much as I love my iPhone and iPad, I find that things “stick” more if I write them down on Paper.
- Find what works for you (whether paper or electronic) and make sure it is easily accessible to you.
- Evernote holds my meeting notes and notes for long term projects (also my grocery list) since its available anywhere there is no excuse.
- This might sound dorky, but if I’m half-asleep in bed and have an idea/thought/etc., I email it to myself from my phone.
- Take a few minutes everyday to prioritize your tasks. Make a list based on importance/time sensitivity and eliminate distractions.
- You can make notebooks of ideas. Chrome has an extension that lets you clip articles for reference.
- I plan each morning (for that day) for about 15-20 minutes. It’s helps me to clear my head and strategize.
- Productivity is personal whether it is paper or electronic find a “system” that works, but a plan is the constant.
Q11: What actions will you take this week to ensure you are improving your personal productivity?
- Prioritize my tasks on my white board in my office.
- I’ll keep working on maintaining and improving my systems of organization and prioritization.
- I will stick to my ‘time-blocked’ Twitter time, no lunch meetings (this week), and *try* to answer the phone incrementally.
- Ending procrastination = Improving my personal productivity.
- One last thing is backup. After my house fire is when I went mostly electronic. There is comfort in the cloud!