What was it that Ernest Hemingway said? “Write drunk, edit sober.” Ok so that doesn’t perfectly make my point but it’s a good saying nevertheless.
Recently I was invited as a guest at the LadyDrinks Author Series Dinner in New York City for my book Listful Thinking. My friend and fellow newswoman Joya Dass runs the events and I’m thankful she asked me to participate. The room was filled with entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers, journalists and coaches. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss and share thoughts on productivity with other professionals. Even though I’m a “productivity expert” and I’m constantly seeking out new information to share.
Here’s some of the good productivity advice we discussed over drinks:
Ignore your email – Do you find yourself regularly checking your email to make sure nothing has been missed out? Most of the time it hasn’t, but we still can’t resist clicking over to check. These breaks in your flow may seem like nothing, but they can prevent you from getting on with a task. At the dinner many women agreed that they would go without checking emails for a set period of time to stop them getting distracted. (If you need more help in this department check out my brand new course Take Back Your Inbox.)
Make different kinds of lists – So you know the to-do list and the grocery list. But what about permission lists, or accomplishment lists? Permission lists are activities you enjoy, so that when you find yourself with a free moment you can permit yourself to indulge. I created these lists and talk about them in Listful Thinking because it’s important to be kind to ourselves as well as others. On the other hand, when you’re feeling a bit down, try making a list of everything you have accomplished that day or week or month. You’ll be surprised how much you have achieved!
Make a list the night before – I’m a huge advocate of writing a list the night before, but I thought Rashi Chowdhary, owner of The Protein Bake Shop, put an interesting spin on it that I wanted to share with you. Right before she goes to bed, she makes her list and then I divides it into two. She explains “The first half is things I need to do before 4pm. The second half is things I need to do before 8pm. The next morning, I wake up to a planned day. I don’t waste those productive early morning hours deciding what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.”
Wake up early – My friend Terri was also at the event and she kindly shared her top productivity tip with us, “Rather than sleep until I absolutely have to get up, I have made it a practice to get up 2-3 hours before I have to be anywhere or talk to anyone. Those two to three hours become my SWEET SPOT of productivity. I have an uninterrupted swath of time to work on MY stuff before the rest of the world begins calling, texting, or emailing me. I work on the things I care about, rather than try to chase it through the day (and never catch it).” Like Terri I also like to wake up early to get a kickstart on my day.