Posts

So What’s the Big Deal Over Dot Journaling?

Thanks to listproducer.com I’ve met a lot of people in the productivity community and the more people I meet the more I find we have in common. We tend to be stationary nerds, who love Marie Kondo and are always looking out for the best way to get organized. So it’s no surprise that the latest to-do trend, that combines a to-do list with a planner and a diary, has become a big success in the productivity community. I’m talking, of course, about dot journaling.

If you don’t know what that is, dot journaling is, simply put, making a lot of bullet point lists. (You’ll quickly find with dot journaling that there’s a lot of overly complex names for simple things.) While I normally think it’s better to keep your lists separate, dot journaling allows you to put all your long and short term goals, as well as daily tasks, into one notebook. And you use a code-type system to keep everything from getting muddled together. Read more

Get Everything Done and Make It To Happy Hour

When I was in my early 20s I loved to watch Sex and The City. I was working weekends at the time and I would sneak episodes while I was writing or producing for the news. I hoped it was an accurate picture of what my life would be like – brunches and after work, get togethers with the girls. However watching it back these days I can tell you my life is not really like that. Did those girls ever actually work?

While we can’t all live the glamorous lifestyles of Carrie and Samantha, we can still make it to happy hour. Provided of course, that we get all our work done. When we’re buried under a heavy workload the chances of leaving work on time get slimmer and slimmer. But it is possible, all it takes is a little planning.

Here are some of my secrets to help you head out the door at 5!

  1. Make a roadmap of your day – Every day, when I’m nearly finished with work I create a “roadmap” for the following day.  I’ve stolen the idea from my time as a live news producer.  We always have a rundown to keep us on track during a live show.  Your work day should run the same way. Having this roadmap means I can hit the ground running and everything goes so much smoother when I get in the following morning.
  2. Don’t answer the phone Only answer if it’s absolutely necessary. That means the person who is calling can give your information about the task you’re working on or you have an appointment for the call right then. It’s far too easy to get wrapped up in conversations that go nowhere! You’ll get back to them later – just add it to your list.
  3. Break the day up into chunksGot some mammoth task you’re really not looking forward to? Split it into smaller chunks and distribute it throughout the day. Giving yourself a chance to look at emails, etc in between will help to ease your frustration.  Breaks are our friends. But don’t get sucked into other projects. Give yourself specific time limits.
  4. BacktimeI’ve talked a little about backtiming before. It’s a concept I got from working as a TV news producer. You start at the end goal and work backwards. So what do you need to have done in order to get out of work on time. Make a list of all these things and how long they will take. If you incorporate this with your plan from the night before you can create a schedule for your day.
  5. Make a meeting checklist – The biggest time suck in the office is not people checking their social media or chatting by the water cooler, it’s meetings. Who hasn’t been in a meeting that has gone on for an hour longer than it needed to? Meanwhile the mound of work on your desk just piles up. By having a meeting checklist you can make sure all the important things are covered, but it can also help to move the whole process along!

So now the only thing left to decide on is  what you’re drinking when you get to happy hour!

What Shark Tank Can Teach You About Productivity

When it comes to the things we’d like to achieve, there’s no shortage of ideas. Think about what’s on your bucket list: learning a second language, traveling around the world or writing a book tops many lists.. It all sounds so exciting, but having lots of great ideas doesn’t guarantee any action.

So how do you make those ideas happen?

Before you get started, first you have to really sell the goal to yourself. You can’t expect to achieve something  if you’re not all in.

Imagine yourself explaining your goal to a panel of people, like on the show Shark Tank. Before appearing on a show like that you would prepare by doing research on your business, if you have a business partner you might delegate who will speak about what parts and finally you would come up with a plan for your business. You should do the exact same with your goals. Read more

5 Friends to Boost Your Productivity

Whenever I start a new project or I want to try out a new idea for ListProducer.com I always run it past my friends first. It’s not just for their great advice, but because talking it through can often help me understand what I want from my project or idea.

Friends aren’t just great for advice they can help you to get more done. I’ve written before about having a friend as an accountability buddy, but friends can also push you to achieve more than you thought possible. For example, my friend Terri and I run an online course called Lights Camera Expert, which  helps experts, entrepreneurs and authors get media attention. Read more

Bringing Back “Old School” Productivity Hacks

As technology gets more and more advanced, we tend to forget how we used to do things.

Think of how shocked kids are when they hear how you did homework before the internet. (No one appreciates the dewey decimal system anymore!)

But are we becoming too reliant on technology? While it certainly makes our lives more convenient, we now bypass certain steps that helped us to stay on top of our organizational game.

Here are some ways kickin’ it “old school” will make you more productive:

Remember the Typewriter – This old piece of tech is symbolic of a whole generation, you’d be hard pressed to find a black and white movie that doesn’t include a typewriter. One of the downsides to the typewriter was that if you made a mistake you had to start over again. As much of a pain as this may be it made you more conscious of what you were typing. Read more