Posts

How to Organize a Successful Workshop

I’m super pumped this week, because my friend and partner in crime Terri Trespicio and I recently hosted our first live event! It wasn’t hosted by an organization or a conference – it was hosted by us – it was our baby!

Many of you know I created an online course called Lights Camera Expert after being asked “How do I get on TV?” so many times by experts who were sick of seeing everyone else in their field snatch up the airtime.

So we took them behind the scenes of what it’s like to work at a TV show or magazine, how to get a producer or editor’s attention and continue to get asked back.  And we pushed the video course out into the world about a year ago.

What happened next is not something we expected. 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!

Expert List Techniques You’re Not Doing – But Should! (+ a freebie!)

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’re probably a pretty savvy list maker. So how do you take it to the next level?

Getting the most out of your list, firstly, means understanding how priorities work. For example, today you might want to pick up groceries and also start planning the first chapter of your book. (That’s two separate lists – I’m sure you already know that!)  But how do you make sure that the here and now doesn’t override your long term goals?

Split your lists into lists: Immediate Priority vs Long-Term Priority

Not only do I believe in having multiple lists, but those lists can be split into different categories. We aren’t talking about daily to-do lists here to be clear. These lists are IMMEDIATE PRIORITY vs. LONG-TERM PRIORITY lists.

I like to use Evernote to keep my goals separate – and I split them into 2 notebooks. Your active list is what you are going to do for the week (like writing that book chapter!) or other important things that are on your mind – like knocking off some of your Christmas shopping! In another notebook I store my long-term priority list. This is where I keep all my ongoing projects and reminders for things I need to do later in the month or later in the year.

For example, if your goal for now is to write chapter one of your book, it’s a good idea to keep your outlines for the later chapters in this notebook. You don’t need them right now, but you’ll want to have them handy for reference. Or you can keep links to the Google Docs where you keep your notes or inspiration in this folder as well.  Anything that will make it easier for you to start crossing off tasks is helpful.

Be very specific  

With your IMMEDIATE PRIORITY list you need to be very specific. For example, I make my daily to-do lists at the end of each day. I think of every email or phone call I want to make the next day and I clearly write out what needs to be done.  Instead of “emails” I will write “send an email to Trisha about Monday’s event” This helps me to keep on task during the day.  I’m also automatically prioritizing as I write my list.  

To learn how to do that sign up for my free giveaway “Prioritize Like a Pro.”

With LONG-TERM PRIORITY lists it’s good to have an overarching idea of what you want to do, but it’s best not to get too bogged down in the details. To go back to the book example, you would set yourself a deadline for when you want to complete each chapter and write and outline for each of them. But you wouldn’t plan the days you’re going to write it until you’re closer to that deadline. Then you can pull from that list when the time comes to make your daily to-do lists.

Plus these lists can overlap each other – by that I mean you’ll be using them at the same time. So you should reference them and pull items from the long-term priority list and stick it on the immediate priority lists. Eventually it will graduate to the daily to-do list. Think of each list as a stepping stone – as you move from one to the next you’re closer to completing the task.

The reason I keep these separate is so that you can focus more on what’s on your daily to-do list without getting too distracted by those big goals. I would recommend checking in on your long term priority list every week or so.  This way you know what tasks you have coming up. But you won’t feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do.  

If you’d like to check out my system to Prioritize Like a Pro fill in the form below and I’ll send you my free giveaway.  






 

Listful Thinking AUDIOBOOK is OUT TODAY!

Just over a year ago my book Listful Thinking was released and now I’m excited to announce that it has been released as an audiobook!

I rarely have time to sit down and read a book, so I much prefer to listen to podcasts and books on the go. So it seems only fitting that my book about time management and productivity would be available in such an efficient format.

If you remember I posted a couple weeks back about how much fun I had recording the audiobook. Although it was a little stressful to be on the other side of the coin and find myself at the mercy of another producer. It was a long process and I was physically exhausted by the end of it. That’s a lot of talking!

However, reading my book out loud made me realize some of the difficulties that come with listening to a book instead of reading it. For example, when I talk about an app or website that I love it’s very easy to read about it in my book and then look it up online. Things start to get a little more tricky when you only hear it, how are you supposed to know how it’s spelled or remember to write it down?

To make things easier for all my audiobook fans I am giving away a FREE resources guide to everyone who purchases a copy of the audiobook. It lists all the apps, websites, books and articles that I mention in Listful Thinking.

To claim your resources guide forward a copy of your receipt to my assistant nicole@listproducer.com and she will send you the guide.

I hope you enjoy the audiobook as much as I enjoyed recording it!

What kind of List Maker are You?

Since starting this blog and writing my book Listful Thinking — one of my favorite parts is meeting lots of people who love making lists. Even at my day job, working as a news producer, I encounter tons of fellow list makers who can’t wait to swap list tips!

Over time I’ve started to notice that list makers tend to fall into certain categories, all with their own styles of list making.

Check out the categories below to figure out what kind of a list maker you are:

Monkey List Maker

You might be this list maker if:

  1. You have a list for – literally – everything.
  2. All your lists have a place, like a notebook or in Evernote.
  3. You keep them in a certain order or they are color coded.

These list makers are just like me and for them lists are serious business! Monkey list makers are normally very organized, but they can fall into the trap of spending more time writing lists than crossing items off! To stop yourself from doing this make sure that every task has a deadline – even if it’s not urgent create a ‘fake’ deadline.

Monkeys are known for being very smart and efficient.  Though if you’re a monkey and you don’t set a deadline – you may never get around to doing that task. Read more