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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!

If You’re a Spreadsheet Nerd – You’ll Love AirTable

Not so long ago the most revolutionary organization tool was the filofax. Once home computers became popular this was replaced with programs like Excel spreadsheets or Outlook. Nowadays there’s a million and one productivity tools to choose from. How do you know what to pick?

Personally, I’ve always felt there was something about spreadsheets that really stands the test of time. They present your data in an easy to read format and you can tab between the various options. I use Google Sheets for example to keep my blog schedule and ideas organized. Read more

When is YOUR “Power Hour”?

Here’s something interesting that most people don’t know:

Each of us has a specific two-hour window every day when – thanks to certain physiological processes – we’re naturally TWICE as productive as normal. Not only that, but our cognition is sharper, too.

Remember the last time you were in the zone? Chances are, it was during this two-hour window.

I know my peak time starts around 11am, I need some time to get settled into the day and then I’m ready to get down to work.

Knowing when you’re at your peak performance can help you in so many ways. You know precisely when to do your most important work. Better yet, you could set an alarm and wait for it to ring before diving into tasks that are essential for getting ahead.

Why? Because then, without even trying and tapping into your personal productivity style, you’d perform at a higher level and, ultimately, do a better job. You’d finish faster, leave work earlier, and arrive home with more energy at the end of the day.

This two-hour window occurs at a different hour for each of us.

It’s hardwired into our neurology. Read more

A Scientifically-Proven Recipe For Achieving More

Think back to your most productive day this past week. Now ask yourself: On that morning, what did you do differently?

What did you eat for lunch that afternoon? What strategies did you use to silence distractions, eliminate procrastination, and stay focused all day long?

The truth is, most of us don’t pay nearly enough attention to our daily routine.

But what if you knew precisely the right formula? What if you had a scientifically-proven recipe for achieving top performance? What if you could bottle that one perfect day, and uncork it at will?

If you’ve ever wondered how you can take your performance to the next level, I have something that I know you’re going to love. It’s an incredible event called the Peak Work Performance Summit, and I’ve been excited about it for months. Read more

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