All posts by Deanna Ritchie

5 Unique Time Management Hacks That Have Been Proven to Work

By | Time Management | No Comments
Unique Time Management Hacks Proven Work

Modern reliance on technology by most companies today means that the same devices that we use for work are also where we get our distractions. Some say it’s not your fault if you often fall victim to technology — many of us have. But come on, you are in charge of yourself, even if the nature of the technology is a constant connection.

While it may seem like the only solution to manage your time is to spend it away from your devices (which does help, of course), that’s not always possible or even necessary.

Find the productivity you need with some of these hacks for time management that have been proven to work.

1. Stop Letting Tech Suck You In

The truth is that one reason technology distracts us so strongly is because it offers a comfortable, relatively predictable escape from our tasks. If you’re tired from being hard at work for a few hours, why not take a second to look at Instagram? One second can lead to an hour away from your responsibilities — and a lot of the time, it’s not because you’re distracted but rather because you want to relax. And as long as you’re fulfilling your responsibilities, don’t be afraid to enjoy what you enjoy on social.

Not letting tech suck you in can be done in many ways: cutting off work communications as soon as the day ends, working and relaxing in different rooms, etc. The most important thing is that after hours, you are giving yourself fully to your relaxation needs. When it’s time to return you’ll feel refreshed, alert, and much more able to focus because your needs have already been tended to.

2. Utilize Timers for Each Task

Realistically, the duration of any given task can vary in uniformity and length. But setting a timer creates a new psychological environment, one in which you are present for this amount of time and this amount only, regardless of how long it is. When the timer ends, you are free. Believe it or not, setting a timer requires focus, even if you aren’t sure about the length of time a task will take. However, your timer will help you focus and work faster and makes it easier to stay on task by providing this target of freedom.

Say you have a short story transcript to be edited by the end of the day. You don’t know how long it will take and are avoiding the task out of dread. Instead of scrambling at the last minute, set a timer for one hour, clear your mind of anything but the task (including the deadline), and begin. You’ll find the task to be a little easier when you know better how long it will take — and give a concentrated push to be finished.

3. Create an Environment for Focus

Alongside your timer, try to adapt your surroundings to the task at hand. Keep an open mind at this point because even the smallest change can make a difference for you. You can move a pen that you keep hitting with your arm or move all electronics out of your sight. Part of creating this environment can be put into action in advance as well, even just by outlining a plan for the day and setting the kinds of rules for yourself as mentioned in this article by Calendar.

To continue the previous example, let’s say you’re doing your transcript editing at home. To craft the ideal environment, you can turn off your electronics, dress comfortably, make a cup of tea, put on a sound generator in some sound-dampening headphones, and close everything on your computer but the transcript. Whatever makes you feel focused in your space will work best.

4. Steer Clear of Your Unique Distractions

Read up on distractions and take some notes about the ones that affect your time management. Here is a great list of distractions such as this one you can put far away from yourself. Your needs will likely be different from anyone else’s. Chances are, you have particular things that distract you uniquely more than others. It’s easy to forget these distractions are even there, or to get used to them in the space, without being freed from their influence. Take a moment to sit in your space and note everything that draws your attention in a distracting way.

These distractions can take the form of imagery to be changed, like a decoration on the wall, or a bright light shining through your window. Maybe you’ve found that your emotions are distracting you the most, in which case you can take a break to do some mindfulness exercises. You should do everything that you need to make this your space of focus, even if it seems strange or unconventional.

5. Experiment With Your Time Management System

Above all, managing your time is just that — managing your time for the sake of your own productivity. It’s easy to try different methods that many people use, but it can be difficult to stick with them because they aren’t tailored for you. You might find that what works best for you may even be the opposite of what you’ve heard (like letting yourself get distracted so you can come back with fuller focus). In the end, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as it helps you achieve your time management goals.

Remember, the objective is not to implement time-saving methods, but rather, succinctly, to save time itself. Try not to get caught up in common methods that aren’t helping just because they might down the line. The concept of a method that will always help everyone is one of many time-saving myths. Just sit down, look around, and do what you need to do to manage your time.

5 Unique Time Management Hacks That Have Been Proven to Work was originally published on Calendar by Deanna Ritchie.

Image Credit: Ono Kosuki; Pexels; Thank you!

In 2022, Time Management in the Workplace will be Critical.

By | Time Management | No Comments
2022 Time Management Workplace Critical

Working professionals can’t get enough of the All You Wanted To Know About Time movement. So let’s go over the significance of workplace time management.

How much scheduling software do you use? Or want to use? Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro, you’ll always need an extra hour to complete your to-do list. It’s tough to keep track of every minute of your day, mainly when there are so many distractions. Since childhood, our parents and instructors have taught us to budget our time and money.

Let’s have a look at what time management is before we get into its importance:

First, what is the definition of time management?

Work smarter rather than harder. Time management is the activity of planning and exerting deliberate control over the time spent on specific tasks. It’s a balancing act of several factors that help boost productivity and achieve a better work-life balance.

Improving your work time management helps you improve your performance and reach your objectives with less effort and more effective tactics. Failure to manage time or poor time management abilities at work, on the other hand, may lead to:

  • Appointments and deadlines that you did not meet.
  • Lack of attention and procrastination.
  • Professionalism is lacking.
  • Workflow inefficiency and poor job quality
  • Unwanted anxiety
  • Professional reputation is poor.
  • Strained workplace interactions
  • Financial repercussions
  • Unbalanced work and personal life

Workplace advantages of time management

There are several benefits to being able to manage your time well. Time management may help you in your work life in the following ways:

Complete projects on schedule with proper time management

It is more probable that workers will do tasks on schedule if you give them a certain amount of time to finish them. It also helps you handle your job in the most effective manner possible.

As a result of completing activities within a certain period, you train your brain to adhere to a framework and finish the tasks within that time limit. Therefore, if you have successfully managed your time, you will complete your job on schedule.

Produce high-quality work with good time management

You are required to offer work of a specific quality and level as a devoted employee. One may deliver a higher quality of work by properly using time and prioritizing duties. Prioritization aids in focusing on critical tasks by placing them at the top of the priority list, allowing you to devote your whole attention and concentration to them. As a result, the work’s quality has improved.

More efficiency and productivity are earmarks of proper time management

As a working professional, it’s no secret that good time management skills help you be more productive and efficient. These abilities may assist you in completing chores as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.

When you’re focusing on unnecessary things, your total productivity suffers. In other words, strong time management skills allow you to complete both vital and urgent jobs on time.

Manage your time well, and you’ll be one of your team’s most productive members.

There will be a lot less procrastinating with time management working for you

“I’ll do it later” is an excuse that we’ve all used at some point. However, time management isn’t only about getting more done in less time; it’s also about reducing the desire to put off and procrastinate on vital chores.

As a creator, leader, or employee, you may work smarter rather than harder by using appropriate time management techniques. It immediately prevents procrastination by ensuring that you know the things added to your to-do list. You also know when you want to complete them.

Less worry and stress

Employees might get overwhelmed when they have too much work on their plates. This might hurt your productivity as well as your general health. Excessive stress and hypertension may cause heart disease, depression, obesity, and other health problems. We can eliminate unneeded stress and anxiety in our lives if we know what to do.

A higher standard of living

Practical time management skills may enhance your life outside the workplace and your working life. When you have your business life under control, you have more time to concentrate on your personal life and relationships.

Knowing that your responsibilities and activities are on schedule can help you relax in your personal life. As a result, your quality of life increases instantly, as you feel calmer and less worried.

More prospects and advancement in your career

Being on time with your job will help you be more productive. Consequently, it will help you build a positive reputation at work. Managers and supervisors love to see that you consistently finish things on schedule. It may open the door to more excellent prospects for advancement at work.

More leisure and recreation time

When was the last time you took some time for yourself and did something you enjoyed?

Fortunately, proper time management allows you to have more free time throughout the day. As a result, you are free to engage in the leisure and recreational activities that bring you joy.

Finally, by working bright all day and receiving a reward of your choosing, you may achieve the ideal balance. Remember, for every tick; there must be a tock.

Image Credit: Ono Kosuki; Pexels; Thank you!

How to Catch Up on Work When You’re Behind

By | Time Management | No Comments
How To Catch Up Work When Behind

Do you have an endless list of tasks at work that keeps growing before you can begin to cross things off? Hey. It happens to the best of us from time to time. However, add up having an endless list with all the fires you’re putting out, and suddenly you’re behind the eight ball.

It may not have been your intention, but that mountain of work can start to feel unattainable. And as a consequence, you may miss deadlines or milestones that you’ve set. Understandably, this can lead to an overwhelming and stressful feeling. Even worse? If you start to miss deadlines, it isn’t easy to regain your focus and get back on track.

Thankfully, all is not lost if you use these strategies to catch up on work, you’re behind. Here is a list of the best “get over it and get going” advice I could put together for you.

Recognize that you’re overwhelmed and need assistance.

“The first step to dealing with a problem is admitting that you have a problem.” — Jase Robertson

Yes. This is easier said than done. However, as Jase Robertson noted, this is without question the first step you have to take.

To make this process easier, you first need to acknowledge that not only have you fallen behind on your work, but you’re also overwhelmed. And, not that you’ve accepted this, you can explore ways to dig yourself out of this hole.

Here are some of the strategies that I’ve used in the past.

Prioritize my to-do list and shrink my workload.

I’m a big fan of the Eisenhower Matrix. This system divides tasks into four quadrants. From there, a set of columns and rows helps determine where tasks go. Tasks are then sorted into columns according to urgency and nonurgency, while the rows indicate essential and not so important tasks.

Together, you get the following quadrants:

  • First Quadrant: Do
  • Second Quadrant: Decide
  • Third Quadrant: Delegate
  • Fourth Quadrant: Disregard

Whatever items are in the first quadrant deserve your attention and energy before anything. Ideally, you want to limit these to only three priorities per day so that you can actually achieve them.

Anything in the second quadrant gets scheduled to when you have the availability. Then, you’ll delegate or outsource the items in the third quadrant. And whatever remains can be removed from your list.

It’s a simple and effective way to not only reduce your workload but also encourage you to focus on what’s most important.

Limit my distractions.

With your priorities identified, you want to add them to your calendar. You want to block out as many distractions as possible during these time blocks. For example, you can turn off your phone, close the office door, or put on a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

Take a deep breath and ask for help.

If you are still overwhelmed and feel like you’re underwater, then let others know. You shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask for help. It’s also not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it’s actually a strength, as it provides an opportunity to explore unique perspectives and insights.

In addition, research has shown that doing so builds resilience relationships and is an indicator of high performance. In addition, it can help you enjoy a better mental state of mind. Moreover, sitting next to hard and motivated workers helps one’s work ethic.

Prioritize your backlog.

“If work is piling up, it’s time to prioritize your backlog as best as possible, suggests Mario Peshev, CEO of DevriX. “Compile all of those tasks in one place and categorize them by priority, urgency or complexity.”

“You can push through the most important tasks first and free up some time to sort out the rest of the backlog, or tackle the lowest hanging fruits by reducing the number of activities you have to complete,” he adds. In some cases, seeing a bigger picture in one place may prove to be helpful in delegating some tasks or even outsourcing to partners when needed.

“Having the opportunity to reflect may expose opportunities to hire for a new role.” Or, you may decide to get an assistant or take a break from activities that take up your time regularly without generating the ROI you need.

 Follow the 2-minute rule.

Do you have tasks that take two minutes or less? If so, do them now and remove them from your to-do list. As a result, your brain gets a nice little rush of reward chemicals like dopamine. And, it can help you build up momentum so that you can climb out that “I can’t seem to get anything done today” spiral.

What if it’s a slightly more complicated or time-consuming task? This task should be postponed until you have the time to attend to it properly.

Just say “no.”

I’ll be honest. I’m struggling with this. I don’t want to disappoint others or earn the reputation of being a “No Man.” However, when you’re playing catch-up, you have no other option.

But, how exactly can you master the art of saying “no?” Well, if you’ve added your priorities to your calendar, you have a perfectly valid reason for declining additional work or grabbing lunch with a friend. But, then, a simple, “I’m sorry, I’m booked this week, can we schedule this in two weeks?” should be just fine.

The most important takeaway is that you should be firm, while also being polite. An example response could be, “I appreciate you considering me for the assignment. Unfortunately, I’m not available right now, but I hope to keep you posted.” The great thing about this response is that it shows gratitude while also leaving the door open for future opportunities.

Ask the “Focusing Question.”

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” asks Gary Keller, co-author of “The One Thing. He says that you should ask this “over and over until you’re doing the most important thing – your ‘ONE Thing.’”

“Extraordinary results are rarely happenstance,” Keller adds. “They come from the choices we make and the actions we take.”

“The Focusing Question always aims you at the absolute best of both by forcing you to do what is essential to success,” explains Keller. “It ignores what is doable and drills down to what is necessary, to what matters.” No matter if “you’re looking for answers big or small, asking the Focusing Question is the ultimate ‘success habit’ in your life.”

After you have answered the “Focusing Question,” jot it down. According to Dr. Gail Matthews, an associate professor of psychology at the Dominican University in California, writing down your goals and dreams regularly can make you 42% more likely to achieve them.

Whenever you’re stuck, switch gears.

If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, start something else. That may sound counterproductive. If you can knock out a simple task right now, that will help build momentum.

Compared to trying to push through when stuck, research shows that switching to another unrelated task improves performance. So, the next time you’re stuck, change tack by doing either of the following three things;

  • Take a short break of 5-15 minutes, then start a new block of time devoted to something else, preferably something sequential.
  • Whenever possible, take a 30- to 60-minute break to move your body before starting another task or attempting to return to the one you can’t figure out. If you don’t have that much time available, go for a short job or yoga session.
  • Calm your mind. Even if you’ve prioritized your list, your mind is probably still racing with everything that needs to get done. As a result, this can cause you to feel stressed and anxious. Find ways to manage these feelings through journaling, breathing exercises, or listening to soothing music.

End the procrastination cycle.

Did you know that procrastination is more closely related to emotion than time? Well, that’s according to scientists. It’s been found that people who procrastinate often do so to give themselves a temporary emotional release. However, by avoiding the dreaded task, they aren’t improving their emotional state due to guilt over procrastination.

Although procrastination occurs to all of us from time to time, chronic procrastinators can become trapped in this endless cycle of procrastination. So, if you find yourself in this loop, how can you break free?

Two methods have proven to be effective in interrupting this recurring cycle. One of those methods is an external deadline. When you have a deadline to meet, you often force yourself just to get started to complete it. Ideally, someone else should set this deadline, like a supervisor or client. However, if that’s not an option, you can create a self-imposed deadline even though it’s not as effective.

A second way to break the procrastination cycle is to consider your mood as a fixed state. Researchers found students did not procrastinate when they believed their moods were fixed. But, when they thought they could improve their mood, they procrastinated.

In short, you may find it challenging to start your work if you are feeling lousy. However, you will be more likely to buckle down and get the job done if you accept your lousy mood as part of life.

“Extend your workday.”

“Usually, extending your workday isn’t recommended,” says Ryan Sundling on Robin Waite. “But when you are behind on work, it doesn’t hurt to stay for an extra 30 minutes each day.”

If you decide to stay, make the most of it. “Given that most people will have already gone home, your office will be quiet, and you can get more work done,” he adds. “With fewer people around, there should be far fewer interruptions. If you stay an extra hour each day for one week, you could potentially have enough time to catch up on your work.”

The key, however, is to limit yourself. After all, you shouldn’t burn yourself out. “You won’t do yourself any favors by turning into a zombie, even if you are catching up!” Sundling warns.

Are you really behind or do you just feel like you’re not doing so well?

It’s one thing to have missed a hard deadline. It’s another to feel like you’re behind because you’re comparing yourself to others. If it’s the latter, then try using the positive benefits of competition to your advantage.

“Track your triggers.”

When you become aware of what triggers self-comparison for you, you can transform them into opportunities for more effective responses to self-comparison, writes Nihar Chhaya in HBR.

Shift from reactive rumination to purposeful reframing. For example, after you identify the situations that provoke feelings behind, you may decide to stop all activities that cause feelings of insecurity.

This approach is not always practical. For example, you may not avoid what your peers are saying in the workplace. But, you can reduce comparisons on social media by limiting your time on these platforms or viewing your peer’s progress objectively.

“Exhibit a personal strength to regain validation and momentum.” 

“During an acute bout of insecurity, you may start to brood about how you can catch up to others,” states Chhaya. “At this time, recapture your sense of self-efficacy by taking small actions to achieve small wins.” Highlight your strengths, share them with the world, and apply the validation to boost your resilience.”

“Redefine your peer set and create a new field of play.”

Comparing yourself to a fixed set of peers is like playing a zero-sum game where you are either ahead or behind your peers. “But by expanding your view to include new and diverse peer groups, you create less of a binary evaluation of your success and enable new domains to dominate,” Chhaya adds.

“Shake free of internalized expectations.”

A promotion at work may seem like an actual competition, but it’s another thing to feel behind your peers. Insecurity is also caused by a mindset that leads to perpetual insecurity: the belief that you should aim to outperform your peers and want everything they strive for.

Having to abide by this “tyranny of the should” is like living in a never-ending race. Success depends on what others want, not what you want.

“Consider the possibility that everything you have chosen to do until now has always been the right path, regardless of what you think you were supposed to do,” Chhaya advises.

Image Credit: ; Pexels; Thank you!

4 Outdoor Activities to Try This Winter to Boost Your Productivity

By | Business Tips | No Comments
Outdoor Activities Winter Productivity

Winter is the season of the year when many people begin spending most of their time indoors. You’ll want to get outdoors this winter to boost your productivity. Consistently being indoors has the effect of blending days together. The blending of days isn’t mentally healthy for anyone — so let’s mix it up a little by adding outdoor activities to our Calendar.

This Winter Boost Your Productivity With Outdoor Activities

It’s much harder to feel like your life provides the variation needed and desired when you stay inside all of the time. Even a quick “nippy-cold-walk” at lunch will boost your productivity and confidence for the long-haul afternoon. You’ll want these outdoor breaks for that very reason and there are plenty of exciting things to do outside that will help clear your head. Here are four outdoor activities to treat yourself to when your motivation and productivity are low.

1. Go for a Mindful Stroll

When you find yourself stuck in a confusing loop of working without motivation, take a walk outside to refresh yourself. While it can be painfully cold outside, it will actually help feel that cold. Sufficient clothing will keep you comfortable as the breeze hits your face, making it easier to focus your mind on the walk itself. The outdoors provides a natural separation from work indoors. Focus on what’s physically ahead of you for the best results.

This change in environment, this combination of low temperature, fresh air, natural sound, and sunlight, puts you in a different mindset than the one you’re working with indoors. It allows you to think of other things, to look at the world outside of your work, and to experience it authentically. So grab someone from the office to walk with for a refreshing walk-talk, or set aside a permanent time to walk around once a day to break up the monotony of being at your desk.

2. Immerse Yourself in Nature-Based Activities

Take a pilgrimage to the next level by seeking out activities designed for nature like hiking or skiing on the weekend. You can, for example, trek out into the forest away from town for a few hours and be fully separated from the work that’s stressing you out. Skiing and hiking are perfect for solitude if you’re overwhelmed by your relationships at home or work.

If water doesn’t freeze over in your area, rent a rowboat and set out into the water for some time alone. Still, it’s exciting to do these things with friends or family too, and they are always welcome to join if that works for you.

You may not be the kind of person who needs solitude for you to recharge, so bring along everyone you want to stay in touch with. Getting out in nature is about getting your energy back however you see fit. Understand that everybody is different, and give yourself time to figure out what’s best for you.

Remember that you don’t have to bring people along if it stresses you. Instead, being alone with your thoughts gives you the chance to renew yourself — and that’s what you’ll want for higher productivity.

3. Return to Your Childhood

When you’re immersed in work for any period of time, it’s essential to fit in exercise for both your physical and mental health. But structured exercise can easily feel like another chore and cause you more stress in the long run. Instead, make your nature exercise something to look forward to — in this case, try stretching the meaning of the word “exercise” as much as you want. Growing up in a warm or cold climate, you’ll surely remember how winded you’d be coming in after playing in the ocean or snow all day. You felt exhausted — and it was great. Think “kid” again, and be that kid.

Snowy days (well, ocean days, too — I’ve had both) are perfect for unstructured exercise. Building a snowman (or woman) is a blast, though I’d rather not do most activities alone — how about you? Instead, explore the neighborhood, and start a snowball fight — it’s an excellent way to burn energy with the snow bearing down on you. Neighbors may think you’re nuts, but that is invigorating too.

Then, you can come back inside and settle back in with a warm cup of tea with a renewed sense of motivation. At the very least, the contrasting environments and mindsets are great for getting away from the more structured work. You’ll come back with renewed focus, and you can work longer, too.

4. Head for the Mountains to Boost Your Productivity

Sometimes longer breaks are needed after a long work week — especially if you have a family with their own responsibilities. Consider a more extended, more involved activity that you can get excited about, like sledding, skiing, or snowboarding. Drive out from the home to find the best hill to barrel down or the closest mountain resort to dust off those skis and relax your brain. Watch for freebies — like Tuesday, ladies’ night at the local ski resort is fun — you’ll spring out of bed the following day with motivation.

It sounds counterintuitive to go so far from work to be more productive but in fact, the opposite is true — you need this time to recharge.

A nice break in the great outdoors will put a spring in your step — and make it much easier to focus at work and get in the zone. It also will allow you to partake in hobbies that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in — benefitting both sides of the spectrum. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it makes.

Taking a break where, when, and how you want it will help you recharge. And, yes, if you haven’t taken this type of time for yourself in a while — you may be a little stiff (okay, really stiff). But it feels so good — and you’ll feel alive. Working too much (without a break) makes Jill a dull girl.

Trade your work shoes for snow boots, and they’ll be much more comfortable when you return.

Image Credit: Julia Larson; Pexels; Thank you!

3 Ways to Be Productive Despite Uncertainty

By | Appointment | No Comments
Stay Productive

Humans tend to be creatures of habit, setting up and following routines that make them feel comfortable and safe. Within those routines is a sense of predictability that helps individuals find and keep their bearings. But what happens when consistency goes out the window or a lot of uncertainty starts to creep in? Every human being on this planet has had uncertainty in these last two years. But what can we do about it now?

Not knowing where things are headed and pivoting away from well-established routines leads to stress and anxiety. Magnifying that stress is the fear of the unknown and the pressure to respond to situations without guidelines. In addition, the energy it takes to manage ambiguity, and the unease that goes along with that ambiguity make it more challenging to stay focused. As a result, productivity can take a hit, whether your stress involves team issues, personal objectives, or stuff at home.

You Can Be Productive Despite Uncertainty

Despite the constant change around you, there are ways to work with it and establish some sense of normalcy. For example, you may need to redefine what productivity means, help reshape your environment, set different boundaries, or shift your focus. If you’re finding it challenging to stay on task during uncertain times, here are three ways to reclaim a sense of direction.

1. Adjust Your Work Environment and Schedule

When things change on a dime, you’re expected to respond urgently and rearrange your plans. Suddenly, your kids may not be attending in-person classes today and will need supervision while they learn from home. In addition, you might need to schedule critical appointments during working hours, care for sick family members, or practice social distancing.

Adjusting your work environment to accommodate unpredictable shifts in responsibilities and precautions can be an effective way to respond. For example, you could negotiate remote or hybrid work schedules for yourself and your team. In addition, having the ability to work from anywhere — like a remote worker — helps employees handle personal and professional obligations without stressing about them.

You won’t have to worry about finding someone to watch the kids or ill loved ones. The need to use sick time or PTO to take care of your well-being also won’t be as frequent. With remote or hybrid schedules, it’s easier to juggle doctor’s appointments and family events without losing productivity.

Focus on work assignments for a few hours, take care of personal responsibilities, and go back to your home office. You’ll probably find that you get more done in less time without as many distractions from colleagues. And with hybrid work arrangements, you’ll still maintain a sense of connection with the office and your co-workers.

2. Try New Time Management Strategies

You might already be practicing some form of time management on your Calendar, whether that’s block scheduling or prioritizing your tasks. But when your environment becomes more chaotic or uncertain, you may find that some of your techniques don’t work as well. For instance, the Eisenhower Matrix won’t necessarily apply to scenarios where priorities are constantly changing.

Everything could become an immediate task in a single day. And by Friday, you might have several former high-priority assignments scrapped or buried by five new ones. There could also be days when there’s not enough information to determine what’s urgent and what can wait.

Instead of relying on familiar strategies, you can look for redundancies and repetition. Time management techniques like the DRY Principle can help you improve efficiency regardless of what you’re tasked with. This technique involves tracking your time to identify what tasks you’re repeating.

Perhaps you’re sending the same emails to clients or co-workers. Repetition could also be occurring with scheduling, content creation, or meeting agendas. Productivity can be lost because managers and experienced employees aren’t delegating tasks or training others. Under the DRY Principle, you can establish ways to automate repetition, eliminate redundancy, and balance workloads. You can set up productivity protocols for these situations.

3. Make Contingency Plans

As a leader, how will you respond if several employees walk out the door at once? Or you lose someone who’s fulfilling a critical role or working on a high-profile project? Turnover has an immediate impact on employees because someone has to fill the gaps left by others.

Filling those gaps could mean temporarily redistributing responsibilities and increasing workloads. However, it could also entail restructuring positions, bringing more vendors into the mix, or relying more on existing external partnerships. If temporary assignment shifts or permanent restructuring will occur, how you communicate and plan those changes will impact the productivity of anyone involved.

In the face of uncertainty, don’t spring changes on any member of your team. For example, telling an employee that they are now responsible for website management on top of everything else is not productive. Just because you think someone has the skills to handle the tasks doesn’t mean they can, and they may currently be overwhelmed with tasks. More than likely, they’ll feel caught off guard and perhaps resentful that they weren’t asked in the first place.

Your employee may find themselves unprepared to juggle a new set of tasks or meet the demands those new assignments require.

Implementing fly-by-night solutions for staffing shortages that seem convenient might lead to more turnover. That’s why it’s more effective to develop several solutions in a well-documented and communicated contingency proposal. Then, although you can’t predict every two-week notice, you can plan for it at all levels.

Line up backup vendors or freelancers for departments that already have skeleton crews. Build relationships with temp or staffing agencies for front-line positions. Also, create a pipeline of internal and external successors for leadership roles. Most importantly, communicate the reasons and tactics behind contingency staffing plans. Be sure to solicit buy-in from employees willing to step up instead of assuming they’ll embrace anything you throw at them.

Stay the Course

Maintaining productivity is tough during uncertainty because the unknown often consumes your thoughts. The stress of many “what-ifs” can result in confusion, an inability to concentrate, and conflicting priorities. Accomplishing tasks with determination and efficiency isn’t as simple as going with the flow when chaos seems to be surrounding you.

However, you can reestablish control by adjusting work environments and schedules, trying new time management strategies, and making contingency plans. Putting these methods into practice will help keep productivity at acceptable levels in the face of ambiguity. While the shifts that occur during constant change aren’t always predictable, the ways you respond can be.

Image Credit: Cottonbro; Pexels; Thank you!

Pivot to Your Successful Calendar in 2022

By | Time Management | No Comments
Pivot Successful Calendar 2022

Only a month of the way into 2022 and this year already seems to be looking up compared to the craziness of the last two years. The COVID-19 vaccine was rolled out to reasonable success, and businesses are beginning to thrive once more. The holidays were great, and we’re moving forward, hoping summer vacations won’t be limited with Omicron, or something else. With this positive outlook in mind, it’s a prime time for personal development and achievement.

Time management is the key ingredient behind personal progression. Using a tool such as your Calendar allows you to harness your time and daily efforts to make things happen in your favor. A lot can be achieved through proper time management, but avoid the tricky mistakes that may slow you down.

During this first quarter, take the time to assess your time management skills and pivot to your best Calendar success, making this year the best ever.

Here are some things you can look for to pick up your personal success pace.

Identify Working Patterns

Kick things off by celebrating your successes. Were you able to meet your daily exercise goals through successful Calendar additions? Is your side hustle growing thanks to some successful Calendar finessing that helps you be more productive in the evenings? Whatever your successes are — pat yourself on the back.

If you’ve been a big miss, don’t let that bother you — take courage and plan out the next few months of this quarter to continue to see progress on your goals. If your new morning routine helps you make time for exercise, be sure to include that schedule in your future Calendar plans. Keep track of what works and what doesn’t.

Ditch Bad Habits

Next up, it’s time to admit defeat in certain aspects of your time management. It’s okay to recognize that you spent a lot more time watching Netflix than you should have. Now’s your chance to turn things around using your Calendar.

Identify your lousy time management habits so that you can stop them in their tracks. What can you do to break the habit if you have a late-night binge-watching problem? Plan an evening activity in your Calendar, such as reading a chapter of a book, doing a chore that you have been putting off.

Think about studying a subject or investigating a skill you have wanted to work on or think about. Creative pursuits often pull me out of a bad time management issue. Thinking in this new way will help you increase your productivity.

A bonus tip: for recognizing both successful habits and destructive tendencies, take a look at your Calendar analytics. You can’t hide from the fact, and this will give you an inside view of how you’re spending your time.

Feel free to create a few events that weren’t originally planned on your Calendar or make adjustments to make your analytics more realistic. These numbers will show you what’s going the way you want, and which areas of your schedule could use some work.

Realign Your Goals

Hopefully, you haven’t forgotten those New Year’s Resolutions already? But, even if you have, this is as good a time as any to bring them back up. Scheduling a planning session to reevaluate your goals will put you back on the right track.

If you haven’t set any goals for this year or haven’t done anything to pursue them, make plans to start afresh. Organize your Calendar in a way that focuses your efforts on the goals you want to achieve. For example, you might be putting off finding a new job. Scheduling time to review your resume and write up applications helps you be accountable to your goal and take action.

For your existing goals, it’s time to evaluate your progress. Is your goal still attainable? Did you set your sights too low or too high? Realigning your goals helps you maintain productivity instead of becoming discouraged because you set the bar too high.

Try Something New

Time management perfection is different for everyone. You can’t expect to follow the daily routine of your favorite influencer and expect the same results for yourself. Instead, you need to find what works best for you and stick with it. That’s why trying something new with your Calendar can pivot your Calendar success for the rest of the year.

As an example, take a minute to fiddle with different Calendar settings. Color-coding your events or projects using a different view makes for minor adjustments — but might just be the difference-maker you need to manage your time even a little more effectively.

Take a swing at different time management techniques such as timeboxing or the Pomodoro method in an attempt to find the best methods for your personal use.

Find Your Balance

Think about your Calendar’s strengths and weaknesses — circle back and look at how you’re balancing your time. Have you only thought about how time management will help you with your professional life? While this is very important, it’s also vital that you implement a successful Calendar skill to improve your personal life. You won’t find true success until you find your life balance.

A Groupon survey shows that 60% of Americans have difficulties finding a healthy work-life balance. This is mainly because work often seeps into your extra time, making it feel like work is a 24/7 affair.

For this first quarter of the year, attempt to schedule out more personal activities in pursuit of a better balance. But, of course, you can always check your Calendar analytics page to gauge your progress.


Continue using your online Calendar to hone your time management. Consider taking the time this business quarter to continue evaluating your progress and note how things are going. The more diligent you are in keeping track of your time — the more you’ll be able to accomplish, and the fuller your life will be.

Image Credit: Towfiqu Barbhuiya; Pexels; Thank you!

Tips to Switching Calendars Between Computer and Phone

By | Time Management | No Comments
switching calendars

If you’re like most people these days, you’re incredibly busy. That said, having access to your calendar in multiple locations is one of the easiest ways to boost productivity and keep on track.

So, what does this “switching calendars” look like? Well, it means ensuring that what’s on your desktop calendar or to-do list syncs to your phone and tablet, too.

Since most people have access to at least one of these items at any given time in the day, it is a great way to always ensure you know what’s going on, where you have to be, and what you need to do.

Here are eight tips for creating a cohesive scheduling system between your computer and smartphone.

1. Choose a Program That Syncs to Both

Choosing a program that syncs to both is the first tip for switching calendars between your computer and phone.

For example, the Calendar app works seamlessly on your smartphone and desktop computer to update in real-time. Additionally, it offers time tracking features for better productivity.

Google Calendar, Microsoft Calendar, and Apple Calendar are also excellent options that offer this type of functionality.

If you have a team of employees to oversee, Hot Schedules and Deputy are two apps that also offer both desktop and smartphone access for better time management and productivity.

2. Know the Steps for Syncing Your Calendars

The next tip to consider is simply knowing the steps for syncing your calendars. In most apps, this takes place automatically every few minutes. However, you have to set this up first to ensure that it does.

How do you find out how to sync your calendar between your smartphone and computer? There are a few really great tutorials out there to do this, but it really depends on the app you’re using.

That said, the best advice is to look on your preferred calendar app’s website. Often, they’ll have a step-by-step guide for you to follow to ensure your schedule is syncing between platforms.

3. Remember to Use Your Synced Calendar

Of course, the most significant part of switching between desktop and smartphone calendars is actually remembering to use them.

In some cases, those looking for increased productivity find an app that works on their computer and phone. Then they forget to use it altogether, which pretty much defeats the whole purpose.

Instead, work to make it a habit to use your new synced calendar as often as possible. Set reminders or leave yourself notes to include this step as part of your daily routine.

After a few weeks, it should become second nature to add meetings, appointments, and tasks to your schedule this way.

4. Create Multiple Calendars for Different Needs

Another tip to help your productivity is to create multiple syncing calendars for different needs. Most scheduling programs allow you to at least have a business and a personal calendar.

But you might consider breaking down yours to add more for things like finance due dates, hobbies, school schedules, etc.

You can even do this and provide access to certain people, like giving your spouse access to the family calendar. Not only does this improve your productivity, but it can help your entire family stay connected with what’s going on.

5. Use Color Coding for Easy Viewing

If you’re guilty of just glancing at your calendar and not really diving into what you have going on in the day, you’ll like this tip.

Consider color-coding different tasks and items for easy viewability on your phone or computer. For example, appointments at someone else’s office might all be blue and in-house team meetings green. Personal time might even be a different color than tasks associated with work.

There are numerous ways to accomplish this, but it really makes things easier to understand at a glance when you’re super busy.

6. Link Your Favorite Smart Assistant

Productivity and smart assistants go well together. You can even link your preferred calendar with your chosen AI—Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, etc.

Most calendar programs now offer the ability to link the two, making it simple to ask what you have on your schedule for that day. Some even provide the chance to give reminders, get directions and drive times to specific locations, and more.

If you’re looking for a great time hack to improve your daily schedule, this is one to keep in mind.

7. Utilize Pop-Ups and Reminders

If you didn’t already know, calendar applications also offer the ability to use pop-ups and reminders to help keep you on track.

For example, maybe you need an alert on your phone thirty minutes before you have to drive to that dental appointment. Or you want your calendar to email you the evening before trash day.

Generally, this is just a matter of configuring settings to remind you of what you’ve got going on with enough time to plan to attend. However, it can be a real lifesaver for those who are forgetful or constantly running late.

8. Configure Your Calendar to Suit Your Needs

Finally, it is essential to remember to configure your calendar to suit your needs. Each platform generally has a whole host of customizable features to make it simple to boost productivity.

If you aren’t sure of what your preferred calendar program can do, don’t be afraid to do a little research. There are so many excellent guides on advanced features out there that you’re sure to find one that helps you keep on track.

Whether these tips for syncing your calendars between your computer and phone are new to you or something you already use, we hope they help you stay more productive.

Image Credit:; Pexels; Thank you!

Tips to Switching Calendars Between Computer and Phone was originally published on Calendar by Deanna Ritchie.

101 Inspiring Quotes About Reaching Your Goals

By | Business Tips | No Comments
reaching your goals

We fall into the same trap year after year. We make a promise to ourselves to exercise, lose weight, get organized, learn something new, or get our finances in order. By the start of February, however, 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail.

How come? Well, resolutions rarely involve concrete steps to follow and keep us motivated. What’s more, the majority of resolutions are centered around peer pressure and arbitrary dates.

Instead of making the same mistake next year, and beyond, you shouldn’t make resolutions. Rather, you should be looking at setting and reaching your goals. And, the help you get started and stay focused on these goals, here are 101 quotes you should refer to when needed.

Quotes About Setting and Starting Goals

1. “If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” — Les Brown

2. “Becoming a star may not be your destiny, but being the best you can be is a goal that you can set for yourself.” — Brian Lindsay

3. “You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.” — Zig Ziglar

4. “It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” — Benjamin E. Mays

5. “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” — Tony Robbins

6. “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” — Andrew Carnegie

7. “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” — Tom Landry

8. “Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive.” — Robert H. Schuller

9. “Setting goals allows you to paint a vision of what you wish your future to be.” — Catherine Pulsifer

10. “You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.” — Ted Turner

11. “All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” — Orison Swett Marden

12. “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” — Pablo Picasso

13. “Goal setting is a powerful tool and process for motivating you. When effective goals are set, a giant step towards the life you desire is taken.” — K.C. Rowntree

14. “Set realistic goals, keep re-evaluating, and be consistent.” — Venus Williams

15. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C. S. Lewis

16. “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” — James Cameron

17. “To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.” — Seneca

18. “You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential.” — Steve Garvey

19. “No desired achievement is gained without any goal setting.”– Wayne Chirisa

20. “The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them.” — Og Mandino

21. “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.” — Mark Victor Hansen

22. “A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” — Walt Disney

23. “In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.” — Unknown

24. “You can do anything if you set goals. You just have to push yourself.” — RJ Mitte

25. “In life, the first thing you must do is decide what you really want. Weigh the costs and the results. Are the results worthy of the costs? Then make up your mind completely and go after your goal with all your might.” — Alfred A. Montapert

26. “Don’t look at the big picture as the only achievement. Start with set, smart goals and work up to something bigger.” — Jordyn Wieber

27. “Begin with the end in mind.” — Stephen Covey

28. “One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves.” — Karen Casey

29. “Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” — Theodore Roosevelt

30. “Focus on the possibilities for success, not the potential for failure.” — Napoleon Hill

31. “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy!” — Brian Tracy

32. “Set daily, monthly, and long-term goals and dreams. Don’t ever be afraid to dream too big. Nothing is impossible. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve it.” — Nastia Liukin

33. “The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun in the short run. It seems to me though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow, and who make an impact…those people have goals.” –– Seth Godin

34. “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal. Not to people or things.” — Albert Einstein

35. “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” — George S. Reid

36. “Goals are the road maps that guide you to your destination.”-– Roy T. Bennett

37. “When you set a goal, your brain opens up a task list.” — Mel Robbins

38. “A good goal is like a strenuous exercise — it makes you stretch.” — Mary Kay Ash

39. “The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.” — Denis Waitley

40. “Set goals and seek challenges; Become a role model for those coming behind you.” — Charles F. Bolden

41. “For most of us, goal-setting sounds and usually is a grueling process, because we most often confuse a goal with a wish, an objective with a desire.” — Michael Lombardi

42. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe

43. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain

44. “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” — Bill Copeland

45. “When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.” — Lily Tomlin

46. “If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life that you want, you’re going to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.” — Kevin Ngo

47. “Wish it. Plan it. Do it.” — Jaipal Singh

48. “You know that one thing you’ve always dreamed about? Write it down. Then take the first step. Today.” — Petra Poje

49. “The best way to approach a goal is to first break it down into very small bite size steps. Each one of these steps should lead logically to the next step to be completed in a linear order.” — Byron Pulsifer

50. “Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” — Stephen Covey

Quotes About Ambitious Goals

51. “Most impossible goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite-size chunks, writing them down, believing them and going full speed ahead as if they were routine.” — Don Lancaster

52. “This year I will achieve my most important goal by breaking it down into 365 tiny chunks and tackling on chunk each day.” — Marelisa Fabrega

53. “One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” — Michael Korda

54. “I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” — Michael Phelps

55. “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” — Bruce Lee

56. “By having big goals and pushing yourself towards them you will have a lot more energy because you know exactly what your doing and what you’re doing it for.” — Troy Foster

57. “I would encourage you to set really high goals. Set goals that, when you set them, you think they’re impossible. But then every day you can work towards them, and anything is possible, so keep working hard and follow your dreams.” — Katie Ledecky

58. “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs

59. “Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” — Muhammad Ali

60. “Aim at the sun and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if you had aimed at an object on a level with yourself.” — F. Hawes

61. “Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” — Bo Jackson

62. “When you’re trying to accomplish lofty goals, and when you’re attacking something of great magnitude, you have to have help.” — Zach Johnson

63. “Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”– Harriet Tubman

64. “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your. Dream deep, for every dream, precedes the goal.” — Rabindranath Tagore

65. “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” — Michelangelo

66. “Don’t let anyone turn your sky into a ceiling.”– Anonymous

67. “Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.”– David Joseph Schwartz

68. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” — John D. Rockefeller

69. “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs–even though checkered by failure–than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” —Theodore Roosevelt

70. “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.” — Richard Branson

71. “It is very hard to fail completely if you aim high enough.” — Larry Page

72. “Limitations only exist if you believe they exist. No one ever achieves more than they set their goals at, so aim high.” — Unknown

73. “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain

74. “Once you have tasted the taste of sky you will forever lookup.” — Leonardo Da Vinci

75. “Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the kind of person who can.” — Anonymous

Motivational Quotes to Help You Crush Your Goals

76. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela

77. “Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” — John Dewey

78. “The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.” — Michelle Obama

79.  “Mirror, mirror on the wall, I’ll always get up after I fall. And whether I run, walk, or have to crawl, I’ll set my goals and achieve them all.” — Chris Butler

80. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

81. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” — Confucius

82. “Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” — Theodore Roosevelt

83. “Write your goals down in detail and read your list of goals every day. Some goals may entail a list of shorter goals. Losing a lot of weight, for example, should include mini-goals, such as 10-pound milestones. This will keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want step by step.” — Jack Canfield

84. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.” — Michael Jordan

85. “Every day you spend drifting away from your goals is a waste not only of that day, but also of the additional day it takes to regain lost ground.” — Ralph Marston

86. “If we have a goal and a plan, and are willing to take risks and mistakes and work as a team, we can choose to do the hard thing.” — Scott Kelly

87. “If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.” — Brian Tracy

88. “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” — Earl Nightingale

89. “Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal.” — Brian Adams

90. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”– Henry David Thoreau

91. “There’s nothing better than achieving your goals, whatever they might be.” — Paloma Faith

92. “If a goal is worth having, it’s worth blocking out the time in your day-to-day life necessary to achieve it.” — Jill Koenig

93. “Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” — LL Cool J

94. “Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive.” — Robert H. Schuller

95. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. — Sir Edmund Hilary

96. “It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals.” — Pat Summitt

97. “Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.” — George Whitefield

98. “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” — Paulo Coelho

99. It’s not about getting out of your comfort zone to reach your goal. It’s about widening your comfort zone so far that your goal fits comfortably inside. Once you do that, hitting your goals will be like hitting 3s for Steph Curry. — Richie Norton

100. “Dream your own dreams, achieve your own goals. Your journey is your own and unique.” — Roy T. Bennett

101. “This one step: choosing a goal and sticking to it, changes everything.” — Scott Reed

Image Credit: Engin Akyurt; Pexels, Thank you!

101 Inspiring Quotes About Reaching Your Goals was originally published on Calendar by Deanna Ritchie.

What is the Most Productive Day of the Week?

By | Knowledge Base | No Comments
most productive day

Throughout the years, I’ve learned a lot from music regarding days of the week. For example, according to Robert Smith and the Cure, Friday you’re in love. However, for Rebecca Black, Fridays are when you get down. Elton John proclaimed that Saturday’s alright for fighting, which you definitely should do. And, Sundays are usually for lazing (Queen), hanging out in the park (Van Halen), or maybe just taking easy on a Sunday morning (The Commodores).

But, what about a tune about the most productive of the week? Well, I don’t have a song for that. I do, however, have some research that may help answer that question.

Monday, Monday

Let’s not sugarcoat it. Mondays are a drag. I would probably say that most of us dread Mondays so much that it causes the Sunday scaries.

“Scientific studies basically confirm that Mondays suck, but the real question you need to ask yourself is why Mondays suck,” writes Choncé Maddox in a previous Calendar article. “Mondays suck because we make them suck.”

“Monday often signals the time when we need to get serious and focus on getting up early, mastering difficult work projects, having tough meetings and other tasks we may not want to do,” she adds.

At the same time, it’s also been found to be the most productive day of the week.

Why Mondays are the most productive day of the week.

An online survey from Moneypenny found that on Monday at 10:54 a.m. is when most Americans state that they’re most productive. The poll asked, which was answered by around 2,000 U.S. adults, what day are you most effective and what time of that day are you most productive?

Of course, this isn’t true for everyone. For instance, if you’re a night owl, you aren’t going to be most productive in the morning. However, there are valid reasons why Monday mornings can be so productive for a lot of people.

“Because you’ve stepped away for a couple of days, these back-to-work mornings are the most memorable for the rest of the week,” workplace and productivity expert Lynn Taylor told CNBC.

As such, Taylor urges leaders not to schedule Monday morning meetings on Monday mornings. After all, why would you want to distract your team when they’re at their productivity peak?

“Do as much of it as you can on Monday and Tuesday,” advises time management expert Laura Vanderkam, “because you know that stuff is going to come up.”

“It could be good stuff. It could be bad stuff,” Vanderkam says. “But by planning the week ahead and putting what matters to you into your schedule first, you vastly increase the chances that that stuff gets done.”

Entrepreneur Jeff Shore also maintains that taking a break from work during the weekend prepares you for a strong Monday return.

“When I take an entire weekend off, I am a beast on Monday morning,” he wrote. “I do my most creative work on Mondays when my brain enjoyed a full weekend off from work. So get ready for a huge productivity boost.”

Everything’s Tuesday

Not to be outshined, several studies have found that Tuesday is actually the most productive day of the week.

Every year since Accountemps began surveying in 1987, Tuesdays have been the most productive day of the week. “Many workers spend Monday catching up from the previous week and planning the one ahead,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. “On Tuesday, employees may begin to have time to focus on individual tasks and become more productive. The goal should be to maintain the positive momentum established on Tuesday throughout the week.”

Based on the results of a 2019 Accountemps survey of more than 300 HR managers, employees are most productive on Mondays and Tuesdays, especially in the morning. Over half of workers surveyed in Canada reported the beginning of the week was their most productive time, with Tuesday (35%) beating out Monday (25%). However, employee productivity drops after Hump Day (18%), followed Thursday (12%) and followed by Friday (10%).

The Redboth survey.

A much larger study was conducted by Redboth, a company specializing in task management and communication. And, they found similar results as Accountemps.

Redboth’s tools allowed them to track productivity data, which helped them identify productivity patterns. According to their findings, Redbooth users created 1.8 million projects and 28 million tasks.

The report indicated that Monday and Tuesday were the most productive days of the week. Both days were extremely close, although Monday had a slight lead. Again. this may be because people are coming off of the weekend where they were able to rejuvenate and relax. As such, they weren’t physically and mentally drained like by the end of the week.

Redboth also found;

  • Typically, the majority of our tasks are completed around 11 AM (9.7%)
  • Our productivity decreases after lunchtime – and then completely drops after 4 PM
  • Most of our tasks are completed at the beginning of the week, on Monday (20.4%).
  • Friday is the least productive day (16.7%), and very little is accomplished on weekends (Saturday + Sunday, 4.7%)

Rockin All Week For You: How to Be Productive Every Day

It makes sense why Mondays and Tuesdays are often considered the most productive days of the week. However, you can use the following tricks to make every day just as productive.

Trim any excess fat.

First, create a to-do list for the day. Then, minimize it to your top priorities by cutting it in half.

It’s all too common for us to overfill our to-do lists calendars with tasks we want to complete in a day. Unfortunately, we become discouraged by the lack of progress we ultimately make. Being more productive will be easier by creating a smaller, more realistic to-do list so that you have wiggle room for setbacks and unexpected projects.

What about everything else on your to-do list? Personally, I’m an advocate for the 4 Ds of time management.

In short, this means that you must do your priorities and defer or delay essential but non-urgent items. You can also delegate tasks to those better suited to someone else’s talents. And anything that’s a waste of your valuable time and energy needed to be deleted.

Don’t multitask, monotask instead.

“Although the idea of multitasking sounds amazing, only a very small percentage of the population can actually do it,” notes Calendar’s Howie Jones. “You might still disagree and believe that you are an effective multitasker.”

However, science has consistently demonstrated the inefficiency of multitasking, such as splitting your attention and time costs. And, even if you’re in the minority of people who can multitask, it’s still causing you to lose productivity.

Instead of dividing your focus and jumping between tasks, do one thing at a time.

Know your personal production peaks.

Because we all have different circadian rhythms, we have other times when we’re most productive. As such, when you’re at your prime time is when you should tackle more challenging responsibilities. On the flip side, when your energy begins to drop, you would focus on less-pressing tasks.

If you aren’t aware of when you’re most productive, you can use a good, old-fashioned time log. You could also review part calendar data or time tracking tools. There are also techniques like calculating your biological prime time and following the three predictable stages throughout the day; a peak, a trough, and recovery.

Block out distractions.

The simplest way to do this is to turn off mobile devices and sign out of your e-mail and social media accounts. That way, you can focus all of your attention on what you’re doing. Likewise, notify your colleagues or housemates politely that you do not wish to be disturbed — or just share your calendar with them so that they know when you’re busy or available.

Build your energy.

Want to become a lean and mean productivity machine? Then you first need to build up your energy, just like an athlete training to run in a marathon.

Some of the best ways to go about this include;

  • Get quality sleep by sticking to a schedule and keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Fight fatigue with the proper diet and physical activity.
  • Closing any open loops that distract you from work.
  • Decluttering your calendar and saying “no” to timewasters.
  • Removing toxic individuals who drain you emotionally from your life.
  • Listening to music that puts you into the zone.
  • Take frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch, go for a walk, or indulge in a bit of self-care.

Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska; Pexels; Thank you!

What is the Most Productive Day of the Week? was originally published on Calendar by John Hall.

7 Tips to Attract Success as an Entrepreneur

By | Knowledge Base | No Comments
7 Tips to Attract Success as an Entrepreneur

Have you heard the old quip about overnight success taking ten or more years? Anyone who’s started a business knows it’s true. Think Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Though they’ve reached tremendous recognition now for their business acumen, they were once everyday guys. No paparazzi were following them — and they certainly weren’t carrying tickets to space. Nevertheless, they persevered and ended up at the top of the corporate food pyramid.

As an entrepreneur, you might feel like a decade’s a long time to finally get some respect from your peers. Plus, by the time you’re ten years older, you may not be any closer to success than you were. That’s a fair assessment and fear. However, the years will pass whether you take some risks or not. So you might as well reach for your dreams.

In the process, though, you don’t want to leave your likelihood of hitting the jackpot to chance. Instead, you’ll want to put yourself in a position to attract success like a magnet. How? Incorporate these strategies into your work and personal life.

1. Gain mastery of your mind.

Author and serial entrepreneur Mark Lachance talks about the idea of luck being a powerful force that you can harness in The Lucky Formula. Indeed, luck is a terrific asset to have if you’re bent on being successful. But as Lachance explains, it doesn’t happen until you master both your internal and external conditions. I especially want to focus on the former.

Too many founders allow other people to get into their heads. Those people could be well-meaning naysayers, like a spouse. Or they could be envious or spiteful, such as an angry ex-coworker. When you let other people control your thoughts and feelings, you have less ability to make clear, pragmatic choices.

Lachance writes that people who allow themselves to be influenced by others rarely experience luck — or success. How, though, do you stop giving other people rent-free space in your brain? It takes effort to start thinking for yourself. First, you have to know your goals and gather all the information you can about subjects you learn. Next, you need to stay flexible on most topics with a willingness to be firm on others. Finally, you have to practice the art again and again. Over time, you’ll find that you’re able to tap into your intelligence more easily and confidently.

2. Hire talented professionals and let them do their thing.

Just about all of us have been under the thumb of a boss who couldn’t delegate. As a TLNT piece reveals, nearly 60% of workers admit that they’d had the type of manager who just couldn’t let go. So even though you might claim you’d never micromanage, you might be surprised at how fast you can change your mind.

For instance, at the first sign of danger to your business, you might want to jump in and take over. After all, you assume that your people — even the high performers you respect and admire — couldn’t have the same passion as you. That’s where you’re wrong. If you empower and trust the people you’ve put on the payroll, you have a better chance of weathering ups and downs.

Is it tough to sit back and watch when you feel like you should be doing something? You can bet on it. However, your business will succeed if you act like a mentor instead of an ogre. If you’re not sure how to make a move to a coaching mentality, Gallup has some ideas. These include giving ongoing feedback, explaining why something should be done, and handing over ownership of projects. In time, your employees and peers will appreciate that you have faith in them, and many will exceed your expectations.

3. Take care of your physical and mental health.

Burnout is a real problem, especially among business leaders and owners. A Wall Street Journal piece written in early 2021 suggests around one-third of workers may suffer or have suffered from the condition. You can’t afford to let yourself get to the point of experiencing so much stress that you burn out completely in your position.

Remember, though, that burnout isn’t just having a few stressful days or even weeks. It’s a consistent, nagging state that presents itself differently in different people. Some become incredibly depressed. Others just “check out.” Plenty will struggle to check off even the most mundane items on their daily to-do lists.

To be sure, you’re going to be a busy person as a founder. That doesn’t give you carte blanche to destroy your health, however. Additionally, when your team sees you never take a day off, they get anxious: Should they do likewise? Are you modeling behaviors you expect them to follow? This can lead to serious communications disconnects within your organization.

Consequently, your best bet is to work hard but do good for your health. The main staples for good health that you must not skip are eating right, sleeping right, and exercising. Go on family vacations. You’ll be more refreshed and ready when you return to the grind.

4. Look for the silver lining.

Failures happen. Some are small. Some are big. Some are earth-shattering. After they occur, you can’t change the past. Nevertheless, you can learn from it. You can also use it as a teachable moment to help your team members see how to make different choices in the future.

Don’t worry: You don’t have to wear rose-colored glasses or do your best Pollyanna impersonation. It’s reasonable to be brought down by mistakes. You can show your disappointment and anger. The trick is not to dwell on it.

When bad things come your way, deal with them and then have a retrospective. Take a tip from agile project management principles that encourage constant review of everything. And never assume that what seems like a failure today couldn’t lead to an “Aha!” tomorrow. Most successful business people can talk about long lines of failures from their past. Their ability to move beyond backslides helped them reach their goals and find success.

5. Establish a strong, well-defined work culture.

When you build a business from your vision, you get a rare opportunity to build the culture you want. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs just assume that culture will build itself. It will — but it probably won’t be the nirvana that you envisioned when you opened your doors.

Right now, employers everywhere are having trouble finding and keeping superstars. A strong, attractive workplace culture will help you court and acquire top candidates. But, of course, what the culture looks like is up to you and maybe your executive team members. Yet you should know that recent studies show nearly half of all professionals want to work at a place where they can be themselves.

Are you worried that your culture is already heading into toxic territory? You can pull out of a nosedive fast. Start by gathering feedback from your current team members. Find out how they feel about their workplace environment. Then, use their responses to make improvements. Success is almost impossible if your workers don’t want to come to the office or log onto their computers. On the other hand, if your culture is irresistible, your employees will rave online, to customers, and to their friends.

6. Do right by your customers.

The customer doesn’t always have to be right for you to “do right” by the customer. Without customers, you couldn’t stay in business. Therefore, treat your buyers like gold. Anticipate their needs. Smooth out your clunky sales processes. Create loyalty programs that are something special.

Need some inspiration to rev up your customer-centricity? A couple of years ago, Forbes pulled together a piece on 100 companies that get customer service right every time. The list reads like a who’s who of successful brands: Warby Parker. Best Buy. Hilton. In each case, the company has invested tons of time and effort into wowing buyers through and through.

Be honest with yourself: Are your customer interactions as impressive as they could be? Do your team members have the authority to make decisions (within financial and operational parameters) to serve customers? Making any improvements will get your organization far. Who knows? The next time a 100-list is completed, your business could be on it.

7. Keep upskilling.

You founded a company because you were an expert in something. Bicycle making. Digital marketing. Veterinary medicine. Though you should keep driving hard to become an expert in your industry, you can’t be afraid to branch out. Branching out will keep you agile. It may also reveal ways you can evolve your company in exciting ways.

Imagine someone who started a business in 2000 and refused to learn anything about social media or online advertising. That person wouldn’t be running a successful company. Try, then, to stay on top of the newest aspects of the business. Although you don’t have to become super-knowledgeable about everything, you should have a working understanding of emerging technologies, competitors’ news, and possibilities.

Of course, you shouldn’t keep upskilling and reskilling to yourself. Instead, make learning a team sport by offering training to your team. Employees appreciate it when they get paid to develop their skill sets and build out their resumes. With the experience they gain, they can bring concepts to the table and fuel your brand’s momentum.

Success isn’t something that can only happen to everyone else. It’s within your reach. You just have to stretch a bit to grab it and bring it to you and your company.

Register Now & Get a 30 Day Trial Register Now