I grew up in a small beach town where instead of people bragging about how many hours they work per week, they bragged about how many hours they spend not working and instead how many hours they spent out on the water. Here in LA, busy is glorified. The more hours a person works per week, the better.
I’ve recently been learning so much about productivity and how much time we waste throughout the day. Now, instead of bragging about how many hours I work, I’d rather brag about how many hours I got to spend with friends and family and all the things I still got done because I was smart and efficient with my time.
Our May #bloomgathering was one of my favorite so far. We had Beth from Bneato Bar lead us through productivity tips, email hacks, and overall info on how to save time and make the most of your work day.
To live a whole-hearted life, we can’t be spending every hour on work.
I’m going to share with you a few key points I learned from Beth at our gathering, and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me! Here we go!
1 / Be Anti-Social
- Turn off your notifications and turn off the internet.
When you’re into your core work hours, turn off your phone and laptop notifications. If your work is able to be done off the internet, turn off your wireless connection. This means email, Facebook, texting, Instagram, Periscope, whatever it is. Turn. Them. Off. Beth told us that if there’s one thing that we do after this workshop that will help us, this is it!
2 / Don’t use your email as a to-do list.
There are three things you can do when you check your email:
Reply, Delete or Archive
Beth recommends having detailed rules set up for your email system. So if you have a client who you get multiple emails from a week, set up a folder for that client and make sure that all emails are filtered into that folder when they come in. Do this for as many emails as you can, so you can be most efficient with your email time and not get distracted.
To save time with email, there are a few services and apps that you can use.
Text Expander (this is an amazing magical tool that does a number of things, but Beth showed us how it allows you to enter in a customized canned response emails that you answer frequently…just check it out and you’ll see the magic.)
unroll.me (you may have heard of this, but just incase you haven’t, it’s worth saying. This service shows you all of your email subscriptions and allows for you to unsubscribe from the ones that you want to let go of. A great way to clean out your inbox so you can pay attention to the emails you want to- like ours!! hehe)
Right Inbox (This allows for you to schedule emails to be sent, as well as have emails that you have already seen be sent back to you at a later time of your choice. Pretty cool!)
3 / Journal your time.
- This is the ultimate truth teller. The first step for people who are needing to get better at time management.
Every 10 minutes, you write down what you did. At the end of the day, you can see where you are spending your time. Where you are wasting it and where you are using it well. As you get to know your habits you can better change them! Beth recommends doing this for at least one week.
4 / Create a system for your to-do list.
- Dump all of your thoughts/to-dos as they come into your mind onto text edit. At the end of the day, make a to-do list sorting through your text edit doc on Google Keep for the next day.
Google Keep syncs with your phone and allows you to put everything in it’s appropriate place. Beth recommends making a detailed to-do list, (every 15 minutes to an hour) for your daily to-do’s. Make sure to schedule in time for yourself, getting dressed, showering, meals, etc.
5 / Get Stuff Done.
- The promise of a break keeps you on task.
Setting a timer or giving yourself chunks of work time, then promising yourself an “Instagram break” is a great way to get stuff done. When you know that a break is coming, it allows you to stay on task. This is called the “pomodoro technique“.
6 / It’s a mental decision.
- In order to make this happen, you have to decide.
“You can do it!” -coffee… Beth finished us off with a pep talk from our favorite caffeinated drink, telling us that we are strong, we can do this, we just have to make the mental decision to do so. It won’t happen on it’s own, it’s not something you will stumble into. You have to be intentional and you have to work hard. So let’s get out there and be productive!!
Let’s be honest, focusing for millennials is not easy. It’s been said that we have an 8 second attention span. I hope that’s not true, but I did head to Instagram quite a few times and wrote 2 emails as I was writing this blog post. And I was really trying to focus! But just like anything, focusing and concentration is a skill that can be learned, harnessed and mastered! So let’s get to it ladies, let’s master this efficiency thing so we can spend time on the things we love. Living life and changing the world!
Save the date for our next #bloomgathering, happening June 14th! We will be doing a self care workshop + yoga session. Stay tuned for details! And don’t forget to grab your ticket to our main annual event, The Yellow Conference happening Aug 27th and 28th! Tickets are moving fast so grab yours now!
Photo by @westelmsantamonica