Business

Life-Changing Productivity Hacks to Master your To-Do List

August 19, 2020

All of you bad-ass entrepreneurs (or entrepreneurs-to-be) know that running your own business comes with a lot of responsibility. You wear many hats and have to be seriously organized to keep everything running smoothly. But a major benefit of being your own boss is that you get to decide how the business works behind the […]

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All of you bad-ass entrepreneurs (or entrepreneurs-to-be) know that running your own business comes with a lot of responsibility. You wear many hats and have to be seriously organized to keep everything running smoothly.

But a major benefit of being your own boss is that you get to decide how the business works behind the scenes. So you can choose which systems are put in place to keep you at your best.

For example, you can choose to shift your hours later in the evening if that’s when you feel the most creative. Or maybe you outsource a task that always drains you and prohibits you from showing up as your best self in front of clients. Perhaps you allow yourself a mid-day yoga class because you know you have improved focus afterwards.

In my opinion, the freedom to establish the habits that work for you is one of the biggest gifts of entrepreneurship! And after a few years of trial and error, I’ve finally found the ones that consistently bring me the clarity and motivation I need to take on whatever is required of me on any particular day.

Some of them are more introspective tasks, which help to keep me connected to the work I’m doing. Others items are very logical and serve to keep me organized. But one does not work without the other. I believe both are absolutely essential to running a successful business that remains aligned to your purpose.

Journaling

We think between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. So can you see why it might be helpful to slow down a bit? Journaling allows me to extract some of the important thoughts and translate them into a tangible collection of words on paper. The clarification I get from this small practice alone blows my mind every time.

Here’s what I journal every single day:

  • Why I do what I do. The greater meaning behind my work.

  • My short and long term goals, in as much detail as possible.

  • My to-do’s. Actionable items that I can take to bring myself closer to my goals.

Meditation

Meditation is intimidating for a lot of people because they think that they’re not supposed to think. But honestly, that’s almost impossible. Instead of putting that pressure on yourself, try focusing on your breathing. The air flowing in and out of your lungs…how your chest contracts and expands to fit the breath. Because when you’re in your body, you’re in the present moment. And being in the present moment means you’re not in the past (where you can experience regret or longing) and not in the future (where you can experience anxiety).

Meditating can also help clarify your true wants, needs, and values. Did you know that 80% of your thoughts, feelings and actions happen in your subconscious? So if we want to sort through all the chaos happening on the surface level – what you’re going to eat for lunch, if the weather will be nice this weekend, why your friend was acting off last weekend – you have to get really quiet and sink a bit lower where the important action happens. This works especially well right before bed or immediately after waking up. Give it a try!

Visualization

Ah, I love this one. It turns out that our brains can’t actually tell the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined. I won’t get into the science, but I will tell you that this is great news for you and anyone trying to will something into existence. Because everytime you picture yourself smiling on the cover of that magazine, you’re prepping your brain to accept it as fact and ultimately manifest it. Believe it, become it!

Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management method in which you block 25 minutes at a time for work with short breaks in between. The time slots create a sense of urgency, so you’re motivated to make as much progress as possible in your allotted window of time.

I love to use a chrome extension called ‘Marinara Pomodoro Assistant’. The extension tracks the time, so all you have to do is work work work (like Rihanna would say).

Mapping out your calendar

If it’s not in the calendar, it’s not happening. Just like writing out a thought can make it more tangible, reserving a spot on the calendar for something makes it more permanent.

P.S you know I’m a big fan of utilizing a content calendar. if you haven’t snagged my free content calendar template yet, here it is! This is the exact template the LU team uses to ensure we’re hitting our deadlines and sleeping easy at night.

Disclaimer

Like I mentioned before, the methods above are what I’ve found to work for me and my businesses. But there are endless suggestions and ways for you to increase your productivity.

And they’re not one-size-fits-all. Different people operate in different ways, and it may take some experimentation before you uncover which productivity hacks are most effective for you. They only work for you if they fit the way you and your team work… you know?

Self reflection

To know whether or not they’re truly impacting you and your business in a positive light, you need a certain level of self-awareness. We don’t want to blindly adopt the methods of others, we want to try them on for size, give them a true and honest effort, and then assess how each technique affected you and your biz.

Here are some prompts to help you better understand what worked and what didn’t.

  • Did you have more energy throughout the day? Motivation? Inspiration?

  • Did you feel like you could conquer the tasks of the day?

  • Were you able to prioritize what was most important to get done?

  • How did you feel physically? What was your body’s feedback to the technique?

And if you find another technique that works for you, let me know in the comments or send me a DM! I’m always experimenting with healthy habits and I’m sure the LU community would love to hear what’s working for other boss babes like themselves.

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