For the first time in my life, I saw Beyoncé in concert and she was amazing! This post has nothing to do with Beyoncé, but I had to make her the title because she blew me away with her performance and guess what, we really do have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé, so we have to make them count!

Let me get back to the matter at hand… Does anyone out there (besides me) struggle with productivity? Have you ever made it to the end of the day and wondered where the day went? You were busy, but busy doing what? You were busy being busy and not getting much done. That’s what happens when your time gets hijacked with distractions and the needs of others instead of getting done what you need to get done first.

If we want to reach our fullest potential, we have to put first things first; organize and execute our life around our priorities.

In a world that is filled with the newest gadgets and technologies so readily available, it’s easy to find time to retweet, post and double tap. Trust me; I’m guilty of it too. The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves. It is much easier said than done; you and every other human being (myself included) are, by nature, inheritably lazy, nonchalant and vulnerable to all suggestions that synchronize with our weaknesses. That’s why we must commit and recommit to managing ourselves every day. Here are some tips that should help you increase your productivity, efficiency and diligence throughout your day.

  1. Schedule it: Spend time at the end of every day writing down the things you need to get done the next day…a “TO DO” list. Look at your “to do” list and prioritize! What are the MOST important (top 2-3 things) on that list that if you said to yourself, “If I only accomplished these things, I would feel closer to my goals and owned my day”? Know what those are and put them in your planner/iPhone/google calendar/outlook/some type of scheduling device FIRST.

  2. Time Block: If you’re like me, you can’t spend too much time on one task or you’ll get burned out or easily distracted. Give yourself an allotted time for the things on your “to do” list and block out that time on your calendar. For example: from 9am-10am I am going to check and reply to emails; from 10:30-12pm I am going to make calls. Then stick to the schedule! During those times that you blocked, focus on those things ONLY. Don’t check Instagram during your “email time,” and don’t check emails during your “call time.”

  3. Remove Distractions: Studies have shown that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to an original task after an interruption. I don’t need a study to second that emotion; it took me 2 days just to write this blog with the amount of interruptions that threw me off (…I literally got zero work done watching that Kavanaugh/Ford hearing)! When in your sacred blocked time of focusing on a single task, put the cell phone on silent and in a drawer so you can’t look at it or hear it vibrate, put your headphones on so others don’t bug you, put up a DO NOT DISTURB sign on your desk or on your door…do whatever it takes to stay focused and eliminate distractions to the best of your ability.

  4. Learn to Say NO: Set boundaries!! Learn to say no to things that aren’t important or worth your time. Some things may be important, but that doesn’t mean they are important to YOU right NOW. You have to take care of what you need to do first before you can do what you want to do or help others do what they want to do.

    In order to say no to other things, you must have a bigger yes burning inside.

  5. Commit and Act: Once you’ve planned out your day and removed the distractions, get going! Hone down and stay focused on the task and complete it with all you’ve got. If you have a major task, think about the smallest thing you need to do to get started on it, and do it. Then carry on to the next step, then the next, and so on.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much!”- Jim Rohn.

Go and be great! You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Blessings and Love,

Marti Reed

Marti Reed