As entrepreneurs, we all want to be productive and feel like we are doing the things that get us closer to our goals.
However, we live in a very fast-paced world and each day seems to be disappearing faster. What can happen is that we think we need to be keeping up with the frenetic energy. This is the worst thing we can do. If we keep going without stopping, we are bound to get sick, fatigued or at the very least stressed and in a negative head space. I call this frenetic productivity.
What if we could be productive and feel like we are in the flow? I know this sounds counter-intuitive in this nonstop culture of ours. Well, it is possible when we take the time to structure our day in a more humane way.
First, we want to be aware of our Big Goal and our WHY. Then we arrange our days around this aspiration. This is important to keep front and center, for when the time waster activities show up each day, we can look at our goal and remind ourselves to refocus.
Next, we have to consider the type of person we are. Some of us are night owls and others are the early birds, the larks. Even though there are many productivity books, etc. giving advice on how to structure your day, it is important to put into the equation your internal clock. It is very hard to fight natural impulses. Once you are in harmony with your rhythm, it will be easier to structure your day. So some will start very early and some will start later.
Then we need a plan. Plans can be yearly, monthly, weekly and daily. It is best to do your daily planning the night before. That way you are ready to go first thing.
Set up your planner so you can color code your appointments, then you can differentiate them easily. That way you can easily see your meditation time, your gratitude time, your exercise time and you could even mark in your planner to remind yourself to drink more water. These need to be written into your schedule to keep you in the flow of your day. Highly productive people put themselves into the equation and start their day doing something that makes them happy.
Your planner could include your current projects and what has to happen to move them forward. List your highest priority activities including the people you want to connect with. You could include people you are waiting on, people to see, items to send out, delegations, a monthly focus, and make sure you leave some space for your new ideas.
Studies have shown we work best in 90-minute segments as our brains need a break after 90 minutes of concentrated effort. At the end of the ninety minutes then that is a good time to stretch and hydrate.
Remember we are living lives full of ingrained habits, emotional programming and cultural reinforcements that need to be challenged daily. So don’t let your old patterns of conditioning suck you back into the frenetic energy of our fast paced world.