There’s an upside to the coronavirus pandemic is that it has forced us all to slow down and take time and consideration in caring for ourselves, our businesses and those around us.
As a small business coach many of my clients have been telling me how it has given them a much-needed opportunity to slow down, reevaluate their relationship with time, and reassess how they define their productivity.
As we cautiously ease out of lockdown and edge towards a changing, new and “next normal” it’s clear that we are more aware than ever that we need to manage ourselves carefully, manage our time and conserve our energy. Getting strategic about how we manage ourselves and our productivity is crucial to our success.
In fact, developing our own set of high performance habits like sleep, nutrition, movement, and how we connect are critical for staying focused and working efficiently without burning out.
Here’s 11 top tips to redefining your productivity as we develop our working in the new normal:
Be Unapologetic about Your Boundaries
The principle of boundary management is to defensively stop others encroaching on your time and territory. It’s your time, your schedule and it’s up to you to furiously protect it – no one else will!
Have clarity over what is, and what is not acceptable and what you are willing to accept and reject from your schedule.
It’s not time management as you can’t manage your time, but you can absolutely manage yourself and your time better.
Focus on Quality Not Quantity
We talk endlessly about something being good enough, so the intention here is not to encourage you to overthink absolute everything, the intention is to seek a balance where quality wins over quantity. Everything in balance.
Work at pace, with purpose and without distraction, without overthinking everything. Learn to recognise when it is good enough without needing to be perfect and move on. It can be a quality output without being perfect.
Be Realistic with Boundaries and Everything you can achieve
Don’t be sucked into delivering something to someone else’s timescales. Establish the urgency of the task, set a date / time in your head and add a day – build in some wiggle room for the last minute curve balls. Always
Be Strategic – Plan for the Long Game
The only actual constant is change, so managing how you react and cope with change is critical.
Look at managing your business by working on it not in it.
Plan for the long term and have an agile approach to how you work. You need to get comfortable and effective with change and how you manage yourself during change is critical to your success.
Often planning for the long term and taking action for the short term helps you stay agile and on track.
Focus on Achieving the Small Goals
Break the big goals into smaller bite size / micro goals and celebrate every single achievement – no matter how large or small. The celebration and recognition of the achievement will keep you in momentum towards achieving the big scary goals.
Rethink how you Communicate
You may love meeting people, it may be how you thrive. You may, like many feed off other people’s energy. So how can you still communicate remotely? Find a media that works for you – there are sooo many to choose from.
Ditch the Drama in your Life
Choose who and what you spend your time with. As Tony Robbins says, energy flows where your attention goes. So who and what is getting your attention at the moment?
If you know you get easily distracted by the noise on social media and end up being sucked down a rabbit hole, losing you hours. Then know what you know and take action to prevent your distractions taking over.
To get what you really want in life, you need a clear goal that has purpose and meaning behind it.
Meetings – Don’t accept Everything
Be selfish with your time! As a small business coach this is something I cover with most clients – No one really needs to pick your brains! Schedule proper time in for each meeting. Build in wrap up time and if need be reschedule. You need to be clear in your times and respect your diary. If you don’t, how can you expect other people to?
Also if you have a friend or a client who is always late to a meeting, a call or video conference. Then give them 3 minutes and dial off and suggest that you should reschedule. They will soon learn, and if you don’t and allow the behaviour continue then you’re simply enabling their behaviour.
Learn to be selfish with your time and your attention – make it a priority – don’t let their poor organisational skills impact your schedule.
Focus on Effective Not Busy
Let’s face it “too busy” is a myth. People make time for the things and the people that are important to them. Or they make excuses.
So work on achieving and effective effort. Don’t be overwhelmed by the hyped up addiction to BUSY!
I’ve come to realise that being busy doesn’t make us good or better and it doesn’t always translate into significance, although it certainly does give us a false sense of purpose as we exert ourselves on a never ending to-do list.
There are definitely times that require more of us – maybe you’re planning a busy event, setting up an online course or just trying to give your business an extra push. Just remember that after a big push like that you must take some time out to rest to avoid burnout.
So, instead go all Marie Kondo on the way you work. How you develop high performance habits and how you manage yourself and your business operations.
Mind your Own Business
Focus on what you are achieving. Focus on your business. Hone your skills and develop your learning. We are all work in progress. Don’t waste your energy checking out what others are doing, how they are performing, what they are posting – unless it is effective market research.
Don’t worry what other people are saying about you – remember their opinions won’t pay your bills! And it’s none of your business what other people think about you.
Focus on your stuff and leave everyone else to theirs.
Develop an Abundance Mindset
Finally, choose gratitude and appreciation over criticism and negativity. It will lead to attracting more of the things you can appreciate and be grateful for and it will help you get more done, whilst you work through defining your productivity in the next normal.