5 ways I save time every day (and become more productive!)
Hi there! Monique here and I thought I would share 5 simple tips on how I have become more productive every day! I often get people asking me: ‘Monique, you’re always working! You’re always filming something new or working on a project…..How do you manage to do it?’ My thoughts are, if Beyonce can cram all she does into a day, I have the same amount of hours, so what can I achieve?
Disclamer: FYI – I don’t have children. So for all of you parents out there, I applaud you for your time management and people management abilities. You amaze me. On the flipside, we (Pete and I) have Leah (his 11 year old daughter) most weekends and during the school holidays, which is often a work time for us as well, so I appreciate and understand the challenge of trying to get things organised and get out the door just to get a coffee!!
When it comes to me and my time management with running a business and servicing my clients needs, I’ve discovered a few things that have enabled me to become more productive and achieve more than I have over the previous years, so I thought I would share my tips with you.
- conscious nutrition = happiness and productivity. For years I ate processed convenience foods, takeaways, anything I could get that was high in sugar, high in fat, loaded with chemicals and preservatives….accompanied by a diet drink, because it’s all about balance right? The result was my weight ballooned to more than 110 kgs and I was depressed out of my mind. After experiencing my first major anxiety attack in my early 20’s, I freaked out and became an obsessive compulsive NON EATER. In 8 months I’d transformed from 110 kgs to just 42 kgs and was still depressed out of my mind. Over the last 20 years my weight has been up and done so many times that I’ve lost count, and I can’t even imagine how much damage I’ve done to my body with additives or through nutritional deprivation. The one thing I have learnt through this experience is that when I consciously choose better quality nutrition, my brain is better, happier and I am more productive. SIMPLE. I also find that my naturally busy personality and eating disorder history leans me towards having a coffee instead of food, then I wind up feeling like crap at 3 pm. SO, my simple tip and commitment to myself and my wellness is to consciously choose great nutrition every day. I do this by having daily smoothies. Surprise! Yes: it is actually that simple and this one addition to my daily eating plan has been a game changer. I’ve googled a bunch of recipes and have started creating my own, to ensure I add the right nutrition to my diet on a daily basis. Making my own smoothies is far more cost effective and it only takes a minute to do, plus I know exactly what’s going into every mouthful. I have longer sustained energy and am more productive than ever. For me, smoothies must also taste great as ‘ain’t nobody got time for bad tasting food’. Check out my favourite Choc Smoothie recipe here.
- planning = productivity. To be fair, I’ll admit I was a loose canon for years when it came to running a business. Absolutely all over the place, trusting my intuition on what to do and where to go. The downside was, there was no balance, structure or growth in my business. Now, I still trust my intuition but every day, one of my priorities is to sit with Pete (life partner and business partner) over coffee and discuss what we are both aiming to achieve by the end of the day. We then have an accountability buddy to ensure we are both on track. We also meet every Monday to discuss our weekly objectives and also review our business, goals and challenges at the start of every month. We use weekly and monthly review sheets to ensure we are on track as well. You can download those here: moniquebradleymonthlyreviewsession moniquebradleyweeklyplanner
- feeling pretty = more productive. I read the work of a time management expert some years ago who said: ‘Get ready first. Put on your face and go out and be fabulous!’ I thought it was a pretty simply tip at the time, but am happy to report this tip has impacted greatly on my productivity. I’m no longer someone who spends all day working from home in my PJ’s. If that works for you, that’s awesome, however I feel de-motivated by doing this! I get up, do my hair and makeup and get ready as if I’m heading to an office, as it creates the feeling that my professional work day has begun. I always leave the house and go for a coffee first to do my daily planning with Pete, then it’s all go! I’ve also started saving around 20 minutes of preparation time a day by scheduling eyelash extensions fortnightly with lovely Paula from Evelyn Rose Lashes. The reason I’ve done this is that now I save even more time getting ready as I hardly wear any make up! I always wake up looking fabulous and ready to kick start the day! It seems that when I have my face on and my hair done, I feel more energised and ready to kick into action. I spend time taking myself seriously as a business woman, investing time in myself to prepare my professional image to deliver to the world. When was the last time you invested time in YOU? When did you last go for a power walk? When did you last get your nails done? When did you last take you and your image seriously? Is now the time?
- scheduling and automation = more productive. A lot of business owners I meet are struggling with their social media and digital marketing. Again they ask:’Monique, how do you manage all those media pages?’ I currently personally oversee or manage 32 Facebook pages. For each page, there are usually Twitter or Instagram accounts associated with each, and for some pages I manage, their content is re-shared across 9 different platforms and also has to end up on their website. How do I do this? Firstly, I spend just one afternoon a week pre-scheduling a weeks worth of content for each client and for myself. Secondly, for many of the pages that are linked to other accounts, I have set up automation programs to ensure that the right content appears in the right places at the right time. The only platform I don’t automatically send content through to is Linked In as the tone of the written content for that platform is usually slightly different. Thirdly – and here’s my biggest secret – when I’m looking through Facebook for fun during my own downtime or to catch up on friends news, I SAVE EVERYTHING. If I see something that may be pertinent for a client, I save it and come back to it during my scheduling afternoon. Doing it this way, it never seems like work and I’m prepared when I need the content. Funnily enough, this often happens when I’m in the toilet!! I’m a firm believer that if you’ve got time for a coffee or a toilet stop, you’ve got time to invest in Facebook to help promote and grow your business.
- reality tv = more productive. This may sound strange, however for me watching reality tv is my moment of escapism. Some people use movies, some like meditation. Some people go for a bike ride and others go window shopping. The point I’m trying to make is: when do you give yourself time to zone out? De-frag? Disconnect? Dream? I love the absolute non reality of reality tv. I love witnessing a world that is outside of mine, providing me with something that I (in all honesty) secretly aspire to, and on the flip side it highlights the contrast of my own life. It reminds me of the elements of my life that I love. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me. I watch it, I feel inspired or motivated and ready to go out and create my own big world. What is it that helps you disconnect and dream big?
My final thoughts: don’t try and overhaul everything about your life in one big hit. The changes I’ve made to my life have been made one at a time to ensure long lasting results. So if you’re looking for the easiest and simplest tip to help yourself grown, become more productive or even happier, start with your big picture in mind and ask yourself: WHAT’S ONE THING I CAN DO TODAY TO MOVE ME TOWARDS MY BIG GOAL? Just one little step a day let’s yourself (and the universe – if you’re into all that) know that you mean business and you’re committed to a bigger, better and more productive life.
Remember, we’ve all got the same amount of time in every day. Choose how you want to spend it.