If you missed our most recent Office Hours, check out the recap below or watch the video below.
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Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday, our Head of Community Anna Dearmon Kornick hosts a LIVE deep dive into a different time management topic. Then, she opens up the floor for your questions and coaching.
This week we talked about the benefits of setting personal productivity goals so we can work smarter and spend time on what matters.
Setting goals is shown to encourage consistency, boost motivation, assist with decision making, relieve boredom and even improve overall satisfaction with work and life.
Setting specific, measurable goals for your productivity paves the way for you to begin working smarter, becoming more focused on your priorities, and more intentional with your collaboration.
At Clockwise, we don’t believe in productivity for productivity’s sake. Instead, we’re on a mission to help the world make time for what matters. For many of us, what matters most is spending time with family, pursuing hobbies, giving back to the community, supporting meaningful causes, and more.
Three goals that can boost your productivity in 2023 include:
- Prioritizing your Top 3
- Staying focused during Focus Time
- Taking breaks
Prioritize your top three
Brian Tracy, a time management and productivity expert, encourages us to review our to-do list and ask the question, “If I could only do one thing on this list, all day long, which ONE activity would contribute the greatest value to my business?”
Then, repeat two more times until you’ve identified your top three priorities for the day.
Asking this question requires you to zero in on what’s going to move the needle forward.
Two key times to prioritize your top three? Weekly and daily.
Choosing your top three priorities for the week enables you to productivity plan how you’ll use your Focus Time and when you’ll tackle the various items on your list.
Choosing your top three priorities for the day zooms in on the week’s must-do’s and helps you manage your time wisely.
Three tools that can help you prioritize your top three include:
- A paper planner, such as the Full Focus Planner, that includes a specific space to write in your Top 3 each week and day
- An app like Daily Bot that can prompt you and your team via Slack to share your weekly and daily priorities
- Creating a dedicated timeblock for your Startup Routine. A Startup Routine is a short routine that helps you get ready for the workday, before diving into work.
One way to protect your Startup Routine is by using Clockwise to set your Meeting Hours preferences to begin 15 or 30 minutes after you begin your workday. This way, that time spent preparing for your day is protected and flexible meetings are unable to schedule over that time.
Stay focused during Focus Time
Whether you’re working from home or in the office, distractions abound. Here are three ways to stay focused during Focus Time in 2023.
- Create an environment for focus. Set aside a specific area meant for work. Face away from distractions - like a full kitchen sink or pile of laundry.
- Set expectations. Let your coworkers, roommates, or family members know when you’ve got Focus Time on the calendar. Ask them to hold interruptions until your Focus Time ends.
- Create a Shiny Things List. Keep a notepad next to your workspace. Whenever you remember something that needs to be done, an item that needs to be purchased, a follow-up that needs to take place, or anything else that pops into your mind - write it down on your Shiny Things list and get back to work. After your Focus Time ends, review your Shiny Things and decide what you’ll do, defer, delegate or delete.
If we’re aiming to be more productive, taking breaks can seem counterintuitive. However, taking breaks throughout the day helps you stay energized, focused, and it replenishes your creativity.
Taking regular breaks can also help prevent burnout. If you’re looking to learn more about stopping burnout in its tracks - either for yourself or your team - grab our Burnout Prevention Kit.
Here are 5 types of breaks you can start taking today:
- Micro Breaks - Something is better than nothing. Standing up for a moment to stretch, wiggle, and sit back down can be energizing.
- Moving Breaks - Consider taking a 5-minute walk a few times a day. Just set a timer and start walking!
- Nature Breaks - Get some fresh air. Take a walk around the block, or just stand outside for a few minutes. Consider picking up some indoor plants like succulents to bring the outdoors in.
- Social Break - Call a friend. Write a thank you note. Connect with someone about something unrelated to work.
- Mental Breaks - Do a short meditation or controlled breathing. This type of break helps you clear out the cobwebs and make subconscious connections that help with problem solving, creativity, and innovation.
How can I do the most important thing when everything feels important?
When everything feels important it can be difficult to know where to begin, which can impact our progress and impact. If you’re unsure how you should spend your time this week, or even today, zoom out and consider your goals for the year as a whole. What do you want to accomplish this year? Once you have clarity around your annual goals, determine what you need to do each quarter to make progress and achieve those goals. Then, zoom in a bit more and identify what you need to complete each month in order to achieve your quarterly goals. Once you understand your monthly goals, you’ll have much more clarity around how you should prioritize your time week-by-week and day-by-day.
Many of my distractions during Focus Time come from via messages and questions from my team. I want to support them, but I also need to get work done! What should I do?
This dilemma is not uncommon for managers! This is where setting expectations with your team is critical. By sharing your priorities for the week (or the day) in a standup meeting, your team has visibility into how you plan to spend your time.
Additionally, take advantage of the Slack and Google Calendar sync using Clockwise. This amazing integration can alert your team to your current status using an emoji next to your username in Slack.
- 💡 = Focus Time
- 📅 = In a meeting
- ⛔️ = Out of Office
- 🌔 = Outside of Working Hours
- 🌔 = Before Working Hours
This way, when you’re in Focus Time, your team members may think twice about messaging you and interrupting your flow.
Join us for the next Clockwise Office Hours
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