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All my life, I’ve been the girl who just gets crap done. I used to apologize for moving fast in my earlier professional years. When I say moving fast, I never skipped over steps or didn’t think through things. In fact, it’s just the opposite. 

I think it’s maybe the way I’m hard wired or something. But, when working on projects and things that need my attention, I stop. I put the phone or computer down and think about the task at hand. Because I’ve taught myself to focus, I can get a lot accomplished. 

Anymore, I don’t apologize for moving fast and getting things done. It’s who I am, and as I’m a recovering people pleaser – I’m learning to become more of the “unapologetic me.” 

So, what do I mean by getting crap done? I’m talking about productivity…making the most of the time you have to achieve all you want to achieve. 

I don’t care if you’re a stay at home mom managing all the details of kids and a home or a working mom managing your own balancing act. One thing is for sure. Time is a limited and precious resource. It’s finite…and, it’s up to us to make the most of it.

My husband tells me I can get more done than the average person, and I really wanted to dive into that…WHY am I that way? I’ve started to make mental notes about everything I do and WHY I do them in the order I do them, etc. Basically, I’ve analyzed my patterns and work flow.

I have a LOT to share with you, and I’ve decided to make this topic a 3-part series. To whet your appetite, here’s the general snapshot of what I’ll be sharing with you: 

  1. Batch your work…and prioritizing (get real about what’s urgent versus important)

  2. Minimize disruptions (yep…that includes email and social media)

  3. Make a plan (for your day…for your life…all the things!)

Step 1. Batching your work…and prioritizing.

At work the other day, I had only 4 hours in the office. As I was preparing for my day, I was intentionally thinking about how I’d use that time. 

I had two big projects that had immediate items to address and then slotted time for thought work and planning with colleagues on future projects. As soon as I got to the office (and I do try and get to work early…I’m sharper in the morning), I hunkered down and went to work on those items that needed my immediate attention. 

That allowed me the time to be able to think freely about future projects because I wasn’t worried about those potential “fires” that could blow up on me…I had already tended to it. I scheduled one set of work flow for one block of time and so on.

It’s a great strategy because you truly are able to finish work timely and more efficient this way versus a little here – a little there – and hope it’s done by the end of the day. As John Maxwell says, “hope isn’t a strategy.” 

Stop hoping for the best and start being mindful about what you need to accomplish.

Prioritizing the urgent versus important. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” This *”Eisenhower Principle” is said to be how he organized his work and priorities. In other words, what is the highest value of your time? 

Important activities have an outcome that leads to achieving goals. Urgent activities demand immediate attention and are usually associated with achieving someone else’s goals. They are often the ones we concentrate on and they demand attention because the consequences of not dealing with them are immediate. 

Friends, in your daily activities, get clear on what is urgent versus important. I’ve found myself in former lives focusing on those items that seemed to be “urgent,” but really was more of a on-going fire drill with no clear-cut plan or decision making taking place…and ultimately a time waster.

I found a great John Maxwell podcast link that is super helpful when determining what’s urgent versus important. I urge you to take a listen – it’s only 15 minutes and sooooo good. Basically, the podcast discusses reflecting on your priorities, thinking ahead and how everything you do aligns to the vision you have for your work and priorities. In other words, be purposeful.

That’s the scoop for today…and next week, let’s talk about minimizing disruptions. The social media “suck,” email hell…and all the things that keep us really busy but not really productive!