Are you at risk of becoming a productivity zombie?

ProductivityHalloween is my favourite time of the year. While it’s fun to see the houses decorated and the kids in their costumes, most of all I love the mini chocolate bars. So many kinds, so little time.

This spooky time of year also reminds me of the dreaded productivity zombie. If you’re unsure of what one looks like, here are three key features:

  • Reduced speed of movement relative to normal humans
  • Profoundly reduced or absent cognitive function
  • Ignores or is oblivious of fellow zombies

What has turned these once A-type go-getters into productivity zombies? It’s hauntingly simple. They have succumbed to bad habits. Sometimes the transformation is gradual and often goes undetected.

If you think you might be turning into a productivity zombie, here are 10 traits to be aware of: [Read more…]

5 steps to setting boundaries in your business

BoundariesWhen you first started your business, you may have felt it was acceptable to work nights and weekends. After being at it for a few years you feel like you’ve paid your dues.

Unfortunately, your work hours haven’t changed.

Your clients have become accustomed to you being available 24/7. Constant connectivity has become your new normal. However, without boundaries you are operating from a reactive place; taking orders and putting out fires. This way of working is not a sustainable way to run your business.

Here are steps you can follow to get back in control of your time: [Read more…]

3 sneaky time thieves and how to crush them

Time ThievesThere are three “time thieves” lurking in your day. They are sneaky, cunning and hard to see. At first glance they pretend they are going to make a big difference to your business, but in the end, they are just a big waste of time.

I’m going to reveal them to you now and show you what you can do to protect yourself. [Read more…]

Tool Time: Getting to your destination just got easier

WazeToday I am feeling a little melancholy. Summer is fading away and those long sunny days spent on the dock at my cottage are becoming a distant memory. I have to say, I love spending time in cottage country … except for one part of it … the commute.

Living in Toronto, Canada’s largest and most traffic-intense city, escaping the urban confines has become a game of roulette. Should we leave before or after noon? Thursday or Friday? What route shall we take? All these decisions must be made with the purpose of getting to our destination in the least amount of time and dealing with the least amount of gridlock.

And then I discovered Waze. It’s become my co-pilot when I’m in the driver’s seat. [Read more…]

How to make time for your important work

Make time for your important workWhen was the last time you had a day where you accomplished 100% of your work? Have you ever had such a day? Many people I work with struggle with having their time hijacked by other people’s priorities.

In the ongoing battle for accomplishing your work done, there is a secret weapon I’m going reveal. I’ll also show you how to use it to complete those tasks lingering on your To Do list. [Read more…]

3 tricks to stop social media from sucking up your time

Social media time suckHave you seen a teenager lately? It’s rare to find one without a phone in their hand connecting with their “squad” wherever they are, whenever they can.

I am in awe every time I see my  fifteen-year-old daughter using social media. She is a master. She knows the right social media streams to use, she is proficient in how to use them, and she constantly contributes.

In an age where connectivity is the norm, it is difficult to accomplish your work without getting distracted by the pings and dings of your device beckoning you to come and share. In those moments when procrastination is winning the productivity game, there’s nothing like a good dose of Facebook or Instagram to kill an hour of your precious time.

If you’re not careful, social media will suck hours out of your day and cause your productivity to plummet.  Here are three tricks you can implement today to ensure you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to participating in social media. [Read more…]

3 time-saving tricks to manage your money

money managementYou may have a love-hate relationship with the money side of your business. Money management tasks can be extremely tedious and time consuming. Other than invoicing and depositing payments, you may shy away from the bigger financial duties such as tracking revenue and running reports for financial forecasting.

I’ve always hated handling the money side of my business, so I feel your pain. I’ve been there, made the mistakes, spent countless hours fixing the mistakes and licking my wounds.

Here are three simple adjustments I’ve made with my money systems to make it effortless and pain-free. [Read more…]

3 powerful ways to automate your email

automate your emailWould you believe me if I told you that 70% – 80% of your day is spent in your inbox?

The Huffington Post reports US workers spend 6.3 hours a day checking emails, with 3.2 hours devoted to work emails and 3.1 hours to personal messages.

That’s A LOT of time. If you’re spending that amount of time in your inbox, when do you get your actual work done… let alone time for your family, friends and fun?

As a busy person, your email inbox is notorious for interruptions, distractions and procrastination.

While email can empower you to get more done, it can also be a colossal waste of time.

Your email client, whether it’s Gmail or Outlook, has three powerful features to help you take back control of your inbox. When you use these three email power moves, you will approach your inbox proactively, use your time more efficiently and spend your energy more productively. [Read more…]

Your checklist for unplugging from work while on vacation

unpluggingThe definition of vacation is “taking a break from work” or vacating the office. There are three very important reasons for taking a vacation from the busyness of work: to relax, renew and rejuvenate.

You need downtime, otherwise, stress and burnout will come knocking. Tweet that!

A recent HR management study showed that 40% of workers “feel more productive and better about their job” when returning from vacation. Stats or not, think about how YOU feel when you return from time away from your office.

It’s likely you feel a sense of wellbeing that comes with giving your brain and your body some time away from the daily routine.

The truth is it’s getting harder to completely disconnect from work while on holiday. Expectations from clients and colleagues may have impeded your ability to feel guilt-free when you’re offline.

Here’s a quick and easy checklist you can use to prepare for your off-the-grid downtime and make unplugging easier so you can enjoy your time away. [Read more…]

5 simple ways to stay productive this summer

 5 simple ways to stay productive this summerI’ve just returned from a weekend with my family at a beautiful resort in the country. Two full days of swimming, horseback riding, kayaking and ice cream. It was just what we needed to get in the mood for summer.

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days are just around the corner. The time of year when your attention dips, projects stall and clients are away on holidays. In other words, your productivity heads straight for the toilet.

Here are 5 things you can work on to stay productive this summer and make sure you’re a step ahead when September comes around. [Read more…]