5 Ways to Be More Productive in 2023
It's interesting how time has seemed to change after the pandemic! So many of my design friends say they feel like there are FEWER hours in every day now. UGH! That means we need to make the most of every single minute. We need to be more productive with our working hours - that also helps us achieve a better work-life balance. It really is about working SMARTER, not HARDER!! I have 5 great tips for productivity that will help you better manage your time in 2023. Let's take a look!
1. Meet Smarter
Meetings can eat up most of our days - and so many of them weren't even necessary to begin with!! Never ever set a meeting without also setting an agenda AND a time limit. You could say to a client: "We'll just meet for 30 minutes and here's what we're going to cover." That helps set expectations for the meeting right away! Do NOT let the meeting spiral out of control! Stay on topic and refocus people when they start to talk about other things. You can always say: "I know your time is important..." to keep things moving along!
2. Block Your Time
This changed EVERYTHING for me!! I block everything on my calendar, including design time, ME time, marketing hours, time for meeting with my financial team, etc. And do NOT allow people to interrupt what you have set on your calendar. Yes, you may have to adjust occasionally for emergencies and unexpected tasks, but for the most part you want to protect your calendar and the tasks that you've blocked out. That will help you keep on task and focused!
3. Drop Your Phone
This is a HARD one for so many of us!!! But you have got to put your phone down. It's SO distracting and will keep you from hitting your goals AND checking things off your really long to-do list. I decided a while ago to turn off ALL notifications for social media, emails, and more. Then my phone isn't constantly dinging or vibrating - which is the worst form of distraction. A Harvard study showed that once your focus is disrupted, it can take 20 minutes for you to get back to a really focused moment. That is TERRIBLE if you're trying to have a productive day and your phone is constantly pinging you!! Put it in your bag during meetings, hide it in a drawer when you're on a deadline and need to get work done. Whatever you need to do, put that phone down!
4. Don't Multitask
Remember when multitasking was a "thing"? Finally we have strong brain research that shows it was never really a thing at all! Your brain cannot effectively concentrate on more than one task at a time. If it focuses on two or more, they ALLL don't get done correctly. That's why blocking your calendar is key - you want to keep your focus on ONE thing at a time so you can get more done in a shorter amount of time. So stop fooling yourself that you can do more than one thing at a time and be the very best at your job.
5. Have a System (or 2!)
Watching someone reinvent the wheel over and over is SOOO frustrating! We have a LOT of tasks and processes that we do repeatedly in interior design - and you should have those documented and set up as a system. That way you KNOW exactly what steps and tasks need to be completed in each project and for each process. It keeps you and your team humming along at WARP speed rather than dropping the ball or asking each other what comes next!
To help you make your meetings more productive, download my FREE Team Meeting Notes Guide here! That will help you stay on task and remember what you agreed to during those quick meetings!!