Create a Successful Space: A Time and Place for Productivity

Do you have high priority activities that are not happening? Do you care about them getting done, but can’t seem to find the time? How you design your space will help to implement these tasks. Unfortunately, “important” activities for our business and life productivity are often ones that require personal discipline. Things like: reading, studying, research, administration, follow-up, writing, sorting, filing, billing, etc. While these activities are important, they often do not get attended to until they are urgent. When we find ourselves operating in the urgent quadrant, we usually get less done and feel stressed, pressured and overwhelmed. Operating from this place causes LOW productivity. With so many demands, how can you be more productive?

Productivity happens when we do what is important in a focused and efficient manner. In our Bible Study group, we discussed having “sacred” place for our daily quiet time. While this is something I HAVE done for my business and life, I had NOT done this for my personal Bible Study time. It had been an old intention that never happened. It compelled me to do this for myself and also review the importance that designed ENVIRONMENTS make. Designed spaces will improve your productivity.

What activity, when done regularly, will increase your overall productivity and results? Pick one that is IMPORTANT for you to accomplish but seems to get ½ done, put off, never gotten to or simply forgotten? Pick an activity that is the same and reoccurs. Reading. Phone calls. Study. Pick something that is important to do regularly and create a space that will be meaningful and beneficial.

Follow these 4 steps to design a productive environment to make it a reality.

1) WHY? Know why this is important to you and make it a routine (habit). Create a structure your body will instinctually remember and return too. When you pass the “spot” you will think, “Oh, I have to… ” When you sit there, you will move into autopilot and start performing the task. Your body posture can help your mind get and stay focused. If you sit down to return phone calls in a pile of papers, in front of your e-mails, looking at the dust on your desk, you will be hard pressed to stay focused on the IMPORTANT task you have set out to do.

2) WHERE? Pick a place that you will go each time you do this. Think about what kind of space you need to focus and accomplish the task. Do you need a writing surface, do you want to feel comfortable (sit on a couch or comfy spot), do you want to feel energized (sit by light or fresh air), do you need a phone or computer? Determine the best location for you to do this task where you can minimize distraction and stay focused.

3) WHAT? Gather your tools. What do you need to do this task? What will inspire you? What will you do? What props or prompts do you need? Things like a clock, coaster for your drink, motivation quote or photo, notebook (jot notes or list things that come into our mind as you are focusing), pen, books, phone, plant, etc. Put all your tools for this activity in this one place, so you don’t waste time gathering them or getting distracted on your way to do this. Leave the tools there so you can do the activity quickly, easily and effortlessly whenever you go to this place.

4) WHEN? Pick a consistent time to be in this place. If it is professional reading or study time, maybe it is at 7 AM each morning. Decide how long you will do it. Set a timer to keep yourself on track. You stay there until the beeper goes off. It is hard at first, but discipline yourself to honor this time for your important task and it will become a habit and reality.

When you have a routine, a place, time and system for this “productivity,” activity it is more likely to get accomplished. Other demands, crisis and urgencies of the day will not get in your way. A system that includes all aspects of your environment will guide, inspire and guard you against making it a desire and intention that never gets implemented. Take 10 minutes and set yours up today!

Productive Activities to Engage in If You’re Bored at Home

How productive are you on a day-to-day basis?

Whether you’re an established entrepreneur or just breaking out of the corporate office, how productive you are now can make a huge impact on the results you see later. If you feel swamped with projects, aren’t making any progress or find yourself lacking time for other things (hobbies, friends or family), you probably aren’t being productive with your time.

Productivity is all about getting results.

But managing your time isn’t always easy, especially at home where you’re the most prone to distractions. Something unexpected is bound to happen or an emergency will occur, and it will knock your schedule off track. Other times, you just won’t feel motivated to get anything done at all.

While you can’t control every situation, you still can get more done around the house and spend more time with the people you love.

Let’s look at a few ways to do just that.

  • Be smart about watching TV.By combining your TV habits with other activities, you can actually make major headway on your business and lifestyle goals. The next time you sit down to watch your favorite show, consider using that time to burn some extra calories (exercise in front of the TV), plan out the rest of the week (what meal are you going to make for dinner?) or answer email. What you watch on TV can also inspire new ideas and educate your mind. But be careful what you watch! I’m personally addicted to watching anything from WWII battles to the advancement in space, technology and health on the Discovery Channel. On the other hand, I avoid reality TV as much as possible; it isn’t realistic, and it’s often a waste of time.
  • Listen to something inspirational while you clean.Mindless chores (like sweeping, doing the dishes or preparing meals) have to be done, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your time while doing them. I love listening to inspirational CDs or books on tape while completing chores around the house. That way, my mind is still constantly developing new ideas.
  • Spend quality time with family.It’s not healthy to work all of the time. Taking occasional breaks will reduce stress from work, so why not spend that time you do have with your family? Playing catch with your son, watching a movie with your spouse or calling your brother to see how he’s doing will help foster stronger relationships and create tighter family bonds.
  • Add exercise to your morning routine.Exercising regularly won’t just make you healthy, but exercise is a major source of energy as well. By consistently spending 10-30 minutes exercising three days per week, coffee will become less of a necessity and you’ll have more energy to devote to work, friends, family and personal hobbies. You don’t even have to have a gym membership. Instead of driving to the gym, I’ll often pop in an Insanity fitness CD.
  • Brainstorm new ideas.Is a project due soon for a client? Consider brainstorming ideas and mapping out possible solutions to any problems you may have. If the project requires multiple steps, make a to-do list. You can also use to-do lists for shopping or tasks around the house, as well as for planning upcoming events and special occasions.
  • Keep things organized.It’s hard to stay productive if you’re working in a messy or disorganized environment. Take some time to organize your closet, office or kitchen, putting anything away that seems out of place. You can also take this time to clean out your purse or wallet, and get rid of any junk you might have thrown in on the go.
  • Get motivated.If you’re stuck while working on a project for a client or just want to take a break from work, consider picking up an inspirational book to give your mind the boost it needs to keep going. Success stories, case studies, blog posts and podcasts can all be good sources of motivation whenever you feel stressed or discouraged and start to procrastinate.
  • Update your finances.If you find yourself lacking something to do, have a look at some outstanding bills that need to be paid, reassess your budget, balance your checkbook or organize your recent transactions so that you don’t fall behind in your finances.

Not all day-to-day routines will go to plan, but with a little bit of time and patience, you can achieve a productive lifestyle, reduce stress and feel more in control over your life in the long run.

3 Fun And Productive Activities For Your Teenager This Summer

It is summer time and your teen has been waiting for this holiday season! For most girls, hanging out with their friends and having sleepovers is what they really cannot wait for. While the boys are all about “doing their thing”, which in most cases is never a good thing. You need your teen to always follow the right path, even if you are not around and below are some ideas that will do that and more, as he enjoys this summer time.

· Sports

If your teenager is a couch potato, things are about to change! Their bodies are most active at this age and so are their minds. If you as a parent do not get involved in your kids growth, you might miss on a lot, which is the current problem parents are having. Your teen will only end up being a social misfit and this could greatly affect him in future. A sport is not only about being physically fit, but it also teaches them on discipline, perseverance, respecting one another and teamwork.

· Charity events

If there is a good way to teach your teen about thanksgiving and being appreciative, it is through charity events. Charity work is not for old people, in fact, most of them are for needy kids and teens. The good thing with such events is that they are very involving, with various activities and competitions which a teen should have no reason not to participate in. What better time to grow their confidence and also learn to communicate with new people? At the end of the day someone else will gain and your teen will learn so much as well; something he could never learn at home watching video games.

· Teen retreats

This could go in either one of two ways; your teen may actually learn something valuable or it might be a learning experience in the wrong way. The bad thing about it is that you are not going to be there as a parent (unless you feel the urge to follow them and snoop around), but the good thing is they are supervised. There are different kinds of retreats; religious, high school retreats, holidays like summer retreats etc. Your teen has a variety to choose from and he/she can team up with friends to make it an even better and worthwhile experience. You never know; your teen who is a loner, might actually make a friend or even better, two.