by Madelle Morgan
|So much to do, so little time|
My 2019 is off to a busy start. How about you?
My To-Do list is long. During the day something always seems to come up to pull me away from what I meant to do. My precious free time is squeezed to a few evening hours, and that sliver involves watching TV or reading.
No doubt you are familiar with this writing advice, which I'm sure works for some people:
- Get up early to write. Ha. I got up early for most of my life for school and jobs. Now that I'm retired, NO WAY.
- Write in 15 minute increments. I need a block of time to get rolling.
- Dictate while driving or doing other chores. I can only focus on one thing at a time.
- Get off social media. I already limit it.
- Cut out TV/reading in the evening and write. Good luck with that. My brain is tired.
- Make writing a priority. Easier said than done when there are a lot of competing demands.
There has to be another way.
When on the lookout for some fresh, no-fail tips on how to fit more in my day, I bought The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
It turns out this book is not what I expected. I'm still working my way through Part One, and there is no mention of time management, establishing priorities, task lists, etc. At least not yet.
This book's tag line describes what it is about: powerful lessons in personal change. Covey's goal is to teach us how to become a better person, a better spouse, a better manager, and a better leader. We all want to do that, right? No wonder there are over 25 million copies sold.
Covey includes this quote:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.—Aristotle
Half of our days are taken up with habitual, no brain power-required behaviors. We make coffee and breakfast, we shower, we check our email and social media, we buy the same groceries every week and make many of the same meals over and over. We are habitual creatures.
Therefore it follows that a person can create a productivity habit.
Now, I have not read past page 53. Reading this book is slow going, requiring time to reflect and absorb the content. I could probably read each chapter three times and still learn something.
One thing no book needs to tell me: radical change is almost impossible—a recipe for failure. Changing a habit is not easy. Unless that habit is getting up in the dark to get ready for work.
However, expanding upon an established habit is much, much easier!
I thought about productivity habits I already have.
√ I have a To-Do list of tasks, which is written in a section of my agenda.
√ I keep an agenda with all my appointments, including fitness classes that repeat week after week.
√ I look at my agenda every morning to see what I'll be doing, at what time, and for how long.
√ I actually follow through on appointments that are booked in my schedule.
Does this sound like you? Then you and I can easily expand this habitual behavior to a new, improved productivity habit.
CREATE A PRODUCTIVITY HABIT
An agenda could be a physical book or an app on your phone. You must have the ability to book start and end times.
Step 1. Review your To-Do list
Step 2. For each "must do" item, make an appointment with yourself in your agenda. In that fifteen minutes, half hour or hour, that task is your priority. Be realistic about the time you can devote 100% to that task. Don't block off Saturday morning to write if you also have to drive your kid to an activity and bake a cake for a party. Those are separate appointments with specific time slots allocated to them.
Step 3. Life happens. If you have to cancel the appointment to do something else, reschedule the task as if it were as important as a dentist or hair appointment.
I booked an appointment in my agenda to write this post. It works!
Productivity is really this simple:
#1 Book each task into your agenda.
#2 Reschedule missed appointments.
#3. Book an hour every month to read a chapter of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
What are your existing productivity habits? How could you expand those to a new, improved productivity habit?
Madelle Morgan is a Canadian author who writes romance set in Canada.
|Baby, It's Cold Outside|
Seduced by the Screenwriter Review
Cat and Chett’s characters are well developed, drawing the reader into their individual plights, while their campy banter keeps the story light and downright fun. Ms. Morgan keeps the plot moving with humorous situations and dialogue interspersed with exciting and poignant drama. A good read for a snowy afternoon. —Marc Joseph,.
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Madelle's romantic thriller DiamondHunter is a free read in Kindle Unlimited.
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