Productivity Tips from Kylie Travers

Productivity Tips from Kylie Travers

I went from homeless single mother because of domestic violence to multiple international award-winning CEO, not an easy feat. Dedication, determination and extreme productivity were required as I rebuilt my life. Here are my top 3 tips:

1.) Write it down

Write down everything you are working on and need to do. If it’s in your head and not written down it will feel overwhelming causing you to forget important tasks. Writing it down gets it out of your head and allows you to focus on the task at hand, plus research has shown writing solidifies thoughts in your brain so you are more likely to remember it.

2.) Prioritize

Step 1 may result in a list so long it fills a notebook. Prioritize the tasks by working out which ones are most important. Be aware, tasks that seem to be the most urgent are not always most important. You can fill your day with ‘urgent’ tasks and not get anything important done.

I use lists to help me do what I need to do. Working in 90-day blocks for my goals I want to achieve I start by listing what needs to be done by when on my calendar. Next, I break it down into weekly tasks, followed by daily tasks to achieve my objectives. For each day, I have one list with my top 3 tasks, another with tasks which need to be done after the important 3 are completed. The second list is not to be looked at or thought of until the top 3 tasks are done. It is a list of optional extras.

3.) One thing at a time

Stop multitasking. Focus on one thing at a time. Set a timer for 20 minutes to an hour for a task or block of work time, then allow yourself a break. Work on one task at a time in these work blocks. Switch off notifications or use apps to block sites like Facebook so you do not get distracted.

Studies have shown every time you switch tasks it takes your brain 10 minutes to refocus and get back into whatever you were working on. This means, if you are flitting between 6 tasks, you can easily waste an hour because you are not completely focused.

What productivity tips do you have?

Kylie Travers went from homeless domestic violence victim to multiple international award winning CEO. Kylie has a passion for travel, finance and her family. She has turned her obstacles into opportunities, been an advocate for various charities and now focuses on writing, public speaking and mentoring about goals, motivation, travel, finance and business.

Her methods enabled many to make more money, travel more, spend more time with their family and in general live happier, more fulfilled lives. Through what she has achieved Kylie has won numerous awards and been a finalist for Young Australian of the Year in 2015. She is currently based in Melbourne, Australia and you can find her at www.kylietravers.com.au.

Going Analog for Task Management

Going Analog for Task Management

Now we all know technology has made significant improvements in our lives and this post doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a task management app, but rather add an old-school system to your daily routine.

What is this old school system you ask? It is simply using pen and paper. Now stop shaking your head and just hear me out. Apps are great, but there is a certain effectiveness to using own and paper to manage your daily tasks that you just can’t get with your devices.

Enhanced Productivity

Think about this logically for a second. Yes, transferring your tasks from device to paper sounds like extra work, but it actually saves time throughout the day. While it is adding an extra step in the morning, it saves the innumerable steps of bouncing from task app to work to task app and then the inevitable social media distractions. Think about how much time you spend going to the app on your phone and then all of a sudden you see a notification for Facebook and then an hour later you are looking at photos from high school.

Better Focus

Having a bunch of tasks laid out in your app tends to become overwhelming. Taking the time to review your overall tasks and selecting the priority tasks for the day helps you to stay focused on what needs to be done. There were times where I was guilty of picking and choosing my tasks based on want to do rather than need to do. By looking at my task list and picking the ones that are the priority for today and writing them down, I can stay focused by seeing this minimal list and not allowing myself to go to my bigger list until I finish the one I have written down.

How Does This Old School System Work?

It is really simple. At the beginning of your day or the previous night which I prefer, you look at the upcoming tasks and list them on your sheet of paper in order of priority. When you go to start your day you’ll have a clear roadmap of what needs to be done without all the fuss.

What task management systems do you use? Comment below!

Ambika is a project manager with a Master’s Degree in IT Project Management and 8 years of experience helping companies organize business processes and projects. She has been studying Dr. Pillai’s practices on spiritual enlightenment for 2 years and is a certified Pillai Center Coach.

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Big Picture Thinking for Improved Time Management

Big Picture Thinking for Improved Time Management

I definitely give a lot of advice on how to manage your time effectively through time-saving techniques, but another important aspect is how you’re using your time. This ties into task management and if you are WASTING your time. Many people plug along through tasks that they actually don’t need to be doing.

What is the big picture?

The big picture is your main goal you should be focusing on. While you should focus on each task one at a time, your main goal should be your focus at all times. So think about your goal for the day, and then decide which tasks you should be doing.

Are you wasting time?

Think about what you do in a daily basis. Are there things that you could delegate to someone else so you can focus on priority things only you can do? Are you doing things that serve your goal? If so, then you will want to reevaluate your task list and focus on that which will help you achieve your goal faster.

Should I be doing this?

Take a look at all your tasks and decide if you’re supposed to be doing them. Look at the following task clarifiers.

Want to do, have to do = yes you should be focusing on this.

Want to do, don’t have to do = does it serve your goal? If no then delegate it. If yes, place it as a lower priority.

Don’t want to do, have to do = can you delegate? If yes, then give it to someone else. If no, do it first to get it out of the way.

Don’t want to do, don’t have to do = no brainier here, dump it.

Take time every day to look at what you are doing and track changes you can make to keep you focused on the big picture.

What is your big picture? Post in the comments below.

Ambika Devi

Ambika Devi

Blogger / Writer / Project Manager / Mom

Ambika is a project manager with a Master’s Degree in IT Project Management and 8 years of experience helping companies organize business processes and projects. She works from home while raising 3 children. She has been studying Dr. Pillai's practices on spiritual enlightenment for 3 years and is a certified Pillai Center Coach.

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Unfocused? Get Back to Nature

Unfocused? Get Back to Nature

So I had an amazing day today hiking with the family and visiting Shiloh Civil War Park. For the past few days I’ve felt unfocused and headed towards burnout with everything happening. Yes, even professionals have trouble now and again with motivation and focus.

I was going to continue to work. However, I promised the family 2 days of spring break devoted to getting away from the house. Boy was it the best thing for me. As I said I had begun to lose focus and all my stuff was starting to swirl around in my head.

In comes the beautiful goddess Mother Nature. As we walked through a trail and saw the mounds where native American Indians used to dwell, I felt myself beginning to release a lot of tension and discomfort. I also took the time to read all the various facts along the trails and it allowed my brain to truly shift from work mode. Even when I leave the house to go to the store, I am still thinking about my business. From sun up to sun down that is pretty much all that is on my mind.

The best part was this lovely view of the Tennessee river. It was breathtaking and I took that moment to just be in the now and soak up as much of the beauty as I can. I made a conscious effort to block everything except what was in front of me. I even faced my fear of heights.

What does this have to do with focus you ask?

By simply unplugging and admiring beauty around me, my brain had a much needed rest. On top of that the peace on the hiking trail allowed my brain to process the overload of everything and organize my thoughts in the background.

If you are feeling stuck it cannot focus, go outside and just look around it find a local hiking trail. Whatever it is, just get away from the screens and let your brain rest. It truly allowed me the ability to calm the monkey mind and come back energized with renewed focus.

Ambika Devi

Ambika Devi

Blogger / Writer / Project Manager / Mom

Ambika is a project manager with a Master’s Degree in IT Project Management and 8 years of experience helping companies organize business processes and projects. She works from home while raising 3 children. She has been studying Dr. Pillai's practices on spiritual enlightenment for 3 years and is a certified Pillai Center Coach.

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Use Routines to Enhance Focus

Use Routines to Enhance Focus

With all the distractions that come with living in the modern world, it can be extremely difficult to get focused and get things done. Between social media and emails, even I can get sucked into the never-ending communication time suck from time to time. As I I write this I have 3 kids in the same room with me jibber jabbering.  Luckily though I have a solution for situations like these.

What is it you ask? The answer is simple. Start building routines. Studies have long shown that routines help people get a good jump on their day and keep them going through the afternoon slumps. You can read some popular routines of others here.

But what is actually happening to your brain as you start to build routines? As you start to stick to a daily routine, your brain is making connections and will begin telling you what to do during what times. For example, if you do your creative work from 8 AM to 10 AM every day, your brain will begin to alert you at those times about what you should be doing.

I am no scientist, but I still think this is very cool. Especially for those who struggle with self discipline. A good routine should play on your strengths. If you do your best creative work at night, then your routine should account for that. You don’t want to build a routine that will not be effective for you and actually cost you productivity.

You should also create your routine with one theme per ‘chunk’. My routine typically looks like:

6:30-7:30 – Waking up the kids and getting them off to school.

7:30-8:00 – Me time and meditation

8:00-12:00 – Working for Ambika’s Corner

12:00-6:00 – My day job

6:00-8:00 – Dinner and cleaning

8:00-10:00 – Research & education for myself

So from 8 to 12, I work solely on Ambika’s Corner work and leave everything outside of that alone until its designated time.

What this does, is allow me to put all of my effort and focus into my business without jumping around from place to place. During this time I shut off the sound on my phone because it takes more of my time to look at social and respond to everyone and then I find my creative work is not as productive.

Reduce distractions during periods of time that you need to use for intense focus for higher productivity.

Ambika Devi

Ambika Devi

Blogger / Writer / Project Manager / Mom

Ambika is a project manager with a Master’s Degree in IT Project Management and 8 years of experience helping companies organize business processes and projects. She works from home while raising 3 children. She has been studying Dr. Pillai's practices on spiritual enlightenment for 3 years and is a certified Pillai Center Coach.

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