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How to Get Things Done this Year AKA My Personal Productivity Plan

summer sanity savers for the work-at-home mom

I’m a big fan of creating my own personal productivity plans by learning from others and then, adapting it to suit our life as entrepreneurs and parents. In fact, I’m passionate about helping others do the same and that’s why I wrote Productivity 2.0.

Mayank, thankfully, is BIG on routines as is Manini and that makes my life a lot easier in trying to implement and introduce a new structure or schedule for work or home.

This year, our business has grown by almost double and we were blessed to not only meet but exceed our goals.

However it has required tweaking a TON of things and overhauling our schedule and creating all-new plans, sometimes, even twice or thrice!

We’ve finally arrived at a solution that is working and helping us to get things done while further building a business and nourishing our home, health and family life.

Here is what I’m doing {or not doing} and what I’m using to get things done!

What I’m Doing to Increase My Productivity and Get Things Done

1. Scaling Back on Client Projects

One of my goals for this year is to scale back on client projects and create my own products- eBooks, eCourses and workshops to help reach more time-starved entrepreneurs and business owners and help them get the clarity, community and communication they need to grow their businesses. So, this has meant, saying “no” more often. Tough but gotta do it.

2. Hiring More Help … for the House

My priority is to have healthy meals and spend more time with Mayank and Manini. I wrote a while ago about hiring help for the house and this year, we’ve realised that while we don’t {yet} need a full-time housekeeper, we do need more help with chores like cooking and cleaning.

I’ve got a cook who comes into make our 3 meals. I still menu plan and tell him what needs to be done and I cook on the weekends.
I also have a cleaning lady who does our daily sweeping, mopping, dishes and dusting. Mayank does the laundry and I do the folding and tidying up.

3. Planning More Regularly

We plan like crazy. If we were planners before, we’re power planners now. **laughing**

No seriously, planning our day has been a life-and-sanity-saver more than once for not just business stuff but also, the home.

I fell off the home management binder bandwagon sometime last year and never really got back on in terms of updating and following it.

I honestly didn’t have the time and motivation.

This year, am taking it easy and only including checklists and printables that I will use.

For instance, as planned as we are, we don’t really use or refer to a “Before we leave the home” checklist when travelling. What was I thinking including that?!

My home management printables now include:

1. Menu planner- weekly
2. Cleaning checklists- daily, weekly and monthly

3.  Travel packing checklist- I don’t need a “before we leave” checklist but I need this one to ensure we don’t forget anything, like meds.

Yes, that’s it. I don’t include books to read, places to travel, passwords to remember because I don’t need them. I work online and it makes sense for me to “pin” things or add them to my “wishlists” instead of jotting them on paper. I still do a lot of paper planning as well, as you’ll see.

My business planning is mainly done on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, and mainly in my Moleskine with a few other tools.

Daily- I review tasks to do each week from Trello and my master list, and include them in the daily to-do list in my Moleskine.
Weekly- plan the week ahead. Add items in Trello and Google Calendar.
Monthly- plan the month for marketing, content and social media for self and clients. Add items in Trello and Google calendar.

I also have created a Master List of admin tasks that Mayank and I split up or hire out to either our designer or assistant, and so refer to that when doing my every day planning.

4. Seeking and Using Support

Whether at home or at business, realising that I couldn’t do it alone has been the biggest breakthrough ever. It’s not only allowed me to free up my time and my head but also given me greater clarity on how I want our businesses to grow and what projects fill me with joy.

Support doesn’t always have to come from a “person”. Tools have been great support systems for us. Whether it is using Trello to communicate with a client or Evernote to “dump” ideas in or Buffer to schedule social media or my gorgeous Moleskine to plan my day, my tools have been key in freeing up time and increasing my productivity.

5. Focusing and Going with the Flow

Am all for planning but I’m also a Mom and that means going with the flow. Whether it is tweaking our plan for the day because Manini is not feeling well or wants to bake cupcakes or not doing laundry on a really busy day, it happens. It still takes some getting used to for this almost Type A personality but am learning to go with the flow.

However, it is easy to go with the flow when you focus on whatever you’re doing when you’re doing it. Whether it is finishing a blog post or completing a puzzle, if you focus, the quality of your attention and your work is MUCH better.

Tools I’m Using to Increase My Productivity This Year

1. Moleskine Planner. I never quite understood the hype about these planners and notebooks until I started using one this year. Seriously, you guys, there is something awesome about writing on excellent quality paper, having enough room for a LONG to-do list and just the elegant simplicity. I LOVE it and it’s been key in helping me get tons done this year at home and at work.

2. Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Biz+Life Workbook. I ordered the print version of this from Amazon this year and it’s worth every single penny. It’s helped me map out my year, keep me focused on the big picture and smaller goals and I just love that I’m working on both my business and my life together and not separate of each other.

3. Google Calendar. Excellent free tool for scheduling meetings, noting deadlines, and best part, can share it with others. LOVE.

4. Cleaning Checklists from Living Well Spending Less. LOVED her lists. They’re the closest to what I need.

5. Trello. Free, easy and super simple project management tool. Excellent for coordinating with clients and your team when you’re working virtually. I also use it for tracking projects I’m working on, like my current Content Cookbook one.

6. Amazon’s Wishlist Feature- I have the Amazon Add to Wishlist bookmarklet installed on my browser and whenever I come across a book or product I’d love to get, I just click on that and it adds it to my wishlists easily and quickly. Simple.  Here’s how you can set it up for yourself.

7. Evernote and Pinterest – The very best FREE idea and brain dump tools. Period.

What is YOUR greatest struggle with productivity? How do you think you need to personalize a system that works for you?

Prerna


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Comments

  1. Love reading about the tools and tips that you use!! Our cleaning lady vanished and we haven’t found a replacement yet. This means I end up spending valuable writing time sweeping, mopping and cleaning the bathrooms!! Anyway, like you said, I’m going with the flow. I’ve heard so much about Leonie Dawson’s planner and I’d like to give it a try. But now that we’re nearly halfway through the year, do you think it would be much use getting it now?
    Fab recently posted..New Launch: Jabong Mobile App

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hey Fab!! Oohh.. Hope you find a replacement SOOON!! :)

      Also, I absolutely LOVE Leonie’s planners and there is NO time like NOW to start them.. I started using them last year probably middle or even, end of the year and they still helped me gain SO much clarity and achieve a lot.. So, I’d say, go for them!! Here’s my aff.link if you need it ;) https://jlk86341.infusionsoft.com/go/amazingyr/prerna/

  2. Prerna, This post is as inspiring as ever. I am gradually learning to delegate and not try doing everything myself.
    Priya recently posted..Food Chart/ Meal Plan for 11 Months old baby

  3. Support tools are an absolute must! Also thanks for the reminder that sometimes we do actually need to scale back a bit. Helpful post!

  4. Great post! I just wrote a guest post on TheNextWeb title – 15 productivity tips for a startup parent :)
    Here is the link – http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2014/06/05/15-productivity-tips-startup-parent/

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