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Getting Your Productive Sh*t Together [Day 3 – 28 Days to GYST]

This is Day 3 of 28 Days to Getting Your Sh*t Together.  Yesterday, Les McKeown led us off by taking our thinking to a deep level. (Hey! Getting our sh*t together means doing the internal AND the external work!) Today, Gini Dietrich gives our productivity a swift kick in the rear. Get ready to get moving!

Getting Your Productive Sh*t Together

By: Gini Dietrich| @ginidietrich

As I was trying to decide what to write about for this blog post, I Googled “get your shit together” to see if anything came up that inspired me. What I found, instead, was, well, a bunch of shit. So then I thought, “How do I write about getting your shit together without inspiration?” There are a lot of things to consider: Productivity, time management, keeping up on blogs and social media, growing a business, starting a new business, sending gifts before birthdays instead of after, remembering to eat during the day, washing your hair more than twice a week, exercising, getting more than six hours of sleep a night, mentoring a team, managing clients, getting Sarah her guest post on time instead of a week late, and more. You know, not that I’m feeling guilty or anything. It’s not like I’ve had some life-changing experience like Les McKeown (did that give you chills, or what?) to make me think it’s time to get my shit together. But, most days, I can barely get three things checked off my to-do list and I know everyone feels that way. I’m not a time management guru like Craig Jarrow, but I do have some things that are going to help you be much more productive every day without feeling like you can’t get anything done.

  1. Set a time to write. Make it the same time every day and don’t sway from it. My time is 5:30-7:00 a.m.
  2. Set a time to read. This might be blogs, the newspaper, or a book. My time is 7:00-8:00 a.m. and, sometimes, if I’m not too tired, right before bed.
  3. Set a time to check the social networks. I schedule all of my tweets either early in the morning or before I go home at night. I have the 80/20 rule – 80 percent about another friend, blogger, journalist and 20 percent about us (the Spin Sucks blog posts). I set them every hour from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and then my Twitter and Facebook time during the day is spent on conversations, which I do when I get to my desk in the morning, around lunchtime, and right before I go home. I’m never on there more than 15 minutes at a time.
  4. Write your to-do list before you shut down for the night. I actually write a weekly list and then number things. There is a HUGE sense of accomplishment when you’re focused and start checking things off.
  5. Prioritize your action items: Clients are A, Spin Sucks is B, Arment Dietrich business is C, and everything else is D. I add those letters next to everything and then create my to-do list from that.
  6. Turn your email to “work offline” in the middle of the day. I turn mine off most days from 10-3 and take periodic breaks to check and be sure nothing is on fire or needs immediate attention.
  7. Take time off from it all. I used to work all weekend, but found myself thinking, “I can do that this weekend.” Now that I refuse to work during the weekend, I’m much more productive during the week.
  8. It’s funny. People say to me all the time, “How do you pump out as much content as you do?” but I feel like it’s never enough. Perception is reality so stop being hard on yourself, figure out your plan, and get your productive shit together!

Which one will you tackle first?

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a firm that uses non-traditional marketing in a traditional world. She also authors Spin Sucks, an AdAge Power 150 and Social Media Examiner top 10 blog.

~Don’t miss any posts by joining the 28 Days Series here: http://bit.ly/28DaysBlogSeries ~

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  • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

    I teach something similar with my prioritizing. I call it the 5 Key Areas of Focus: faith, family, fitness, finances and fun. It’s a more rounded approach because I find that as entrepreneurs, our business is often an extension of ourselves, and we need to remember those other areas of focus, otherwise, that part of us just dies.

    • http://www.rubyslippersstudio.wordpress.com Callahan McDonough

      yes, yes Lisa.

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

      I agree that we need to remember other areas of our lives.

      My question for you, Lisa, is how can this best be accomplished when you are in “start-up” mode. There’s so much to do when you are getting started, that it’s easy to lose track of those other important areas of life. How do you work to prevent that?

      Just curious. :-)

      • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

        It’s true. As entrepreneurs, we have a crap ton of “stuff” that needs to be done, but often, we’re doing more than needs to specifically be done by us. I use the “big rocks” analogy. When you put the big rocks in the jar first, then you know the mission critical stuff is getting attention.

        5 things (1 from each area) each day, is tantamount to the 80/20 rule. 20% of your time in one area, 80% in the remaining 4 areas.
        Obviously, there are days (at least when you first get started doing this) that you’ll have more than enough on your plate in ONE area, let alone the other 4. I suggest that people just getting started should focus on 2-3 areas each day and rotate them so that no one area is “neglected” for more than a day or two.

        Actually, you can access the entire training system for free: http://www.ThePEACESystem.com not sure if it’s kosher to put that here, but there it is and like I said, it’s free.

        Hope it helps!

        • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

          Thanks so much for this insightful reply, Lisa. I’ve got the web site loaded now as we speak. Looking forward to seeing more of your insights there. :-)

          Thanks again.

    • Shelley McKenzie

      Great insight, Lisa. It’s so easy to lose parts of ourselves if one thing takes a significant priority over a long prriod of time.

      I’m going to look further into your five areas of focus.

  • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

    I teach something similar with my prioritizing. I call it the 5 Key Areas of Focus: faith, family, fitness, finances and fun. It’s a more rounded approach because I find that as entrepreneurs, our business is often an extension of ourselves, and we need to remember those other areas of focus, otherwise, that part of us just dies.

    • http://www.e-mc2coach.com Callahan

      yes, yes Lisa.

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

      I agree that we need to remember other areas of our lives.

      My question for you, Lisa, is how can this best be accomplished when you are in “start-up” mode. There’s so much to do when you are getting started, that it’s easy to lose track of those other important areas of life. How do you work to prevent that?

      Just curious. :-)

      • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

        It’s true. As entrepreneurs, we have a crap ton of “stuff” that needs to be done, but often, we’re doing more than needs to specifically be done by us. I use the “big rocks” analogy. When you put the big rocks in the jar first, then you know the mission critical stuff is getting attention.

        5 things (1 from each area) each day, is tantamount to the 80/20 rule. 20% of your time in one area, 80% in the remaining 4 areas.
        Obviously, there are days (at least when you first get started doing this) that you’ll have more than enough on your plate in ONE area, let alone the other 4. I suggest that people just getting started should focus on 2-3 areas each day and rotate them so that no one area is “neglected” for more than a day or two.

        Actually, you can access the entire training system for free: http://www.ThePEACESystem.com not sure if it’s kosher to put that here, but there it is and like I said, it’s free.

        Hope it helps!

        • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

          Thanks so much for this insightful reply, Lisa. I’ve got the web site loaded now as we speak. Looking forward to seeing more of your insights there. :-)

          Thanks again.

    • Shelley McKenzie

      Great insight, Lisa. It’s so easy to lose parts of ourselves if one thing takes a significant priority over a long prriod of time.

      I’m going to look further into your five areas of focus.

  • http://twitter.com/jdavidtrotter David Trotter

    Gini – thanks for the great tips. I especially love #7 – “Take time off from it all.” I used to work 70-80 hours a week, and I always had a “reason” why I needed to schedule meetings on the weekends. My wife and kids began to develop a life of their own apart from me, and I felt incredibly guilty.

    Much that need to work is driven by an internal black hole longing to be filled with success and achievement. A great deal of over-working is secretly in the name of insecurity…trying to get ahead in order to develop an identity.

    I have a painting hanging in our hallway (that I did) which shows a robot surrounded by these words, “I’m battling a deadline to do something in order to be somebody – or is it vice versa?”

    I already am “somebody.” Out of my identity (which includes my divine imprint, my strengths, my wiring, and my life story) flows a powerful well of drive and creativity for the benefit of others.

    I own my work…not the other way around!

    • DeWayne Pope

      Like your comment that “much of that need to work is driven by an internal black hole longing to be filled with success and achievement.” Very true!

    • Anonymous

      I totally agree David! so many of us take a good chunk of our identity from how “successful” we are out there in the world. as long as we are clawing for success, we can’t relax enough to be our best selves. It’s a catch-22 really. Thanks for sharing your lesson!

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

      What you say is so powerfully true. I especially love the robot. :-)

      There may be a time when extra work may be required, but it shouldn’t last your whole life long.

      Personally, I operate on the concept of taking a “day of rest.” I have one day a week that is sacrosanct and solely dedicated toward rest. This is anything from being with friends, to going to a movie, to taking a “day trip”, to taking a day long nap. Whatever real rest means for me at the moment.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Love this story! Taking time off from it all really has helped me be a better professional. I’m not overly tired, I’m not grouch, and I’m much more productive. You should post a picture of your painting!

      • http://twitter.com/jdavidtrotter David Trotter

        YEAH – she came out to play! Maybe I’ll create a blog post tomorrow on the subject…with a shot of the painting.

        • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

          I would seriously love to see the painting!

    • Kristin

      “that need to work is driven by an internal black hole longing to be filled with success and achievement” — So true!

  • http://twitter.com/jdavidtrotter David Trotter

    Gini – thanks for the great tips. I especially love #7 – “Take time off from it all.” I used to work 70-80 hours a week, and I always had a “reason” why I needed to schedule meetings on the weekends. My wife and kids began to develop a life of their own apart from me, and I felt incredibly guilty.

    Much that need to work is driven by an internal black hole longing to be filled with success and achievement. A great deal of over-working is secretly in the name of insecurity…trying to get ahead in order to develop an identity.

    I have a painting hanging in our hallway (that I did) which shows a robot surrounded by these words, “I’m battling a deadline to do something in order to be somebody – or is it vice versa?”

    I already am “somebody.” Out of my identity (which includes my divine imprint, my strengths, my wiring, and my life story) flows a powerful well of drive and creativity for the benefit of others.

    I own my work…not the other way around!

    • DeWayne Pope

      Like your comment that “much of that need to work is driven by an internal black hole longing to be filled with success and achievement.” Very true!

    • Anonymous

      I totally agree David! so many of us take a good chunk of our identity from how “successful” we are out there in the world. as long as we are clawing for success, we can’t relax enough to be our best selves. It’s a catch-22 really. Thanks for sharing your lesson!

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

      What you say is so powerfully true. I especially love the robot. :-)

      There may be a time when extra work may be required, but it shouldn’t last your whole life long.

      Personally, I operate on the concept of taking a “day of rest.” I have one day a week that is sacrosanct and solely dedicated toward rest. This is anything from being with friends, to going to a movie, to taking a “day trip”, to taking a day long nap. Whatever real rest means for me at the moment.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Love this story! Taking time off from it all really has helped me be a better professional. I’m not overly tired, I’m not grouch, and I’m much more productive. You should post a picture of your painting!

      • http://twitter.com/jdavidtrotter David Trotter

        YEAH – she came out to play! Maybe I’ll create a blog post tomorrow on the subject…with a shot of the painting.

        • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

          I would seriously love to see the painting!

    • Kristin

      “that need to work is driven by an internal black hole longing to be filled with success and achievement” — So true!

  • http://twitter.com/wishkeepercc Elli

    The thought of turning off my email is actually giving me hives. It’s not like a two-hour delay would kill anybody. (I hope!) My biggest problem with doing so is that my email becomes a black hole — there’s a kind of resistence to answering even people I *like* if I let it go too long. (Maybe it’s perceived overwhelm?)

    I love this list, though, and am printing it out to adopt to my own shit right away.

    • http://twitter.com/brycekatz Bryce Alan Katz

      I used to feel the same way about email, Elli. These days I tell everyone – friends, family, clients, *everyone* – that I have three “tiers” of communication:

      Tier 3: “When you can get to it.” Things that are important to review, stuff I need to know about, but not *rightgoddamNOW*. My preferred mode for Tier 3 is email. I promise to respond within 24 hours.

      Tier 2: “Um, this is pretty important.” Stuff I need to know about and act on sooner than 24 hours. Call me or text me, if that’s your thing. I’ll respond as soon as appropriate.

      Tier 1: “OMG, the place is ON FIRE!” Yep – the urgent stuff: server down, website offline, kid is in the nurse’s office with a 101 fever, etc. A phone call is the ONLY way you’re going to get my immediate attention. Don’t abuse it.

      In practice it’s not that cut and dried; lines do blur. Even if you don’t share YOUR contact priorities with your clients, having them clearly defined in your own mind does help keep you from burning valuable daylight on non-urgent, occasionally unimportant matters.

      • Anonymous

        Setting boundaries and expectations. So key!! Love this method.

    • http://twitter.com/brycekatz Bryce Alan Katz

      Two more bits of advice on email:

      Use Inbox Rules as often as you can. Having your email client automatically sort incoming email can help those (hopefully few) urgent emails from getting lost in the general “noise”.

      Never – under any circumstances – use your business email address for anything other than business. Nothing will fill your Inbox with spam faster than having Auntie Octogenerian send you a single e-greeting from Blue Mountain. Once your email address is “in the wild”, it’s over. Invest in a spam filter or migrate to a new address.

      • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

        Great tips here, Bryce!!! Thank you so much for sharing them! :)

        I’m another one who has “email issues” and check it WAYYY too often throughout the day. I’m training myself to cut back! ;)

      • Anonymous

        Love your ideas Bryce! And your idea about only using your business email address for business? My mother doesn’t even have my business email address for exactly the reason you mention :)

    • Anonymous

      Yep – I feel you on this. My inbox used to be a huge jumble of stuff I wanted to respond to and a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t. so I did 2 things: 1) I un-subscribe from anything and everything I do not open in at least a month. 2) I forward everything to my gmail priority inbox. The stuff I really want to see shows up at the top no matter when it comes in. It really really keeps me sane. good luck with your sh*t!!

      • http://www.gogobags.ca Anahita – Gogobags

        I have to try the gmail priority inbox, heard good things and read about it but never had the time to try. I use the inbox rule. But I love Bryce’s communication “tiers”, I kind of have this rule but no body except close family knows about it. Have to tell others too !

      • Shelley

        Thank you for sharing this Sarah, this is going to be helpful and learn gmail, just got on this one. So much social media and I am learning to become less overwhelmed with it all and be focused,present

      • Anonymous

        You have mention how much you like Gmail priority inbox. I may have to look into that.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LOL! It was REALLY hard at first. But, after about a week, I realized nothing is going to fall apart and I began to be much more productive. The thing with email is that it grows as you respond. So if you respond only three times a day, you end up having less of it than if you respond constantly. It’s not easy to do. Try it in hour spurts to begin.

    • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

      I can totally get that. That’s how I feel about my Google reader! I should just mark everything as read, but I’m afraid I might miss something good or important or incredible and be at a total loss. So I skim and skim and skim again. :-) We can do it, though! If it’s that important we will uncover it or it will find us, eventually!

  • http://twitter.com/wishkeepercc Elli

    The thought of turning off my email is actually giving me hives. It’s not like a two-hour delay would kill anybody. (I hope!) My biggest problem with doing so is that my email becomes a black hole — there’s a kind of resistence to answering even people I *like* if I let it go too long. (Maybe it’s perceived overwhelm?)

    I love this list, though, and am printing it out to adopt to my own shit right away.

    • http://twitter.com/brycekatz Bryce Alan Katz

      I used to feel the same way about email, Elli. These days I tell everyone – friends, family, clients, *everyone* – that I have three “tiers” of communication:

      Tier 3: “When you can get to it.” Things that are important to review, stuff I need to know about, but not *rightgoddamNOW*. My preferred mode for Tier 3 is email. I promise to respond within 24 hours.

      Tier 2: “Um, this is pretty important.” Stuff I need to know about and act on sooner than 24 hours. Call me or text me, if that’s your thing. I’ll respond as soon as appropriate.

      Tier 1: “OMG, the place is ON FIRE!” Yep – the urgent stuff: server down, website offline, kid is in the nurse’s office with a 101 fever, etc. A phone call is the ONLY way you’re going to get my immediate attention. Don’t abuse it.

      In practice it’s not that cut and dried; lines do blur. Even if you don’t share YOUR contact priorities with your clients, having them clearly defined in your own mind does help keep you from burning valuable daylight on non-urgent, occasionally unimportant matters.

      • Anonymous

        Setting boundaries and expectations. So key!! Love this method.

    • http://twitter.com/brycekatz Bryce Alan Katz

      Two more bits of advice on email:

      Use Inbox Rules as often as you can. Having your email client automatically sort incoming email can help those (hopefully few) urgent emails from getting lost in the general “noise”.

      Never – under any circumstances – use your business email address for anything other than business. Nothing will fill your Inbox with spam faster than having Auntie Octogenerian send you a single e-greeting from Blue Mountain. Once your email address is “in the wild”, it’s over. Invest in a spam filter or migrate to a new address.

      • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

        Great tips here, Bryce!!! Thank you so much for sharing them! :)

      • Anonymous

        Love your ideas Bryce! And your idea about only using your business email address for business? My mother doesn’t even have my business email address for exactly the reason you mention :)

    • http://twitter.com/brycekatz Bryce Alan Katz

      Two more bits of advice on email:

      Use Inbox Rules as often as you can. Having your email client automatically sort incoming email can help those (hopefully few) urgent emails from getting lost in the general “noise”.

      Never – under any circumstances – use your business email address for anything other than business. Nothing will fill your Inbox with spam faster than having Auntie Octogenerian send you a single e-greeting from Blue Mountain. Once your email address is “in the wild”, it’s over. Invest in a spam filter or migrate to a new address.

    • Anonymous

      Yep – I feel you on this. My inbox used to be a huge jumble of stuff I wanted to respond to and a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t. so I did 2 things: 1) I un-subscribe from anything and everything I do not open in at least a month. 2) I forward everything to my gmail priority inbox. The stuff I really want to see shows up at the top no matter when it comes in. It really really keeps me sane. good luck with your sh*t!!

      • http://www.gogobags.ca Anahita – Gogobags

        I have to try the gmail priority inbox, heard good things and read about it but never had the time to try. I use the inbox rule. But I love Bryce’s communication “tiers”, I kind of have this rule but no body except close family knows about it. Have to tell others too !

      • Shelley

        Thank you for sharing this Sarah, this is going to be helpful and learn gmail, just got on this one. So much social media and I am learning to become less overwhelmed with it all and be focused,present

      • Anonymous

        You have mention how much you like Gmail priority inbox. I may have to look into that.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LOL! It was REALLY hard at first. But, after about a week, I realized nothing is going to fall apart and I began to be much more productive. The thing with email is that it grows as you respond. So if you respond only three times a day, you end up having less of it than if you respond constantly. It’s not easy to do. Try it in hour spurts to begin.

    • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

      I can totally get that. That’s how I feel about my Google reader! I should just mark everything as read, but I’m afraid I might miss something good or important or incredible and be at a total loss. So I skim and skim and skim again. :-) We can do it, though! If it’s that important we will uncover it or it will find us, eventually!

    • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

      I can totally get that. That’s how I feel about my Google reader! I should just mark everything as read, but I’m afraid I might miss something good or important or incredible and be at a total loss. So I skim and skim and skim again. :-) We can do it, though! If it’s that important we will uncover it or it will find us, eventually!

  • DeWayne Pope

    Great tips! I really like how you schedule time to do things like writing and social media. As an entrepreneur, I think you have to do that in order to keep focus and move your goals forward. Otherwise, you’ll bounce around all day putting out fires and handling the day-to-day stuff, and in the end, won’t have done anything other than survived the day.

    • Anonymous

      wait – you been the “what’s on fire?” project management approach isn’t sustainable?!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      And, as you add staff and begin building your own leadership, the fires get bigger and bigger.

  • DeWayne Pope

    Great tips! I really like how you schedule time to do things like writing and social media. As an entrepreneur, I think you have to do that in order to keep focus and move your goals forward. Otherwise, you’ll bounce around all day putting out fires and handling the day-to-day stuff, and in the end, won’t have done anything other than survived the day.

    • Anonymous

      wait – you been the “what’s on fire?” project management approach isn’t sustainable?!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      And, as you add staff and begin building your own leadership, the fires get bigger and bigger.

  • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

    Great tips. I totally LOVE when I have a list and get to cross things off of it. I’m so bad that sometimes I’ll complete something and THEN I’ll start the list. Am I admitting too much? ;) Perhaps. But I don’t do that all the time, I promise. It just feels really good to at least get something out there and out of the way. I don’t even know how to schedule Tweets, and I think it’d make me a little crazier, personally, to do so, but I do schedule blog posts now and then, which is a good thing for me. I really need to get to doing #4, though, for the next day. Then when I wake up in the AMs I won’t feel like I have nothing to do, or not know where to begin, especially if I prioritize when I do so (create that list, I mean!). Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      I Make a Master List on Sunday evening – all the stuff I need to do in the week. Then each evening, I cross-off, update and make my list for the next day from the Master List. Helps me not forget stuff. :-)

      • Jenny Dixon

        Love that Sarah, without a list… I’m lost. And I’m old fashioned… I want it on paper and I want to Feel myself crossing it off in Ink! Tactile and real. I’ve gotten away from list making lately and can feel the void. Thanks! I feel a new motivation to restore that habit.

        • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

          I am SO totally a pen and paper person when it comes to lists! I’m also that way with my planner, as well. I’m all about the actual writing. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one!

      • Shelley McKenzie

        Oooo, I love this too. I do use lists but inconsistently. I’m going to try the master list idea and update it at the end of my work day.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LOL! I totally did that the other day. Approving invoices so our CFO could send them to clients wasn’t on my list. So I approved invoices, looked at my to-do list, added it, and then crossed it off. :) And…I just scheduled tomorrow’s blog post to run at 7 a.m. So I’m all good!

      • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

        Thanks for the validation! Makes me feel good to know I’m not the sole list maker after the fact … :)

  • Anonymous

    Great tips. I totally LOVE when I have a list and get to cross things off of it. I’m so bad that sometimes I’ll complete something and THEN I’ll start the list. Am I admitting too much? ;) Perhaps. But I don’t do that all the time, I promise. It just feels really good to at least get something out there and out of the way. I don’t even know how to schedule Tweets, and I think it’d make me a little crazier, personally, to do so, but I do schedule blog posts now and then, which is a good thing for me. I really need to get to doing #4, though, for the next day. Then when I wake up in the AMs I won’t feel like I have nothing to do, or not know where to begin, especially if I prioritize when I do so (create that list, I mean!). Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      I Make a Master List on Sunday evening – all the stuff I need to do in the week. Then each evening, I cross-off, update and make my list for the next day from the Master List. Helps me not forget stuff. :-)

      • Jenny Dixon

        Love that Sarah, without a list… I’m lost. And I’m old fashioned… I want it on paper and I want to Feel myself crossing it off in Ink! Tactile and real. I’ve gotten away from list making lately and can feel the void. Thanks! I feel a new motivation to restore that habit.

        • Anonymous

          I am SO totally a pen and paper person when it comes to lists! I’m also that way with my planner, as well. I’m all about the actual writing. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one!

      • Shelley McKenzie

        Oooo, I love this too. I do use lists but inconsistently. I’m going to try the master list idea and update it at the end of my work day.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LOL! I totally did that the other day. Approving invoices so our CFO could send them to clients wasn’t on my list. So I approved invoices, looked at my to-do list, added it, and then crossed it off. :) And…I just scheduled tomorrow’s blog post to run at 7 a.m. So I’m all good!

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the validation! Makes me feel good to know I’m not the sole list maker after the fact … :)

  • http://twitter.com/DooneyPug Lori Finnigan

    Gini

    Thanks for an easy-to-understand list of getting things done. I know I need to do a better job of list-making…and then sticking to that list. I have always liked the 80/20 rule since it can be applied to most anything in life (my closet is always the first thing that comes to mind). And, scheduling some “me” time is important…that would be the reading for me.

    Printing your post for sure so I can work with it and develop my own system.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Your closet has the 80/20 rule?!? Do tell!

  • http://twitter.com/DooneyPug Lori Finnigan

    Gini

    Thanks for an easy-to-understand list of getting things done. I know I need to do a better job of list-making…and then sticking to that list. I have always liked the 80/20 rule since it can be applied to most anything in life (my closet is always the first thing that comes to mind). And, scheduling some “me” time is important…that would be the reading for me.

    Printing your post for sure so I can work with it and develop my own system.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Your closet has the 80/20 rule?!? Do tell!

  • http://twitter.com/DooneyPug Lori Finnigan

    I agree with you on #4. I tend to make my lists in the morning, and that works most of the time. But I am a morning person so if my list is ready the night before I wouldn’t be wasting time. Oh my word…palm to forehead & whack! Duh…
    Ok I should have said this in my comment above but by you stating #4 made me think about it more. WooHoo!

    • Anonymous

      She’s really smart, isn’t she, that Gini girl?!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LMAO! I love the train of thought typing. HILARIOUS!

  • http://twitter.com/DooneyPug Lori Finnigan

    I agree with you on #4. I tend to make my lists in the morning, and that works most of the time. But I am a morning person so if my list is ready the night before I wouldn’t be wasting time. Oh my word…palm to forehead & whack! Duh…
    Ok I should have said this in my comment above but by you stating #4 made me think about it more. WooHoo!

    • Anonymous

      She’s really smart, isn’t she, that Gini girl?!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LMAO! I love the train of thought typing. HILARIOUS!

  • http://www.twitter.com/Safan_Momin Safan Momin

    Great tips Gini. My biggest weakness is turning off social media although I have been relatively successful in doing that to email. I am definitely going to start using the offline gmail so that i can work on my emails without being interrupted by new ones.

    In the past few weeks I have started using Remember The Milk to keep track of what needs to be done that day in the morning, and what I completed plus what needs to be done next day at the end of the day. Just this simple 10 min change has been a huge difference is helping me focus on getting some of my pending tasks completed.

    • Anonymous

      Oh the brain suck of social media!!! And i love offline gmail. I use it when I travel so I can do stuff on airplanes or when I’m waiting and don’t have internet. It is a huge productivity booster. And now I’m off to see if Remember The Milk is available for the Android……

      • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

        ARGH! I can’t reply directly to Safan. I’m curious how Remember the Milk works if it’s online. I tend to “forget” about my to-do list when it’s not sitting on my desk, in front of me.

        • Kristin

          I used RTM for a while but came across exactly that problem. If I need to log in I simply forget to go there and follow through. Switched now to a similar system with the ‘To Do’ iPhone app that can be synchronized with ‘Toodledo’ online. I barely use the online account; mostly I work with the app on my phone.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Safan_Momin Safan Momin

    Great tips Gini. My biggest weakness is turning off social media although I have been relatively successful in doing that to email. I am definitely going to start using the offline gmail so that i can work on my emails without being interrupted by new ones.

    In the past few weeks I have started using Remember The Milk to keep track of what needs to be done that day in the morning, and what I completed plus what needs to be done next day at the end of the day. Just this simple 10 min change has been a huge difference is helping me focus on getting some of my pending tasks completed.

    • Anonymous

      Oh the brain suck of social media!!! And i love offline gmail. I use it when I travel so I can do stuff on airplanes or when I’m waiting and don’t have internet. It is a huge productivity booster. And now I’m off to see if Remember The Milk is available for the Android……

      • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

        ARGH! I can’t reply directly to Safan. I’m curious how Remember the Milk works if it’s online. I tend to “forget” about my to-do list when it’s not sitting on my desk, in front of me.

        • Kristin

          I used RTM for a while but came across exactly that problem. If I need to log in I simply forget to go there and follow through. Switched now to a similar system with the ‘To Do’ iPhone app that can be synchronized with ‘Toodledo’ online. I barely use the online account; mostly I work with the app on my phone.

  • http://www.elianevans.com Elian Evans

    Great info Gini. I changed my working hours last year and really stress to myself to keep family and work/business time separate and distinct. Thanks for the great tips! I really like the idea of the 80/20 rule!

    • Anonymous

      I’ve learned that being 100% present with whatever I’m doing – either at work or at home – is the only way I a) enjoy it b) anyone enjoys being around me and c) I might actually do it well. :-)

      • Kristin

        Amen to that, Sarah!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      It’s not easy, but it can be done!

  • http://www.elianevans.com Elian Evans

    Great info Gini. I changed my working hours last year and really stress to myself to keep family and work/business time separate and distinct. Thanks for the great tips! I really like the idea of the 80/20 rule!

    • Anonymous

      I’ve learned that being 100% present with whatever I’m doing – either at work or at home – is the only way I a) enjoy it b) anyone enjoys being around me and c) I might actually do it well. :-)

      • Kristin

        Amen to that, Sarah!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      It’s not easy, but it can be done!

  • http://www.marketingfield.com Jaimie Field

    I love your list of how to be more productive, Gini.

    I want to ad one more. Unsubscribe to any emails in which you cannot set your preferences. For example, I had signed up for a newsletter. However, this particular person now sends tons of “affiliate” links and sales pitches and THAT’s not what I signed up for. When I asked if I could get just the newsletter, they did not have the ability to do so, so I unsubscribed.

    Doing this and unsubscribing to emails and newsletters I wasn’t reading have eliminated more than 60 emails a day from my life that were just cluttering my in-box and making me feel guilty for not reading.

    • Anonymous

      Love the unsubscribe button at the bottom of newsletters and emails!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      My only problem with unsubscribing from emails is they tend to multiply like rabbits when you do that. Now I have a fake email address that I check once a week for newsletters and things I really do want to receive. The rest gets deleted.

  • http://www.marketingfield.com Jaimie Field

    I love your list of how to be more productive, Gini.

    I want to ad one more. Unsubscribe to any emails in which you cannot set your preferences. For example, I had signed up for a newsletter. However, this particular person now sends tons of “affiliate” links and sales pitches and THAT’s not what I signed up for. When I asked if I could get just the newsletter, they did not have the ability to do so, so I unsubscribed.

    Doing this and unsubscribing to emails and newsletters I wasn’t reading have eliminated more than 60 emails a day from my life that were just cluttering my in-box and making me feel guilty for not reading.

    • Anonymous

      Love the unsubscribe button at the bottom of newsletters and emails!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      My only problem with unsubscribing from emails is they tend to multiply like rabbits when you do that. Now I have a fake email address that I check once a week for newsletters and things I really do want to receive. The rest gets deleted.

  • http://www.bodywisdomschool.com Rhett Hatfield

    Great post Gini!!

    Love the idea of keeping things scheduled at a regular time and within compartments to avoid “spillage” … !! I have tried every time management system under the sun but now I simplify things with one question written at the top of a sheet of paper.

    What’s Important Today?

    I never write down more than 3-5 high priority items and I make certain (read try really hard) to get them all completed before the sun goes down. These 5 things always fall within the top 10-20% and I actually ignore the rest for the most part unless there is a fire to put out. That allows me large amounts of time to exercise, play and indulge in creative pursuits that fuel me and my business. It helps that I run my own business and have quite a few empowered employees that run the bulk of my business.

    I ran across this just yesterday in my notes:

    1. Focus on the Critical Few: 85% of the results come only 15% of what you do.
    2. Learn How to Procrastinate: Put off the 85% and tackle the 15%
    3. Throw Away Your To-Do List: Create an 85/15 list. Do ONLY the items at the top of the list (the 15%)
    4. Reward Yourself for Doing the Right Things: “Things That Get Rewarded Get Done”
    5. Do Your FTF: Feared Things First. Start your day with doing the item that you fear most.
    6. Do a Daily Power Hour: Take a few minutes each day for planning (doesn’t need to be an hour).
    7. Exercise: It helps you work, harder, longer and think more clearly
    8. Layer Your Activities: Example; Listen to tapes while driving … constantly ask yourself “Is this the best use of my time right now.”
    9. Write Out Your Goals Daily: Write out your top goals each day: Body (physical), Brain (intellectual), Being (spiritual), Time (organizational), People, and Money.
    10. Just Say NO!: Don’t let other people dump their monkeys on you.
    Excerpt From The One-Minute Millionaire: “The Enlightened Way to Wealth”

    I haven’t looked at in years but it seems some of the concepts sunk in anyway. Now I can add your helpful suggestions to the list …. thanks again for taking the time to share your words of wisdom with al of us …. :)

    • Anonymous

      Wow Rhett! No wonder you are so awesome at what you do!! Thanks for sharing such great tips. :-)

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      FANTASTIC list of tips, Rhett! Thanks for sharing – I had a couple of ahas! while reading that. ;)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I love “do your FTF.” That way you can move on to the stuff you love!

    • Kristin

      Great tips, Rhett! Thanks for sharing.

  • Rita

    I think for me, #7 is a good place to start. My cell phone (Blackberry) goes everywhere I go. I’m constantly checking my Twitter Feed or getting text messages, or DMs on Twitter and I’ve created an expectation that I will respond immediately. It’s time for me to ween myself away from my phone. As much as I love it, it doesn’t work for me to be productive at the same time if I”m constantly stopping to check messages etc. So that’s where I’ll start first.

    Last night (without knowing this was today’s post), I scheduled in an hour after I got home to do some super tasks at home that I had been neglecting. It felt so good to get them done, I spent much longer on them then I had planned. Today, I’m doing the same thing. Also, the weekends, I find I spend far too much time doing nothing. Sunday is generally my planned “do nothing day” or 2 hours of house work and then nothing. So I’m going to practice that too. Thanks for this! I may work my way down the entire list and report back!

    • http://eventstrategysolutions.com Daphne

      Good idea Rita. I am trying to wean myself off my iPhone as well. Sometimes I just have to put it far, far away to keep myself from checking email and social media. Getting better at it!

    • Anonymous

      I think “doing nothing” time is super important – so don’t throw it out completely! That’s when our brains relax and re-charge. It, mixed with some feelings of accomplishment make a great combo.

      • http://www.e-mc2coach.com Callahan

        ditto Sarah, if I don’t do nothing time…I call it veg time….my inner kid goes on STRIKE and then…nothing at all gets done :)

      • Rita

        OH believe me when I tell you, doing nothing is one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday. I love to read or catch up on the tv shows i missed during the week. the problem is that something else always seems to catch my eye…like the dustbunnies under the coffee table, or the laundry basket that looks about full. I won’t ever stop doing nothing. I promise. it’s the smartphone habit i need to kick. that’s the most important productivity sucker there is for me.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Whoa! I didn’t say anything about weaning yourself from your phone! :) I’ve actually had to stop looking at my phone at night (which sometimes kills me) because I’m working really long hours and Mr. D doesn’t like it if, the few hours he does get to see me, I’m on my phone. Go figure!

    • Kellie J Walker

      When I was in the corporate world, I did something UNHEARD of (especially when you consider that I was running a sales team at the time). Actually, I did 2 somethings.

      1) I had a personal cell phone and a business cell phone. No one – and I mean NO ONE – at work had my personal cell number. My friends and family had my business cell number. However, they knew to not call me on that number unless they couldn’t reach me on my personal cell and it was a TRUE 9-1-1. The beauty of this approach was that I always knew what kind of call I was getting based on which phone was ringing. If I was working and couldn’t be interrupted, I didn’t even LOOK at my personal cell when it rang.

      2) Addendum to #1: At the end of the work day (which I made sure was a truly reasonable time) I … brace yourselves … turned my business cell phone OFF. It did not get turned on again until I was on my way to work the next day. The absolute only exceptions to this were quarter end if I had any open sales deals and/or if I was working with a client in another time zone and had scheduled an “after hours” conference call.

      3) This is the part that made me realize I needed 2 cell phones. I never, ever – and I mean NEVER, EVER – took my business cell phone on vacation with me. Nor did I take my work laptop. Nor did I check my work email. Period. It was non-negotiable. If someone at work gave me a hard time, I reminded them that I was legally entitled to my vacation days. If my manager approved the time, ’nuff said. Oddly enough, if anyone gave me a hard time it was because they envied me – not because they thought I was shirking my duty.

      4) OK. So, I know I’m already over my “2 somethings” self-imposed limit but this is important! I turned both of my cells phones off, or set them on SILENT and LEFT THEM IN MY BRIEFCASE if I was in a meeting – internal or external. Anyone in a meeting with me knew they had my undivided attention.

      5) I’m already over, so I may as well keep going. If I was in my office and on a call, I either turned my screen off or turned my back to it. No distractions. I felt as if I had no choice because I knew I would get distracted if I saw an interesting or “important” message come through.

      The first 3 items we all about creating a physical and mental separation for me between “work” and “personal”. I knew it would be effective, but had no idea just how powerful the impact on my life would be. I was so much more relaxed – both at work and at home. I was also amazed at how quickly people got used to my boundaries. We really DO teach people how to treat us and what to expect from us.

      The last 2 items were about treating others as I wanted to be treated and “walking the talk”. I always felt disrespected during meeting in which someone was constantly checking their messages or taking calls. I always REALLY appreciated knowing I had someone’s full attention. I wanted to be the latter person vs. the former.

      I know it’s not economically feasible to have 2 cell phones anymore. But, I am considering looking into Google Voice to see if it can be used to route some calls to voice mail and others to my phone at set times during the day. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. If all else fails, I can always fall back on:

      6) I never answer a call from an unrecognized number. It’s usually a telemarketer or someone trying to sell me something. If it’s important, they will leave a message which I can quickly return (check out Google Voice to see how it might help you manage voice mail).

      None of these changes came to me quickly or easily. But, once I committed to them, my life was much better!

      • Kristin

        I like your idea of two cell phones to keep work and private life separate. Instead of having two phones I will look again into the different ring tones and probably have one ring tone for work contacts and another one for private calls.

        • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J Walker

          Kristin – Smacking myself on the forehead for not thinking of creating separate ring tones! I keep forgetting that you can create groups and tie a ring tone to the group. Fantastic idea! Thanks for the reminder. :-)

  • http://www.rhetthatfield.com Rhett Hatfield

    Great post Gini!!

    Love the idea of keeping things scheduled at a regular time and within compartments to avoid “spillage” … !! I have tried every time management system under the sun but now I simplify things with one question written at the top of a sheet of paper.

    What’s Important Today?

    I never write down more than 3-5 high priority items and I make certain (read try really hard) to get them all completed before the sun goes down. These 5 things always fall within the top 10-20% and I actually ignore the rest for the most part unless there is a fire to put out. That allows me large amounts of time to exercise, play and indulge in creative pursuits that fuel me and my business. It helps that I run my own business and have quite a few empowered employees that run the bulk of my business.

    I ran across this just yesterday in my notes:

    1. Focus on the Critical Few: 85% of the results come only 15% of what you do.
    2. Learn How to Procrastinate: Put off the 85% and tackle the 15%
    3. Throw Away Your To-Do List: Create an 85/15 list. Do ONLY the items at the top of the list (the 15%)
    4. Reward Yourself for Doing the Right Things: “Things That Get Rewarded Get Done”
    5. Do Your FTF: Feared Things First. Start your day with doing the item that you fear most.
    6. Do a Daily Power Hour: Take a few minutes each day for planning (doesn’t need to be an hour).
    7. Exercise: It helps you work, harder, longer and think more clearly
    8. Layer Your Activities: Example; Listen to tapes while driving … constantly ask yourself “Is this the best use of my time right now.”
    9. Write Out Your Goals Daily: Write out your top goals each day: Body (physical), Brain (intellectual), Being (spiritual), Time (organizational), People, and Money.
    10. Just Say NO!: Don’t let other people dump their monkeys on you.
    Excerpt From The One-Minute Millionaire: “The Enlightened Way to Wealth”

    I haven’t looked at that list in years but it seems some of the concepts sunk in anyway. Now I can add your helpful suggestions to the list …. thanks again for taking the time to share your words of wisdom with all of us …. :)

    • Anonymous

      Wow Rhett! No wonder you are so awesome at what you do!! Thanks for sharing such great tips. :-)

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      FANTASTIC list of tips, Rhett! Thanks for sharing – I had a couple of ahas! while reading that. ;)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I love “do your FTF.” That way you can move on to the stuff you love!

    • Kristin

      Great tips, Rhett! Thanks for sharing.

  • Rita

    I think for me, #7 is a good place to start. My cell phone (Blackberry) goes everywhere I go. I’m constantly checking my Twitter Feed or getting text messages, or DMs on Twitter and I’ve created an expectation that I will respond immediately. It’s time for me to ween myself away from my phone. As much as I love it, it doesn’t work for me to be productive at the same time if I”m constantly stopping to check messages etc. So that’s where I’ll start first.

    Last night (without knowing this was today’s post), I scheduled in an hour after I got home to do some super tasks at home that I had been neglecting. It felt so good to get them done, I spent much longer on them then I had planned. Today, I’m doing the same thing. Also, the weekends, I find I spend far too much time doing nothing. Sunday is generally my planned “do nothing day” or 2 hours of house work and then nothing. So I’m going to practice that too. Thanks for this! I may work my way down the entire list and report back!

    • http://eventstrategysolutions.com Daphne

      Good idea Rita. I am trying to wean myself off my iPhone as well. Sometimes I just have to put it far, far away to keep myself from checking email and social media. Getting better at it!

    • Anonymous

      I think “doing nothing” time is super important – so don’t throw it out completely! That’s when our brains relax and re-charge. It, mixed with some feelings of accomplishment make a great combo.

      • http://www.rubyslippersstudio.wordpress.com Callahan McDonough

        ditto Sarah, if I don’t do nothing time…I call it veg time….my inner kid goes on STRIKE and then…nothing at all gets done :)

      • Rita

        OH believe me when I tell you, doing nothing is one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday. I love to read or catch up on the tv shows i missed during the week. the problem is that something else always seems to catch my eye…like the dustbunnies under the coffee table, or the laundry basket that looks about full. I won’t ever stop doing nothing. I promise. it’s the smartphone habit i need to kick. that’s the most important productivity sucker there is for me.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Whoa! I didn’t say anything about weaning yourself from your phone! :) I’ve actually had to stop looking at my phone at night (which sometimes kills me) because I’m working really long hours and Mr. D doesn’t like it if, the few hours he does get to see me, I’m on my phone. Go figure!

    • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

      When I was in the corporate world, I did something UNHEARD of (especially when you consider that I was running a sales team at the time). Actually, I did 2 somethings.

      1) I had a personal cell phone and a business cell phone. No one – and I mean NO ONE – at work had my personal cell number. My friends and family had my business cell number. However, they knew to not call me on that number unless they couldn’t reach me on my personal cell and it was a TRUE 9-1-1. The beauty of this approach was that I always knew what kind of call I was getting based on which phone was ringing. If I was working and couldn’t be interrupted, I didn’t even LOOK at my personal cell when it rang.

      2) Addendum to #1: At the end of the work day (which I made sure was a truly reasonable time) I … brace yourselves … turned my business cell phone OFF. It did not get turned on again until I was on my way to work the next day. The absolute only exceptions to this were quarter end if I had any open sales deals and/or if I was working with a client in another time zone and had scheduled an “after hours” conference call.

      3) This is the part that made me realize I needed 2 cell phones. I never, ever – and I mean NEVER, EVER – took my business cell phone on vacation with me. Nor did I take my work laptop. Nor did I check my work email. Period. It was non-negotiable. If someone at work gave me a hard time, I reminded them that I was legally entitled to my vacation days. If my manager approved the time, ’nuff said. Oddly enough, if anyone gave me a hard time it was because they envied me – not because they thought I was shirking my duty.

      4) OK. So, I know I’m already over my “2 somethings” self-imposed limit but this is important! I turned both of my cells phones off, or set them on SILENT and LEFT THEM IN MY BRIEFCASE if I was in a meeting – internal or external. Anyone in a meeting with me knew they had my undivided attention.

      5) I’m already over, so I may as well keep going. If I was in my office and on a call, I either turned my screen off or turned my back to it. No distractions. I felt as if I had no choice because I knew I would get distracted if I saw an interesting or “important” message come through.

      The first 3 items we all about creating a physical and mental separation for me between “work” and “personal”. I knew it would be effective, but had no idea just how powerful the impact on my life would be. I was so much more relaxed – both at work and at home. I was also amazed at how quickly people got used to my boundaries. We really DO teach people how to treat us and what to expect from us.

      The last 2 items were about treating others as I wanted to be treated and “walking the talk”. I always felt disrespected during meeting in which someone was constantly checking their messages or taking calls. I always REALLY appreciated knowing I had someone’s full attention. I wanted to be the latter person vs. the former.

      I know it’s not economically feasible to have 2 cell phones anymore. But, I am considering looking into Google Voice to see if it can be used to route some calls to voice mail and others to my phone at set times during the day. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. If all else fails, I can always fall back on:

      6) I never answer a call from an unrecognized number. It’s usually a telemarketer or someone trying to sell me something. If it’s important, they will leave a message which I can quickly return (check out Google Voice to see how it might help you manage voice mail).

      None of these changes came to me quickly or easily. But, once I committed to them, my life was much better!

      • Kristin

        I like your idea of two cell phones to keep work and private life separate. Instead of having two phones I will look again into the different ring tones and probably have one ring tone for work contacts and another one for private calls.

        • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

          Kristin – Smacking myself on the forehead for not thinking of creating separate ring tones! I keep forgetting that you can create groups and tie a ring tone to the group. Fantastic idea! Thanks for the reminder. :-)

  • Rosemary

    Wow, the first couple of items really resonated…the idea of separating the “reading” from the “writing” tasks is a new concept for me. I can totally get sidetracked by ping-ponging between those two areas, and then 3 hrs later, nothing has been actually DONE. I’m filing this one away for sure…thanks!

    • Anonymous

      I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of completing stuff. so much so I’m willing to actually focuse on one thing at a time. such a novel concept, isn’t it?!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      This morning I tried to write my blog post while my email was open. It. Did. Not. Work. You’re right – three hours later you’ve accomplished nothing.

  • Rosemary

    Wow, the first couple of items really resonated…the idea of separating the “reading” from the “writing” tasks is a new concept for me. I can totally get sidetracked by ping-ponging between those two areas, and then 3 hrs later, nothing has been actually DONE. I’m filing this one away for sure…thanks!

    • Anonymous

      I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of completing stuff. so much so I’m willing to actually focuse on one thing at a time. such a novel concept, isn’t it?!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      This morning I tried to write my blog post while my email was open. It. Did. Not. Work. You’re right – three hours later you’ve accomplished nothing.

  • http://twitter.com/JeanneMills Jeanne Mills

    Thanks Gini. Very helpful. Had to chuckle about “remembering to eat.” Just last night my dear husband told me I needed to write it on sticky note on my laptop screen. I am using two of those little Windows Live Desktop Gallery Gadgets that make it so helpful. my little ‘reminder’ to do list is there staring at me on my screen (desk essentials gadget has todo, note, can calculator combined) and I now use a little gadget calendar (zCalendar) that allows me to input meeting info on date with time alert 10 minutes before meeting. SO helpful.

    I’m already using some of these tips, so my focus to begin will be #2 to read blogs and online content, #3 & #4 to organize my time online so that I can attend to the items listed in #5A-D. thanks so much. :)

    • http://twitter.com/JeanneMills Jeanne Mills

      p.s. forgot to say that I missed breakfast, but the little todo list GLARED at me so I ate lunch :)

    • Anonymous

      One of the things I really try to do each day is NOT eat my longer in front of my computer. tough sometimes, but my brain needs the break. :-) And yay for taking on 3, 4 and 5!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I just had a visual of “remember to eat tonight” on a post-it note on your laptop screen.

  • http://twitter.com/JeanneMills Jeanne Mills

    Thanks Gini. Very helpful. Had to chuckle about “remembering to eat.” Just last night my dear husband told me I needed to write it on sticky note on my laptop screen. I am using two of those little Windows Live Desktop Gallery Gadgets that make it so helpful. my little ‘reminder’ to do list is there staring at me on my screen (desk essentials gadget has todo, note, can calculator combined) and I now use a little gadget calendar (zCalendar) that allows me to input meeting info on date with time alert 10 minutes before meeting. SO helpful.

    I’m already using some of these tips, so my focus to begin will be #2 to read blogs and online content, #3 & #4 to organize my time online so that I can attend to the items listed in #5A-D. thanks so much. :)

    • http://twitter.com/JeanneMills Jeanne Mills

      p.s. forgot to say that I missed breakfast, but the little todo list GLARED at me so I ate lunch :)

    • Anonymous

      One of the things I really try to do each day is NOT eat my longer in front of my computer. tough sometimes, but my brain needs the break. :-) And yay for taking on 3, 4 and 5!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I just had a visual of “remember to eat tonight” on a post-it note on your laptop screen.

  • http://eventstrategysolutions.com Daphne

    Turning off email? Checking in with social media only for 15 minutes at a time? Scary stuff!

    How am I going to be able to procrastinate that way? Hmmm… I guess that’s the point!

    • Anonymous

      Your comment made me laugh out loud. Mostly because I’m totally with you!

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      lol – love it, Daphne! ;)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LOL!! I feel the same way some days!

  • http://eventstrategysolutions.com Daphne

    Turning off email? Checking in with social media only for 15 minutes at a time? Scary stuff!

    How am I going to be able to procrastinate that way? Hmmm… I guess that’s the point!

    • Anonymous

      Your comment made me laugh out loud. Mostly because I’m totally with you!

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      lol – love it, Daphne! ;)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LOL!! I feel the same way some days!

  • DanielleMiller

    Hi Gini:)

    Plan the Work and Work the Plan! Your tips are great…I use and teach the use of a timer and the ABC method. Using that psychological boost of crossing stuff off the list is so empowering! I also think you’ve touched on a key point as you told us about your own ‘internal chatter’ or as I call them “the voices in my head”, so important to simply notice the chatter and then keep it movin’ sister;)

    • Anonymous

      I’m teaching the young turk how to use a timer too. Hoping he won’t have the adult time management issues of his momma. :-)

      • DanielleMiller

        timers RULE!!! One of the most golden things I ever learned from teaching with kids with ADD/ADHD

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      The voices in our heads. Yes!

  • DanielleMiller

    Hi Gini:)

    Plan the Work and Work the Plan! Your tips are great…I use and teach the use of a timer and the ABC method. Using that psychological boost of crossing stuff off the list is so empowering! I also think you’ve touched on a key point as you told us about your own ‘internal chatter’ or as I call them “the voices in my head”, so important to simply notice the chatter and then keep it movin’ sister;)

    • Anonymous

      I’m teaching the young turk how to use a timer too. Hoping he won’t have the adult time management issues of his momma. :-)

      • DanielleMiller

        timers RULE!!! One of the most golden things I ever learned from teaching with kids with ADD/ADHD

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      The voices in our heads. Yes!

  • http://twitter.com/melodygranger Melody Granger

    I so connected with your not working on the weekends! I actually don’t work on Friday thru Sunday. It’s amazing what you get done when you refuse to let it flow into your personal time.

    Your A,B,C,D productivity tip is great! May I add something I do to this tip? In your email box, in front of your clients folders put an A, then B is for my guest post/interview deadline/instructions/requests, then C is for reading my favorite news from my favorite peeps, and D is for well, all the other shit. Just pop ABCorD in front of the name of your folder. Keeps everything neat, tidy, and grouped together beautifully…and you go straight down your ABCD list & get busy!

    Enjoyed your article. Thanks for the offline tip! That’s what I’m incorporating next;-)

    • Anonymous

      See – if stuff goes into folders before I ever see it, I never see it. Need to figure out how to fix that…..

      • http://twitter.com/melodygranger Melody Granger

        I actually put the email in the appropriate folder after I’ve read it, responded, or need to do more – ex: put deadline on my calendar if I have a guest posts, etc! (As much as possible I delete items.)

        I do have 2 filters set up that dump specific emails from specific places: 1 is for my website contact form inquiries – they land in the inquiries folder under “A” and then I have info/comments coming from an online community I’m a part of being dumped into C section, named RHH.

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      Hey – fancy seeing you here, Melody! ;) LOVE your ABCD tip – brilliant! :D

    • Anonymous

      Melody! So good to see you here – and of course you have some wonderful ideas on organizing emails. I might need to try the ABCD idea.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I’m lucky – I have an assistant who color codes my emails for me. Most of the colors I have no clue what they mean, but I know the red ones are clients and need to be attended to. She even has “hilarious” in there (which I think is purple?). Her system works for her and she just keeps email organized for me.

      • http://twitter.com/melodygranger Melody Granger

        Color coding is cool, too! I love that she has a “hilarious” folder. I have a “funny” folder!

  • http://twitter.com/melodygranger Melody Granger

    I so connected with your not working on the weekends! I actually don’t work on Friday thru Sunday. It’s amazing what you get done when you refuse to let it flow into your personal time.

    Your A,B,C,D productivity tip is great! May I add something I do to this tip? In your email box, in front of your clients folders put an A, then B is for my guest post/interview deadline/instructions/requests, then C is for reading my favorite news from my favorite peeps, and D is for well, all the other shit. Just pop ABCorD in front of the name of your folder. Keeps everything neat, tidy, and grouped together beautifully…and you go straight down your ABCD list & get busy!

    Enjoyed your article. Thanks for the offline tip! That’s what I’m incorporating next;-)

    • Anonymous

      See – if stuff goes into folders before I ever see it, I never see it. Need to figure out how to fix that…..

      • http://twitter.com/melodygranger Melody Granger

        I actually put the email in the appropriate folder after I’ve read it, responded, or need to do more – ex: put deadline on my calendar if I have a guest posts, etc! (As much as possible I delete items.)

        I do have 2 filters set up that dump specific emails from specific places: 1 is for my website contact form inquiries – they land in the inquiries folder under “A” and then I have info/comments coming from an online community I’m a part of being dumped into C section, named RHH.

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      Hey – fancy seeing you here, Melody! ;) LOVE your ABCD tip – brilliant! :D

    • Anonymous

      Melody! So good to see you here – and of course you have some wonderful ideas on organizing emails. I might need to try the ABCD idea.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I’m lucky – I have an assistant who color codes my emails for me. Most of the colors I have no clue what they mean, but I know the red ones are clients and need to be attended to. She even has “hilarious” in there (which I think is purple?). Her system works for her and she just keeps email organized for me.

      • http://twitter.com/melodygranger Melody Granger

        Color coding is cool, too! I love that she has a “hilarious” folder. I have a “funny” folder!

  • http://www.michellesedas.com Michelle Sedas

    I love your practical suggestions. I had to disable my work email on my phone because I was checking it too often and found myself having a difficult time getting my mind “away from the office.” “Taking time off from it all” is an excellent idea.

    • Anonymous

      You know, I finally realized that I wasn’t likely to get any urgent message ( and by urgent I mean someone died or my house was on fire) via email. Don’t get me wrong, I still fall into the trap of checking it like Pavlov’s dog, but at least I can catch myself when I need to be focused elsewhere. :-)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I love turning my email off on my phone! I just learned that trick a few months ago.

  • http://www.michellesedas.com Michelle Sedas

    I love your practical suggestions. I had to disable my work email on my phone because I was checking it too often and found myself having a difficult time getting my mind “away from the office.” “Taking time off from it all” is an excellent idea.

    • Anonymous

      You know, I finally realized that I wasn’t likely to get any urgent message ( and by urgent I mean someone died or my house was on fire) via email. Don’t get me wrong, I still fall into the trap of checking it like Pavlov’s dog, but at least I can catch myself when I need to be focused elsewhere. :-)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I love turning my email off on my phone! I just learned that trick a few months ago.

  • Janet Gallagher

    Thank you, Gini. I especially like point 4. When I was a PA in a legal office – may daily To-Do List was hugely important and I could not have managed without it. Although I am at home now I, in fact, had already today decided to introduce this into my daily life.

    Sarah – I love your comment “being 100% present in whatever you are doing”. We multi-task to such an extent that we are constantly forward-planning and not focusing on the present.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I think a to-do list at home is equally important. I even put laundry on there, if only to have something to cross off!

  • http://twitter.com/_HireTed_ Ted Kusio

    One thing that helps me (since I’m on a Mac) is a free little app called “Self Control.” http://visitsteve.com/made/selfcontrol/

    It’s awesome. Simply add sites you don’t want to visit during productive time (like Twitter, Facebook, or ThatSiteThatISpendWayTooMuchTimeOn.com), and you simply won’t be allowed access for a set time. To reset the app you actually need to reboot.

    For me, I see that once I launch this app I’m simply more productive, and rarely visit my “blocked sites.”
    Figure it’s worth a share. :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Get. Out. I didn’t know about this tool! Totally checking it out!

  • Janet Gallagher

    Thank you, Gini. I especially like point 4. When I was a PA in a legal office – may daily To-Do List was hugely important and I could not have managed without it. Although I am at home now I, in fact, had already today decided to introduce this into my daily life.

    Sarah – I love your comment “being 100% present in whatever you are doing”. We multi-task to such an extent that we are constantly forward-planning and not focusing on the present.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I think a to-do list at home is equally important. I even put laundry on there, if only to have something to cross off!

  • http://twitter.com/_HireTed_ Ted Kusio

    One thing that helps me (since I’m on a Mac) is a free little app called “Self Control.” http://visitsteve.com/made/selfcontrol/

    It’s awesome. Simply add sites you don’t want to visit during productive time (like Twitter, Facebook, or ThatSiteThatISpendWayTooMuchTimeOn.com), and you simply won’t be allowed access for a set time. To reset the app you actually need to reboot.

    For me, I see that once I launch this app I’m simply more productive, and rarely visit my “blocked sites.”
    Figure it’s worth a share. :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Get. Out. I didn’t know about this tool! Totally checking it out!

  • http://predictablesuccess.com/blog Les McKeown

    I swear if Gini just re-wrote the yellow pages I’d read it. She can’t help but be brilliant. It has something to do with her hyper-competitive instincts, which comes out in everything she does (except words with friends, at which she sucks).

    there’s one thing not right in that last sentence, but I can’t put my finger (23 pts) on it.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I swear Les McKeown, I am going to beat you up! I have won as many WWF games against you as you have won. But I might rewrite the yellow pages just to see IF you would read it!

  • http://predictablesuccess.com/blog Les McKeown

    I swear if Gini just re-wrote the yellow pages I’d read it. She can’t help but be brilliant. It has something to do with her hyper-competitive instincts, which comes out in everything she does (except words with friends, at which she sucks).

    there’s one thing not right in that last sentence, but I can’t put my finger (23 pts) on it.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I swear Les McKeown, I am going to beat you up! I have won as many WWF games against you as you have won. But I might rewrite the yellow pages just to see IF you would read it!

  • http://www.e-mc2coach.com Callahan

    That cartoon is so totally perfect. Every day I’ve got my list, my plan, my focus and then like today, the car acts up with the ‘urgent care’ light on. So for me its going with the flow as well as the plan, not letting my energy get zapped by the ‘things I cannot change’ and ‘moving forward, one step at a time, with the things I can’. Yes, the serenity prayer, it is my anchor because getting stuff done is cool & energizing, but none of it is worthwhile if I have stressed out to the max to get there. I was listening to a talk by Eve Ensler while I was working on the ‘end of year’ yuk, paperwork today. She spoke of her work before vagina monologues, she was a playwright in NYC and doing pretty well, but then the vagina monologues came out of research she got involved in….. suddenly she had a different kind of momentum. She realized the work had taken over and she was not the “I”, but was “in service” to others touched by this work. Beautiful. Thats the vision, desire I have for my art work as well.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      What a great story to hear (er, read) at the end of the day. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Shelley McKenzie

      Great points! I love the serenity prayer.

      Having a plan IS super important but being able to change directions is a must, especially if you’re an entrepreneur.

  • http://www.rubyslippersstudio.wordpress.com Callahan McDonough

    That cartoon is so totally perfect. Thanks, Gini.
    Every day I’ve got my list, my plan, my focus and then like today, the car acts up with the ‘urgent care’ light on. So for me its going with the flow as well as the plan, not letting my energy get zapped by the ‘things I cannot change’ and ‘moving forward, one step at a time, with the things I can’. Yes, the serenity prayer, it is my anchor because getting stuff done is cool & energizing, but none of it is worthwhile if I have stressed out to the max to get there. I was listening to a talk by Eve Ensler while I was working on the ‘end of year’ yuk, paperwork today. She spoke of her work before vagina monologues, she was a playwright in NYC and doing pretty well, but then the vagina monologues came out of research she got involved in….. suddenly she had a different kind of momentum. She realized the work had taken over and she was not the “I”, but was “in service” to others touched by this work. Beautiful. Thats the vision, desire I have for my art work as well.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      What a great story to hear (er, read) at the end of the day. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Shelley McKenzie

      Great points! I love the serenity prayer.

      Having a plan IS super important but being able to change directions is a must, especially if you’re an entrepreneur.

  • http://twitter.com/IdaDavidson Ida Davidson

    I actually have a Master List of things that need to be handled. Whether they’re for the house or the business or the family, as soon as I know that I have to take action on something, it goes on the list. Beside the master list, I have a little notebook that is my “Got Done” list. As I get things done that are on the list, and the day to day things that aren’t on the list, I write them down on the Got Done list. I cross things off the Master List as they get done as well.

    Even though it seems like double work, having the Got Done list gives me a way to keep from beating myself up when I feel like I haven’t accomplished enough. It also keeps me from being able to bullshit myself into believing that I’ve been SO BUSY that I haven’t gotten to the things I need to. Because if all I can put on the Got Done list is that I showered or made the bed, I know I’ve been slacking.

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      I like that idea of a “Got Done” list, Ida – what a great way to see what you’re accomplishing! :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I’m with Jess, I like the “got done” list. Mine isn’t quite that organized, but I keep a master list and cross things off there so I can see what I’ve accomplished.

  • http://twitter.com/IdaDavidson Ida Davidson

    I actually have a Master List of things that need to be handled. Whether they’re for the house or the business or the family, as soon as I know that I have to take action on something, it goes on the list. Beside the master list, I have a little notebook that is my “Got Done” list. As I get things done that are on the list, and the day to day things that aren’t on the list, I write them down on the Got Done list. I cross things off the Master List as they get done as well.

    Even though it seems like double work, having the Got Done list gives me a way to keep from beating myself up when I feel like I haven’t accomplished enough. It also keeps me from being able to bullshit myself into believing that I’ve been SO BUSY that I haven’t gotten to the things I need to. Because if all I can put on the Got Done list is that I showered or made the bed, I know I’ve been slacking.

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      I like that idea of a “Got Done” list, Ida – what a great way to see what you’re accomplishing! :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I’m with Jess, I like the “got done” list. Mine isn’t quite that organized, but I keep a master list and cross things off there so I can see what I’ve accomplished.

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  • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

    Excellent list, Gini. The one I tackled first was setting email to ‘Work Offline.’ You would think I just learned how to use a computer, because I’ve never actually used that setting. I’ve always either had Entourage open or closed. Lately, I’ve been working with it closed, but inevitably something comes up during the course of work where I need to send something or check my calendar. If I didn’t do anything else on this list, that tip was worth it.

    Setting a time to read and write are also critical for me. I’m putting that in my calendar right now – and I don’t even run the risk of being distracted by new emails now that I learned the previous trick. ;) For the record, the times that I set aside are:

    Writing – 7:30 – 8:30am
    Checking HootSuite – 8:30 – 9am
    Checking Email – 9 – 9:30am

    But I’m definitely not stopping there – I am taking some time off from it all this weekend. Much needed break.

    Thank you!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I’ll see you on Twitter at 8:30 tomorrow morning!

    • Kristin

      Agree, the email tip is the best. Heard it the third time now; better listen :-)

  • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

    Excellent list, Gini. The one I tackled first was setting email to ‘Work Offline.’ You would think I just learned how to use a computer, because I’ve never actually used that setting. I’ve always either had Entourage open or closed. Lately, I’ve been working with it closed, but inevitably something comes up during the course of work where I need to send something or check my calendar. If I didn’t do anything else on this list, that tip was worth it.

    Setting a time to read and write are also critical for me. I’m putting that in my calendar right now – and I don’t even run the risk of being distracted by new emails now that I learned the previous trick. ;) For the record, the times that I set aside are:

    Writing – 7:30 – 8:30am
    Checking HootSuite – 8:30 – 9am
    Checking Email – 9 – 9:30am

    But I’m definitely not stopping there – I am taking some time off from it all this weekend. Much needed break.

    Thank you!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I’ll see you on Twitter at 8:30 tomorrow morning!

    • Kristin

      Agree, the email tip is the best. Heard it the third time now; better listen :-)

  • http://www.gogobags.ca Anahita – Gogobags

    I love # 5 that you alphabetized the importance of each aspect of your business. I think this is what I need to add to my mind map of the day. I work from home with two kids under 6yrs. Unfortunately I didn’t have any help with kids, you can imagine what my working hours were. Basically there were no working days to plan.

    It is different now, my son goes to full day kindergarten and I signed my daughter to a full day preschool 2 days a week. Now I have two half a day of work day per week plus some weekends ‘if I can get off from home’!
    What helps me go on and have that feeling of achievement, is that every morning or the night before I’ll do a mind map on my day ahead. This way I can have all my day planned in one sheet with different branches, like blog, marketing, home, kids, chores, and … . The problem is that I have a lot to do and try to add as many as possible in a day, but by the end of the day I don’t get to cross off that many. (not a good feeling) Who knows, maybe the alphabetizing help me to stay on track and not plan more than I can do in a day.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      You just bought yourself a clone with the kids in school! I do the same thing you do – try to do 22 things in one day. I realized a couple of years ago I can do three things really well every day. That’s it.

  • http://www.gogobags.ca Anahita – Gogobags

    I love # 5 that you alphabetized the importance of each aspect of your business. I think this is what I need to add to my mind map of the day. I work from home with two kids under 6yrs. Unfortunately I didn’t have any help with kids, you can imagine what my working hours were. Basically there were no working days to plan.

    It is different now, my son goes to full day kindergarten and I signed my daughter to a full day preschool 2 days a week. Now I have two half a day of work day per week plus some weekends ‘if I can get off from home’!
    What helps me go on and have that feeling of achievement, is that every morning or the night before I’ll do a mind map on my day ahead. This way I can have all my day planned in one sheet with different branches, like blog, marketing, home, kids, chores, and … . The problem is that I have a lot to do and try to add as many as possible in a day, but by the end of the day I don’t get to cross off that many. (not a good feeling) Who knows, maybe the alphabetizing help me to stay on track and not plan more than I can do in a day.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      You just bought yourself a clone with the kids in school! I do the same thing you do – try to do 22 things in one day. I realized a couple of years ago I can do three things really well every day. That’s it.

  • http://elizabethgracedesigns.com Liz Pike

    In addition to taking off for the weekend, I work “normal” hours during the weekdays. After back surgery last year because of too many hours spent in a deskchair (yep!! I retired after 10 years shoeing horses to a “safe” desk chair and herniated 2 discs–the dangers of sitting!)

    I was afraid by limiting my time so much (weeknights and weekends off) I wouldn’t have time to finish my work, but instead found the boost in my creativity and problem-solving skills to far offset the time limit.

    When I find myself suffering from procrastination, mediocre creative skills, & fuzzy logic I can always trace it back to not honoring that time off.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I know that shouldn’t be funny, but it kind of is! How ironic! I totally agree that you can trace procrastination to not giving yourself time off. Bravo!

  • http://elizabethgracedesigns.com Liz Pike

    In addition to taking off for the weekend, I work “normal” hours during the weekdays. After back surgery last year because of too many hours spent in a deskchair (yep!! I retired after 10 years shoeing horses to a “safe” desk chair and herniated 2 discs–the dangers of sitting!)

    I was afraid by limiting my time so much (weeknights and weekends off) I wouldn’t have time to finish my work, but instead found the boost in my creativity and problem-solving skills to far offset the time limit.

    When I find myself suffering from procrastination, mediocre creative skills, & fuzzy logic I can always trace it back to not honoring that time off.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I know that shouldn’t be funny, but it kind of is! How ironic! I totally agree that you can trace procrastination to not giving yourself time off. Bravo!

  • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

    ahh, prioritizing. always have been terrible at it, I hope I wont always be, cause its a pain when you have this kinda thing out of whack.

    However, with the birth of my child and the way my new job is structured, I have been getting better at it. My order is likely a bit different than some, but family comes first, job comes second, and everything else is third. I need to work on sorting out “everything else” into smaller partitions, that’ll include social media, free time, freelance, etc.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      You should make time to play WWF again! :) I agree family comes first…I just have Mr. D and a dog so sometimes they get pushed down the priority list.

      • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

        I will have time to play WWF again when they get off their bums and convert it for Android – my iPhone died a quick and painful software related death a couple months ago…things like that are definitely included in free time for sure.

        I have learned to LOVE Outlook calendar as well as Google calendar – they do help me manage my time during their respective uses, outlook at work, and google everywhere else. Nothing like a popup on your computer or a “ding!” on your phone to help you move on and around.

  • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

    ahh, prioritizing. always have been terrible at it, I hope I wont always be, cause its a pain when you have this kinda thing out of whack.

    However, with the birth of my child and the way my new job is structured, I have been getting better at it. My order is likely a bit different than some, but family comes first, job comes second, and everything else is third. I need to work on sorting out “everything else” into smaller partitions, that’ll include social media, free time, freelance, etc.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      You should make time to play WWF again! :) I agree family comes first…I just have Mr. D and a dog so sometimes they get pushed down the priority list.

      • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

        I will have time to play WWF again when they get off their bums and convert it for Android – my iPhone died a quick and painful software related death a couple months ago…things like that are definitely included in free time for sure.

        I have learned to LOVE Outlook calendar as well as Google calendar – they do help me manage my time during their respective uses, outlook at work, and google everywhere else. Nothing like a popup on your computer or a “ding!” on your phone to help you move on and around.

  • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

    Hi Gini & Sarah! :)

    Great tips, Gini! There are several I can certainly use, but I’m tackling the email one first! This is the second time today that I’ve heard it, so guess what? I’m listening up! ;)

    My challenge with email is that I use Google Apps for my mail, so I’m logging in online to check it. But I frequently need to access old emails, contacts or other info from my email account during the day, so I need to figure how to be able to do that WITHOUT automatically seeing the new emails sitting there.

    Either of you have any suggestions on that? Or maybe someone else in the tribe does?

    I don’t really want to download my email to Outlook or another desktop application. I love having it all online, just need to figure out how to AVOID the new email unless that’s specifically what I’m going in there for. ;)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Most people have to hear a message seven to 10 times before they do it so you’re waaaaaay ahead of the game! I think (though I use Outloook so I’m not totally sure) that you can work offline in Google, still have access to your files, and not see the new email addresses. Check it out and see if it works for you.

      • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

        Yay!! I like being ahead of the game! ;) Thanks for the tip, Gini – I’ll look into that! :D

    • http://elizabethgracedesigns.com Liz Pike

      I use Gmail too, and have most of my emails already sorting into “folders” and “sub-folders” via the label function. This is especially handy now that Gmail allows “child” labels.

      Now when I open my inbox it’s relatively empty so that emails such as emergencies from clients are noticed immediately & can be dealt with without needing to wade through a ton of other emails. I also have set appropriate times to deal with those “folders”. It has made opening my inbox less stressful and given a boost to my productivity by removing temptation, i.e., those emails from friends posting to my facebook wall!

      • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

        Hi Liz!

        Oh I love the folders and filters features. I use that all the time too, and have ALL my social media emails go directly to one, as well as other things like notices about new blog comments. I need to do it for the email newsletters I’m subscribed to as well, I guess. That would clean things up a bit more. ;) Thanks for the reminder on that!

  • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

    Hi Gini & Sarah! :)

    Great tips, Gini! There are several I can certainly use, but I’m tackling the email one first! This is the second time today that I’ve heard it, so guess what? I’m listening up! ;)

    My challenge with email is that I use Google Apps for my mail, so I’m logging in online to check it. But I frequently need to access old emails, contacts or other info from my email account during the day, so I need to figure how to be able to do that WITHOUT automatically seeing the new emails sitting there.

    Either of you have any suggestions on that? Or maybe someone else in the tribe does?

    I don’t really want to download my email to Outlook or another desktop application. I love having it all online, just need to figure out how to AVOID the new email unless that’s specifically what I’m going in there for. ;)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Most people have to hear a message seven to 10 times before they do it so you’re waaaaaay ahead of the game! I think (though I use Outloook so I’m not totally sure) that you can work offline in Google, still have access to your files, and not see the new email addresses. Check it out and see if it works for you.

      • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

        Yay!! I like being ahead of the game! ;) Thanks for the tip, Gini – I’ll look into that! :D

    • http://elizabethgracedesigns.com Liz Pike

      I use Gmail too, and have most of my emails already sorting into “folders” and “sub-folders” via the label function. This is especially handy now that Gmail allows “child” labels.

      Now when I open my inbox it’s relatively empty so that emails such as emergencies from clients are noticed immediately & can be dealt with without needing to wade through a ton of other emails. I also have set appropriate times to deal with those “folders”. It has made opening my inbox less stressful and given a boost to my productivity by removing temptation, i.e., those emails from friends posting to my facebook wall!

      • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

        Hi Liz!

        Oh I love the folders and filters features. I use that all the time too, and have ALL my social media emails go directly to one, as well as other things like notices about new blog comments. I need to do it for the email newsletters I’m subscribed to as well, I guess. That would clean things up a bit more. ;) Thanks for the reminder on that!

  • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

    Hi Gini…

    Here we go again.. tehe :)

    I used to love playing games with my father in law before he passed away. He just had a bunch of weird funny rules he just had to follow playing the games. When I played with him it never was about winning or losing, but how to ‘trick’ my father in law. I found myself being an expert on that and was on all his sh*t lists.

    We both had our weird and wicked strategy to win the game. But the most important part was to have fun and be able to laugh of our selves. I knew the goals and rules of the game. By the way I still love to play games, my partner in crime is playing a different game today but his spirit still lives with me.

    You are a early bird my friend, I have not even got my coffee kicking by that time. I love to read late. But then again I read. My wife just laugh of me, have about 6 books beside me that skip between when I read.

    I have to work on that Paretto principle.. shoot..

    Cheers.. Are

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      My new friend Are! I have about 15 books on my nightstand that I skip between. But I can’t read at night. I fall asleep. So you’re a night owl and I’m an early bird. We can both accomplish the same thing. Except I get to see people doing the walk of shame…you just get to see them getting ready to go out.

      • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

        Lol.. I like your analogy.

        And you for sure beat me on number of books by the the nightstand. The most fun thing for me is actually capturing the info through Audio books when I am out traveling. With my iPhone and the Evernote app I capture some of my best ideas then. I loved reading Gary Vaynerchuks book Crush It, but it was a huge difference listening to him on Audio. So I count on that he will provide his newest book also in audio format.

        Though I am not a real real late person.. lol..

        Looking forward to unwrap new sides of my weirdness here. What I learned from my father in law that secret to be inside the tribe was to always work the sh*t list. Outside the sh*t list someone else is doing the work for you.

        Cheers.. Are

  • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

    Hi Gini…

    Here we go again.. tehe :)

    I used to love playing games with my father in law before he passed away. He just had a bunch of weird funny rules he just had to follow playing the games. When I played with him it never was about winning or losing, but how to ‘trick’ my father in law. I found myself being an expert on that and was on all his sh*t lists.

    We both had our weird and wicked strategy to win the game. But the most important part was to have fun and be able to laugh of our selves. I knew the goals and rules of the game. By the way I still love to play games, my partner in crime is playing a different game today but his spirit still lives with me.

    You are a early bird my friend, I have not even got my coffee kicking by that time. I love to read late. But then again I read. My wife just laugh of me, have about 6 books beside me that skip between when I read.

    I have to work on that Paretto principle.. shoot..

    Cheers.. Are

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      My new friend Are! I have about 15 books on my nightstand that I skip between. But I can’t read at night. I fall asleep. So you’re a night owl and I’m an early bird. We can both accomplish the same thing. Except I get to see people doing the walk of shame…you just get to see them getting ready to go out.

      • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

        Lol.. I like your analogy.

        And you for sure beat me on number of books by the the nightstand. The most fun thing for me is actually capturing the info through Audio books when I am out traveling. With my iPhone and the Evernote app I capture some of my best ideas then. I loved reading Gary Vaynerchuks book Crush It, but it was a huge difference listening to him on Audio. So I count on that he will provide his newest book also in audio format.

        Though I am not a real real late person.. lol..

        Looking forward to unwrap new sides of my weirdness here. What I learned from my father in law that secret to be inside the tribe was to always work the sh*t list. Outside the sh*t list someone else is doing the work for you.

        Cheers.. Are

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

    Good stuff Gini.

    I’m doing most of the stuff you’ve suggested already, with the exception of #4 and #5. I think most of that is because I’m still getting clear on what is most important. I’m personally devoting one day a week for writing (because I’m a slow writer) and early the next morning (after a good night’s sleep) to editing. I’m creating content right now and storing it away so I can get ahead of myself and don’t lose consistency once I launch my blog. Then I’m always writing ahead of the game.

    Prioritizing actions is what I need to seriously tackle, so I’m off to do some thinking. :-)

    Thanks for your thoughts. They’ve re-affirmed some of the decisions I’ve made lately.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I love the idea of getting blog posts “in the can,” as we call it. We do this with all of our clients so they don’t get behind!

    • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

      how do you keep yourself from just putting everything up? Every time I try to write something to hold onto for a little while, I get too impatient and end up editing and posting it much before originally intended. I just can’t seem to leave something that’s completed as unpublished.

      • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

        LOL – I know the feeling, Mark!!! ;) I’ve started to schedule my posts. So I write it, edit it, then schedule it to automatically publish on a certain day. Then I can just walk away and forget it, knowing that it will go live at the right time. Helps relieve the “itch” of wanting to publish it NOW. ;)

    • Kristin

      Good example to follow for my blog project. Got a few post ideas in my mind but haven’t written them yet. Partly because I feel like Mark that I wouldn’t be able to have them sitting there finished but not published. And partly because I’m afraid I will edit them over and over again.

      • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

        Hi, Kristin, and Mark,

        I really can relate the feelings you’ve described. However experience has taught me that writing and posting immediately isn’t always the best approach.

        This is part of the reason I blew it with my last attempt at blogging. I completely ran out of things to say and didn’t have anything to back me up while I searched for ideas for new content. I really don’t want to experience that again. Because I know there will be times where ideas might be a little thin, if I have posts waiting, I’ll have time to “refill” the idea bank.

        So for me it simply comes down to going ahead and living with the discomfort of posts waiting to go public. Its a case of living with the anticipation of what other people are going to think about our writing. Not always easy, but in the long run, putting posts “in the can,” as Gini says, give you a serious creative advantage.

        • Kristin

          It is certainly great advice, David. The potential dilemma of having no posts and no ideas for your blog is scary enough for me to get my impatience and perfectionism under control. Another question though that comes to mind: How do you determine if the topic you wrote about is still relevant when you publish your post?

          • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

            I try to avoid “timely” posts. I want at least a large portion of what I write to be “evergreen”. That way if someone visits down the road, the things on my blog will still be valuable to that visitor. It’s a challenge because you have to write more toward the “big picture”, than writing things that are connected to the immediate. Which is why I’ve been spending so much time in contemplation trying to get clear on what my sh*t is. I think I can finally articulate it in a single sentence like Les wanted us to and I wrote it down last night. Now I have something to guide me as I write. Something that will help me think more “evergreen” than immediate.

            Hope all that rambling made sense. :-)

            If I can encourage you or be of help at all, let me know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

    Good stuff Gini.

    I’m doing most of the stuff you’ve suggested already, with the exception of #4 and #5. I think most of that is because I’m still getting clear on what is most important. I’m personally devoting one day a week for writing (because I’m a slow writer) and early the next morning (after a good night’s sleep) to editing. I’m creating content right now and storing it away so I can get ahead of myself and don’t lose consistency once I launch my blog. Then I’m always writing ahead of the game.

    Prioritizing actions is what I need to seriously tackle, so I’m off to do some thinking. :-)

    Thanks for your thoughts. They’ve re-affirmed some of the decisions I’ve made lately.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I love the idea of getting blog posts “in the can,” as we call it. We do this with all of our clients so they don’t get behind!

    • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

      how do you keep yourself from just putting everything up? Every time I try to write something to hold onto for a little while, I get too impatient and end up editing and posting it much before originally intended. I just can’t seem to leave something that’s completed as unpublished.

      • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

        LOL – I know the feeling, Mark!!! ;) I’ve started to schedule my posts. So I write it, edit it, then schedule it to automatically publish on a certain day. Then I can just walk away and forget it, knowing that it will go live at the right time. Helps relieve the “itch” of wanting to publish it NOW. ;)

    • Kristin

      Good example to follow for my blog project. Got a few post ideas in my mind but haven’t written them yet. Partly because I feel like Mark that I wouldn’t be able to have them sitting there finished but not published. And partly because I’m afraid I will edit them over and over again.

      • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

        Hi, Kristin, and Mark,

        I really can relate the feelings you’ve described. However experience has taught me that writing and posting immediately isn’t always the best approach.

        This is part of the reason I blew it with my last attempt at blogging. I completely ran out of things to say and didn’t have anything to back me up while I searched for ideas for new content. I really don’t want to experience that again. Because I know there will be times where ideas might be a little thin, if I have posts waiting, I’ll have time to “refill” the idea bank.

        So for me it simply comes down to going ahead and living with the discomfort of posts waiting to go public. Its a case of living with the anticipation of what other people are going to think about our writing. Not always easy, but in the long run, putting posts “in the can,” as Gini says, give you a serious creative advantage.

        • Kristin

          It is certainly great advice, David. The potential dilemma of having no posts and no ideas for your blog is scary enough for me to get my impatience and perfectionism under control. Another question though that comes to mind: How do you determine if the topic you wrote about is still relevant when you publish your post?

          • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

            I try to avoid “timely” posts. I want at least a large portion of what I write to be “evergreen”. That way if someone visits down the road, the things on my blog will still be valuable to that visitor. It’s a challenge because you have to write more toward the “big picture”, than writing things that are connected to the immediate. Which is why I’ve been spending so much time in contemplation trying to get clear on what my sh*t is. I think I can finally articulate it in a single sentence like Les wanted us to and I wrote it down last night. Now I have something to guide me as I write. Something that will help me think more “evergreen” than immediate.

            Hope all that rambling made sense. :-)

            If I can encourage you or be of help at all, let me know.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, Gini!

    Hope life is treating you well. Thanks for sharing this post with us and the great list of productivity strategies. Some old, some new — all goodies!

    So the big word that just JUMPED out of the page at me is DISCIPLINE! Obviously key, and honestly, one I struggle with sometimes. But everyday anew, I get to start the day and set out to succeed. :-) I’ve just recently become VERY sensitive to and more conscious of how I use (or waste) my time, asking my self questions like: Is *this* the best use of my time? What will I give up or not be spending this time on if I choose to do *this* right now? How will it impact my life or my business if I choose to do *this* over that?

    It’s not only about being productive but also about honoring myself and my gift and sharing my awesomeness with the world. CRAP! When I put it like that… :-)

    So for me, it’s the entire list, some of which I already do — sort of, but the biggie is #5: Putting those letters by the items on my list, so when I choose to do one over the other that goes against priority (for whatever reason,) the truth and the CHOICE is staring me in the face. I think I might even take it a step further. If I decide to spend time doing something that isn’t on the list, I have to add it to the list AND give it a letter. Trickery? Maybe. Truth? Definitely.

    I’ll let you know how it goes. And please feel free to ask. Blind accountability = not one of my strong suits! :-)

    Be awesome and stay real!
    Shannon

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Real? Me? :)

      I’ll be honest. Toward the end of the week, I have a REALLY hard time staying disciplined. Fridays around 2:00, I find myself straying off to the social networks and soon it’s 5 p.m.! So what I’ve been doing is saving three really big things for Fridays that have to be done or we’ll lose clients. I’m much more productive (and disciplined) this way.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, Gini!

    Hope life is treating you well. Thanks for sharing this post with us and the great list of productivity strategies. Some old, some new — all goodies!

    So the big word that just JUMPED out of the page at me is DISCIPLINE! Obviously key, and honestly, one I struggle with sometimes. But every day anew, I get to start the day setting out to succeed. :-) I’ve just recently become VERY sensitive to and more conscious of how I use (or waste) my time, asking myself questions like: Is *this* the best use of my time? What will I give up or not be spending this time on if I choose to do *this* right now? How will it impact my life or my business if I choose to do *this* over that?

    It’s not only about being productive but also about honoring myself and my gift and sharing my awesomeness with the world. CRAP! When I put it like that… :-)

    So for me, it’s the entire list, some of which I already do — sort of, but the biggie is #5: Putting those letters by the items on my list, so when I choose to do one over the other that goes against priority (for whatever reason,) the truth and the CHOICE is staring me in the face. I think I might even take it a step further. If I decide to spend time doing something that isn’t on the list, I have to add it to the list AND give it a letter. It’ll be kind of like keeping a food journal for dieting, but it’s a time journal for productivity. :-) Trickery? Maybe. In your face truth? Definitely.

    I’ll let you know how it goes. And please feel free to ask. Blind accountability = not one of my strong suits! :-)

    Be awesome and stay real!
    Shannon

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Real? Me? :)

      I’ll be honest. Toward the end of the week, I have a REALLY hard time staying disciplined. Fridays around 2:00, I find myself straying off to the social networks and soon it’s 5 p.m.! So what I’ve been doing is saving three really big things for Fridays that have to be done or we’ll lose clients. I’m much more productive (and disciplined) this way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

    Gini,

    I have one quick question regarding Social Media. I get what you’re saying and I have Tweet Deck to help schedule tweets (though I haven’t used the scheduling mechanism yet). What I’d like to know is how do you organize your activity to find things to tweet about concerning other bloggers, journalists, etc. Do you include that in your reading time or do you set aside time to hunt for things to tweet about? Did that make sense? :-)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      That’s included in my reading time. My fun reading (fiction and business books I REALLY want to read) aren’t included in that time. That’s all blog reading, aggregating content, and scratching other blogger’s backs. Is that what you were asking?

      • Kristin

        Good question, David and good response, Gini. I was wondering the same thing. Thanks for clarification.

      • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

        Yes. That was exactly what I was asking. I was thinking about doing it that way. Good to know I’m on the right track. :-)

        I appreciate the answer, give me a good direction. Now where did I put my reading glasses…? ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

    Gini,

    I have one quick question regarding Social Media. I get what you’re saying and I have Tweet Deck to help schedule tweets (though I haven’t used the scheduling mechanism yet). What I’d like to know is how do you organize your activity to find things to tweet about concerning other bloggers, journalists, etc. Do you include that in your reading time or do you set aside time to hunt for things to tweet about? Did that make sense? :-)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      That’s included in my reading time. My fun reading (fiction and business books I REALLY want to read) aren’t included in that time. That’s all blog reading, aggregating content, and scratching other blogger’s backs. Is that what you were asking?

      • Kristin

        Good question, David and good response, Gini. I was wondering the same thing. Thanks for clarification.

      • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

        Yes. That was exactly what I was asking. I was thinking about doing it that way. Good to know I’m on the right track. :-)

        I appreciate the answer, give me a good direction. Now where did I put my reading glasses…? ;-)

  • Anonymous

    I love this! I have a very demanding, more than full time job. And I’m starting my own business. Last Fri I decided to try something new, and I scheduled everything on my calendar that I wanted to do on Sat. I set the alarm on my phone to go off 5 minutes before the next thing started. And when that alarm went off, I stopped what I was doing and went to the next thing.

    I got so much more done than I usually do! I only checked email, FB and Twitter during times I’d scheduled, and only until that alarm went off.

    I didn’t realize until then what a time suck email and social media can be. Tomorrow’s Friday… I’ll be filling in my calendar tomorrow night for Saturday :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I LOVE this idea! I do that when I read blogs, but I love doing it with everything! Like you, I have two full-time jobs (one existing business and building a new one) so I’m going to try this!!

      • Anonymous

        Oh, I like the idea of doing it for reading blogs, too! That’s another rabbit hole you (well, I!) can run down and before I know it, an hour or more has gone by :)

    • Kristin

      Great idea! I sometimes use the pomodoro technique (25 min for one task, 5 min break, 25 min task, 5 min break etc.) and find that I am way more productive and get more things done in less time. Mainly because I am focused on what I am doing and don’t try to multitask and don’t get sidetracked.

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      Great idea, Lori! I’m going to try something like that, as well – I think it will help me to stay on track a bit better.. ;)

    • http://jewelsbranch.com/blog Christie

      Lori – That works well for me, too. I also use http://e.ggtimer.com/ to set a length of time and really focus. Then like you, when the buzzer goes off check email etc. for updates.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Christie! That’s a great idea. I knew there were things like that out there, and I’ll definitely try that tomorrow.

      • http://twitter.com/JeanneMills Jeanne Mills

        this is SO helpful. thanks for posting it.

  • Anonymous

    I love this! I have a very demanding, more than full time job. And I’m starting my own business. Last Fri I decided to try something new, and I scheduled everything on my calendar that I wanted to do on Sat. I set the alarm on my phone to go off 5 minutes before the next thing started. And when that alarm went off, I stopped what I was doing and went to the next thing.

    I got so much more done than I usually do! I only checked email, FB and Twitter during times I’d scheduled, and only until that alarm went off.

    I didn’t realize until then what a time suck email and social media can be. Tomorrow’s Friday… I’ll be filling in my calendar tomorrow night for Saturday :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I LOVE this idea! I do that when I read blogs, but I love doing it with everything! Like you, I have two full-time jobs (one existing business and building a new one) so I’m going to try this!!

      • Anonymous

        Oh, I like the idea of doing it for reading blogs, too! That’s another rabbit hole you (well, I!) can run down and before I know it, an hour or more has gone by :)

    • Kristin

      Great idea! I sometimes use the pomodoro technique (25 min for one task, 5 min break, 25 min task, 5 min break etc.) and find that I am way more productive and get more things done in less time. Mainly because I am focused on what I am doing and don’t try to multitask and don’t get sidetracked.

    • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

      Great idea, Lori! I’m going to try something like that, as well – I think it will help me to stay on track a bit better.. ;)

    • http://jewelsbranch.com/blog Christie

      Lori – That works well for me, too. I also use http://e.ggtimer.com/ to set a length of time and really focus. Then like you, when the buzzer goes off check email etc. for updates.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Christie! That’s a great idea. I knew there were things like that out there, and I’ll definitely try that tomorrow.

      • http://twitter.com/JeanneMills Jeanne Mills

        this is SO helpful. thanks for posting it.

  • http://www.howtomakeyourmindup.com Zoe Goode

    Hey Gini,
    Nice reminder of why I do things the way I do – because they work. : ) although I’d also want to ask the question about scheduled tweets too.

    I find the idea a little strange because I thought the point of twitter and social media was to enable conversation and connection, how can you pre-schedule a comment on a conversation or know what you have scheduled is still relevant to the ongoing general conversation?

    I tend to find I ignore around 90% of tweets because of this exact problem. I feel I’m being talked at rather than talked to, and that there’s far too much marketing going on instead of real conversation and connection. I can’t get to really know somebody, or if I can help them in any way if all they tweet about is what products they think arer awesome or what they’re selling. I want more info about your real life – what they’re loving or loathing, struggling with or searching for etc.

    So i suppose the short version of my question is: how do you decide what to schedule as a tweet and for it to still be relevant and connecting with your audience/tribe?

    Thanks for sharing.
    Always,
    Zoe x

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I schedule blog posts (our own and others) so people can use my tweet stream as a news source. And then, when I’m on Twitter, I can answer my @ replies, DMs, and RT. If you don’t use Twitter to create thought leadership and brand awareness, I wouldn’t recommend scheduling your tweets. But because our brand is associated with PR and marketing leadership, we push out other people’s content, too. I found, early on, that if I tweeted blog posts and news as I read them, I was a) on Twitter all day and b) people were inundated with information. So now I space them out and have my conversations in between.

      So I’m not scheduling conversations. I’m scheduling links. All of the conversations happen in real-time. And, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll find I’m the least automated person on there.

      • http://www.howtomakeyourmindup.com Zoe Goode

        Thanks for that Gini, makes me feel more ok with not scheduling my tweets just yet. : )

        • Kristin

          I came across the same problem as Gini that either I spent the whole day on social media when I posted as I came across things or that I had a chunk of posts in a short time and inundated people. Scheduled posts for links are very practical. I also like to schedule event announcements. Conversation still happens in real time with real people :-)

  • http://www.howtomakeyourmindup.com Zoe Goode

    Hey Gini,
    Nice reminder of why I do things the way I do – because they work. : ) although I’d also want to ask the question about scheduled tweets too.

    I find the idea a little strange because I thought the point of twitter and social media was to enable conversation and connection, how can you pre-schedule a comment on a conversation or know what you have scheduled is still relevant to the ongoing general conversation?

    I tend to find I ignore around 90% of tweets because of this exact problem. I feel I’m being talked at rather than talked to, and that there’s far too much marketing going on instead of real conversation and connection. I can’t get to really know somebody, or if I can help them in any way if all they tweet about is what products they think arer awesome or what they’re selling. I want more info about your real life – what they’re loving or loathing, struggling with or searching for etc.

    So i suppose the short version of my question is: how do you decide what to schedule as a tweet and for it to still be relevant and connecting with your audience/tribe?

    Thanks for sharing.
    Always,
    Zoe x

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I schedule blog posts (our own and others) so people can use my tweet stream as a news source. And then, when I’m on Twitter, I can answer my @ replies, DMs, and RT. If you don’t use Twitter to create thought leadership and brand awareness, I wouldn’t recommend scheduling your tweets. But because our brand is associated with PR and marketing leadership, we push out other people’s content, too. I found, early on, that if I tweeted blog posts and news as I read them, I was a) on Twitter all day and b) people were inundated with information. So now I space them out and have my conversations in between.

      So I’m not scheduling conversations. I’m scheduling links. All of the conversations happen in real-time. And, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll find I’m the least automated person on there.

      • http://www.howtomakeyourmindup.com Zoe Goode

        Thanks for that Gini, makes me feel more ok with not scheduling my tweets just yet. : )

        • Kristin

          I came across the same problem as Gini that either I spent the whole day on social media when I posted as I came across things or that I had a chunk of posts in a short time and inundated people. Scheduled posts for links are very practical. I also like to schedule event announcements. Conversation still happens in real time with real people :-)

  • Anonymous

    Oy vey. I’m popping in long enough to say that I think I’m going to have to re-load the operating system on my laptop tonight. But I know you are in capable hands. :-)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Oh crap!

    • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

      I’m reminded of a conversation we had in Atlanta about Mac vs. PC. Didn’t you tell me your husband was your 24/7 tech support? Is he falling down on the job? ;)

  • Anonymous

    Oy vey. I’m popping in long enough to say that I think I’m going to have to re-load the operating system on my laptop tonight. But I know you are in capable hands. :-)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Oh crap!

    • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

      I’m reminded of a conversation we had in Atlanta about Mac vs. PC. Didn’t you tell me your husband was your 24/7 tech support? Is he falling down on the job? ;)

  • http://www.accessabundance.com/ Teresa Romain

    Thank you Gini…. this is EXACTLY what I needed at exactly this moment because right now in my life it feels like my s*it is falling apart more than I am getting it together. And I DEFINITELY can relate to how no matter what I get done, it still seems like it’s not enough. What I got from your post is (1) it’s about setting and honoring priorities AND boundaries and (2) a sense of permission to do a little bit of certain things (like Social Media) and have it be enough based on my present priorities. Thank you. I’m going to set up and start using my first schedule like this (for writing, reading and other priorities) – I realize it may need tweaking, but what you shared is a GREAT help!

    • http://www.elianevans.com Elian Evans

      I LOVE the words “honoring priorities AND boundries!” I’m writing them down all over the place.

      • http://www.accessabundance.com/ Teresa Romain

        Thanks Elian! Ever since I wrote it, it’s been in my face BIG time! But I’m finding setting a timer is helping. Which is why I have to sign off now! It just went off! LOL!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I will always give you permission to use social media, so call me when you’re feeling guilty!

  • http://www.accessabundance.com/ Teresa Romain

    Thank you Gini…. this is EXACTLY what I needed at exactly this moment because right now in my life it feels like my s*it is falling apart more than I am getting it together. And I DEFINITELY can relate to how no matter what I get done, it still seems like it’s not enough. What I got from your post is (1) it’s about setting and honoring priorities AND boundaries and (2) a sense of permission to do a little bit of certain things (like Social Media) and have it be enough based on my present priorities. Thank you. I’m going to set up and start using my first schedule like this (for writing, reading and other priorities) – I realize it may need tweaking, but what you shared is a GREAT help!

    • http://www.elianevans.com Elian Evans

      I LOVE the words “honoring priorities AND boundries!” I’m writing them down all over the place.

      • http://www.accessabundance.com/ Teresa Romain

        Thanks Elian! Ever since I wrote it, it’s been in my face BIG time! But I’m finding setting a timer is helping. Which is why I have to sign off now! It just went off! LOL!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I will always give you permission to use social media, so call me when you’re feeling guilty!

  • http://twitter.com/tarynblake71 Taryn Blake

    Ooooo! Great list. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on reminder lists to use during the day. I’ll have to incorporate these into the next version of the list :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Do you use electronic reminders in your calendar? I do that and it’s really helpful. Especially on the stuff that HAS to be done a certain day and can’t be moved.

  • http://twitter.com/tarynblake71 Taryn Blake

    Ooooo! Great list. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on reminder lists to use during the day. I’ll have to incorporate these into the next version of the list :)

  • http://twitter.com/tarynblake71 Taryn Blake

    Ooooo! Great list. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on reminder lists to use during the day. I’ll have to incorporate these into the next version of the list :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Do you use electronic reminders in your calendar? I do that and it’s really helpful. Especially on the stuff that HAS to be done a certain day and can’t be moved.

  • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

    Good list Gini! The first thing I will do is determine when to write and read and then block my day around it

    And a weekly to do list – I need to try that… I seem to make a yearly one – need to break that down into achievable chunks :)

    • Kristin

      Achievable chunks – I need those too :-) Not sure what to think about to do lists. I am reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and he recommends to have two lists – one with things that need to be done at a certain day or time and a second list with things to do some day when you have time for it. His concept has no daily or weekly lists, the lists are ongoing. On the one hand I like his approach because I don’t need to transfer things from one list to the next when I didn’t get them done. And it helps me to keep track of everything no matter when it needs to be done. On the other hand it is sometimes overwhelming to see the long list of things to do.

      What is your experience with to do lists (daily, weekly or yearly ;-))? Do they work for you?

      • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

        I should take a picture of my list for you. I have: Clients, new biz, Project Jack Bauer, Arment Dietrich, community (guest blogging), and Spin Sucks. So, when I move to my next task, I know which items are the money makers and which are the brand awareness. I spend time on the money makers first.

      • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

        So far, lists have not been my friend… but I think I am getting better – I don’t (yet) make daily lists – But I like the idea of things that have to be done at a certain time/day and then a when I can list…

        I do that with my blog reading – I made categories – “Must Reads”, “Read when I can”, “Writing Blogs” and “Business Blogs” and I spend my time reading them in that order :)

        I just made a list – and at the top, was “Make to-do lists” lol

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      It’s kind of like what we were talking about last week – devoting an hour a day to reading. I don’t know how you can leave your Reader full. That would drive me nuts. But then…I’m OCD.

      • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

        I’m OCD too – but I finally deleted blogs I don’t really care about reading and since I organized them, I know what order I’m going to read them in… right now I am caught up but it has gone over 200 (OUCH!!) I like to comment, so I try to take that into account when reading – a lot I have to mark unread even if read so I can go comment later!

        (I’m also getting ‘ok’ with unread mail in my inbox – oh my!) :)

        • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

          Oh no. I cannot have any unread mail. O. C. D.

  • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

    Good list Gini! The first thing I will do is determine when to write and read and then block my day around it

    And a weekly to do list – I need to try that… I seem to make a yearly one – need to break that down into achievable chunks :)

    • Kristin

      Achievable chunks – I need those too :-) Not sure what to think about to do lists. I am reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and he recommends to have two lists – one with things that need to be done at a certain day or time and a second list with things to do some day when you have time for it. His concept has no daily or weekly lists, the lists are ongoing. On the one hand I like his approach because I don’t need to transfer things from one list to the next when I didn’t get them done. And it helps me to keep track of everything no matter when it needs to be done. On the other hand it is sometimes overwhelming to see the long list of things to do.

      What is your experience with to do lists (daily, weekly or yearly ;-))? Do they work for you?

      • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

        I should take a picture of my list for you. I have: Clients, new biz, Project Jack Bauer, Arment Dietrich, community (guest blogging), and Spin Sucks. So, when I move to my next task, I know which items are the money makers and which are the brand awareness. I spend time on the money makers first.

      • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

        So far, lists have not been my friend… but I think I am getting better – I don’t (yet) make daily lists – But I like the idea of things that have to be done at a certain time/day and then a when I can list…

        I do that with my blog reading – I made categories – “Must Reads”, “Read when I can”, “Writing Blogs” and “Business Blogs” and I spend my time reading them in that order :)

        I just made a list – and at the top, was “Make to-do lists” lol

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      It’s kind of like what we were talking about last week – devoting an hour a day to reading. I don’t know how you can leave your Reader full. That would drive me nuts. But then…I’m OCD.

      • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

        I’m OCD too – but I finally deleted blogs I don’t really care about reading and since I organized them, I know what order I’m going to read them in… right now I am caught up but it has gone over 200 (OUCH!!) I like to comment, so I try to take that into account when reading – a lot I have to mark unread even if read so I can go comment later!

        (I’m also getting ‘ok’ with unread mail in my inbox – oh my!) :)

        • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

          Oh no. I cannot have any unread mail. O. C. D.

  • http://twitter.com/barryrsilver Barry R. Silver

    Gini, TY. I always wondered if scheduled tweets were a bit disingenuous. It’s reassuring to know that someone very active in SM finds it a useful tool. The rest si for me 2 figure out. You asked which I would tackle first. Even though the question was rhetorical, posting it means I own it out in public. So here goes: I need to block time to write, read, respond and research. 3 of my 7 days are committed for 13 hrs. each so I need to make the other four days count big time. And yes I know I have to figure out the next q for myself, but how do you triage when something huge throws you off schedule?

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      You follow me on Twitter. Do you think any part of what I do is disingenuous (maybe I don’t want you to answer that – LOL!)? I only schedule the tweets with our blog posts, our guest bloggers, and other news and blogs from around the world. That way, I can have conversations when I’m on Twitter at my designated times. If I tweeted while I read, I’d drive you guys nuts. There would be bursts of links and then nothing for hours. I’m really doing you a favor. :)

      I’ll answer your rhetorical question. Sometimes I don’t triage well. Like I was saying to Danielle above, if I’m traveling or have hours of client meetings, I’m pretty much screwed. And that means I don’t get a break on the weekend. But it doesn’t happen all the time so I’m getting better at it.

      • http://twitter.com/barryrsilver Barry R. Silver

        Up until now, I didn’t realize your tweets were scheduled, but when I’m following via SMS it doesn’t show source. And, no I don’t think you’re disingenuous with anything. From following, I know if it’s btwn. being disliked or being phony, you prefer the former although you’d really prefer another option.

        One other thing didn’t click. I don’t understand the stuff about washing hair more than twice a week. Sounds like a waste of shampoo to me.

        • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

          Well, you wouldn’t understand. You don’t have any hair!

  • http://twitter.com/barryrsilver Barry R. Silver

    Gini, TY. I always wondered if scheduled tweets were a bit disingenuous. It’s reassuring to know that someone very active in SM finds it a useful tool. The rest si for me 2 figure out. You asked which I would tackle first. Even though the question was rhetorical, posting it means I own it out in public. So here goes: I need to block time to write, read, respond and research. 3 of my 7 days are committed for 13 hrs. each so I need to make the other four days count big time. And yes I know I have to figure out the next q for myself, but how do you triage when something huge throws you off schedule?

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      You follow me on Twitter. Do you think any part of what I do is disingenuous (maybe I don’t want you to answer that – LOL!)? I only schedule the tweets with our blog posts, our guest bloggers, and other news and blogs from around the world. That way, I can have conversations when I’m on Twitter at my designated times. If I tweeted while I read, I’d drive you guys nuts. There would be bursts of links and then nothing for hours. I’m really doing you a favor. :)

      I’ll answer your rhetorical question. Sometimes I don’t triage well. Like I was saying to Danielle above, if I’m traveling or have hours of client meetings, I’m pretty much screwed. And that means I don’t get a break on the weekend. But it doesn’t happen all the time so I’m getting better at it.

      • http://twitter.com/barryrsilver Barry R. Silver

        Up until now, I didn’t realize your tweets were scheduled, but when I’m following via SMS it doesn’t show source. And, no I don’t think you’re disingenuous with anything. From following, I know if it’s btwn. being disliked or being phony, you prefer the former although you’d really prefer another option.

        One other thing didn’t click. I don’t understand the stuff about washing hair more than twice a week. Sounds like a waste of shampoo to me.

        • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

          Well, you wouldn’t understand. You don’t have any hair!

  • Danielle Smith

    Gini – I love that you start by saying most days you barely get three things checked off your list in a day (I was nodding and high-fiving my computer – I *may* have yelled ‘EXACTLY!’) But then you have these brilliant productivity tips that you follow…. You are so organized…. I’m in awe. And a bit jealous. Email is my demon. I wish, like some of the commenters, I could stick with responding within 24 hours. And I’ve made that ‘resolution’ – and yet – still? Notsomuch. Clearly, I am doing a few things wrong and have spent way too much time falling down the rabbit hole. I have WORK TO DO. Thank you so much for this!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      OMG! I just spit water at my computer screen! LOL!! Email sucks. It’s my demon, too. But once I set up rules for certain things (blog comments, newsletters, LinkedIn, etc.) and started paying attention only to the email that was really important, it helped immensely. I try to answer a day’s email at the end of each day so I can begin a new day with an empty inbox. It doesn’t always work, especially if I’m traveling (it took me four hours this past Sunday to clear it out because of travel and client meetings), but baby steps, I guess.

      • Danielle Smith

        Gini – if only you could SEE my email inbox (something like 900 strong) It frequently makes me want to cry. Every time I try to tackle it, I get down to 5-600 but then within days, I’m right back up again. However, you have inspired me to attack it. Baby steps. :)

  • Danielle Smith

    Gini – I love that you start by saying most days you barely get three things checked off your list in a day (I was nodding and high-fiving my computer – I *may* have yelled ‘EXACTLY!’) But then you have these brilliant productivity tips that you follow…. You are so organized…. I’m in awe. And a bit jealous. Email is my demon. I wish, like some of the commenters, I could stick with responding within 24 hours. And I’ve made that ‘resolution’ – and yet – still? Notsomuch. Clearly, I am doing a few things wrong and have spent way too much time falling down the rabbit hole. I have WORK TO DO. Thank you so much for this!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      OMG! I just spit water at my computer screen! LOL!! Email sucks. It’s my demon, too. But once I set up rules for certain things (blog comments, newsletters, LinkedIn, etc.) and started paying attention only to the email that was really important, it helped immensely. I try to answer a day’s email at the end of each day so I can begin a new day with an empty inbox. It doesn’t always work, especially if I’m traveling (it took me four hours this past Sunday to clear it out because of travel and client meetings), but baby steps, I guess.

      • Danielle Smith

        Gini – if only you could SEE my email inbox (something like 900 strong) It frequently makes me want to cry. Every time I try to tackle it, I get down to 5-600 but then within days, I’m right back up again. However, you have inspired me to attack it. Baby steps. :)

  • Shelley McKenzie

    Great post, Gina. I love the detailed list. Immediate action can happen by following your points.

    I’m going to start with #4 and write my to do list at the end of each day (starting tomorrow, cause I’m laying in bed writing this now!).

    That to do list leads to a bunch of other things and I will start scheduling my time throughout the day based on your suggestions.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LOL! Get that list written today so you can begin Monday with a bang!

  • Shelley McKenzie

    Great post, Gina. I love the detailed list. Immediate action can happen by following your points.

    I’m going to start with #4 and write my to do list at the end of each day (starting tomorrow, cause I’m laying in bed writing this now!).

    That to do list leads to a bunch of other things and I will start scheduling my time throughout the day based on your suggestions.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      LOL! Get that list written today so you can begin Monday with a bang!

  • Kristin

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Gini! Your post hit the ground. There are too many days filled to the brim but at the end of the day I’m still left with the feeling that I didn’t get anything done. Especially points 3, 6 and 7 resonate with me as email and social media are my biggest time killers and weekends count as regular work days and I feel guilty when I don’t work. Not exactly the balance I wish to see in my life. Thank you for these practical and easy to follow tips! I really like the idea of setting time aside for writing and reading; early morning seems perfect as the day has not yet started and there is no distraction. Look forward to the creativity bursts :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      So funny! I feel guilty when I don’t work the weekends that I apologize to my staff in our Monday morning meetings. After a few weeks of funny looks, I realized the only person who expects me to work weekends is me. I’m much happier and more creative now.

  • Kristin

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Gini! Your post hit the ground. There are too many days filled to the brim but at the end of the day I’m still left with the feeling that I didn’t get anything done. Especially points 3, 6 and 7 resonate with me as email and social media are my biggest time killers and weekends count as regular work days and I feel guilty when I don’t work. Not exactly the balance I wish to see in my life. Thank you for these practical and easy to follow tips! I really like the idea of setting time aside for writing and reading; early morning seems perfect as the day has not yet started and there is no distraction. Look forward to the creativity bursts :)

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      So funny! I feel guilty when I don’t work the weekends that I apologize to my staff in our Monday morning meetings. After a few weeks of funny looks, I realized the only person who expects me to work weekends is me. I’m much happier and more creative now.

  • http://giselle2323.com giselle2323

    Wonderful post! I am a list kind of girl. I love the feeling of crossing off tasks from my lists. I’m a huge geek! During 2009 I set a set time to write everyday. It helped me tremendously. So I will do it again. Simple and effective!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I LOVE to cross things off the list, too! Bosom buddy. :)

  • http://giselle2323.com giselle2323

    Wonderful post! I am a list kind of girl. I love the feeling of crossing off tasks from my lists. I’m a huge geek! During 2009 I set a set time to write everyday. It helped me tremendously. So I will do it again. Simple and effective!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I LOVE to cross things off the list, too! Bosom buddy. :)

  • Kristin

    Just something funny related to productivity – The Ultimate Productivity Blog: http://productiveblog.tumblr.com/

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Ohhh fun! Totally going to check that out!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I just went to that blog. All I have to say is LOL!!

  • Kristin

    Just something funny related to productivity – The Ultimate Productivity Blog: http://productiveblog.tumblr.com/

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Ohhh fun! Totally going to check that out!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I just went to that blog. All I have to say is LOL!!

  • http://www.numbersarelife.com Alycia Edgar

    It’s taken me 14 hours to get back to this post after reading it the first time. Was I productive in that time, yes I was. My most productive in weeks, but I think that was more to do with my children starting school today after holidays than anything else.

    I block days for certain activities and times for certain things as well, but over the Summer with my children on school holidays my productivity had decreased. Understandable you would probably say, but I’m a bit of a hard task master on myself and have felt like the intermittent times I have been able to devote to work have not been as productive as I would like. I’m always one to find a solution and I think I may have found it! It’s called Rescue Time and it tracks you on your computer and even when your away from your computer, when you come back it asks what have you been doing with your time.

    Tha great things about it is you can set goals for yourself as to how long you want to spend on tasks such as email or social media and then see how you actually measure up. Well I found out my productivity had indeed gone into holiday mode, with substantial time spent in email and social media. (I was having fun though!)

    But this next week will see normalcy resume and I will hit my targets in these areas. I will have my devoted business development day and my “Follow Up Friday” And my productivity will be rockin’ again.

    Great tips Gina!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      We still need that virtual latte!

  • http://www.numbersarelife.com Alycia Edgar

    It’s taken me 14 hours to get back to this post after reading it the first time. Was I productive in that time, yes I was. My most productive in weeks, but I think that was more to do with my children starting school today after holidays than anything else.

    I block days for certain activities and times for certain things as well, but over the Summer with my children on school holidays my productivity had decreased. Understandable you would probably say, but I’m a bit of a hard task master on myself and have felt like the intermittent times I have been able to devote to work have not been as productive as I would like. I’m always one to find a solution and I think I may have found it! It’s called Rescue Time and it tracks you on your computer and even when your away from your computer, when you come back it asks what have you been doing with your time.

    Tha great things about it is you can set goals for yourself as to how long you want to spend on tasks such as email or social media and then see how you actually measure up. Well I found out my productivity had indeed gone into holiday mode, with substantial time spent in email and social media. (I was having fun though!)

    But this next week will see normalcy resume and I will hit my targets in these areas. I will have my devoted business development day and my “Follow Up Friday” And my productivity will be rockin’ again.

    Great tips Gina!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      We still need that virtual latte!

  • http://www.facebook.com/eatwellwithmichelle Eatwellwithmichelle

    Gina, thank you! I always feel guilty about what I am doing. When i am working on my business I feel guilty that i am not with the kids and family. When I am with the family I wonder about what I should be working on that I am not. I love that your list allows me to schedule time for what I need to do (not a new concept but the way you stated it hit home) and that it allows me to unplug. Like many people I am always afraid of what I might miss. I am going to embrace these tips (especially 2,3, 4 and 5). I think a big piece that is missing for me is that I don’t have a daily schedule. I use my young kids as an excuse for why I can’t but the reality is, they are the reason I can’t afford not to have a schedule! Thank you!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      It’s funny – that guilt thing we women have, huh? I’d love to hear back in three months to see how a daily schedule is working for you!

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Michelle,
      I understand your feelings about always being guilty about not doing what you think you should be doing, only I don’t have two young children to use as an “excuse.” (I don’t think my two cats count in the same way!). No matter what I’m doing, I always think I should be doing something else instead, which leaves me feeling guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated with myself. Gini’s post hit me right where I needed it. I need to make my list and start somewhere! I know that I feel better when I have a sense of accomplishment over getting things done. Today may be Friday (yes, I’m late to this blog), but that’s no excuse for not starting fresh and moving forward in the right way towards the weekend and next week I look forward to today’s post and to getting my butt in gear..

    • http://www.tictokva.com Shelley McKenzie

      Michelle,
      I have those same guilty feelings. I’ve started working too much in the evenings and I can see it’s really taking a toll on everyone around me. Hopefully but getting it together, I can be more productive during the day while everyone is out of the house.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eatwellwithmichelle Eatwellwithmichelle

    Gina, thank you! I always feel guilty about what I am doing. When i am working on my business I feel guilty that i am not with the kids and family. When I am with the family I wonder about what I should be working on that I am not. I love that your list allows me to schedule time for what I need to do (not a new concept but the way you stated it hit home) and that it allows me to unplug. Like many people I am always afraid of what I might miss. I am going to embrace these tips (especially 2,3, 4 and 5). I think a big piece that is missing for me is that I don’t have a daily schedule. I use my young kids as an excuse for why I can’t but the reality is, they are the reason I can’t afford not to have a schedule! Thank you!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      It’s funny – that guilt thing we women have, huh? I’d love to hear back in three months to see how a daily schedule is working for you!

    • Sharon E. Greene

      Hi, Michelle,
      I understand your feelings about always being guilty about not doing what you think you should be doing, only I don’t have two young children to use as an “excuse.” (I don’t think my two cats count in the same way!). No matter what I’m doing, I always think I should be doing something else instead, which leaves me feeling guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated with myself. Gini’s post hit me right where I needed it. I need to make my list and start somewhere! I know that I feel better when I have a sense of accomplishment over getting things done. Today may be Friday (yes, I’m late to this blog), but that’s no excuse for not starting fresh and moving forward in the right way towards the weekend and next week I look forward to today’s post and to getting my butt in gear..

    • http://www.tictokva.com Shelley McKenzie

      Michelle,
      I have those same guilty feelings. I’ve started working too much in the evenings and I can see it’s really taking a toll on everyone around me. Hopefully but getting it together, I can be more productive during the day while everyone is out of the house.

  • http://www.solobizcoach.com SoloBizCoach

    There are some really powerful ideas on this list. For me the biggest one is setting times for specific activities. Many people create todo lists, but then lose their focus once the day starts. But, if I calendar a specific time for each activity, I am much more likely to stay on task throughout the day.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      That’s exactly what I do – and even go so far as to put it in my calendar. During cycling season, no one is allowed to schedule meetings for me before 9 a.m. because I ride from 5-8. And that’s in the calendar!

  • http://www.solobizcoach.com SoloBizCoach

    There are some really powerful ideas on this list. For me the biggest one is setting times for specific activities. Many people create todo lists, but then lose their focus once the day starts. But, if I calendar a specific time for each activity, I am much more likely to stay on task throughout the day.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      That’s exactly what I do – and even go so far as to put it in my calendar. During cycling season, no one is allowed to schedule meetings for me before 9 a.m. because I ride from 5-8. And that’s in the calendar!

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  • MEM

    I enjoyed all the ideas here – still trying to get my arms around all of it. For me one thing that has worked is separating daily “to do” or maintenance things from ongoing projects. As a business project manager, I learned to break things down into smaller chunks to make them more manageable. For example there were always little things that needed to be “repaired” in the house. So in the end I grabbed a bunch of larger, colored index cards and put all the similar things down into a category (house sale), (financial independence) and when I need to feel more a sense of accomplishment than the mundane chores, I pick something from one of the brightly colored cards, do it, and cross it off. I know at that point, I am executing something toward a larger more important goal that will propel my life forward vs. just keeping up with the day to day grind. By the way, this goes for fun stuff too. I have a card for that!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I love, love, love the card idea!

  • MEM

    I enjoyed all the ideas here – still trying to get my arms around all of it. For me one thing that has worked is separating daily “to do” or maintenance things from ongoing projects. As a business project manager, I learned to break things down into smaller chunks to make them more manageable. For example there were always little things that needed to be “repaired” in the house. So in the end I grabbed a bunch of larger, colored index cards and put all the similar things down into a category (house sale), (financial independence) and when I need to feel more a sense of accomplishment than the mundane chores, I pick something from one of the brightly colored cards, do it, and cross it off. I know at that point, I am executing something toward a larger more important goal that will propel my life forward vs. just keeping up with the day to day grind. By the way, this goes for fun stuff too. I have a card for that!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      I love, love, love the card idea!

  • http://www.itsawahmlife.com Jackie Lee

    Holy WOW. I’m doing almost all of this. And when I really stick to it I’m super productive. I don’t have as many things to concentrate on as Gini, so I don’t really need the ABCD thing…
    I do use Charlie Gilkey’s planners to help me keep everything straight. I use the daily action planner as my weekly planner. It gives me space for the overall projects I’m working on for the week (generally capped at 5) and then space for the specific actions I need to take to accomplish them. It also has daily schedule place so I don’t forget anything big I have to do in my life (like parties at school or something).

    All in all since I’ve started putting things down on paper I’ve found it’s been MUCH easier to get and stay productive.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      It’s so true…when you stick to it you’re super productive. I find, by Friday, I’m not as great at sticking to it.

  • http://www.onelifethatshines.com Jackie Lee

    Holy WOW. I’m doing almost all of this. And when I really stick to it I’m super productive. I don’t have as many things to concentrate on as Gini, so I don’t really need the ABCD thing…
    I do use Charlie Gilkey’s planners to help me keep everything straight. I use the daily action planner as my weekly planner. It gives me space for the overall projects I’m working on for the week (generally capped at 5) and then space for the specific actions I need to take to accomplish them. It also has daily schedule place so I don’t forget anything big I have to do in my life (like parties at school or something).

    All in all since I’ve started putting things down on paper I’ve found it’s been MUCH easier to get and stay productive.

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      It’s so true…when you stick to it you’re super productive. I find, by Friday, I’m not as great at sticking to it.

  • http://www.storyhousecreative.com Laura Scholes

    Oh my god, you are my hero. Your straightforward tips for not getting caught in the social media “holy shit, where did that hour just go?” vortex are going to be life-changing for me. Implementation begins PRONTO. Fingers crossed and …thank you!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      So how’s it going?!?

      • http://www.storyhousecreative.com Laura Scholes

        Hi Gini,
        Ah, thank god you checked in. I needed the reminder. I actually have implemented a couple of your strategies: 1) taking my email offline during the day for chunks at a time; and 2) trying to work less at night, or at working on catching myself when I say, “oh, that’s okay…I’ll just do that after my daughter goes to bed” instead of buckling down and getting in done in the moment. If I have to work at night, I want it to be because my day was just too full of *real* stuff and I’m excited to get back to it to make my deadlines. Today’s the day I’m starting my weekly to-do list and looking forward to seeing how it works. Thanks again for the original insights (and for the reminder pinch today!).

  • http://www.storyhousecreative.com Laura Scholes

    Oh my god, you are my hero. Your straightforward tips for not getting caught in the social media “holy shit, where did that hour just go?” vortex are going to be life-changing for me. Implementation begins PRONTO. Fingers crossed and …thank you!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      So how’s it going?!?

      • http://www.storyhousecreative.com Laura Scholes

        Hi Gini,
        Ah, thank god you checked in. I needed the reminder. I actually have implemented a couple of your strategies: 1) taking my email offline during the day for chunks at a time; and 2) trying to work less at night, or at working on catching myself when I say, “oh, that’s okay…I’ll just do that after my daughter goes to bed” instead of buckling down and getting in done in the moment. If I have to work at night, I want it to be because my day was just too full of *real* stuff and I’m excited to get back to it to make my deadlines. Today’s the day I’m starting my weekly to-do list and looking forward to seeing how it works. Thanks again for the original insights (and for the reminder pinch today!).

  • http://www.sundaynightsuccess.com Jeremie

    I think one of the traps I fall into is making the Client A and my own creative or business building work B. No matter what needs to get done I will always jump on client work as soon as it comes in, which has really unbalanced my business at times.

    By always prioritizing clients work I end up with challenges like:

    1. Never writing on my blog
    2. Not getting my website done and live
    3. Not creating cool things that give me energy
    4. Not finding any work for next month because I am too focused on client work this month.

    Somewhere I need to find a balance between “the client is most important” and “my stuff is most important” that gets both sets of work done. As much as I enjoy the work I do for my clients, my energy diminishes when I am not working on my own stuff as well.

    Jeremie

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Hey Jeremie! Sorry I didn’t see this earlier. I have some advice, if you don’t mind? I was stuck in this same trap. Two years ago, I sat down and made a list of everything I had to do and everything I wanted to do. Then I chose two client things and one business thing each day to get accomplished. When telling clients when something was going to be delivered, I kept in mind that I had to get something accomplished for my own business. I also had very honest conversations with our clients and told them that if they wanted to continue working with us, they had to be flexible in letting me grow my business. Some clients didn’t like hearing that…and they are no longer clients. But the ones who are still clients loved the fact that I’m growing the business, adding employees, and creating jobs in order to service them.

      • http://www.sundaynightsuccess.com Jeremie

        Thanks for the reply Gini. I think I will give it a try, though I do everything on a weekly basis not daily. I just tend to not put my own stuff on the weekly list.

        So one of my own things for every 2 client things. Definitely worth a try!

        Jeremie

  • http://www.sundaynightsuccess.com Jeremie

    I think one of the traps I fall into is making the Client A and my own creative or business building work B. No matter what needs to get done I will always jump on client work as soon as it comes in, which has really unbalanced my business at times.

    By always prioritizing clients work I end up with challenges like:

    1. Never writing on my blog
    2. Not getting my website done and live
    3. Not creating cool things that give me energy
    4. Not finding any work for next month because I am too focused on client work this month.

    Somewhere I need to find a balance between “the client is most important” and “my stuff is most important” that gets both sets of work done. As much as I enjoy the work I do for my clients, my energy diminishes when I am not working on my own stuff as well.

    Jeremie

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      Hey Jeremie! Sorry I didn’t see this earlier. I have some advice, if you don’t mind? I was stuck in this same trap. Two years ago, I sat down and made a list of everything I had to do and everything I wanted to do. Then I chose two client things and one business thing each day to get accomplished. When telling clients when something was going to be delivered, I kept in mind that I had to get something accomplished for my own business. I also had very honest conversations with our clients and told them that if they wanted to continue working with us, they had to be flexible in letting me grow my business. Some clients didn’t like hearing that…and they are no longer clients. But the ones who are still clients loved the fact that I’m growing the business, adding employees, and creating jobs in order to service them.

      • http://www.sundaynightsuccess.com Jeremie

        Thanks for the reply Gini. I think I will give it a try, though I do everything on a weekly basis not daily. I just tend to not put my own stuff on the weekly list.

        So one of my own things for every 2 client things. Definitely worth a try!

        Jeremie