Episode 04: Productivity Hack: How I Schedule My Week to Maximize My Productivity - The Conversion Lab

Hi friend, my name is Rachel and I am the owner of two small businesses, an entrepreneur, speaker, graphic design, and momma of two pre-teens.

MEET rach

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Productive Hack: How I Schedule My Week to Maximize My Productivity

October 19, 2020

Episode 04: Productivity Hack: How I Schedule My Week to Maximize My Productivity

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Hello friends and welcome to Episode Four of the conversion lab podcast. My name is Rachel Harper. And I am so excited to have you here at my table friends. So today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite topics, productivity hacks. I’m going to teach you how I schedule my week to maximize my productivity. With all the things to do being productive can seem extra challenging in this current season of life. As a Mama, I have to balance hybrid homeschooling with the busy work schedule, and the typical day to day stresses of life. It can leave me feeling overwhelmed quickly. I am sure you can relate. To alleviate this, I’ve designed a method to plan my week in a fashion that gives me both flexibility and boundaries. I call it my focus planner. So you’re gonna need two things to get started one, a copy of the focus planner worksheet, and that link is in the show notes and to a calendar. Me, I use a paper calendar and pencil for this. And I highly recommend you do as well. It’s not a necessity, but I highly, highly recommend it. So I begin on Sundays by laying out the big items for the week. The items I know have a timeline attached. You know what I mean? The 9am Tuesday zoom meeting choir practice on Wednesday nights, the things that take up space, the items that aren’t flexible, then I begin to plan my week, I list each project, whether it’s a client project, time to work within my own business, or something I have going on at home. And I make a to do list under each item. I list deadlines that apply next to each of those items. And then I plug it into my daily calendar for the week. Let me give you some examples. Example number one, a client example. Let’s say I have a client and I have to produce their podcasts this week. So I’m going to have client A’s podcast is going to be one item. And underneath there, I’m going to have subtasks, I’m going to have edit the show, add show notes, add it to the website, get it on to podcast channels, create social media and email blast, and so on and so forth. So it gives me a really good idea of these are all the things I have to complete for that project. How long do I feel like that’s going to take me and I put a time block on to that. So in looking at it, and I say that’s going to take me three hours. And there’s a deadline that has to be live by Tuesday morning. So I know right away that that podcast episode has to come on Monday. So boom, you know, that goes on Monday, and you have to find a place for it on the calendar. Now, Example two, I also have homeschooling with the kids every Monday, they never go to school on Monday, they’re on a hybrid system. And so every Monday, I know that I need to have time in my day to one, get them both organized for the week, set up for success. And then to I have to be available to be their teacher. When I look at my Monday, I know that in the morning, I need to allocate time to get the kids set up for the day because they’re home with me. And some weeks. That’s three days. That’s Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and some weeks, that’s just two days. That’s just Monday and Thursday. And so it’s keeping it all in order. But by focusing in and knowing that at this time block, I’m going to be completing these tasks. It really sets me up for a higher level of productivity.

Let’s see examples three I’m working with in my own business, I have a new lesson that needs to go live in the conversion lounge this week. And I need to create some content to go with that. So I’m going to have that lesson title there in my list. And underneath, I’m going to have the sub list, I’m going to have create a workbook to go with the video, I’m going to have upload that into the lounge and email out all of our lounge members and let them know there’s new content. So I’m going to look at those items and say, Okay, well, you know, that’s going to take me two hours, and everything goes live on Thursdays in the lounge, so no later than Wednesday, do I need to have that time block into my schedule, it really makes it so you can kind of cut and paste these time blocks into your life into your schedule. And for me, it has made me become very, very productive. So I time block and batch work each item. I’ve been doing this for nearly a year now. And it is taken my productivity and doubled it honestly, if not tripled it. Imagine to if you weren’t looking for files in multiple places over and over throughout the week, that when it was time to schedule emails for your client that you simply opened the content and batched all 10 emails for the month at once. Now, some of this relies on us training our clients. And some of this relies on us training ourselves about becoming highly focused and zoned in on specific work. This type of work is proven to yield better results. Did you know that multitasking actually reduces productivity by 40%? That’s right, 40%. It also leads to an increase of up to 50% in errors amongst your work. Can you imagine if you just became really focused and batched out your work, how much more you could get done in a day, and or how much more time you could have to work on other projects, spend time with your family. And so what I have found that batch working makes me more efficient and focused, I’m willing to bet you’re going to find the same shift that I have friends. Now, I know this is going to seem a little bit crazy. At first, you’re going to have this issue. So let’s say you’re sitting at your desk, and you’re like yes, Rachel, I am going to batch work all week, I have my focus planner filled out, I have taken my planner and moved it into my calendar. And I know on Monday I’m going to get these nine things done. Yes, this is gonna be amazing. And then life happens, and you can’t get all those things done. So you know what I do, I give myself a cushion. I always make sure I have a cushion in there to allow myself that if I get the phone call from the school and I have to go pick the kid up, I know it, it’s okay, I can go grab them, I can still get all the things done. I also give myself some grace. It’s a matter of learning this process. And like I said, it’s taken me a year before I feel completely honed in and zoned in on this where it’s my go to, I don’t really know how I worked before. Let me tell you an example of how my productivity has changed. And you might relate to this. Rachel 1.0. So years ago, I had a branding client and I love her. She’s fabulous. We’ve actually designed a website together and done two other projects since. But when we were working on our very first project, and we had her brand there, she got her like third or fourth round of samples. And she said, Okay, I just really I want to sit on this for the weekend. And I said, Great, that sounds great. And that’s not uncommon. I have tons of clients, you know, want to show some people do a focus group any of those things. And I said, Great, that sounds great. So you know, the weekend comes and goes, and it’s mid week, and I did my polite check in. Hey, just wanted to follow up and see what you thought or if you had any questions, and I got the really great response of a no, no, no, you know, just haven’t had time. And I will get back to you soon. So that it was kind of crickets. And honestly, it made me a little nervous. And I emailed and corresponded back and forth with her several times. And truly, it was like she was just busy. And then out of nowhere after a month, she wrote me back and had two small tweaks that she wanted done. And she’s like, and then we’re good to go. And the Rachel 1.0. And we the people pleaser, wanted to drop everything in that moment and make those changes. And as I was sitting there looking at the email notification reading it, I was also looking at the project I had in front of me and realize I don’t have the capacity to do both of these things today. And I promised this client

This will be done at the end of the day. It had an epiphany in that moment, I wrote back client one and said, I’m so excited that you’re you’re ready to move forward. It’s just I don’t have time to make these tweaks Today, I’ll be able to do it on Thursday and get it to you, then.

She wrote me back immediately. No, not a problem. Goodness, take as much time as you need. I’m the one who’s taken a month to decide. And it kind of hit me. Okay, I don’t need to drop everything and jump and pivot, and completely swirl everything in my head. This is what I need to do. I need to batch my time and my workout. And so I started scheduling blocks for clients, I started off very simple as in client a, I’m going to work on this morning from eight to nine and client B from 10, to 11, and so on. And then I started really drilling down with the to do list so that it wasn’t just this, okay, I’m gonna work on client eight today at eight. And so at eight, when I sat down, I would start looking and being like, Oh, well, what do I need to do for client eight a day, and I just wasted 10 minutes, deciding what I needed to do. So you really want to hone in that productivity. And that’s why I call it my focus planner. It helps me focus on the tasks that need to get done today, in this week, in the next month, and so on. And full disclosure, I plan a full month, if not more, I kind of have like a smoothing six week thing, where I know what I have coming down the pipeline, what’s coming up do and when those items should be completed. Do you don’t have to get that far. Let’s just start with the first week. This works for household items too. If you know that you need to sit down with your child and help them through their sixth grade math. I’m guilty of that right now. Let’s say you kneel you need to sit down you need to help him with it. Well, you don’t remember sixth grade math. So you need to allocate some time to review and learn it again for yourself. Time blocking has really dramatically not just changed my business but by productivity everywhere in my life. And I think it will for you too friends. I I want to hear how this works for you. I’m going to put a bunch of stuff in Instagram Stories this week. But shoot me an email Hello at the conversion lounge comm hop over on social and drop me a message. I want to hear how the focus planner works for you and your business and in your life. Okay, we’re going to drop an extra episode this week, because I sent out our first email for the launch of the podcast and friends, you are amazing. We have gotten such great responses already. And we’re at a 51% open rate. And I attribute this to two things. So I’m going to teach you two things I do to generate open rates that wow with your emails. So stay connected for that second episode this week. And thank you so much for being here friends. I can’t wait to connect with you more. Take care. Bye

Links in this Episode

The Free Focus Planner Worksheet here: https://view.flodesk.com/pages/5f8cd03397682709b848b559

The Conversion Lounge: Signup and save 50% off your membership (use code: tacos) and enjoy a 7 Day Free Trial: https://theconversionlounge.podia.com/the-conversion-lounge

** This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite programs that I can’t live without.

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