Jane’s tried and tested top 10 productivity hacks…

Hey there lovely readers, how’s your year been thus far? Stupendous? Tremendous? Crazy? Lazy? My first half had us spinning wildly out of control before finally settling into a state of gentle chaos – triggering a determined focus on streamlining productivity and restoring work/life balance (roll on holidays!). And I bet I’m not alone.

Thing is, after years spent dedicated to finding ways to do more and be more productive, it’s no secret that we’re all now trying to do the opposite and regain precious time for ourselves.

One area I want to simplify is work. You too? Well you’ve come to the right place baby ‘cos I’ve been sleuthing and here’s my top 10 for snatching back precious moments. Hats off to you if you’re already implementing!

Jane’s top 10 time reducing productivity hacks:

1) Create email templates. If sending similar pitches or responses, creating a basic template for each will save you endless writing and editing. My team love mine so much, they’ve adopted them too.

2) Include talking points when sending meeting invites. Ask others joining the meeting to do the same and your agenda will be all set before entering the conference room.

3) Offer options. When asking someone for a meeting and before asking when they’re available, offer options for times that you are—then let them pick. Chances are one will work.

4) Keep a physical ‘to do’ list on your desk. Great for jotting down interrupting thoughts that can derail your focus. Check in at the end of end each day and prioritise for the next morn.

5) Stay off social media. No matter how tempting, way too easy to wander down that rabbit hole and fritter away hours while the work piles up.

6) Grab a daily snap shot of worldly activity. Use that social media catch up time to pop on over to LinkedIn instead for a quick learning session. While there, share an item or two aligned with your expertise. Double whammy – snap learning while promoting your personal brand!

7) Pop the personal mobile on Airplane Mode. Check in only during breaks (unless crucial to your job). Super for avoiding personal distractions.

8) Colour block your calendar. One colour signalling ‘I’m off the air for this period’ for deadline driven projects, another for critical ‘must do’s’ and items directly related fulfilling your role requirements, another for administration and so on. Stick to the same colours for viewing consistency! Works a treat, so much so, our entire company adopted this approach for quick productivity/billable hour reference.

9) Offer solutions. To cut down on back-and-forth emails, don’t send one without offering a solution to the question you’re proposing. Make it easier on everyone for your people will appreciate it.

10) Download Grammarly. If you’re not the best with punctuation or words—or even if you are and want to take editing out of the equation—this app is genius. You’re welcome!

This one’s a bonus – Say no! If you don’t have time to help with a project this week, don’t offer.

Any fantabulous hints to add to the list? Feel free to drop them into the comments box! Meanwhile, stay tuned for more!

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    Love a good podcast? Five faves right here…

    Happy Sunday lovely readers. Now I have a question – what do you do to make the most of your commute to and from work? Chat with friends (hands free of course)? Argue with talk back radio? Harmonise with the Bieb? If your a public transport queen, are you trawling Instagram? Playing solitaire? Reading? To while away my commute I loved to play Backgammon on my mobile device – until I discovered podcasts!

    Grammar Girl, Good Job BRAINStuff You Should Know, Stuff to Blow Your Mind, We Have Concerns, Serial, WTF, My Dad Wrote a Porno, (Hilarious!), The Dinner Party Download. The list goes on! Head phones in, 20 minute verbal mind snacks, screen stare replaced with window view – heaven.  Podcasts can be entertaining, interesting, inspiring – and they don’t require data! Every now and then I even tap into a serious fix of working girl motivation. Nothing like them for starting the day on a positive note!

    Girls, here’s a pick of the latest, greatest, best podcasts for women. Upload ‘Casts’ or similar app, down load these babies and you’ll be enjoying your commute just that little bit more.

    1. Ted Talks Daily

    We all love a good Ted Talk for a little inspiration and when better to listen to one than before you start the work day? The Ted Talks Daily podcast updates every weekday with the latest talks in audio. Topics for everyone, from spirituality to feminism, Ted Talks has it all. Download one for your commute and spark the best conversation topics! Listen here.

    2. She Means Business

    Carrie Green, author of She Means Business and founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, shares even more of her experiences on life as a female boss on her podcast, She Means Business. Just like her book, her podcast will inspire you to turn dreams into reality and give you the inspiration to achieve anything that you set your mind to. A must listen podcast for we Career Girls! Listen here.

    3. She Did It Her Way

    Here, Amanda Boleyn chats with a different successful female entrepreneur every week to seek their perspective on the world of successful business women. Filled with women sharing their own personal experiences and providing real insight into what it’s like for a woman starting her own business. Packed with advice, coping tools and first-hand experiences, this podcast will definitely inspire you to kick-start the day with positivity and determination. Listen here.

    4. The Receipts Podcast

    If you’re looking for something that will ease you into the morning, you’ll love The Receipts Podcast. Four women who are up for talking about any topic thrown at them, discussing anything from relationships to tricky situations. The perfect, light-hearted podcast. Listen here.

    5. Happiness Podcast

    stressful day at work? The Happiness podcast is sure to uplift you and help you regain trust in yourself to create the happiness you deserve. The perfect self-help podcast to listen to when your spirits need raising, helping you to destress and remember what is important! Listen here.

    Tell me about your fave podcasts? Drop a comment below and we’ll add them to the list. Happy listening!

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      Chosen my flower-girl frock

      Hello lovely readers, a tiny plea. Let’s just archive this endless rhetoric around Marriage Equality in the annals of history and vote YES ok? ‘Cos I’ve already picked my flower-girl frocks for my gay buddy’s weddings and I don’t wanna have to fight for a refund!


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