Tenets of Productivity & Time Management

We hope you have enjoyed the first two installments of this important blog series for leaders, administrators and anyone looking to really build some skills in time management and gain productivity. You can find the first two here to catch up! AND, check out the list of resources at the end of this blog. #GreatTips

Jeff Jordan Julia Gabor Alaska kid-grit


Hello, fair readers!

Welcome to the third and final installment of our little series on productivity and time management (or, better said, self-management within the context of time).

I hope you’ve started eating the frog, timeboxing, and batching decisions and tasks into routine timeframes. 

A quick encouragement: set boundaries! You can do it!! It’s essential to your wellness and work quality to be clear and firm with the world— and yourself.

Without further ado, I give you a last wave of ideas geared towards enhancing your energetic output each day:

Know Thyself. Shakespeare had it right on this topic~ you have to be true to yourself. What time of day do you focus best? Gather your most high-value, high-focus projects into that window. Do you focus best after eating, or before eating? Are you only effectively disciplined when you have an accountability partner? Take the time to know yourself— to learn your chronotype— and then act accordingly and without apology to those who don’t operate as you do.

Conquer Correspondence. Of all the most common 21st-century distractions, surely correspondence is king. Among the thorny bushes of social media, texting, email, phone calls, & meetings, it is tremendously difficult to create a flowering productivity. Productive people hack away at the bushes: they prune some based on clear usage guidelines (“I will only check my email at 11am and then again at 4pm”), they build skills relating to the bushes (like faster typing and more diplomatically succinct ways to end conversations), and some bushes they uproot entirely (“just say no” to FB). Again, set clear boundaries for yourself and follow through, lest the bushes overwhelm you and crowd out the other beautiful things you’re trying to grow.

You HAVE Time; What You Don’t Have Is PRIORITIES. Want to get something done? Ask a busy person. Why is this aphorism true? Because productive people have learned the alchemy that is turning usable hours into productive, enriching opportunities to excel. Part of this alchemy is eschewing the disempowering (and inaccurate) excuse “I don’t have time” and espousing instead the correct philosophy: “I have 168 hours in my week, just like Oprah, and the Pope, and everyone else. Any project I want to get done will get done, if I decide to prioritize it.” Productive people MAKE time for their priorities and allow the small stuff to fit in around those priorities. So, take responsibility for your use of your hours, and recognize that you only lack time for the things you are not prioritizing. Consider revisiting your priorities and decreasing your reliance on excuses around quantity of hours.

Honor the P’s. Whether you’re trying to study physics or prepare the masterpiece of your culinary career, consider the effect of these 3 P’s on your ability to focus and be effective:

  • Place. Is your space clutter-free and away from distractions like TV? Is it well lit, and not so warm that you feel lethargic?
  • Posture. If the world’s best physics student or cook were to undertake this exact project right now, how would he or she sit/stand? Would his/her outfit or body language reflect the high level of attention about to be given to the effort? 
  • Phonics. What sounds make you most productive? Is it silence, or is it binaural beats, or is it the sound of a bustling café around you? If you love music, perhaps you should be listening to lyric-free music while you tackle this high-focus project? (Miles Davis and Mozart have repeatedly been shown to be ideal for this.) You can always sing along to Mumford & Sons or Bruno Mars while you wash the dishes—a low-focus activity.

Lastly, here are a few more resources to support this journey of productivity…


I am worthy of success.

I am not afraid of exceptional success.

My attitude and my effort are up to me.

I am already joyful and grateful!


To Limit Distractions:

Phonics & Techniques: 

Organization Tools:

  • Google docs & calendar, Evernote, Dropbox
  • Right Inbox
  • Apps: Carrot, Lift, Wunderlist, Do It Tomorrow

Further Reading:

If you enjoyed this series, please share and post and comment on social media! We love to share the good stuff!


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