Today was a whirlwind of inefficiency.  It’s 5 p.m. and I’m exhausted. There is paperwork everywhere. I must do an autopsy on today’s productivity.  Here are the issues I see and, so I don’t get depressed listing out my problems without possible solutions, I’ve add those, too…

Problem: I didn’t start out with a focus for my day.

When I simply wake up with the goal of doing all the things all at once, I fail. Not only do I fail, but it’s a sort of across-the-board failure that leaves me wanting to hide under my desk. I start and stop many different projects. I get into what I call my “little spinny place” and I whirl around in circles until I’m exhausted. I pay attention to urgent tasks and forget all sense of purpose to my day. It’s really an awful place to be.

Solution: Implement “end of the workday” planning.

If I am willing to spend a minimum of five minutes at the end of my day, I can tidy up my desk and then plan the top two or three things I’d like to get accomplished the next day. I’ve been using a Passion Planner lately, which prompts me to write out “Today’s Focus” on each day of the week. On days when I go to my spinny place, I often look at the planner and see I’ve forgotten to have a focus. It’s quite embarrassing. The solution, however, is a relatively simple one: Integrate a mini-planning session at the end of each workday. These mini-planning sessions should not replace a slightly longer planning session on say, Sunday evening, but they are a good place to start.

Problem: I got distracted by stupid stuff.

On days like today, anything can derail me. Especially if I’ve started out with the grand objective to “do all the things,” I get very easily distracted by social media, picking out which tea I’d like to drink, text messages, pop-ups, and phone calls. If I’m at home, I’ll add any number of other distractions ranging from laundry, snack-making, and stopping to take pictures of my adorable cat.

Solution: I can corral all the stupid stuff into periodic, timed, five-minute “reward” sessions.

I use Kanban Flow when I’m really in trouble. In truth, I should use it all the time. Kanban Flow helps me use the Pomodoro Technique in the best way I’ve seen so far.

I set the timer on KanBan for a 25-minute POM work session and off I go! In KanBan, I create boards for my projects and then, within those projects, I create tasks. KanBan’s timer allows me to select a task and focus on just that one task for 25 minutes. If I’ve selected a task in KanBan, I then get to see how much time I’m spending on it because the time accumulates from session to session.  After 25 minutes of work in KanBan, the timer goes off. DING! I get a reward. I am very much like Pavlov’s dogs, and although I do not eat doggie treats as a reward, I do get up and walk around, get a drink of water, take a picture of my adorable cat, or any number of things. I then go back to my desk and do another POM session. It works like magic for me!

Autopsy Report

Although my day was derailed completely, I’ll be okay. I’ve taken a long, hard look at the details of what killed it for me. I think I’ll go be a couch potato for a little while, then spend 5 minutes planning for the successful day I know I will have tomorrow.



P.S. Does your day ever get derailed? I get that. Contact me and we’ll have a free strategy session to talk about coaching. Sound good? Click here to get it started, keep it going, and get it done!