Category Archives for "Knowledge"

Using Work Zones to Increase Your Productivity

Do you have a gazillion things to do and don’t seem to get anything done?  I was having this problem and I found a solution that works for me.  I’ve divided my day into work zones.  I’ve tried everything I read about and this seems to work the best for me.

I usually get in the zone and work in two hour increments early in the day so that’s how I divided my morning.  After noon my attention span isn’t as long so I use hour and a half increments.  You can play around with the lengths of time and see what works best for you.  You can also set reminders on your phone or calendar so you know when it’s time to change tasks.  By working in this way I stopped putting off the things I didn’t want to do.  Like most things once you get started you will see that the task isn’t as bad as you thought it would be and you can just get it done and go on to the next thing.

rebeccasroadmap.comHere is a look at my work zones:  

I get to work at 7:30.  I spend the first 30 minutes checking voicemail, checking email and lining out the important things I need to accomplish.

From 8:00 to 10:00 I work on my most important tasks and the tasks I have been putting off.  These are not my daily tasks.  These are all the extra things that get delegated to me.  I get my stack of special things that need to be done set and start with the first one.  I don’t think about whether or not I should do it, I just do it and move on to the next thing.  I usually stop and take a 5 to 10 minute break about 10:00 to stretch my legs and refill my water bottle.

From 10:00 to 12:00 I work on my every tasks.  In my case I’m in purchasing so I work on orders.  Since these are tasks I do everyday I don’t have to think about them as much and so I don’t need my optimum morning brain power.  

At 12:00 I take a 15 minute break and eat a snack and read something.

After my break I continue to work on my daily tasks until 1:30 when I go to lunch.  I go to lunch late because everyone else has already had lunch and I can have quiet time.  I’m an introvert and I need quiet time.  I usually read something entertaining or business related during lunch.  If you are an extrovert you might schedule your lunch so that it coincides with your coworkers.  You might get energized being around others.  During your lunch hour do whatever you need to do to refuel yourself to get through the rest of your day.

From 2:30 to 4:00 I finish up any daily work I didn’t complete before lunch.  When I’m done with that if I still have time left in my zone I go back to my special pile that I worked on during the 8:00 to 10:00 zone.  At 4:00 I take a 15 minute break and usually read something.  I use this time to come out of the work zone and start thinking about my evening.  After my break I finish up any small tasks that can be done in five minutes or less and get them out of the way.  These are usually pretty mindless tasks that just need to get done.  

From 4:30 to 5:00 I clean up my desk, make sure nothing urgent has come through on email and gather my items to go home.  

I’ve found that having a set schedule or work zones through the day helps me stay on task and helps me know what I should be doing and when I should be doing it.  

Give it a try and let me know if it works for you.


Reviewing the Path you are Walking

We all need to take time.  Time to review our lives.  Time to review the path we are walking.

In this fast paced world time is a premium.  We don’t have time to stop and think.  We don’t have time to see if we are on the right path or to see if we have driven off the road and landed in the ditch.

We must find the time.  We must find a way to make sure we are on the right course, on the right path.  

We often see warning signs that we ignore.  The caution signs that danger is ahead.  But we often ignore them or don’t listen to our intuition when it nudges us, trying to get our attention.  We are so busy trying to get to the next point as fast as possible that we don’t even stop to think if that’s even a point we want to reach.

I know I’ve been guilty of this in my life.  Blindly pursuing a goal instead of recognizing I should have taken a left at that first caution sign.  

Where would your life be if you slowed down and thought about what you really want in your life and what’s next step to get there?  Where would your life be if you forged your own path instead of following the path of others?  Where would your life be if you only had the things you really wanted in your life instead of all the things the commercials on tv and your friends and family tell you that you really need?

Sometimes it’s good to be the black sheep.

I’ve learned to stop and evaluate what I really want in my life.  To pursue the things I really want to have instead of blindly putting one foot in front of the other and trudging through the drudgery of life.  So many people I talk to hate their lives, hate their jobs, hate their families.  So many people today are unhappy.  They have nothing positive to contribute to a conversation.  They are not working towards any goals in their lives.  They are just going to work, eating junk and watching tv.  Is that what you really want for your life?  If it’s not then it’s time to wake up and make some changes.  Review the path you are on and decide if there is a better one you could walk.  Take some time to really think about your life and what you really want.  Take some time to breath and decide if you are going to accept your life or if you want something better.

I know I want something better.

What about you?

Tell about it in the comments below.


How to use Rituals to Improve Habits

Look at the good habits in your life.  What rituals surround those habits?  What rituals could you add to make the experience more pleasurable?

Rituals make the everyday special.

The more we can build rituals into the habits of our life the easier our lives become.

If you build rituals into your habits you are rewarding yourself along the way and will have a greater chance at success.  A ritual is a special act that you only perform at a certain time or place.  Rituals let you enjoy the moment.  

rebeccasroadmap.comLet’s say you want to work out more after work.  Your current routine is to drive home and change clothes and then go to the gym.  What usually happens is you get home and decide you are too tired and stay home.

But what if you brought your workout clothes to work with you?  What if you changed your clothes at work and went directly to the gym?  That would cut out the problem of you staying home instead of going to the gym.  What rituals could you add to reinforce this good habit?  You could dab a little grapefruit essential oil on your wrists to increase your energy.  You could listen to The Eye of the Tiger on the way to the gym to boost your attitude.  You have a special water bottle you only use when you work out to make you feel like you are doing something special.  Rituals make habits fun.  You get the reward of the ritual and you get the reward of the good habit.  It’s a win win.  

Look at the habits you have in your life.  What good habits do you want to reinforce?  What rituals could you add to make your life more fun?

What bad habits do you want to curtail?  What rituals surround those bad habits?  What could you change to make that into the good habit you want in your life?  

Sometimes it’s the little things.  The little acts that make your life worth living, that make your life enjoyable. Add those little things to your life.  They will make you smile.

What are your favorite rituals?

Let me know in the comments below.


Creating Habits in Your Life

The words I’m concentrating on this month are habits and planning. If you have good habits and are able to plan you can accomplish anything that you want.

I think most of us know that we should have good habits but we have no idea how to go about putting good habits into place.  

Building new habits can be tough.  Mostly because of all of our old habits.  

If we don’t put time and attention into the new habits the old ones slowly creep back into our life.  

rebeccasroadmap.comHabits are easiest to build if you are self motivated.  Not just wanting something in the abstract, like I want to eat better.  You must fully buy into the idea and motivate yourself.  More like come hell or high water I’ll be sporting a bikini on my beach vacation in July showing off this awesome body I obtained by sticking with an awesome healthy eating plan.  Chocolate will not pass these lips and land on these hips.  You’ve got to have some fire and passion.  

Once you have figured out that habit you are passionate about then you need to set daily goals for yourself.  The more you commit to new habits on a daily basis the more you will stick with those habits.  I contribute to my healthy eating habit by having healthy snacks on hand and packing them in my lunch bag every morning.  Daily goals can also be used as limits.  I have a chocolate obsession so I limit my chocolate intake on a daily basis.  My daily goal might be to eat no more than two squares of chocolate a day.  I buy only a set amount of chocolate a week and divide it up so I can have a serving a day.  

Tie new habits into your old habits.  Only do this with the old habits you actually want to keep.  One of the best ways to eat healthy is to have healthy food on hand and cook meals for yourself and your family.  You might tie grocery shopping into another habit like going to church on Sunday.  So you would commit to grocery shopping every Sunday after church.  Or you might tie it into payday.  If you get paid every other week then you might do your grocery shopping every other Friday on the way home.  New habits are easier to keep up if you make it easy on yourself.  If you plan to get up early every Saturday and do your grocery shopping when your old habit is to sleep in on Saturdays then that is a habit you probably won’t keep.  You haven’t made it easy on yourself.

Another way to make it easier on yourself is to limit your decisions.  If you don’t have the decision to make then you don’t have to use your willpower to make the decision.    One of my habits is to bring lunch from home.  I do this on every day but Thursday when I have lunch with my friend Elaine.  I don’t have to decide on a daily basis what I am having for lunch.  I have already decided and made it a habit to pack it the night before.  

With time, attention and planning you can form new good habits to replace the bad old habits in your life.

Passionately embrace your new habit and make it easy to add to your life on a daily basis.

When I start a new habit and find out how much it improves my life I often wonder why I took so long to start.

Good luck with your new habits.

Let me know what you are working towards.