Increase Your Productivity

If you are wishing that you had more hours in the day to get things done, then don't stop reading now!

We have good news and we have bad news!

First, the bad news--you cannot make the day longer by adding more hours to it.  24 hours is all you got!
The GOOD NEWS--you can increase your productivity by doing ONE SIMPLE THING!!!!

Smart phones are both a blessing and a curse for us all.  They help us instantaneously connect with people, spread and get information, and be social.  However, they can also have a huge effect in making us less productive! 


Are you really in a position where it is absolutely vital for you to know immediately when someone sends you an email?  Really ask yourself this—truly?   I can almost guarantee that 9 out of 10 of us don’t really need to know instantaneously that we have a message from a client, customer, or a general inquiry.  

When you get an email-you get an alert—a sound, a badge, a message—in the middle of eating, driving, resting, reading, etc.  When your alert goes on, you are interrupted  from doing what you are doing.  Your attention gets drawn away from the moment you were living, to the question, comment, or update that the email says.  You are no longer giving your 100% to whatever you were doing, even if you were just chilling and resting.  Instead, now you have something that you think about constantly.  Even if you are telling yourself that you will get back to the email message when you get a chance, your mind is still subconsciously thinking about that message.  Again, you are not giving your 100% to your moment.  And to lose out on living your moments, you are losing out on living life.  

THE SOLUTION:  check your email once, twice or even three times a day.  Set yourself a time slot to reply to people.  This will keep your work level low because you won’t be all over the place trying to respond to people.  This will also keep your life a bit more organized because you won’t be constantly thinking about something else while trying to enjoy another activity.  If you set yourself a time schedule of when you want to get back to people, you will be able to focus your attention on what you are doing in the moment.  The same goes for when you are replying to people.  You will be able to focus your full attention on thoroughly replying to people instead of doing a half-hearted job.

Try it.  It’s a big move for some of you, but one step at a time will help you get more done!  Henna Artists and other small business owners.  You might have a team you work with or you may run the whole show yourself.  Whatever position you are in, turn off your email alerts on your phone.  Set yourself a schedule.  See how your 24 hour day seems to have a few extra minutes here and there, turning into an extra hour here or there.  

You can’t make the day longer, but you can make your day more productive.  

Here is a real life example from one of the staff members at Henna Art.

I had company emails sent to me on constant alert.  As soon as someone would send me a message, I would get a notification on my iphone.  I would first hear a sound (and I would know it’s an email message) and then a badge alert on the phone, showing me a preview of the message.  Being in an administrative position, people often write their problems, issues, concerns, or questions within the first couple of sentences.  So even if I was in the middle of dinner, or having coffee with a potential client, I would see the email message, and automatically, my mind would be diverted to that email.  Instead of paying attention to what was happening in front of me, I would be distracted with the email message.  

Sometimes the messages would be a general inquiry for an event-the customer would mention a date and time.  Subconsciously, all I would be thinking of is who to schedule for the job, what type of event this would be, what the customer is wanting to book, etc.  Then, because I would tell myself, I will get back to this later, I would get back to it, but it would also be a little bit on the back burner.  The reason is, that by the time I did have time to get back to responding to that inquiry, I also had to deal with other inquiries from customers having to do with product information, to shipping their products, to paying a deposit and everything henna related in-between.  So now, the most important message for me became the one that came in last.  Instead of dealing with inquires as they came in, I would try to prioritize and sometimes even neglect some customers.  This was not good from an administrative perspective, nor from a business profit perspective. 

Now that I have turned off all the alerts on the phone, I am able to set aside 1 hour in the morning to respond to emails, 15 minutes in the afternoon, and 30 minutes in the late-afternoon/early evening.  Instead of sending an average of 5 emails back and forth to a client wanting to book a private appointment or party, we now exchange 3 or less emails all within a 24 hour span, complete with booking information, confirmation of appointment, and a deposit.  Similarly, instead of exchanging 3 or more emails with a customer inquiring about the status of their package, I am now only sending 1 email to their inquiry with complete details on their package status.  

My communication with the rest of the team is more streamlined.  I can ask several questions in bullet format to the team members and get a quick and complete response from them, instead of sending out multiple emails with various questions.  I have definitely turned off email notifications for my personal accounts and now find time to do other things—even if it means browsing through projects on Pinterest.