Productivity Squashed

Productivity SquashedI awoke with a plan for my entire day. I had every hour accounted for and what I planned to accomplish throughout, even scheduling in lunch and breaks and exercise and food.

And then the inevitable occurred: someone needed something immediately. It couldn’t wait, and it didn’t fit into my schedule. Attending to that need took up more than half my allotted hours for work today! How often does this happen to you and how do you handle it?

I pride myself on being a disciplined individual with attainable goals set and the ability to follow through to meet them in the time I’ve set for myself. What I continually seem to fail to do is factor in wiggle room for all those pop-ups that occur often. I should know by now (two years into freelance graphic and website design) that a client is always going to need an update or a fix or a change at the most inopportune time. For some reason it also needs to happen ‘now’. Not my now, but their now. That’s acceptable, for the most part. I certainly do allow and even encourage my past clients to contact me with any related inquiries they think I can help with. So I suppose I open myself to the possibility that the overly scheduled plan is doomed from the outset.

Perhaps that’s the fix then – schedule in wiggle room? Schedule in additional blocks of time to respond to written emails, answer voice mails and social media inquiries. I love that my past clients continue to ping me about their website or ideas for marketing or for thoughts on a social media strategy and I truly do not want to close that door. But it’s apparent I need to be more flexible with my rigidly scheduled time.

So how do you schedule your day to fit it all in? How much do you typically accomplish and what’s left over? Leave your thoughts below.

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2 thoughts on “Productivity Squashed

  1. Anna I think you’ve stumbled on to something that only a few entrepreneurs realize: balance is a myth. And we spend WAY too much time chasing it.

    Give it up. Don’t look for balance. Look for FLOW or RHYTHM. When you have a deadline looming, you are in the flow of working — sometimes long hours, sometimes in frustration, sometimes it’s so exciting you just don’t notice. And then the project is complete, the deadline passed, and there’s a lull before the next project.

    Once I gave up looking for balance, I felt better. I know that to take time off for a weekend backpacking trip or a weekend with my grandparents, I know that the rhythm will be more work before and after. But during the flow of the break — TAKE A BREAK!

    Balance is for ice skaters and gymnasts 🙂

    Entrepreneurs know the value of rhythm.

    • Great advice Kim!
      I’ve never loved the term of ‘work-life balance’ but it seems to be the one most people grab onto.
      Definitely appreciate the way of looking at this solopreneur life as flow and rhythm. Makes a lot more sense. That’s how I work anyway – knowing I have a break coming up simply means completing the tasks I have at hand prior to, regardless of the extra time that may take.
      I was a gymnast for more than a decade…even then never mastered balance!

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