Michelle Dunn is a very productive entrepreneur, writer and expert on debt collection. She's committed to helping women become successful in this male-dominated field, and she ably juggles all this with raising two teenagers and, of course, blogging. As you'll see, she's got some good time management skills.
Michelle, what are your top three productivity tools, tricks and/or tips?
- I am very organized but that doesn't always translate into productivity. I have realized what my "inner-schedule" is like, for example I am the most motivated and creative in the morning. So I schedule my most challenging or creative work for the mornings. Once I have lunch, I feel tired and unmotivated, so I run errands then come back and read for an hour. I end up looking forward to that hour of reading because I have to schedule reading time for myself or I would never get to read. In the early afternoons I am usually perking up, so I respond to emails, write articles, do some marketing work on my speeches or books. If you can use how you feel at certain times of the day to your advantage, you can be more productive.
- I make appointments in my date book for EVERYTHING. I write down everything I want to accomplish that day. This gives me a visual list and I can cross items off as I complete them, and see how much closer I am getting to getting everything done. It is very motivating. If I don't complete something on that days list I add it to the next day. I schedule all of my appointments, kids appointments, reading time, cleaning, shopping, anything I have to do. This works out great for me, I get a lot more done, I feel like I have accomplished more and I can look at the week ahead and know what I will be doing next week and sometimes find myself getting a head start on those tasks.
- I keep a "work" diary of any marketing I do for myself and my books. I try to do at least one thing per day to market myself and my books. I sometimes do more, but on my list every day is to do one marketing technique. I keep a spiral notebook and write the date and what I did to market my books on that day. This is a great help, especially for following up. If I mailed a book or press kit to someone, I make a note of the date, what was sent, and the contact information for that person. I then put in my date book a note a few weeks later to email or call that person to follow up. Then that goes into the notebook on that day. Going back and reading what you have done, will motivate you. It will seem like so much more than you thought you did and will also spark new ideas.