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Why values and focus are more important than productivity

Time management tips

Why values and focus are more important than productivity

Inspired by Vicki Jakes’ call out for time management tips, I’ve made a series of videos where I share 3 time management tips, plus a bonus one, and a couple of fun paper-folding exercises. Essentially I’m exploring why values and focus time are more important than productivity and sharing some super practical time management techniques along the way. Edit: Vicki has now created a podcast episode combining her own tips with techniques contributed by some of her friends and clients – including some of these.

Check out the first video below. You’ll find a transcript underneath.

Time Management Fun

A while ago I published The Small Steps Guide to Goal Setting and Time Management, and I’m going to share some quick time management techniques with you. It helps if you have an A3 pad and some coloured pens to do this, but if you don’t you can just use a biro, and any old piece of paper will do. I’m going to give you three quick time management techniques, and then a fun one involving folding paper in different ways.

Picture of Small Steps Guide

The first Small Steps Guide

Tip number 1: Mind Map Your Life Roles

First of all, it really helps – and this is why you’ve got your A3 paper and your coloured pens – if you mind map your life roles. Why am I talking about life roles? Because once you’ve done a brain download and you’ve got all of the things you do in your life down on one bit of paper you can start to see immediately what’s important and what isn’t.

Life roles mind map

Life roles mind map

I’ve got one here in front of me that I did, so I’ve got my family, my health, my friends, my computer, self-care, relationships, paid teaching I do, the online courses I’ve created, my writing. I’ve just got everything down in one go and then off each of those ideas on my mind map, in different colours, I’ve got the different aspects of those things, so I’ve gone a bit more granular, I’ve written down things that are important in each of those areas.

You know how else this is really good? Or what else this is good for? It’s great for coming up with ideas, because down here I’ve got, well, I go for walks with my family. One of the other things I do is I write freelance feature articles. That’s immediately an idea for a freelance feature article, because I could write about going on accessible walks with my family, so you can also mine this for ideas so it works like that brilliantly too.

But in order to use this for time management, you start to think, okay, so what do I actually want to prioritize in my life and what do I want to put on the backburner? So doing a mind map of all of your life roles immediately makes that obvious to you. The best thing to do is to make it as colourful as possible, and to use different colours for each aspect of the mind map so that those things really start to leap out, which is why I suggested a big bit of paper and coloured pens.

Check out the next video in this series here: Focus Not Time

My book on time management is here.

More soon. Until then, happy writing,

Louise xx

P.S. Here’s a one minute video of me doing some mind mapping – I’m writing up some notes from a training day on creating online courses (a couple of years ago) so the content isn’t relevant, but you can see how important the colour is! If you want a longer explanation of how to mind map, then go here to find a couple of videos where I explain the process.




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