Chair’s Corner: Two Ways to Increase Productivity

Hi, everyone! It’s Michele Curry from Commerce Bank, your Women’s Network Chair, here to deliver the October “Chair’s Corner”. Today I wanted to spend a little time talking about productivity. It’s getting into the darker months: October is getting colder; the days are shorter; and it’s going to feel like you’re more strapped for time.

So how do we stay productive? I’ve got two tips for you today:

Eat the frog.

I don’t know whether you’ve heard of this from various trainings that you’ve been in or wondered what the actual definition means to “eat the frog”, but it’s derived from a Mark Twain quote that basically says, “If the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you’ll spend the rest of the day knowing that the worst is behind you.” When we talk about this in a professional setting, it’s basically saying: whatever task is looming over your shoulder that you don’t really want to do, take care of it first thing in the morning. Then when it’s done, the rest of your day is filled with things that aren’t so daunting…it feels a lot more like smooth sailing! Productivity automatically increases once that one thing you’re procrastinating over is taken care of. It’s a very good cleanse for mentality and stress levels.

Get ahead of your day. Don’t let your day get ahead of you.

My second piece of advice is from Rachel Hollis. She’s got two books, Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing, the second of which I highly recommend; it’s one of my favorite reads/audiobooks. The advice is: Get ahead of your day. Don’t let your day get ahead of you.

Now not all of us have time to wake up an hour earlier like a lot of articles you’ll read that say “Get up earlier! That’s the key to success!” Here’s how you can put it in a more realistic and workable way for you: the key point about this advice is, when you get up, wake up before things start to happen. Get a cup of coffee and instead of scrolling through your Facebook feed or your emails, scroll through your calendar instead. What’s going happen to you today? What do you need to prepare for?

If the kids wake you up by jumping on your bed, your day is already ahead of you. Then you’re just trailing it from that point on. Get in the mindset of knowing what you need to do that day and know when it’s going to happen. Take 5/15/30 minutes before you go to bed or first thing in the morning, whatever it takes for you to feel like you’re on top of your day so your day doesn’t get on top of you.

Invitation.

So those are my two pieces of advice for productivity in October! If you’d like to discuss anything like this, I’m definitely open for virtual coffee invites! I love talking about this stuff. My email address is michele.curry@commercebank.com. I encourage any sort of invitation: Zoom and Teams both work for me, and I would love to go into more of these topics in depth.

Until next month, I’ll talk to you then!

~Michele

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