After seeing the spoof BBC video of how a working mum would have dealt with the invasion of her kids during a live TV interview, it got me thinking about my own personal productivity.
I think PA’s are natural jugglers; we have to be as there is always something outstanding that needs chasing (sometimes that you’d delegated to someone else and then realised all you’ve heard since has been tumbleweed). Whilst more plates are constantly thrown at you to spin on top of the ones already spinning.
However, when it comes to my own personal productivity I really struggle. As well as being a mum and a PA to five creatives by day, I also have my own ‘stuff’ – writing, blogging, presenting, speaking and coaching. I give a lot to others around me, as most of us do which is a great and wonderful thing but I also need to give to myself which I also know is something not that many of us are that good at. When it comes to priorities I know I am way down the list of my own. Yet when I do something that does ‘give’ to me, it feeds my soul and I instantly feel buoyant, recharged even, as though I have found my reason for being. Even the smallest thing such as writing a blog post like this can keep me going for days. Everything I am bogged down with eases away and I’ve found my focus again.
But it’s the scheduling in of these things that I find difficult. I have so many ideas hitting my brain at any one time and I want to action them all instantly, much as I do when a client needs something (even though one told me recently that when they’ve asked me to do something it doesn’t mean RIGHT NOW), it’s just the way I’m programmed I guess. But I need to be reprogrammed.
What I’m trying to do now is block out my calendar with tasks, then focusing on just one a week and completing it. Not diluting each one by trying to do several at once, which invariably means that none get finished or not to the standard that I envisaged.
Tiny steps for me definitely, but maybe it’s worth sitting down and thinking about how productive you might actually be with all of your plates in the air? I know for me it has to be much less crockery, and more focus. And unsurprisingly, once I’ve given something to me, I’m much better at giving to those around me.