Combine a busy professional life and outside interests, and it takes some skill and forethought to get it all done. Attorney and tech podcaster Katie Floyd and I had a great conversation that included some of her “best practices” for managing a busy life.
Keeping Things Simple — a key to productivity for busy women
Katie Floyd is a self-described attorney-by-day, geek-by-night. On top of a full-time law practice and pursuing a master’s degree in Law & Taxation, she is also the host, with fellow attorney David Sparks, of Mac Power Users, a weekly podcast focusing on getting the most from Apple technology.
Early to rise
Katie starts out her days as an early riser, checking her feeds on the iPad (research for her podcast) before even getting out of bed. After multitasking by listening to music or podcasts while exercising on her elliptical, she devotes her extra time to special projects, such as her blog and show notes for her podcast.
“Although there are things I can do later in the day, I’m certainly more productive first thing in the morning.”
Katie’s tips for managing her time:
- Learn to say “no”
- Try to maintain structure and routines in your life
- Ask yourself, “How can I maximize my time and be efficient as possible?”
- Even though you may have the most effective way of accomplishing a task, don’t let that stop you from delegating to save yourself time and energy.
- “Don’t let yourself get stuck doing something the way you want, but then get bitter when someone else doesn’t pick up the reins,” Katie says.
- Don’t try to keep everything in your head. Find a trusted system where you can put all your information to reference later and mark off what you’ve done.
- As soon as something pops into your email, put it in your calendar or system of choice so you don’t have to worry about it in the future.
- Think ahead. Set reminders so you don’t have to keep a task or deadline in the back of your mind.
- Feeling overwhelmed or lacking motivation? Try to figure out what’s going on that’s making a certain task unbearable.
- Ask yourself, “Is there anything ‘low-bandwidth’ I can do?” A simple chore like laundry or washing the dishes can be productive, and you can check something off your list.
- If you can’t seem to focus on an overwhelming task or project at the end of the day, just go to bed, and resolve to wake up earlier the next day and tackle it fresh. Give yourself permission to let this be a lost day.
- Try not to put off anything until the last minute. Things pop up. There are times you have to drop everything you’re doing. If you know you’ve got a hard deadline, get it done with some breathing room left over.
- Make time at the end of the day to declutter and organize your space. This helps to know what you have to start with the next day
- Learn what your stopping point is. Katie, for example, has learned she’s not as productive after 9 p.m. and she begins thinking about bed around that time.
- Keep things simple. Katie recommends if you’re spending too much time fiddling with your system and planner, simplify it for yourself.
“Keep it simple and things seem to work out.”
Resources Katie Recommends
Mr. Reader An RSS news reader for the iPad that synchronizes with other feed acounts
Feedly An RSS reader for publications, blogs, YouTube channels, available on the iPhone, iPad and desktop.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, book by David Allen, creator of Getting Things Done (“GTD”) methodology.
Inbox Zero, an approach to email management by Merlin Mann
Fantastical 2, a calendar app that synchronizes with your inbox to easily keep track of events. Available on Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad.
Apple Watch with Siri integration makes it easy for Katie to set reminders that are automatically added to her calendar
Katie Floyd is a litigator and the co-creator and host of the Mac Power Users Podcast distributed through Relay.fm. Mac Power Users teaches listeners how to get the most from their Apple technology with productivity-focused topics and workflow guests. The show is regularly featured as a top technology podcast in iTunes and other podcast clients. Katie is also a member of the Mac Roundtable Podcast, featuring a panel of Mac notables.
Katie is a frequent speaker and consultant on Apple and technology related topics and has presented sessions for the National Business Institute, Macworld Expo, and the American Bar Association, among others. Katie has been a contributor to Macworld Magazine and writes a monthly article for ScreenCastsOnline Monthly Magazine.
Connect with Katie
What do you think?
Resources and Reminders:
- Don’t forget to check out our sponsor, PrepDish: “your secret weapon to easy, healthy family meals.” Take advantage of the special price of $4 for the first month’s worth of healthy, delicious meal plans, complete with shopping lists and preparation instructions, by visiting PrepDish.com/productive.
- Grab a free copy of my project planning template.
- Very special thank you to Emily Prokup, co-host of the Classy Little Podcast, for her help with preparing the show notes this week!
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