How to Be Productive: The 3×5 Method

Well, here is the answer to the question that no one is asking, but you should be.

Hey welcome back to another week of the Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses. As always I am glad you’re here.

So like you, I am a pretty busy person, and we’re all busy in our own ways.  For me, that takes the form of a day job that’s pretty demanding and also requires its fair share of travel, a young family, I have a husband and a little boy that you know, I want to see and spend a lot of time with, and then this side business, and you know of course we’ve got The Bootstrap Boutique going an also the Amazon physical product going, so there’s a lot of things that fill up my plate.

And earlier in the year when I was just trying to get all this stuff off the ground I definitely felt overwhelmed and never really knew what to do.  So i’ve come up with a system and it’s not perfect but it really does help me feel like I’m making progress getting things done every day.

Like any person on the internet, I gave it a name, because processes and procedures aren’t really unless they have names, or something.

So I call mine the 3×5 method.

That means I’m taking the three big areas of my life and trying to do five things each day in my personal life, just get stuff done.  And then in my day job or my business to take meaningful steps forward on different things I’m working on.  At the beginning of each day I take my notebook and make three short lists.

So the first one is going to be five things that need to get done in my day job.

Now that may be returning phone calls, it may be working on a spreadsheet, it may be working on a best practices document I’ve been working on for much too long now, but it’s going to be the important things that I need to get done by the end of the day so I can say yes I feel accomplished, I feel like I did something because in my day job, and probably in yours too, there’s a whole lot of putting out fires that comes up and those can totally distract you from what you’re trying to get done.

Now the next section is called five Megan things but it’s really just family stuff that I need to get done.

So that could take the form of paying bills, making a grocery list, cleaning the house, just kidding, thats never on the list.  Making a doctors appointment for my son, there’s all kinds of things that can fit into that bucket but those are five things that I need to get done because when my kid’s at home I don’t want to be washing dishes, right?

And that is an unfair advantage I have working from home is that I can do stuff like that during lunch or if I need to take five minutes to just get up from my computer because I’ve been looking at it all day. And I don’t feel bad about doing that, its not something I do a lot but I could do a whole other video about working from home.

And of course the last thing, five business things.

So I combine The Bootstrap Boutique stuff that I do and the Amazon private label stuff that I do into this list.  It’s probably pretty obvious what falls into that bucket, that’s the stuff you guys actually see.  Now out of all that stuff I do that falls under that label I’m still really looking for the five most important things to do.  So if I don’t have a video in the queue, I need to shoot a video.  If my supplier and I are going back and forth talking about product specifications, I need to make sure I’m writing them back as soon as I can because we’re on such a time zone difference, I don’t want to be the hold up in that process.

For me it’s been a process of realizing that I am not going to get everything done in a day, and I don’t even make myself get those fifteen things done every day because that, if you think about it, is a lot.

Something that has been really interesting to me as I’ve gone through this process has been I notice sometimes that i have an item that carries over day by day by day.  You start to see that on day three, day four, day five and then it’s like, “uh is this really important?  is this something I should actually be spending time on?  is there someone else that can do it?”  Or am I just procrastinating because I think it’s going to be hard?

And sometimes, yes, the answer is that I think it’s going to be hard and I don’t want to do it.  Its a good gut check because that probably means the next day that is something that I need to do first before I do anything else.

You guys are busy people too, I know a lot of you are running or starting an Amazon side business in addition to a day job and in addition to family and in addition to whatever else it is that’s important to you.

So tell me in the comments what you’re doing to stay productive and stay on task and stay focused on moving your businesses forward. As always you can find me on twitter I am @megloftin or from any of the other contact methods that are listed below.  I will talk to you next week guys, you take care.

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