Are you ready for one of the most useful posts about productivity you’ll ever read?
Not only useful, it’s so easy to implement. Ok, ok, forming new & healthy habits takes time, but when you can do them with just a pen, notepad, planner and calendar FOR FREE, starting now, we’d call that easy.
Lara Nercessian is here today to tell us her tips & tricks for top notch productivity. If you’ve been reading The Skinny Confidential for a while you know that Lauryn is a big fan of having goals, but more importantly, putting systems in place to help you reach those goals. So if you love the color-coded Google calendar, the time cube, batching, and more recently, THE HOT MINUTE Planner, my god this post is for you.
If you have yet to meet Lara, she is the founder and host of Boss in Heels, a podcast and channel specializing in career and mindset coaching. She is also an Executive for a huge corporation, loves her routines, and smart as a whip.
With that, let’s get into with Lara.
Hi! I am Lara Nercessian, the brains behind Boss in Heels, host of the award-winning show The Boss in Heels Podcast, Executive for a Billion Dollar Corporation and Personal Coach. What initially started as a series of blog posts evolved into a highly successful brand encompassing a weekly podcast and a personalized career and mindset coaching business.
From my early days working as a Psychology Graduate and Assistant in Human Resources, I soon recognized I was living on pre-set tracks:
- Graduate from university
- Enter the workforce
- Begin the treacherous journey of climbing the corporate ladder on your own
The problem with this approach is that I quickly learned the artificial limits that I had placed on myself from early childhood, which became the habits of my norm. I recognized that my dreams could never fit within the constraints of a corporate office and that I was destined for more.
I got curious and asked myself big, life-changing questions like:
- What is my purpose?
- What kind of impact do I want to make in the world?
- What would happen if I unapologetically went for it?
The answers to these questions led me on a journey of self-discovery and founding a purpose-led blog site – a place where I could share my personal growth, career insights and elite habits that I had established, while helping others overcome their fears of showing up IRL and online.
Since the launch of Boss in Heels in 2016, I have employed the ‘founder’s mentality’ by uniquely positioning the brand and inspiring individuals to achieve greatness through focused attention, planning and productivity. I’m on a mission to creating a movement for ambitious individuals seeking to focus their energy, establish elite-level routines and develop CEO mindsets so they can overcome their fears and build a magnificent presence.
Lauryn and I recently met in a hair salon in Austin while we were multitasking, answering emails and getting blowouts (because how else could two people who are obsessed with habit stacking and productivity meet)? They quickly connected over their shared loved of self-care, routines and habits.
In this blog post, I’m going to share all my tips and hacks for productivity and ticking things off your list.
10 Tips To Skyrocket Your Productivity:
♡ Carve out time to plan on a weekly basis
I am completely and utterly obsessed when it comes to enhancing focus and maximizing productivity. I believe that one of the greatest productivity hacks comes down to planning, which is why I created The Boss Planning Method. As the old adage goes “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”
Boss Planning comprises of a weekly time that I set to plan out my entire week. I personally love to do this planning method between 4-5pm on a Sunday. This way I feel like I get to enjoy my entire weekend switched off from work. And then dedicate some time at the end to plan and map out my week. I make the Boss Planning Method an enjoyable experience for myself – I light some of my favorite candles, play soft, calming music and make it a real vibe.
Come Monday morning, I know exactly what I need to do and I truly feel like an unstoppable force.
♡ Review your prior week’s productivity
When I sit down to do Boss Planning, I ask myself a series of questions:
- In the week that just passed, what worked well?
- In the week that just passed, what didn’t work so well?
- What changes can I make to optimize my productivity moving into this new week?
- Were there any moments where I completely lost focus or became distracted? If so, what was the catalyst?
- What key lessons & learnings can I integrate into this following week?
Being real about your current status and identifying key areas for opportunity is the best way to ensure continuous growth and optimization.
♡ Get everything in your mind down on a page
I used to suffer from a really bad case of Sunday night anxiety. It used to hit a certain point on a Sunday afternoon. And I would experience significant feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. My mind started to tick over and start thinking about the endless list of things that I needed to get done in the week, and often resulted in experiencing poor sleep quality and stress. I knew something had to change.
As part of Boss Planning, I sit down and do a brain dump of all the things I believe I need to get done. I keep asking myself “what else?” until I can no longer think of anything – even if they are the most seemingly small and minutiae tasks (like ordering groceries, folding laundry or replying to messages).
Once everything in my mind is down on a page, I instantly feel a sense of calm and control.
♡ Identify key priorities
Once I have written my to-do list, I then ask myself the following question:
What are the highest priority actions that will get me one step closer to my vision?
I identify and make note of the top 2-3 needle-moving items that absolutely must get done in the week. This enables me to gain laser-focus on the tasks that matter the most.
♡ Plug outcome-based tasks into your calendar
Once I have identified my key 2-3 priorities of the week, I plug in specific, outcome-based tasks into my calendar. Ex. rather than writing ‘work on my new program’ – which is incredibly vague, I will write ‘finish writing content for Module 1 of Boss Routines.’
By plugging in clear & specific outcome-based tasks I know exactly where I stand and whether that task has been completed or not.
♡ Plug in all other items into your calendar
Working off my calendar rather than a to-do list has been a real game-changer. Let’s face it – whilst I LOVE a to-do list, it often becomes more like a bottomless wish list.
Plugging in all commitments and tasks into my calendar means that I have a clear view of what I need to work on and when. I then assign realistic times to those commitments. I broadly group these into the following categories:
+ Business – corporate meetings, tasks & commitments
+ Coaching – meetings, programs, sessions with clients
+ Podcast – recording episodes, pre & post production tasks
+ Health – morning routine, gym workouts, walks, lunch & other breaks, evening routine
+ Personal commitments – beauty appointments, life admin
+ Social commitments – events, catch ups with friends & family
+ Self-care – Time to look after me
♡ Commit to the plan
Once I have established my plan, I then commit to it! I fast-forward to my future self and ask “how will I feel when I get to the end of the week and have followed through on everything I set out to do?” I know I feel amazing when I get to the end of the week and have accomplished everything I wanted to achieve. It truly is the most rewarding and satisfying feeling, and helps to build so much self-trust.
♡ Build contingency
Whilst I aim to stick to the plan at least 80-90% of the time, there are moments where life happens. One email can shift my priorities for the day. Perhaps one day you wake up unwell or need to care for a child or loved one. For these reasons, I build contingency into my calendar. I block out time and utilize it in the instance where things run over or take longer than anticipated. Building contingency gives me breathing space to accommodate and deal with the unexpected.
♡ Planning & preparing so your week runs smoother
In addition to the Boss Planning method, I am constantly seeking new ways to increase productivity and make every week run smoother. Some of these include:
+ Meal prepping
+ Planning and laying out my outfits the night before
+ Packing my gym & work bag the night before
+ Laying out my gym clothes
+ Outsourcing cleaning and other tasks wherever possible
I am constantly seeking, trialing and testing new ways to maximize productivity and output. The more my life runs like a well-oiled machine, the more time I have to focus on the things that matter the most.
♡ Creating elite level routines
Creating and instilling elite level routines has been an absolute game-changer when it comes to maximizing productivity. I treat myself as though I am a world-class athlete training for the Olympics. I love to rise early, follow a pre-determined set of steps to optimize my productivity and focus. In fact, scientific studies have shown that most world-class performers have a solid & consistent morning routine, rise early and have a specific plan for how they are going to spend each day.
Being intentional with your time ultimately means having personal power in your life and as Jim Rohn so famously said “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
My Instagram handle is @lara_nercessian_ You can also learn more about The Boss Planning Method and other tips to maximize your focus and productivity via my website www.laranercessian.com and The Boss in Heels Podcast.
Hope you found this post as valuable as we do. And remember, before a successful morning routine comes an effective evening routine. Lara’s tips are so our vibe so we hope you love them and can easily implement them into your life.
x, The Skinny Confidential team.
+ check out what Lauryn’s former mentee learned from her here.
++ stalk these small businesses we love.