We are in week two of our second Lockdown and how are people who are so used to being organised getting on? This must be hard in many professions where strategies and planning are an essential part of everyday business. I am an organised person and always have an notebook and pen with me, constantly scribbling comments and potential story ideas, If I don’t write them down, they disappear. When you make a plan you can visualise your goals more – It is also called The Law of Attraction -in philosophical terms. If you don’t visualise what you want, you will never get what you want.
Moira Dunne is Co Founder and Director of beproductive.ie and specialises in providing coaching and training to individuals and companies to improve productivity. Moira explained more on her business, “I started beproductive.ie in 2017 in response to feedback from clients about increasing stress and ‘busyness’ in the workplace. I researched and developed a set of Productivity and Time Management tips, skills and techniques to help people take back control of their work- day and get the most important things done.
The ‘be productive’ name is about enabling people, helping them improve and be better, get more done and of course, reducing stress and worry is key. I encourage people to make small practical changes to how they work. By shifting their mindset, they can take control of their day and stay focused on what is important.”
And where did it all begin for Moira?
“I worked in the Pharma industry in drug Research and Development for eight years in the UK and the United States before returning to Ireland in the mid-nineties. I had been working on a laboratory robotics project and had to train people before I left my job. During the handover sessions, I had a lightbulb moment when I realised that I absolutely loved imparting skills and knowledge to others and helping people improve. I absolutely love training and advising people, passing on what I have learned over the years but making the training relevant for each person’s business and set of circumstances. I also love working with organisations to help them streamline their processes and systems to gain efficiency. I think this is the scientist in me-that analytical brain is still in there somewhere!”
So when Covid 19 hit us all globally, did you have to pivot more online or do something else entirely different than your usual system?
No, I had started delivering Productivity Coaching online about a year before Covid so I was well placed to pivot all my training delivery online. It meant I got up and running very quickly after the first strange few weeks of Covid. Which was great because I was able to help a lot of people get focused and productive working from home. In April and May, I ran a series of free Productivity webinars on Zoom at 8:30am, three days a week to help people get focused working at home.”
Since then Moira has been delivering a range of Productivity Webinars and Training programmes for businesses online plus individual coaching sessions. I asked Moira what she found that people were struggling most at home with, while working remotely. She said “Creating boundaries between work and home life. When you think about it, two minutes after breakfast with your family you could be trying to solve a tough problem at an online meeting!
“My tip is to recreate a ‘short commute’ at the start and the end of the working day. A short activity that helps your brain get into work mode. Then do the same in reverse in the evening to help tune out. If you can do that you will have a better chance of switching off and feeling more refreshed the next day.”
Myself and Moira decided to collaborate after connecting at the annual Women’s Inspire Conference last week, which was a very successful virtual one this year, organised by Samantha Kelly (the tweeting goodess) Collaborations are great for connecting ideas and you might find that extra piece of your puzzle in another person’s suggestions.
Back to goal setting and productivity, we need to see where and why our goals are not working and if they are working, make notes. Planners are key and Moira has developed many variations as a guide to keeping you focused. We decided on a lockdown planner and Moira designed one for the next few weeks of the lockdown. If we experience more lockdowns, why not be prepared and add this type of useful tool in your lockdown tools folder.
Here is a template of a Lockdown Productivity Calender for November:
Click here to download full excel Spreadsheet: Lockdown Productivity Calendar November 2020
So, there is no excuse now for not staying focused – you have it here at your fingertips, just fill it in daily and take one day at a time. Don’t work later than normal, keep those ideas for the next day and this will keep you on track..Good luck..