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Podcast Transcript

Hi, everyone; welcome back to the Productivity Pie Podcast. My name is Shevonne. And today, I wanted to talk about my work schedule during the week. I am a program manager at an IT consulting company, the grandmother of an 18-month-old, which I have full custody of, and two young adults, an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old. And so, let’s go ahead and get started on how I structure my day.

How do I make sure that I get the things I need to get done, be present for my toddler, and make sure that I am not stressed and overwhelmed. So, of course, I start off my day waking up. And I do have a set morning routine that I’ve been using since my kids were tiny. And, of course, I’ve tweaked it here or there. But usually, I try to wake up between 630 to seven. And I naturally woke up around that time since I was a little girl. I don’t know; seven o’clock has always been the time that has been when I wake up. So a funny story was when I was a little kid, my older sister, she’s about five and a half years older than me. And I used to think that she was like the most amazing person ever because I was this awkward middle schooler in high school and was like very popular and stuff.

So I remember that. I used to wake up at seven, get dressed and stuff, and then run to her room and plop down because we had junior high and high school together. So we went on the same bus. And man, I remember she used to hate it so much because I was like bouncing off the walls happily excited while she was dragging her feet trying to wake up.

So after I wake up no later than seven in the morning, depending on the day, if I’m working out, I go ahead and just put on my workout clothes, brush my teeth, wash my face. If I’m not working out, I take a quick shower, brush my teeth, wash my face, and try to get ready before he wakes up. He usually wakes up around 730. And I’m telling you the best thing ever is getting the Philips Hue lights and connecting it to your assistant, whether it be Google Home, Alexa, the Apple pod; I think that’s what it’s called. I have Google Home. So I go in there, turn on his light. And then I turn off the white noise machine. And I say good morning. He’s ready for me to pick him up off the crib. And then we go and change his clothes. I’ve taught him how to take his dirty clothes, put them in the hamper.

And then we go downstairs. When we go downstairs, we have breakfast. When he was a baby in the daycare, I had to pack his bottles. I had to prepare his food when he got to the point that he was eating food. And so I would do that at night. Now that I don’t have to do that, he’s at the stage where they provide him food. I just pack a secure sippy cup, so much easier than when he was a baby. But I just wanted to say that for those who have babies or have kids that you’re packing their lunch, try to do that at night. It makes it so much easier in the morning. I just have to pack a sippy cup. So I do that. And then we’re ready to go. So we get in the car. I drop him off.

Usually, if I’m not working out and have something to do, I run and do it. After I drop him off. I’ll usually go to Target, Walmart, or the grocery store, and I’ll get that done or go and get gas before I head home, and usually, I’m home by 830 If I’m not going to the store if I am, then I’m home by nine in the morning. At that point, I go and walk the dog; if the weather is nice, if the weather’s not nice, he goes in the backyard.

And then we go upstairs, I make sure to grab my water and then go upstairs, and I have no pad that is like today’s plan. I got that on Amazon. I’ll link it down below, which is pretty helpful. And I plan out my day before I even touch the computer. After that, I planned out my day. And it’s sticky. I love the sticky notes because I can put them on the wall. So when I look up from the computer, I can see my plan, which is really helpful.

So that’s one thing I do recommend is, if you are writing a to-do list via paper, just try to get one that has good stickiness because some sticky notes suck. So make sure you have one that has a really good stick, and then you can put it on the wall and see what’s going on. And then, before I do anything, I’ll look to see if anybody sent me any messages the night before. I love my team. But there are some that love to work at night and they’ll send messages. And one thing that I’ve done is we use Microsoft teams at work. And I make sure on teams, I have the setting to make sure that I silence any notifications coming from teams, I silence that thing. After 6pm I think I have it. And then it comes the notifications will turn back on at eight in the morning. So I’ll see if anybody sent me anything during the time that I was not working. And then I’ll respond to those. Or I’ll add it to my to-do list to make sure that I get anything they need to do. I get it done.

And then after that, I’ll check my finances. I spend like 5-10 minutes checking my finances, making sure everything is okay when my finances are something that I’ve taught my kids. Every day, check your finances. Now the banks have like alerts. Set those alerts to notify you like if you go under a certain balance, if there is a huge deduction out of your account how those alerts set up because they will save you. So I checked my finances, made sure everything was okay, and checked my personal email.

And then I’m ready to start my day. I used to be someone who checked my email constantly. And now I’ve stopped. I have certain times that I check email. So after I make my to-do list, check my finances, I’ll check my email. I’ll check it about every two to three hours. And the only reason I check it so frequently is because I know some people only check it like three times a day. I have to check them more frequently because I have my clients who are messaging me, and I want to make sure that I am responsive to them.

After that, go to any meetings before I did a lot of chatting on teams. But now I realized that sometimes it is good to just have a quick call and just get it done, instead of spending an hour chatting back and forth on teams. And then people forget what was chatted about. You can just have a quick phone call. The other thing that I do is make sure that anything important that the team will have to know later. Everything is put on our OneNote. So we use Microsoft products at work. So I make sure that everything is on OneNote. Because then it’s not just in my brain or anybody else’s brain; we have it there.

If I usually have a lot of client meetings and internal ones, but the client meetings are the ones that are very important to attend. If the team has any type of blockers, I try to make sure that if the PMS or the project coordinators can handle it, they usually escalate it to me, and then I’ll handle it. Right now, we’re doing a lot of like strategic roadmap types of stuff for 2022 and 2023. So making sure that I’m attending those if there’s any type of process maps that need to be created, I love to do because I used to be a BA, so that’s still something that I love to do. We don’t have BAs on my team. So usually, if it’s important and going out outside of the team, I try to just work on those because I find them exciting, and be I want to make sure that the team is represented well. So because it’s a strength of mine, I make sure that I handle any process maps, anything having to do with like RACI matrix, anything like that, I handle that. The rest of my day is just making sure that strategically we’re aligned to be successful. The teams have what they need. I have weekly check ins with my PMS. So they can give me an update because I am reducing the number of meetings I’m in. And so I’m letting them go to their meetings. And then they just let me know how things are going if there’s anything they need my assistance with.

We also have like weekly, like leadership meetings, we have one with just the account executive account manager and the program managers. So we have a lot of like meetings like that. I try to make sure that if I’m not having back-to-back meetings, I have like 30 minutes for myself. So I try to follow like a pseudo-Pomodoro technique. And I’ve been meaning to create a YouTube video about this.

I don’t follow the normal 25 minutes because it will usually take me time to get into the zone. And then to get that timer clicking at 25 minutes. That’s just too early for me. So I have it like 15 minutes. So for me, I work in 15-minute intervals, and then I’ll take like 10 minutes, and then I take a long stretch of 30 minutes. And that’s usually lunch. So around like 11:30-12, I’ll go and get like eat my lunch. While I’m eating my lunch. I try to watch a YouTube video here or there. And then back to work. And it’s just the same as I’ve thought it is. I’m usually around 5pm. I’ll finally just stop working. I still have my teens going on my phone; like I said, my notifications are on at six. So if anybody needs anything, I’m available till six. But I usually stopped at five to go and quickly make dinner for the baby. I have been using Freshly. It had saved me so much time because before, I was like making dinner every day, or if I couldn’t, I was eating out, and the food bill was just enormous. So now I have subscribed to freshly. And it is. I think the food is delicious. Like the majority of the dishes I’ve tried, they are damn good. So that has saved me time. I mean once in a while I love to cook so I’ll try to cook once or twice a week because I still love it. But I have realized that as of now, with my schedule, I just don’t have the time to cook the way I used to. So I make sure that anything I can outsource I outsource. So that’s like cooking. I have a cleaner coming every other week, and I try to outsource that type of stuff. That is something that I do. And then I 530 I go to daycare pick up the baby.

I feed him his dinner, we go downstairs and play. He’s obsessed with cocoa melons, I have a bunch of music from Cocomeon and Pinkfong on one playlist I have with his name Giovanni, and that is his playlist, and we just sit there and play and listen to cocoa melon and ping pong and also like some Disney music. And then, around 6:30, the bedtime routine starts for him.

The bedtime routine for him is I make him his milk. I warm it up. We go upstairs. He drinks his milk, we go to the bath. we brush our teeth, finish the bath, go and lotion, diapers. He is someone who can pee through one diaper. So I have two diapers on him. I have the Huggies overnight and the Pampers 360. I think that’s what it’s called. So I put those two on, and then I have his diaper on. And then I tell Google because I have the nest temperature to lower the temperature to 70 degrees. And then we’ll read a book.

Now that he’s getting older, I have noticed that he wants me to read him two books. So we usually now have been bumping it up to two books. He really loves the dinosaur ones. I don’t know if you’ve seen it the ones that are like touchy-feely, and they’re like, never touched a dinosaur or go go go dinosaur. He really loves those. So we read those a lot. And after that, I turned on his white noise machine and put him to bed.

If their dishes usually my son will do them. If he’s working. I’ll go ahead and do the dishes for some reason. The dishes like cleaning and dishes and things like that. It takes my mind off things. So I try to just do the dishes. And then after that, I’ll sit down. And I am right now obsessed with the state of survival. Believe me, I love that damn game. So I’ll play that for a few minutes.

And then after that, right now, I’m trying to do the life coaching certification. I already got the life coach certification, but I want to do the additional courses to learn more because I want to be a good coach to my clients who really helps them and does it the right way. So they’re empowered. So I feel like learning as much as possible. on anything that I do, I do the same thing with like program management. I’m always educating myself; that is very important for me. So I try to do that. And then Currently, I am working on a digital course for working moms. So I am going through the digital course Academy from Amy Porterfield. She’s amazing. So I’m going through that. So I tried to have the time for my side hustle from seven to 1030, where I tried to do educational stuff, post on social media, do my digital course.

And then I finally take the dog out, and I go to bed. So that is my day. And I will tell you that the to-do list has been very, very helpful. I’m glad that I found this pad.

As I said, I’ll link it down below. The other thing that has also been helpful is having my Google Calendar and my Outlook calendar have everything. So the reason I use both is that at work, we use Outlook. So I make sure to subscribe to the Google calendars that usually have appointments on them. So I have everything in one place. When I’m at work, I use Outlook. But I also have it on my Google because I’m not using my work laptop when I’m not at work or in the evening. I’m using my MacBook. I have it on my Google as well. So that has been good to really do.

The other thing that has really helped me is to make sure that I have the right notifications. You don’t want to have too few notifications. But then you don’t want to have notifications for everything. Because then if you’re like me, you’re going to shut your brain off. When you hear that “ding,” you’re just going to ignore it because it’s just too many damn notifications. So that has really helped. The other thing that has helped me too is not checking email every two seconds; that has been helpful. Even with teams, I try not to check it like every second. I check it, of course, more often because that’s the way we’re communicating at work. But I try not to jump on every chat right away like I was maybe a year or two ago. Now I take my time to respond. The other thing that has really helped me as well is for meetings, instead of scheduling the whole 30 minutes or the whole hour, I now schedule it for 25 minutes, 15 minutes, because then the meeting ends early be people have five minutes, or 10 minutes to run to the other meeting. And that has been really helpful as well. I have been trying to do the focus times, and I’ve talked to other people who have had the same issue.

People tend to ignore the focus times, and they still book things on top of that focus time. One thing that I’m trying to play around with is calling it something else. When people see something else, they won’t try to schedule it. They’ll probably think, oh, it’s important, like she’s doing something important, which I am focused on when I get my work done because I’m usually in a meeting. Hence, I think that I might just call it an appointment or private or something. So people in their mind, I think now people when they see focus time when they have like a meeting to schedule, they’re like, Oh, she won’t mind will skill schedule it. And believe me, and it hasn’t just been me; other people to have said that. But yeah, I think that that has been really helpful.

The other thing that I’ve been doing is when Giovanni gets home, I make sure not to focus on my phone too much. I use the phone for taking pictures and videos. I’m obsessed with taking pictures and videos of him. So I’ll use it for that. And he’s so used to it. Now he even starts posing when he sees the phone aimed at him. But I try to make sure not to touch my phone as much when I’m with him. And I’m still working on that; it’s not. I’m not gonna lie. It is easy to pick up that phone, especially if someone texts you. So that is something that I’ve been working on as well.

But one thing is, is as long as you have systems and you have tools that are helping you stay on track. You make sure that you’re self-aware enough that when you are doing something that you’ve told yourself you’re not going to do, it’s not part of the process or tool, the process that you’ve come up with that you’re able to tell yourself, stop. You’re no, you’re not supposed to be doing that. And then you can just go and do the thing that you’re supposed to be doing.

I have created a checklist of productivity processes and tools that you should have in place. Not saying that you should have all of them, but even adopting three of them will be really helpful to help you not be so stressed and overwhelmed and be productive in what you want to be productive in.

I’ll put the link down below, download it, it’s free, and also have my daily schedule just so you have it documented somewhere because I don’t know where you’re listening to this podcast, you might be driving, which is how I listen to my podcasts and my audiobooks. You could be busy with the kids running errands and just have a podcast, or you’re exercising. So this is a way for you to have it somewhere as well. So I’ll also have that as part of the package. But everybody, have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll talk to you later.

Thank you so much for listening to the productivity pod podcast. Be sure to visit productivitypie.com To access the shownotes check out the videos, check out the other content. And also, if you can, please subscribe, give it a five star rating and also review and I will talk to you next week. Bye for now

I feed him his dinner, we go downstairs and play. He’s obsessed with cocoa melons, I have a bunch of music from Cocomeon and Pinkfong on one playlist I have with his name Giovanni, and that is his playlist, and we just sit there and play and listen to cocoa melon and ping pong and also like some Disney music. And then, around 6:30, the bedtime routine starts for him. So

the bedtime routine for him is I make him his milk. I warm it up. We go upstairs. He drinks his milk, we go to the bath. we brush our teeth, finish the bath, go and lotion, diapers. He is someone who can pee through one diaper. So I have two diapers on him. I have the Huggies overnight and the Pampers 360. I think that’s what it’s called. So I put those two on, and then I have his diaper on. And then I tell Google because I have the nest temperature to lower the temperature to 70 degrees. And then we’ll read a book. Now that he’s getting older, I have noticed that he wants me to read him two books. So we usually now have been bumping it up to two books. He really loves the dinosaur ones. I don’t know if you’ve seen it the ones that are like touchy-feely, and they’re like, never touched a dinosaur or go go go dinosaur. He really loves those. So we read those a lot. And after that, I turned on his white noise machine and put him to bed. If their dishes usually my son will do them. If he’s working. I’ll go ahead and do the dishes for some reason. The dishes like cleaning and dishes and things like that. It takes my mind off things. So I try to just do the dishes. And then after that, I’ll sit down. And I am right now obsessed with the state of survival. Believe me, I love that damn game. So I’ll play that for a few minutes. And then after that, right now, I’m trying to do the life coaching certification. I already got the life coach certification, but I want to do the additional courses to learn more because I want to be a good coach to my clients who really helps them and does it the right way. So they’re empowered. So I feel like learning as much as possible. on anything that I do, I do the same thing with like program management. I’m always educating myself; that is very important for me. So I try to do that. And then Currently, I am working on a digital course for working moms. So I am going through the digital course Academy from Amy Porterfield. She’s amazing. So I’m going through that. So I tried to have the time for my side hustle from seven to 1030, where I tried to do educational stuff, post on social media, do my digital course. And then I finally take the dog out, and I go to bed. So that is my day. And I will tell you that the to-do list has been very, very helpful. I’m glad that I found this pad. As I said, I’ll link it down below. The other thing that has also been helpful is having my Google Calendar and my Outlook calendar have everything. So the reason I use both is that at work, we use Outlook. So I make sure to subscribe to the Google calendars that usually have appointments on them. So I have everything in one place. When I’m at work, I use Outlook. But I also have it on my Google because I’m not using my work laptop when I’m not at work or in the evening. I’m using my MacBook. I have it on my Google as well. So that has been good to really do. The other thing that has really helped me is to make sure that I have the right notifications. You don’t want to have too few notifications. But then you don’t want to have notifications for everything. Because then if you’re like me, you’re going to shut your brain off. When you hear that “ding,” you’re just going to ignore it because it’s just too many damn notifications. So that has really helped. The other thing that has helped me too is not checking email every two seconds; that has been helpful. Even with teams, I try not to check it like every second. I check it, of course, more often because that’s the way we’re communicating at work. But I try not to jump on every chat right away like I was maybe a year or two ago. Now I take my time to respond. The other thing that has really helped me as well is for meetings, instead of scheduling the whole 30 minutes or the whole hour, I now schedule it for 25 minutes, 15 minutes, because then the meeting ends early be people have five minutes, or 10 minutes to run to the other meeting. And that has been really helpful as well. I have been trying to do the focus times, and I’ve talked to other people who have had the same issue. People tend to ignore the focus times, and they still book things on top of that focus time. One thing that I’m trying to play around with is calling it something else. When people see something else, they won’t try to schedule it. They’ll probably think, oh, it’s important, like she’s doing something important, which I am focused on when I get my work done because I’m usually in a meeting. Hence, I think that I might just call it an appointment or private or something. So people in their mind, I think now people when they see focus time when they have like a meeting to schedule, they’re like, Oh, she won’t mind will skill schedule it. And believe me, and it hasn’t just been me; other people to have said that. But yeah, I think that that has been really helpful. The other thing that I’ve been doing is when Giovanni gets home, I make sure not to focus on my phone too much. I use the phone for taking pictures and videos. I’m obsessed with taking pictures and videos of him. So I’ll use it for that. And he’s so used to it. Now he even starts posing when he sees the phone aimed at him. But I try to make sure not to touch my phone as much when I’m with him. And I’m still working on that; it’s not. I’m not gonna lie. It is easy to pick up that phone, especially if someone texts you. So that is something that I’ve been working on as well. But one thing is, is as long as you have systems and you have tools that are helping you stay on track. You make sure that you’re self-aware enough that when you are doing something that you’ve told yourself you’re not going to do, it’s not part of the process or tool, the process that you’ve come up with that you’re able to tell yourself, stop. You’re no, you’re not supposed to be doing that. And then you can just go and do the thing that you’re supposed to be doing. I have created a checklist of productivity processes and tools that you should have in place. Not saying that you should have all of them, but even adopting three of them will be really helpful to help you not be so stressed and overwhelmed and be productive in what you want to be productive in.
I’ll put the link down below, download it, it’s free, and also have my daily schedule just so you have it documented somewhere because I don’t know where you’re listening to this podcast, you might be driving, which is how I listen to my podcasts and my audiobooks. You could be busy with the kids running errands and just have a podcast, or you’re exercising. So this is a way for you to have it somewhere as well. So I’ll also have that as part of the package. But everybody, have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll talk to you later.

Thank you so much for listening to the productivity pod podcast. Be sure to visit productivitypie.com To access the shownotes check out the videos, check out the other content. And also, if you can, please subscribe, give it a five star rating and also review and I will talk to you next week. Bye for now.

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