Serving San Francisco and the East Bay

Productivity: Making Time Work for You

By Tamarra L. Brown, FWSF East Bay Committee

Kim Miller-Hershon knows productivity.

Kim Miller-HershonShe runs three companies. She can increase a client’s productivity 25 percent in 90 days. She completed two master’s degrees in two years - six days before getting married. But what she told 15 FWSF East Bay Committee members and guests during her Sept. 18 talk may surprise you.

“There’s no such thing as time management,” Miller-Hershon said. “When you think about time you’re always out of control.” 

Instead she urged attendees to commit to their success by defining success on their own terms.

“If it works for you, that’s a good strategy,” Miller-Hershon said. “Understand your relationship to time.”

Attendees asked questions, shared challenges and offered their own solutions for balancing planned activities with inevitable interruptions.

Miller-Hershon’s approach to time provided simplicity and freedom. For instance, consider keeping all of your lists in one place. Ask yourself: What always gets done? What rarely or never gets done? How long does each task take? Remove the items on your "to do" list that never get done without feeling guilty. Put those items back on the list when you’re ready. Or abandon them.

Other gems of wisdom: Productivity, not business, is the goal. Ask yourself why you do what you do. Own your choice to focus on interruptions. Communicate your needs and preferences to others. Have a list of things to accomplish if you are gifted with free time because other plans fell through. Break large tasks into smaller components that can be tackled one at a time.

Think you’re most productive when you keep your nose to the grindstone? Think again. Even a five-minute break can recharge the brain and renew the mind’s ability to focus. Regardless of what works for you, Miller-Hershon stressed consistency. 

“Consistency is what’s going to get you better results and faster results,” she said.

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