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8 Habits of Highly Productive People Update

On this episode of the SPQ Chat, we revisit the eight habits. Ahyiana did a breakdown of the 8 habits of highly productive people back in 2019 but in this episode, she'll review the habits from then and add updates from now.

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*Please note, the below transcript has been uploaded without the eye of a human editor so please expect some typos!

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During the Switch Pivot or Quit chats we talked to women who have successfully navigated through some of the plot twist years of life and are eager to share their stories and what they've learned in the hopes of inspiring, teaching or making even the slightest impact by candidly owning their truth.

Hey girl, hey, and thanks for dropping into the Switch Pivot or Quit podcast, candid convo for the girl needing a lifestyle plot twist. When she's deciding if it's time to Switch, Pivot or Quit. I'm a Ahyiana Angel a former sports entertainment publicist in New York city, turned traditionally published author with Simon and Schuster, who quit my old life to write a book, live in London for a bit and explore my dreams to find my happiness and fulfillment. I'm here to help encourage and guide you through your plot twist years as your chief encourager and host of this podcast, Switch, Pivot, or Quit.

Our community is continuously growing. So welcome to all the new listeners and thank you all for those who are returning. If you love what you hear on the Switch, Pivot or Quit podcast, and wanna show your love, head over to iTunes and leave us a review. A review just helps more people know about the podcast and it helps to continue to amplify our voices as women in the space.

Now, if you just can't get enough, come hang out with us on Instagram by following me at Ahyiana dot Angel, and that's A H Y I A N A dot A N G E L, or drop by our website,

Now let's get this conversation started.

Hello, good people. Hello, good people. It's your host Ahyiana Angel here and today we are going to do something a little different, that I haven't done before. So, I recorded an episode about the eight habits of highly productive people back in 2019 and now we're at the beginning of 2021 who knew that the end of 2019, that 2020 would shape up the way that it did, but it is what it is and we are where we are. Right. So I thought it'd be fun this week to revisit these habits, as well as clue you in and catch up a little bit on what's going on with me while we talk about these habits. So what we'll do is first, we will listen to the habit that was shared from 2019.

And then I will chime in with my updates and my thoughts on the habit in terms of where I stand right now. So let's get into it. First habit, don't make yourself too accessible. Ooh. This one is very, very tricky for me I feel like, because I know y'all y'all know me, but I do know that there are also some people who try to cross certain lines.

Let's just say, for example, everybody knows that, or if you don't know now, you know, I do pick my brain sessions. A part of the reason that I do pick my brain sessions is for this specific reason, accessibility, not everybody deserves to be able to tap into your knowledge in a way that benefits them without having to pay some type of cost.

If this is not your best girlfriend, homegirl that you've been talking to and rocking with since y'all were yay high, then these people don't necessarily deserve access to you, your time and your knowledge. So for me, I created pick my brain sessions as a way for people that I don't really know like that, but we're cool enough, you know, online to be able to tap into what I know.

Because I'm also not in the business of being an information hoarder, but I have to respect myself and my time and my knowledge that I've acquired so that other people will respect it. And the way that I do that and set up a boundary, if you will, is by a pick my brain session. But then it never fails. There will be people who will slide into my DM's asking me specific questions about them and their situation or what they're trying to do and achieve or what their next steps should be. Now, mind you, I have absolutely no problem of key-keying in the DM's with my peeps, y'all, because that's what we do.

But where you cross the line is when you ask me a question that you. You should be paying for my time for me to answer. And so that begs the question of how accessible should you be. And the, the reason I think that this is one of the habits of productive people is because when you make yourself too accessible to other people, they will drain you.

They will be a time suck. They will not respect your time and they will cause you to not get the things done that you need to get done. So let's work on more of not making ourselves too accessible in the way that is detrimental to us. I'm gonna be working on this as well, yes. That was a good one. And it's so funny.

Let's do the check in now. Okay. Why is it funny to me? It's funny because I was speaking about pick my brain sessions and guess what? I no longer do pick my brain sessions. So in that episode, at the end of 2019, I guess I was preparing myself for what was to come next. Now you may be wondering, oh, why doesn't she do pick my brain sessions anymore?

Part of it is boundaries, but that's not the first and foremost reason. The first and foremost reason is bandwidth. I don't have the bandwidth to do them anymore. Also because I used to make it to where certain days people could pop up on my schedule. And there was, you know, within hours it had to be like, you know, a certain amount of hours notice, but people could basically book at their own free will.

And my schedule, the way that it's set up right now is just not set up for that. It doesn't lend itself to that. So what have I been working on? I've been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes production work, and sometimes that means I'm recording really early in the morning. Sometimes that means I'm working on cutting an episode together late into the evening.

It just means that sometimes. I just wouldn't have the time. And I did not want to be unfair and allow people to get on my schedule and not have the time and the real dedication required to be able to show up for them. So, one of the things that I've been working on, I guess this is kind of the update part is there is a new podcast being released on Friday.

February 26th and it is called A Word With Jason Johnson by Slate. And so I am a producer for Slate now. I have been working on this podcast. I think we've been working on it for months now. And the first episode finally drops on Friday. So that's exciting. So that's just one of the things that's on my plate, which causes me to have different up and down schedules and makes it harder for me to book people in for pick my brain sessions.

And then when we're talking about not making yourself too accessible, it's funny because I mentioned the word boundaries in my first take of this episode and wouldn't, you know, it, my therapist and I talked about boundaries a few weeks ago and that's been something we've been consistently having an awareness of in our conversations.

And so she sent me this worksheet and I thought, I'd just share a couple of these tips and some of the information with you guys, cuz it might be helpful. It's basically saying healthy boundaries are important for your own mental health. If you don't have healthy boundaries, it'll affect your relationships with other people and also how you feel about yourself.

So some of the important boundaries to consider that are listed in this worksheet, time. And they're basically saying you have the right to define how and with whom you wanna spend your time. Emotions, you have the right to be self protective of your emotions and remove yourself from people or situations that repeatedly and intentionally cause you emotional distress. Values, you have the right to define your most important values and be shown respect for your beliefs.

Especially with regard to time. What do you value? You give that some time and you make sure that you make the space for it. Right? And then space, you have the right to define your physical and emotional space and to control and manage your own body. And so this is a worksheet that was provided via my therapist via Better Help.

So I'm not sure if this is Better Helps content but I'm guessing that it is. So this is a resource that they provide when you're talking through different things, you know, something for you to be able to sort of like follow up post conversation with yourself, follow up with yourself and kind of assess and think through what you guys discussed.

Habit number two is set timelines so that you optimize every minute, every single minute. I know there's some people who are really diligent about planning out their day. And then there are others who are just more go with the flow.

The benefit that I do see to being productive when it comes to mapping out the timing of your day is you can sort of see where you may be wasting time and you also can not give yourself very much room to waste time or to do things that aren't going to net you the types of results that you're potentially looking for.

So setting up a schedule for yourself, if you're a person who is not really the schedule type of person. Maybe something that you could do is start small, like start with planning your morning first versus your whole entire day. Or start with planning certain days of the week. But for a lot of you, I'm sure that your days are kind of mapped out already in the sense that you have to get up and go and report somewhere to do something.

With that you may be thinking, well, gosh, my days are already, like every minute is already accounted for. What about the times and the moments that you have to yourself? How are you gonna use those wisely? Especially if you're somebody who is looking to make some type of transition. Maybe your nights and weekends, you map those out so that you can be taking that class that you really want us to take. That's gonna help you to get the certification that you need to get in order to move into this other field within your industry. So just really paying attention to the ways that you can maximize your moment. That is a true productive people type of way of thinking. And I would say it's also a total hack because then it helps you to not waste time.

And then it also probably ties back into that not making yourself so accessible thing cuz if you don't have time to be accessible, then boop there you go. Okay. This one is super quick for me in terms of updates. I am not necessarily creating timelines, but I am managing my time more closely because I have more demands on my plate in this season, I need to be more aware of when I'm available versus when I'm not available. And so I write every single thing down on my calendar, but then I also make sure it's in my phone calendar as well, just so that I kind of know what type of free time I'm working with. So that's sort of where I'm at right now with setting timelines and that's in the day to day grand scheme of things.

Yeah. I'm not much better at some big ultra timeline. I don't know. Just, I'm not really into it. But you have to do what works for you. Okay, habit, number three, outsource, delegate, and automate everything that you can. If you are someone who works for yourself, this applies even more heavily because you probably have a lot of hats that you're trying to wear.

So finding the things that you can get someone else to do because they probably do it better than you winner! Delegating the things that don't actually require your hands to be on it, amazing thing. And then automating things. There are so many ways to automate things now so that you don't actually have to touch them continuously.

So I'm still a work in progress on this one too, but I have made some great strides. I have created job postings for the positions that I would need available to me in the immediate future I've had conversations and I even have gotten close in conversation with a few people in terms of next steps for bringing somebody on, to help with some of the things that you know, would make some of my days easier.

But then I did some restructuring and decided to put a pin in that, but I'm happy to say that there is progress being made. Habit number four, give yourself 15-minute refresh breaks when you need them. Perfect way to do that is go for a quick walk. Sometimes we are staring at our computers for so long all day, trying to be our most productive that we hit a wall and we don't even realize we hit a wall.

You you're just staring there at your screen. Like how many times have you guys done that? You're trying to work on something you're staring at your screen because you don't know what to do next, but you wouldn't dare get up and stop because you feel compelled to finish. We put so much pressure on ourselves.

Sometimes you just have to breathe. Get up, walk around, breathe for a second. And it doesn't mean that you have to go outside. If you're not in a position where you can just run outside real quick and get some fresh air, maybe it's walk to the bathroom. Maybe it's walk to the the snack counter in your place of business or wherever you work, maybe it's walk to the vending machine.

Maybe it's walk to the I don't know, the mail room wherever you feel like you can get a quick little break in to kind of reset and refresh, all about it. Totally works. My, my, how things have changed. Right? So many of us are working from home now. I was someone who was already working from home. So it wasn't a huge adjustment for me, but I know a lot of you hadn't been working from home so your schedules have changed. Your 15-minute breaks might look a little bit different now. You might be dealing with homeschooling you the lunch ladies. So that's your 15-minute break. But I know, these times have been hectic in all seriousness and I just wanna take a moment to say I commend you.

I see you. I see your efforts. Keep going, because it's all about what you're striving for. Keep that in your mind. It may feel heavy. It may feel like a burden. It may feel overwhelming to be in some of the spaces that a lot of us have been put in right now, but just remember why you're doing this and who you're doing it for.

You got this, you got this.

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Habit number five, don't get distracted by things that have nothing to do with you or your goals. I love this one. I talk about this in my live Quit Playing Small talk, how to quit playing small, get what you want. So there are some telltale things that help you to identify and know if you are playing small and allowing yourself to be distracted by the drama, the gossip, all these other things like that. That is an easy way to know that you're playing small. So I love habit number five, because it is so tempting for us to engage. right. Especially if you have those friends who don't respect your ambition. They see it and they kind of get it, but they're like, it's okay, girl, you can chat for a minute, but you're like, nah, I really can't.

Cuz like I really have things that I'm trying to do. And so just be strong. I would say be strong, figure out who those people are in your life and try and make a plan to cut them off at the pass. Maybe tap into habit number one and not make yourself so accessible to them. But think of ways that you can do it to where it doesn't feel like you're blowing them off.

So let's say one of these people, she will regularly like maybe text you first and then you guys are texting, texting, and then she calls you. And then this turns into like a 45-minute conversation, 30-minute conversation, 15 minutes, whatever time that you didn't have to spare or that you didn't plan on chatting with.

And, you know, it's gonna be a distraction to you. So what I would suggest doing is when she sends that first text message, don't respond, don't respond until you're in a position to respond. And then chances are by the time you respond, she might be caught up doing her own thing. And so then that engagement that potentially was gonna play out and turn into a 45-minute distraction is no longer a distraction.

Now I would also say don't read the message because then if you read the message, you're gonna be tempted to respond, or you're gonna forget to respond altogether because now the message is marked red, but just little things like that can make a difference or be straight up with people. If you know that the person can handle it.

And let's say they call you, or somebody walks over to your desk, one of your colleagues, you could just say like, hey, I'm super busy right now. I really wanna chat, but I'm gonna come and find you later and just kind of say it in a way that says, I'm not trying to blow you off because I don't want to engage with you.

I'm just trying to get something done. Make it like, there's a sense of urgency even if there is no sense of urgency people don't have any malicious intent. They just don't realize how sometimes your timing is not their timing. It may be a bad time for you to be distracted because you are really trying to accomplish something.

And maybe it's the time where they're taking their 15-minute refresh break. So it's just having an awareness of how your people around you move. So then you can try and cut off some of these engagements before they turn into a situation that's actually distracting for you. Just be, just be aware of your people.

Okay. Be aware of your people. Okay. Jumping in with a quick little hack that I have since learned and it's called Voxer. So it sort of acts like a walkie-talkie. The reason that my friends and I love it is because it feels like we're talking in real-time, but the person has the freedom to listen to the message whenever they want.

They can listen to it in real-time. As you're talking. Or they can close out of the app and listen to it later when they have a moment and then they can respond whenever they have a moment. So it just feels like you're connected and you're still having good back-and-forth dialogue, but sort of like on your own time.

So that may be a good little hack. That'll help some of you stay connected and not feel like you're dissing your friends or your people, but you're also managing your time better and taking some of your power back. Habit number six, surround yourself with people that are more knowledgeable than you in specific areas.

Ugh. This one is a game-changer. You have to know what you don't know. And when you know that you don't know something, if you make an effort to have people around you, or to at least be able to tap into somebody in your network in your space, who is knowledgeable in that area that you know is not your strength.

That can be the difference between Mo money Mo money Mo no, that could be the difference between you excelling and plateauing. That could be the difference between you getting a contract and not getting a contract. That could be the difference between you reaching your goals and you not reaching your goals, like just being around people that are more knowledgeable than you in specific areas that you know will be beneficial to you is just a win.

I don't know how else to say it. It is just a win, but be mindful that this person may be clued into the fact that they're more knowledgeable than you in this specific area. Nobody wants to feel used. So don't. Engage with them in a way that feels like I'm tapping into your knowledge. I want you around for your knowledge. Engage with them in a way that says, I appreciate your knowledge.

I value your knowledge. I am so glad to know you in general. Not because of your knowledge. I'm so glad to know you, period. When people feel appreciated when people feel like it's their idea, too, to be able to share something with you that they're knowledgeable about, they are prideful in helping you.

There's not this sense of like, ugh, here you go you're trying to drain me of what I know again. It's like this air of enthusiasm and excitement to be able to share with you, to help you to be better and to grow in different ways. So pay attention to how you engage with people who are knowledgeable around you.

I must tell you, it is really funny and fun doing this episode, listening back to some of what these, you know, habits were and the things that I said and how so much has changed and how some things have come full circle. And maybe in this episode, I spoke some things into existence. I mentioned before that I am a producer now on a slate podcast.

And guess what? I am learning a ton. Okay. The woman who is the executive producer, who I'm working under, she comes from NPR and she comes from years of audio experience, production experience. I'm learning everything from lingo from her, script writing. The way that you sort of write the script in a certain type of style, as well as shorthand that she uses. I'm learning how to listen to interviews different so that I can edit them and chop them and cut them up in a way that's digestible for a listener.

I'm learning so much. And that is a part of the reason why I wanted this opportunity and said yes to it because I knew that I was gonna learn a lot. And I also, side note, wanted to work back in an environment that felt like a team again. If I'm honest with myself, I had those thoughts. So I was thinking, you know, I wanna be surrounded by a team, but I also wanna have my flexibility still. And who knew when you speak things, sometimes you truly do manifest them because that's exactly the situation I'm in. I still work on other projects and do my own stuff, but working with the slate team has been really, really refreshing because we have weekly meetings with the producers, producers who produce other shows as well. I am working with my executive producer and another producer and the talent and just it's, it's just great to be able to, bounce ideas off of people to learn from other people, to be able to share and feel like you're in a team environment, having not felt like I was exactly in that type of environment for so long now, since my, you know, days of working at the NBA. So it's really, really interesting, and I love that I'm learning so much and I love that that came up in this episode and now I can share that, hey, that's exactly where I'm at right now is I'm in a space of learning.

And it's funny because when I was listening, I said, you know, make sure you don't feel like, or the person doesn't feel like you are taking advantage of them and, you know, using them for their information. And I didn't give an example of what that could look like, but this is an exact example of what that could look like.

I am playing a role and doing a service, but at the same time, I'm learning from the person that's more senior than me. And so it's a, win-win on both sides. Hope that helps. And maybe sparks some ideas for you guys. Habit number seven, wake up early. This is one that I have admittedly always had a hard time with because I am a night person.

But over the years, I have really tried to have an awareness of self and how that being a night person doesn't always work out in my favor because I really truly do recognize and realize how waking up early for me allows me to incorporate things that I probably can't incorporate if I just take more of a passive approach to how I wanna start my day. I have said this before, and I will say it again when I was on somebody else's time schedule. And I had to be in the office by like nine o'clock. I really did not wanna get up any earlier than I needed to. But when I wanted to achieve a goal and for me, it was writing my first book, I decided that I needed to wake up earlier then was required of me to be able to make it in the office on time if I wanted to really make some headway on achieving this goal. So what did I do? I committed to, and I sacrificed to wake up early. And what happened as a result of that? I got it done. Got the book written.

And got it done in a timely manner too. It didn't take me years and it did take me months. But the point is when you wake up early, you are able to be productive because you're able to get ahead of the game. You're able to get ahead of your day. And then as a result, you're not chasing your day. You're managing your day.

Once again, full circle. When I recorded this episode, sometimes I would get up early in the morning and sometimes I wouldn't, I had that flexibility. Now I'm like I said, working with that team. So their east coast base, which means that I am doing what I gotta do. And sometimes it's 6:30 AM.

Sometimes it's 6 45, sometimes it's seven, but these are our regular times now. So that has changed my schedule dramatically and my sleeping pattern in hours, but it's all good because, you know, I was saying forever that I needed to start waking up earlier and just kind of commit to that and maybe the powers that be the good old universe knew that it was gonna be harder for a girl to do it on her own.

So put me in a situation where I have no choice. All right, there you go. Now we doing it. We here. So I'm not mad at it. You know, I, I still never really wanna get up, but Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right. To be the best version of yourself, cuz that's what we're going after. Woo. All right, let's get it.

Habit number eight. Keep going, no matter what never give up on yourself, that one is something that is ingrained in me. And I don't know how, and I don't know where it's from. I kind of think it's the spirit of my dad. I kind of think it's the spirit of my dad, my father, who, some of you who don't know my biological father who is deceased.

From everything that I know about him, he was a real independent, go-getter make it happen type of person. And I think that is where that probably comes from within me, because I know that a lot of people have to find their motivation from somewhere. A lot of people, you know, really will give up if things aren't going their way.

But for me, I always just pivot. I don't give up. I don't give up. I don't find myself feeling defeated all the time, super easy. There's something in me that I'm extremely grateful to have in me that makes me keep going. And if you don't have that in you, I would say, find some people that have that in them and let some of that rub off on you.

Let some of their fire. Let some of their push rub off on you because we all need that in order to really achieve greatness in this life. If we give up every time something comes our way, that seems a little hard, a little challenging. We won't accomplish anything. So I challenge you to really look at this list, figure out the habits that are working for you or that you're already doing, and the ones that you could be doing and , make a commitment to yourself, say to yourself, self I'm gonna get in here, I'm gonna be my most productive version of myself, and I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna keep going no matter what. I'm gonna wake up early so I can be productive.

I'm gonna surround myself with the people that are more knowledgeable than me. I will not allow the devil to distract me, AKA my homegirls who want a gossip I will give myself moments to refresh when I need it and honor my body and my mind when they need a break. I will outsource, delegate and automate the things that are possible for me to not touch.

I will set timelines for myself so I can know where I'm going, how I'm going and why I'm going there and I will not make myself too accessible. Why? Because I wanna be productive and I wanna win. Yes.


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