As business owners we’re in control of our days. This is exciting (hello Netflix afternoons!) yet it’s also the cause of a lot of overwhelm. How do I get All Of The Things done? Let’s look at how you can get more done in less hours.
If you sit down at your laptop in the morning with no clear plan of what you’ll be working on, you’re going to come unstuck very quickly.
Managing our time becomes even more important when we have other priorities to balance – a part time job, picking the kids up from school.
Let’s become the manager of our time.
Step 1: Write out your tasks for tomorrow, today.
Before you finish work for the day make sure you know exactly what you’ll be doing when you open your laptop tomorrow morning.
I like to take time on a Monday morning to set out my tasks for the week so I know where my priorities are and if it looks like I’m trying to cram too many things into my week (I’m a recovering workaholic!).
I type my tasks into a spreadsheet so I have an easy place to review what I’ve done. You could use a spreadsheet or Asana or a physical planner – whatever suits you best.
You could also do your list on Friday afternoons or at the end of each day. Try out different ways until you find the right fit for you.
By planning for tomorrow, today, you’ll save yourself time as you’ll no longer need half an hour to get started in the mornings while you figure out what to do. You’ll have a clear plan and can dive in straight away.
Step 2: Know thyself
You’ve got a list of what you want to work on today. Great! But then you get distracted . . . “I’ll just take a quick look at FB to ease myself into the day.” An hour later you’re still there, procrastascrolling.
We’re all different in the way we work, some are morning larks, some are night owls. It’s up to you to get to know when you have the most energy in your day AND to know your weaknesses when it comes to managing your day.
The brutal fact is that no-one else is going to get the essential work done, it’s up to you.
So make sure you have some tricks up your sleeve for when you lose focus – use Pomodoros to get jobs done quickly or use coffee as a reward when you’ve finished a task. Find a work flow that works for you.
Step 3: Give yourself a break
We’re not robots who were designed to work all the hours of a day. I was reading an article that confirmed when we humans work more than 40 hours a week our mental focus drops dramatically.
If you have a day when your focus is off don’t beat yourself up, that’s not going to help anyone. Give yourself a break – go for a walk, do some tasks that don’t need much brain function.
Do keep an eye on this lack of focus if you find you consistently have days like this as it’s a huge flashing sign that something is out of kilter.
Step 4: Review and improve
Having a system in place so you can set your tasks then review what worked, and what didn’t, means that you’re intentionally building your business rather than letting it happen by accident.
I do a short review at the end of each day to see I achieved and what is left to do for the week. Did a task take longer than I thought? Did I run into any roadblocks? Do I need to adjust the rest of my week? What am I always repeating? How could I streamline that task or make it easier and quicker for myself?
By being intentional with our days we find ways to easily get more done in less hours
Bonus Tip: Dealing With Time Leakage
If you’re finding that time is leaking from your business and you don’t know where it goes then track your time for two weeks. Two weeks!! I can feel your resistance already but here’s the thing, if you keep doing what you’ve always done then nothing is going to change, nothing is going to get better.
Imagine after two weeks you knew EXACTLY where you were losing time and could fix it easily. Wouldn’t that be worth the effort of tracking your time?
You can track your time using Toggl – a free time tracking tool that allows you to enter time manually or set a clock running. You could also track your time on paper, simply make sure that you’re being specific so you can see exactly where your time is going.
Are you a business owner who is feeling overwhelmed about how many things you need to do behind the scenes to run your business? Book a 1:1 session with me for just US$97 and let’s get your business working the easy way.