Ever feel like you have too much work to do and way too little time to complete it? Running a business can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. But it doesn’t have to be this way! By managing your time more effectively, you will be more motivated and able to complete greater amounts of work in less time. Check out these five tips to get you on top of your workload and owning your day!
Set A Morning Ritual
Successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuk and John Paul DeJoria all have one important thing in common besides being extremely wealthy. They understand that an unproductive morning often leads to an unproductive day. If you want to be highly productive, it’s important to wake up early and make time for yourself before you get to work. Spending an hour each morning engaging in any activity that feeds your mind and soul, such as exercising or meditating, will make you highly motivated and ready to tackle the day with focus and drive. With the right mindset, you will have the best chance of being productive throughout the day and completing all your work.
Make A To-Do List
A simple to-do list will help you remember all the daily tasks you need to complete, as well as save you from feeling overwhelmed so you can start the day with purpose and direction. Every morning, create a straightforward and realistic to-do list that includes every item you’d like to accomplish that day. Always remember to keep your list specific. A highly specific to-do list makes your tasks more manageable and reduces the fear factor of starting them. Instead of a setting a task like “work on project x,” try something like “write first ten slides of PowerPoint presentation for project x”. As you finish each task, mark it as complete. All tasks that do not get completed should be added to the next day's to-do list.
While it’s great to have a daily to-do list, it's also important to develop weekly, monthly and yearly goals that give you a bigger vision to work towards. Just like your daily to-do lists, longer term goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART). SMART goals have a much greater chance of being accomplished, so instead of setting a general goal like “save $1000 in 6 months,” set a SMART goal like “cut back on three coffees per week, for 26 weeks and deposit the savings into an account every week.” Once you have developed your goals, remember to keep them somewhere visible like on your office wall, desk or computer screen background. This will keep your goals at the forefront of your mind, help you stay motivated and enable you to manage your time and priorities effectively.
If you want to take control of your day and reduce the amount of time you spend procrastinating, you need to lock-out as many distractions as possible. Unfortunately, in today’s highly connected world, isolating yourself can be harder than you may think. Notifications from email, Whatsapp, phone calls, Facebook and many other sources keep us constantly connected, but also continually distracted. To avoid getting distracted, allocate a set time to take care of your emails, social media accounts, messages and phone calls. When you need to focus, log out or turn off all your electronic distractions and make sure to tell everyone else in your office that you are not to be disturbed. By setting boundaries with those around you and disconnecting from technology, you're more likely to be able to get work completed faster and avoid hours of procrastination.
Forget About Multi-Tasking…Focus, Focus, Focus
You may think that multitasking is a great skill to master. It isn’t! The surprising truth is that multitasking is highly overrated. It makes you less efficient, not more efficient. That's right, despite what you may have heard, new research reveals that multitasking makes you spend more time on each task compared to if you had to focus on completing each task individually. What's more, multitasking causes more mistakes to get made because you never fully get 'in the zone' for any activity. Tackle each task individually, and you will start to notice the results!