- Get it out of your head – Any action or to-do list that you keep in your head is going to expand itself until you feel overwhelmed and stop taking action. What happens is you keep running you five or six items over in your mind like a looped recording. This causes the feeling of having a lot more to do than you actually need to do and leads to overwhelm. So, write it down! Then take the top three most important things and focus on them.
- Become a ‘Blockhead’ – Create time blocks to achieve the things you need on an ongoing basis. However, keeping a routine for accomplishing business tasks, client fulfillment, business development and marketing will definitely propel you forward faster. If you work by blocking sections of time for these things, it will help you to be more productive. I’m a planner, but I understand that every minute cannot be planned, nor do I think it should be, which is why I use blocks of time, rather than timed tasks.Blocks could be: Monday mornings 9-12 are business development and team planning. This would start your week off centered upon specific goals and everyone would be pointed toward the same achievements.
- Turn off the distractions – Studies have shown that regaining concentration after a distraction can take quite a few minutes. Not only do they take time, but they eat up mental headway you were making on whatever it was you were working on to begin with. Most distractions are unnecessary and self-imposed. If you are like me, I’m very busy and the last thing I want to do is waste time and slow my progress. Why would I do something that is proven to slow me down? The key here is turn off your email, and social media notifications when you are focused on something else. Your phone does not have to be answered right away either. Turn it off and let voicemail take over, you can call back later.
- Go on vacation – There is nothing like scheduling a vacation to get the work completed and off your desk! It happens every time – you are due to take off the next week and realize there is a lot to be accomplished before you go. First thing Monday, you set your game plan – this project will get delegated to Mary, that paper will be handed in to John by Tuesday afternoon so he can add his portion and it can be sent out by Thursday. This leaves Wednesday’s meeting and review, on Friday and you’ll be ready to go.Why is the week so different from the rest? Look at the differences from what you normally do. The week is started with a plan of action based on accomplishment and productivity. It’s more productive and better planned than almost any other week and you are more willing to delegate work rather than let it sit on the corner of your desk. Not to mention the huge incentive – to be able to leave for a week and not have to take work with you or worry about something that was not done!
Apply this working method to every week and you will blowing your competition out of the ball park!
- Get your elbows off the table – Most of the worst time sapper’s are our own bad habits. They are things that we’ve slowly slumped into without realizing it, like poor posture at the dinner table. You know what bad habits are: too much time watching kitty videos on social media, making it to watch all your favorite TV shows, making trips to Staples because you need to see the latest organizational products, etc. We use these to avoid doing work that makes us uncomfortable, such as making sales calls. We use these as excuses to be able to say we’re busy in our business, but we’re really not accomplishing much. You’ve wasted all this time, AND you still have a boatload of work to accomplish.
Now for the big one: this isn’t causing any money to flow into your business!
Take these tips to heart and apply them. They are your secret weapon to being more productive and saving time.