There are only so many hours in a day, and sometimes it can seem like there just aren’t enough hours to accomplish everything. As an entrepreneur or business owner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burn out. Burnout isn’t only bad for you, it’s also bad for business!
Taking control of your day and using your time wisely is key to business success. So, here are five ways you can get more done in a day – effectively.
Scheduling & chunking your time
Taking control of the hours you have available for each day is probably the most crucial way to get more done. Use a calendar, and keep it with you all the time. It doesn’t matter whether you use a paper diary or and electronic device – your calendar is a your best tool for keeping track of everything when you are busy.
Chunking is a technique where you break up your day into time chunks and focus on a group of related tasks for the duration. Chunking tasks into logical groupings could mean grouping work you must do in a specific place or for a particular project or client. Chunking your work will help you reduce friction and increase efficiency.
- The “Getting Things Done” system for calendar management works well – read more about GTD calendar management here.
- This article explains how and why time chunking improves productivity.
Once you know what your tasks for the day and the time chunks available are, you have to prioritise! Plan the critical, time-bound and significant activities first, then add the smaller and less critical tasks in between.
The ABC prioritisation method uses the idea of “consequences” to help you figure out what to tackle first. An “A” task is crucial, and failure to do it will have negative consequences. A “B” task is important and will result in positive outcomes if you do it. A “C” task is something that you should or would like to do but has no significant consequences either way.
Multitasking seems like a great way to get more done, but it scatters your focus. There is no such thing as multitasking – you are merely switching your attention rapidly between tasks. Unfortunately, there is a mental “start-up” cost to this switching, and it means multitaskers make more mistakes (sometimes expensive ones), end up being less productive, and tire out faster. Additionally, getting distracted by social media, colleagues, or simply day-dreaming can end up costing you many hours.
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the cleverest approaches to beating procrastination and building focus time into your day. It’s straightforward: all you need to do is set a timer for, say, 15 minutes and until the timer goes, you focus only on the task at hand.
This trick works for procrastination when a task’s size feels overwhelming or it’s something you find boring. You don’t have to finish it; you just have to do it for 15 minutes.
Although the “official” time limit for The Pomodoro Technique is 25 minutes, I prefer 15 minutes because anyone can do almost anything for just 15 minutes! And, you will very often find that after 15 minutes, you will have achieved some momentum on a task you’ve been procrastinating about and may well choose to reset your timer and continue until you’re done. It also helps when you find yourself easily distracted – it’s easy to ignore your phone for 15 minutes!
Take a break
Another critical component of the Pomodoro Technique is taking regular breaks. It is essential to give yourself a break from time to time to allow your mind and body time to recuperate so that you can function at 100%. All work and no play will result in you burning yourself out!
Get a SmartAssistant
Yes, you can do all your admin yourself – but should you? Is this really the most productive and cost-effective way to run your business? You can hire a SmartAssistant for a lot less than your time is costing you!
Signing up with SmartAssistant.co.za will give you access to a qualified person to take care of all your office work so that you can focus on building your business and taking care of your customers. From handling your calendar and answering your calls to digital filing and completing your admin, a SmartAssistant can help you get more done. Subscribing to SmartAssistant will give you time to do the things only you can do while lightening your load and giving you a break so that your business can thrive!
If you don’t believe me – contact us, and we’ll do the numbers that prove the positive impact a SmartAssistant will make on your bottom line!
What are your best productivity tips? Share them in the comments below.