Get the Right Things Done Faster!
Do you ever get to the end of the day or the end of the week and wonder how you managed to get so little done? You’re not alone. And while you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself for your time management shortcomings, I hear and see you struggling every day.
This past year has proven to be my most challenging, yet most rewarding year since starting my business. I have learned first hand the importance of routines and systems. Without these, I am less productive and less successful.
I have put together 5 ways you can get more done in a day and in a week.
Automate and Systematize
How many times each week do you “re-invent the wheel?” If you have to think about the formatting every time you write a blog post, or spend several minutes hunting for your video splash image before you can upload to YouTube, then you’re wasting time.
Create a system for everything you do more than once, and automate everything you can, and you’ll save hours every week.
Overestimate Time Requirements
This one was a true learning curve for me. While I am good with my time in terms of efficiencies, when I first started my business and working with clients, I didn’t take into account the distractions of being a CEO who works from home. Holy Moly!
Just like we underestimate costs, we underestimate the time we’ll need to spend on a project. If you’ve ever replaced a faucet or painted a room, you’ll know this to be true.
You can eliminate the stress and calendar backlog that results from projects that run over on time by building in some “padding” right from the outset. For every task you add to your calendar, increase the time estimate by at least 25%.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you fall into a mid-afternoon slump? Get your second wind after dinner?
By knowing yourself and your work habits, you’ll be better able to schedule projects for the best, most productive time. For example, if you routinely pop out of bed refreshed and ready to face the day, then mornings are your best time to do work that requires heavy thinking, such as writing or product creation.
If you know you slow down after lunch, then schedule those low-energy, brain-dead tasks for the afternoon.
Don’t fight your natural rhythms. Instead, learn to work with them, and you’ll be far more productive.
Batch Similar Tasks
If you’ve ever found yourself “in a groove” on a project, then you know how much more productive you are when that happens. One way to encourage that “groove” state is to batch similar tasks together.
For example, rather than writing an email to your list every morning, spend one afternoon each week and write all your emails at one time. Not only will it be easier for you to write them (remember the groove) but you’ll also be less stressed throughout the week knowing that this task is done and off your plate. In addition, you’ll now have more room in your schedule for other important tasks.
Plan your Day the Night Before
Do you turn on your computer in the morning and immediately jump into Facebook or email because you don’t know what you’re supposed to do next? Or do you turn to your calendar first to know what task you should be focused on?
Schedule 15 to 30 minutes at the end of each day to plan out the next, and you’ll never again be caught wasting the first hour of the morning on non-essential tasks.
If you incorporate these 5 tips on getting more done, you’ll be surprised how quickly this becomes second nature. Wasted days will become thing of the past.