Productivity: Making the Most of Your Time

Five Productivity TipsDreaming of success.  Setting goals. Making lists. Is it enough?  No, it isn’t.

The only way to truly achieve your success of building your business that you’re meant to build is to act…and do it!

And that is where a lot of us fail.  Maybe fail is a strong word, but we aren’t successful at doing the daily tasks it takes to get to our end goal or our why.

We overbook our calendars and to do lists until today’s to-dos become next week’s past dues. We procrastinate on the things that are important while attending to things that are merely “nice to do.” And sometimes we simply take on too much—even when we know better.

The answer? Embrace these five productivity hacks that top successful leaders use to get more done in less time.

  1. Rituals and Habits: Simply put, a ritual or habit is a consistent way of doing something. You have a morning ritual (wake up, brush your teeth, work out, shower, and sit in traffic heading to the office), evening ritual (check the mail, tuck the kids in, and hit the sack), weekend ritual (sleep late, work on the yard, catch a movie, visit your parents), and many others.The problem is, if you aren’t careful with your rituals, they can turn into productivity killers. Is checking Facebook or your email a part of your morning ritual? Is turning on a video chat a part of your at work ritual? Distractions such as these can turn even your best intentions into hours of wasted time.  Take a good look at your habits. What are you doing that you should not be—or that should be moved to another part of your day? Make your rituals more efficient and you’ll automatically get more done.
  2. Calendar Management: Want to know how much time you really have available for that new project? Try blocking off time in your calendar for all your existing projects. Fill in all your client calls, your work-out, your business administrative tasks, time for meals and breaks, outside appointments, and everything else you’re committed to. What’s left might just shock you.Make it a habit to block time in your calendar for every commitment, and you’ll never again over-promise or over-commit.
  3. Learn to Let Go: Here’s a news flash. You do not have to do everything in your business. You can (and should) hand off those low-level tasks to someone else. Hire a VA to create your documents and manage your calendar, manage your blog and email, create graphics, update your website and more. Turn over your bookkeeping to an accountant. The time you free up will allow you to work on what’s truly important—and that only you can do.
  4. Work Hard, Play Harder: You are not a machine. You cannot work all day every day and hope to be at your work hard play hardbest all the time.Take a day off. Get some rest, or relax on a long, slow hike. Take a friend out to lunch. Go on a date. Go shopping with your kids. See a movie or a play. Do something—anything—other than work.  Not only will you return to the office feeling much more refreshed, but you’ll find yourself more creative and productive than before as well.
  5. Focus: Multi-tasking is impossible. You cannot efficiently create or build your business while you’re simultaneously surfing Facebook, keeping an eye on the kids, and answering the phone every time it rings.Instead, use your calendar to block time off for important tasks, then turn everything else off so you can focus. No phone, no Facebook, no kids or husbands or neighbors or pets demanding “just a minute” of your time. Tune everything out, and you’ll find your work getting done much faster.  Some people find this time works better in the early morning hours.  If you need help getting up earlier, read how I do mornings.

Managing your time and turning up your productivity is not something that comes naturally to most people but when you learn to master this skill, you’ll find your business grows right along with you.

I’d love to chat with you further about helping you out with some tasks that would free up some of your time.