Making the Most of Your Time: 5 Productivity Tips Top Coaches Live By!
As Entrepreneurs we all dream of success, but sadly to dream is not enough, and to be honest, it’s not even enough to set goals.
With everything else in place, the plan, the product, the strategy, the finance…. there is still a vital ingredient you need to be embracing getting down and doing it. This sounds so simple and so obvious, but it’s where many of us can fall short.
It’s easy to procrastinate on things that are important and focus on the things we ‘like’ doing when we don’t have anyone managing us. At the other end of the scale we completely overbook our calendars with volumes of work that even superwoman would struggle with, and then we lose momentum with our planning, and we become dis-organised unfocused and overwhelmed.
So how do we take charge of our work and become effective and successful in our business? Well here are five productivity hacks that top coaches use to get MORE done in LESS time.
Rituals and Habits
We all have rituals and habits which we live by to keep our lives moving along no matter how simple or small they maybe. In the morning you may take a shower when you wake up clean your teeth have breakfast and leave for the office. In the evening you may come home watch the news, make dinner, play with the kids and then take them through their bedtime ritual, bath, book, bed. Sound familiar?
Using ritual and habits to strengthen your productivity will help drive your business forward and will help you avoid the important but less liked tasks. The trouble is, if you’re not careful with your rituals, they can turn into productivity killers. If checking social media, turning on Skype, reading emails is part of your morning ritual then these distractions can turn into hours of wasted time. Keeping your emails and social media closed down and having set times to check them in the day is good practice and allows you to work on other things – uninterrupted.
Take a good look at your rituals, audit them and see how you can adjust them to improve your productivity incorporating set times or days to do the work.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are you doing that you should not be?
- What should be moved to another part of your day?
- When are you most productive in your working day? – Utilise those times for work which requires more focus and attention.
Make your rituals more efficient, and you’ll automatically get more done.
Get Serious With Calendar Management
Do you really know how much time you have available? If you don’t, how do you know what time you have available for that new project? Block off all the work you have to do including meals, breaks appointments, client calls etc and what you find will probably be pretty different from what you imagined.
Making time blocking into a habit will mean you will never over commit your time again, or turn something down because you don’t think you can fit it in!
Learn to Let Go
This is a biggy. Letting go of tasks within your business which you don’t need to do. This can be difficult for an Entrepreneur to relinquish tasks initially (it gets easier) , but you cannot continue to grow or be 100% effective if you do everything yourself. As soon as you can hand off lower level tasks to others do it. Whether you hire a VA to do admin or manage your calendar, employ a bookkeeper to control your finances or have a marketing assistant managing your campaigns, delegating your workload will liberate you. You will be more focused on the work you are good at which will increase your efficiency, productivity and the success of your business.
Work Hard, Take time off
You are not 24/7 machine. Many Entrepreneurs get into a rut where they are working all hours and becoming less and less effective which is a rocky road to go down.
Take time off for you and as you feel yourself being more productive, reward yourself, go to lunch with friends, watch a movie go and do a yoga class. Whatever it is you want to do but have previously told yourself you haven’t got time for it.
Not only will this improve your outlook make you feel more refreshed, it will motivate you to be more focused and productive than before.
Focus – Multi-tasking is impossible!
You cannot efficiently create, analysis, plan or strategise while you’re simultaneously, keeping an eye on the kids, surfing Facebook and answering the phone every time it rings.
Use your calendar to block time to carry out the important tasks, then turn everything else off so you can focus. No phone, no internet surfing, no kids or significant other stealing your time. Switching off to everything will enable you to get your task completed quicker giving youmore time to do more work or more play!
Managing your time and increasing your productivity is a skill that most of us have to learn, just like a muscle we have to strengthen it which takes time and practice. Do it and you will find your business will grow as you do.