Do you feel like you’re working all of the time and struggling to get your tasks done? When you’re unproductive and disorganized, you’ll get further and further behind on your goals and feel even more overwhelmed. It’s common feeling but fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean working 24/7 but it does mean putting systems into place so you can do what you need to do when you need to do it. Use these five tips to increase your productivity and focus so you can get more out of each day:
Tip #1 – Use only one calendar.
Your business has a lot of moving pieces. From tackling your to do list, to networking events, to serving your clients needs, there is a lot that you need to keep track of. If you’ve got all of your marketing activities on one calendar, your client appointments on another and your personal obligations on a third you’re going to run into trouble. Using just ONE calendar can help you get a clear picture of your obligations and appointments. Select a calendar system that supports your work style and USE it! This way you won’t overbook yourself and important items won’t slip through the cracks.
Tip #2 – Get organized!
You can easily waste hours each day looking for misplaced items and information. Block out time to develop an organization system that works for you. Keep important information in a central, easily accessible location. For example, use email filters so that you can find important messages from clients or from mentors. Use a filing system next to your desk to organize all of your paperwork. Spend time each week updating your system to make sure that you stay organized. If you find that you’re struggling to get organized on your own, call in a professional for support! Working with the right professional organizer can have a profound impact on how you grow your business. (I know this from experience…working with an organizer made a six-figure difference for me last year!)
Tip #3 – Learn to say NO.
Your schedule can easily get filled if you’re not careful about saying “No.” If you’re over committing yourself, it’s time to stop! Learn to say no to opportunities or invitations that don’t fit your goals. For example, if there is a local networking meeting coming up, think about your marketing plan before you commit to being there. If your goal is to create partnerships online with other solo service professionals, a local meeting isn’t going to help you with reaching that goal. The more you say no to the things that don’t fit, the more time you’ll have to create the business that you want.
Tip #4 – Stop multitasking!
It’s a common myth that you can get more done if you do more than one thing at a time. While this can apply to listening to the radio and doing the dishes, it just doesn’t work when it comes to your work tasks. You aren’t REALLY getting more done when you multitask. In addition, if you aren’t giving your work your full attention, then you’re doing less than a stellar job. Clear your mind and focus on one thing at a time until you finish it. You’ll find that you’ll be able to get more done and make steady progress.
Tip #5 – Assign time frames to your to-do list.
Don’t just list items on your to do list and hope for the best! You need to determine how much time it will take you to complete each item and then schedule a block of time for that item. When you have a clear picture of what you need to do AND how long it will take for you to complete it, you’ll be able to get more done. You will know exactly how you should be spending your time.
Boosting your productivity is more about working smarter and not harder. Any one of these five tips can help you get on track with your business so you can get more done in the time that you have. Stop spinning your wheels and start moving your business forward!
Did you stumble upon a tip to stay focused during the day? Share your insight in the comments!
Your Action Plan For The Week:
- Merge your calendars into one calendar. Consider using a tool like Google Calendars or another online program so that your calendar is with you wherever you are.
- Schedule time this week to set up an organizational system for your important information and files. Spending just a few hours this week will save you hundreds of hours in the future.
- Look at your current list of obligations and decide what you absolutely need to do to support your goals. Opt out of or cancel anything that doesn’t fit. In the future, say no to anything that isn’t in line with your current goals for your business.
- Catch yourself when you’re multitasking and focus on one task at a time. Over time, you’ll be able to break the habit of trying to do too much at one time.
- Use your calendar to schedule blocks of time for your “to-do” activities. This way you’ll be able to stay on track throughout the day and also guard against being overbooked.