As a busy business owner it can seem almost impossible at times to get everything you have to do, done. Do you look around at others and wonder how they get so much done and make it all look so easy? There are some tried and tested methods for getting more done each day that you may not have considered as an business owner.
No matter how large or small your office, even an office of one you can still delegate both work and the tasks you might have to do at home. Hire a virtual assistant to help you with all those mundane repetitive tasks that aren’t your main money making ones and especially the ones you don’t like doing. It might be checking your emails and dealing with customer service, carrying out blog post research, social media activities, doing business research, preparing monthly reports and it might also be housework. It’s up to you what you delegate, the secret however is to give up some of that control and free up your time to do the things you do best.
Use Your Calendar
Today we have so many useful ways to use a calendar. Using an online calendar that lets you create separate calendars for each portion of your life yet integrate them into one big life calendar (such as Google Calendar), can be a very good way to keep track of your schedule. You should also aim to schedule not only work tasks, but personal time too, this is especially important as you need time for yourself if you are to achieve more.
By scheduling work in time increments that you think you need to get a particular task done, you’ll be able to fill your calendar more productively. For instance, if it takes you 15 minutes to check email in the morning, schedule only 15 minutes for checking email. By micromanaging your calendar, you’ll end up with more time to do everything that matters to you.
Set Milestones and Deadlines
When you do services for others it’s simple to create milestones and deadlines based on your clients’ needs. But, it can seem a little harder when you’re creating milestones and deadlines for yourself. Even so, it’s an important component to being more productive as it’s stop you exploring other avenues as they arise and makes you focus on the task at hand. Be realistic when determining how long any one project should take you. Then, work your way back on the calendar to today giving yourself enough time each day to work towards meeting your milestones.
A Little Self-Discipline Goes Very Far
Periodically during the day, double check yourself to ensure that you are doing tasks that are in your calendar. If you’re not, stop what you’re doing, look at your full calendar and start working on the things on it for today. Do not allow yourself to do anything else until you’ve done the things on your calendar for today.
Just as tasks should be listed in your calendar, so should rewards throughout the day. Put into your calendar “when I finish xyz I can spend 15 minutes reading this blog and learning something new.” Set a timer so that you don’t lose track of time. By keeping track of your time this way, after about a month it will all become second nature to be very productive and not let yourself get side tracked.
Do you do something on a regular basis over and over again? Do you have a new client checklist? Do you have various task checklists to ensure you don’t miss a step? Many different professionals have checklists that help them stay on track for any one task. They use it to ensure that nothing was forgotten. Don’t assume you’ll remember; use a checklist every single time for best results and I’ve personally learnt this the hard way, losing hours of time simply because I forgot one step in a long process, checklists stop this and save you time they are also extremely useful when delegating to people, as they can follow your checklist.
Finally, always stay mindful of the consequences of being disorganized and unproductive. As an entrepreneur, everything rides on your ability to be able to plan, organize and implement all the tasks and projects you need to do on any given day, week, month, quarter and year. As you create processes and implement them, you’ll be amazed at how productive you’ll become.