I get it. We are all busy — life, work, online dating, kids — it never ends. But, it seems like some people have it together and can get stuff done in less time.
How do they manage everything, while others struggle to get by with the endless work grind?
It’s quite simple.
Entrepreneurs who are efficient have a system, and they stick to it. At the end of the day, you are in control of your to-do list, not the other way around.
Get out your agenda, planner or your favorite online task management list and let’s get started. You can become super productive by following the five simple, yet powerful, productivity hacks below that can transform your schedule.
1. Delegate smaller non-essential tasks
The thing about being productive is not just about getting things done; it is more about getting the right stuff done. If you’re like me, you wear a lot of hats so most everything falls on your plate.
Take a good hard look at your tasks and don’t just prioritize them. Give them a value of importance.
Anything that makes you money consider a high-value task. This could be working on an e-course, sending an email campaign, or selling products.
When you get so busy that you can’t tackle all high-value tasks it’s time to consider hiring a virtual assistant. There are groups on Facebook dedicated to VA’s or you can try Upwork.
If you have a team already you should be using a digital task management tool like Trello. It’s an amazing web-based software that allows you to offload tasks to your team members and keep track of progress.
2. Do One Task at a Time
We all do it: sending emails during meetings, chatting on the phone while driving, checking new emails while writing blog posts. In today’s society, doing just one thing at a time seems downright luxurious, even wasteful.
But you’re not doing yourself any favors by multitasking your way through the day.
Research shows that it’s not nearly as efficient as we like to believe. Multitasking is actually task-switching.
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn’t save time. In fact, it will probably take you longer to finish two projects when you’re jumping back and forth than it would to complete each one separately.
I am guilty of doing this myself. For years when I worked in the corporate world, I would try to take on 25 things at once thinking I could do it all.
My company got used to me always replying straight away (sometimes 100’s of emails a day) but what inevitably happened is I stayed later and later into the evenings to get actual tasks done – those with important deadlines.
I’ve forced myself over the years to stay focused on one high-value task at a time and the quality of my work has increased.
What is more efficient is doing tasks in batches. Create all your Pinterest graphics, send all your emails at once, or participate in your Facebook groups during a set block of time.
3. Done is Better Than Perfect
It pains my fingers to type this sentence because I am a perfectionist.
The reason this is hard for entrepreneurs that have transitioned from the corporate world is that we are penalized there for mistakes so we are conditioned to do everything perfectly.
Not only is this soul-sucking but it hampers your ability to move on from a specific task.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should do sloppy work and sometimes you should invest extra effort into certain tasks. Does it matter if one of your emails has a typo? Probably not. Does it matter if your viral Pinterest pin has a typo? Probably yes.
4. Include Time For You in Your Work Routine
Learn to take breaks throughout the day.
Perhaps it sounds counterproductive when you have so many tasks to work on but the fact is your brain needs a break. Maybe it’s just reading a book, doing a bit of yoga next to your desk, or taking a night off from your business.
When you’re stressed about what you need to get done for your business you’ll start to resent the amount of work you have. We don’t want that. It’s ok to be busy but it’s equally important to plan time for yourself.
5. Be Realistic About How Much Time You Need For a Task
There are quick tasks and then there are long tasks. Don’t underestimate the time you need to complete a high-value task.
Make sure you are in charge of setting the deadline.
Let’s say you are working on a client project and they demand you turn around a task in a day that you really need 3 days to complete (I know this happens ALL the time). Being understanding of their crisis is important but don’t compromise the quality of your deliverable for an unrealistic deadline… or worse, miss the committed deadline altogether.
Use the same judgment when planning your own task list.
If you’ve never created an e-course before give yourself plenty of extra time to learn how to work the platform and create the course. Not sure how to launch a Facebook ad campaign plan in extra time to do research and watch tutorials.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. But if you apply these productivity hacks, manage your time and priorities, your business will thrive (along with keeping your sanity).
Make a Plan
If you are unsure of what tasks you should do each day for the business I recommend you create an annual and quarterly plan.
This will help you break down your annual goals into smaller quarterly tasks. From there, you can narrow down further into actionable daily tasks.