We all have it, that never ending “to-do” list. Some of the tasks are easily managed and some are overwhelming projects that never seem to get done. Those projects seem to roll-over from day-to-day, week-to-week and even year-to-year! And because we never seem to be able to complete them, we feel like we’re stuck, getting in our own way, and not able to accomplish everything we set out to do.
But there’s never enough time, right. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, so why is it that some people are able to be more productive than others? Well, hopefully these tips will help you be more productive and get more accomplished.
1. Pick Your Priorities.
Evaluate where you’re spending most of your time. Are all of these things necessary or are you saying “yes” to things you could really be saying “no” too. For me, I go to a lot of networking events. 6-10 every month consistently. But recently I had to reevaluate where I was spending this time. Not only at the event, but the travel time back and forth. Were all of these events serving me well? Was I consistently getting new clients and/or referrals from each of them? The answer was a resounding NO! So I had to take a look at which one’s were best serving me and which one’s had become more social than business so that I could start eliminating a few and opening up more productive hours in my day.
2. Go For Efficiency.
As business owners, we tend to take on all aspects of our business from marketing to accounting to general paperwork. But if you were able to free up an extra hour or two from your day of mundane tasks, would you be able to accomplish more and possibly make more money? Probably! So it may be time to look at spending the money to hire a bookkeeper and/or virtual assistant. Someone who will charge by the hour for the amount of work that you have for them. Let someone else take on some of the non-money-making aspects of your business so you can put that time into growing your business.
3. Consolidate Activities.
If you’re running all over town all day long for networking meetings, client meetings and one-on-one’s with potential referral partners, and you’re doing this almost every day, then you can’t be very productive in your work. Instead, try consolidating your appointments. Schedule them back-to-back in the same area or even the same location. It’s fine to ask people to come to you or let them know what day you plan to be in their area so you’re only able to come to them that day. Fill one or two days a week with all of these appointments and leave at least one or two days a week completely free of running around so that you are able to tackle that “to do” list.
4. Actively Manage Time-wasters.
We all have a tendency to fall into that black hole of social media and email. We log in to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and suddenly we’ve lost an hour of our day! It’s fine to check your social media, you need to keep up with it, but schedule it in to your day. Set a timer to limit the amount of time you’re online. Use Hootsuite to manage your postings so you don’t have to log in as much.
5. Be an Active Learner.
There are always new tools and new ways of doing things that can save you time on mundane tasks, giving you more time to handle your priorities. Always be on the lookout for a new way to gain back an hour of your time here and there.
6. Lighten Up.
If you have an unproductive day, don’t beat yourself up over it. We all have them. Just take a look back at your day to see what you could have done better, than work on being better the next day and the next day after that.