“If you want an easy job to seem mighty hard, just keep putting if off.” – Richard Miller
If you’ve been overworking and still feel like you aren’t getting where you want to be, it’s time to rethink how you are working. Putting in extra hours and burning the midnight oil isn’t efficient or sustainable. In fact, 80% of the businesses that start this year will be out of business in five years, and the number one reason is burnout.
Instead of working harder and longer, focus on working smarter. Get started today by improving your productivity with these simple, quick fixes.
If you consistently fail to complete your to-do list, this timetable approach may put you back on track. Time blocking allows you to schedule specific times to focus on specific tasks. If you stick to your schedule, you’ll complete your tasks – it’s that simple. People who use this approach often schedule a specific block of time each morning to respond to emails and calls, and another block of time for “heads down” work that requires focused attention.
Remembering things actually takes work, and your memory isn’t failproof. Writing things down frees your mind to focus your attention fully on the task at hand, but sometimes it feels like it will take up too much time to open up an app or the right document to record information.
- Keep a small whiteboard at your desk
- Jot down notes when you’re on a call
- Save notes when working through a document
- Transfer notes to calendar, contacts, etc., apps after the call or task is completed
Color-coding identifies and prioritizes categories of items in many contexts, from tasks on your to-do list and events on your calendar to refining your organization containers or shelves.
- Don’t overcomplicate things with too many colors in your system
The right words have the power to motivate you to power through challenges and reinforce your purpose and your goals.
- Find an inspirational quote that reflects who or where you want to be
- Write or print the statement on paper and tape it on a wall in your personal workspace where you can see it every day
Some tasks are better accomplished when you are fully focused. If you can’t close the door to ambient sounds, try noise-reduction headphones for those times when you want to block out sounds. Another hack is to turn off sound on your phone – you can set a bypass for calls you can’t miss.
Templatize your messages
If you are sending the same email message frequently or writing your own social media posts, you can save time by copying and pasting from a template. Examples might include responses to inquiries about your services, holiday closures, client welcome/onboarding message and navigation instructions to your password-protected website.
- Identify opportunities for creating messages that can be repeated
- Write the message and name the file as a template
- Copy and past contents of template into your email
You might feel you are too busy to take a break, but the science shows you will actually be more productive with a scheduled break to recharge and refresh. Whether it’s going out for a snack or meal, taking a walk, or fitting in a workout, you’ll come back more focused on your work.
I work with growth-minded entrepreneurs who want to scale up their business without losing their minds or losing control. Drop me an email today to schedule a complimentary coaching session.