How to Get More Done in Less Time
Over and over, we all hear the same statements and questions from fellow business owners. Maybe we’ve even said them ourselves.
“I just don’t have enough time.”
“How can I get all of this done?!”
I know, because I used to say and think the same things. Luckily, thanks to the guidance of excellent mentors, I discovered a long time ago that we all have the same amount of time each week: 168 hours. It doesn’t matter if you’re Bill Gates or a nine-year-old kid. Successful people do not have more time than anyone else. The only difference is how they spend it.
Being Busy vs. Being Productive.
First, let’s address one of the biggest myths plaguing business owners today: being busy does NOT equal being productive. The goal is not to cram as much work/activity into the day as possible, but rather to accomplish the most important activities each day. At the end of the day, you don’t want to do more, you want to feel more accomplished
The To Do List is Dead
We’ve probably all been taught the “art of the to do list. But let me just say now that the to do list is dead. The idea of creating a long list of things to do and then trying to prioritize them and see how many you can get done in a day is notthe most effective way to get things done.
Rather than a to do list, work off of your calendar. It’s time to revisit your calendar and literally time block everything on it – sleep, social media, email, client meetings, marketing activities, etc. Include on your calendar a morning routine/ritual. Set a time to wake up each morning and create a system that sets the tone and intention of the day while taking care of yourself FIRST.
Set a Morning Routine
For example, let’s say you start work at 9am, and need about 30 minutes of travel time to get to the office and get settled in. A great wake-up time would be 7am. This gives you time to eat, shower, make coffee, and then take some time to write out your goals, meditate, and set the tone for your day to be intentional. This way, you arrive at the office completely ready to conquer the day.
Block Your Time
Then, your calendar should be scheduled out in blocks. Blocks of time for client meetings, email, lunch, etc. While you are in one activity’s block of time, do not allow other activities to interfere. I.E. do not be answering emails while you are supposed to be planning your marketing strategy, or checking social media while you are between client calls. Multitasking is a myth – all we actually do is switch our focus. Some do it faster than others, but you get far more done by focusing on just one thing at a time.
Review and Question
Now, while you are reviewing your calendar’s tasks, start asking for each task if you can eliminate, automate, or delegate it. If you can, do so. Examples of these types of tasks are:
- Social media posting
- Customer service calls/emails
- Blog & article writing
- Email marketing
Then ask if each remaining task absolutely has to be done today. If so, set a time for it today. If not, give yourself permission to put it off until it needs to be done. Remember more does not always equal better.
End Your Workday
Finally, and this is possibly the most important tip, have an end of the work day scheduled and DO NOT go over it. If you want to stop work at 6pm and be home in time for dinner with your family, DO IT. Do not take work home with you (even if you work from home.) Be 100% present at work and in your personal life. It’s only by having a balance and barrier between work and home that we can devote more of ourselves to each. We all know the drain of each day bleeding into each other because we take work home with us and never have time to decompress – don’t do this.
Have an end of day review routine similar to your morning routine. Sit down and reflect on your day. What “ate up” time? Email? Phone calls? Customer questions/complaints? Start looking into how to automate/delegate these, and consider what you can do with your schedule to better optimize blocks of time.
By working in this way, you switch your days from being “reactive” to being “proactive.” Finally, you will not be at the whim of every minute thing thrown your way, always feeling like you’re running behind. Instead, you will feel more like you are at the helm and in control of your business, life, and destiny