“I just don’t have enough time to get everything done.” I hear that a lot. Maybe you have said it yourself. Time is a finite thing. You get 1440 minutes each day. So how can you use your time to get more done and be more effective?
Start Your Morning Off Right
Getting the day off to a good start actually begins the day before. Create your task list and consult your calendar for tomorrow before you leave the office today. That way you know exactly what to do when you start the day instead of wondering what to do next.
Work on your most challenging task first thing. Once it is done and out of the way you have set yourself up to be more productive for the rest of the day.
Focus on Priorities
Before you start on any task ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time right now?” Spend your time on your most important tasks. Is organizing your files so you have a clean desk a necessity, or are you procrastinating?
It is easy to get overwhelmed by a large project so break it into pieces. What is one task that you can do that will set up other tasks? Take a step-by-step approach and you will be amazed at the progress you can make.
Don’t waste time on the tire kickers
We are all price shopping these days. Knowing your average pricing or having set pricing allows you to give the shopper an answer without spending hours on an exact estimate. A local CPA firm posted their pricing on their website. The result has been far fewer phone calls; however, the calls they get are from quality leads who have become clients. A remodeling contractor has a formula for common renovations. They input the size of the room, then they can give the potential customer a range of what the remodel will cost with basic materials. If they are a serious buyer, arrangements are made for a detailed estimate. This has allowed the estimator to be more effective and eliminated the need to add staff.
Too many business owners spend time doing tasks paying $15 an hour. The Owner/CEO should be focused on tasks that pay thousands per hour and that no one else can do. Look at your inbox. How many emails can/should someone else respond to? Hire an assistant who can prioritize your email, and even answer some on your behalf.
Do you really need to attend that meeting, or will a summary suffice? Try sending a delegate to meetings. This will not only free up your time, it will build your team members’ skills and accountability.
When you delegate, avoid being a micromanager. Good training and knowing that you are available for issues is usually all your team needs to be successful. Your time is better spent on your work, not scrutinizing other’s work.
Be realistic. If you are sending emails while on a webinar you are going to miss something. Jot down your thought to come back to later but keep your focus on the task at hand.
When you truly need focus, close your email and put your phone on Do Not Disturb. Be honest, what email cannot wait for 30-60 minutes? Most of the time, a short gap before responding is perfectly acceptable.
Take Care of Yourself
Schedule breaks. Yes, stop working for a few minutes throughout the day. Take a short walk, stretch, eat, refill your water/coffee/tea. That short break will keep you fresh and allow better concentration when you return to your desk.
The basic tenants of good health will give you the energy you need to be productive throughout the day. Start with regular, healthy meals – not something from the vending machine that you eat at your desk. Drink water. Coffee may get you going in the morning, but it doesn’t count as hydration. Get some exercise. If you can’t do 60 minutes at the gym, even 10 minutes at a time can be very effective. Finally, get plenty of rest so you can be awake and alert during the workday.
Your free coaching session is a great way to get started with building good habits that build productivity. Click here to schedule it: https://calendly.com/sandymerritt/30min
Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY