Do you work 15 hours a day and do you know deep inside that it’s time to stop working this much? You never see your friends and family anymore and you can’t remember the last time you actually used that Netflix subscription. Every day you have a busy schedule and you’re always busy, busy, busy. Time to create more time by hacking the heck out of your day. This is how:
- Take a few minutes every Sunday to schedule ahead your week. Don’t forget to schedule some down time, time to sweat and time to do absolutely nothing (because we all know, you’ll end up doing something anyways). Plan your most important tasks on Tuesday instead of Monday, so you can skip the Monday blues and still feel energized on Tuesday. Another tip? Schedule your down time or day off always after your busy day, never before..! You won’t enjoy your day or time off because THAT thing will be on your mind all the time. You know what’s coming and you dread it. If you schedule something fun at the end of the week, it’s easier to survive the week and you have something to look forward to! Download my free daily task planner for optimized productivity here.
- Schedule 30 minutes each day to organize your life and biz. This is actually my favorite time of the day. I have a look at my annual, weekly and quarterly goals, I go through my administration and finances, I organize my mail, declutter a bit or work on unfinished tasks. These 30 minutes are so important to stay ahead of your biz, and to really own your biz instead of having your biz own you.
- Simplify your work and your life. Easier said than done, yes. But it’s possible. Hiring a VA can help a lot in the process of simplifying because you can give someone else some of your tasks. That will give you more time to think things true, to see the bigger picture and to actually breathe. Order your groceries online. Start each day with the most important tasks. In for a fun experiment? Pick one week and skip doing all the things you actually wanted to do, but that aren’t really necessary. See what happens. I bet the skipping of other tasks doesn’t have as much as an impact as you thought and it will give you more time. Maybe you’re asking too much of yourself, this is a good way to find out.
- Are you a busy entrepreneur that can use some awesome organization? Start by a good file system. Finding files on a cluttered computer can add up over time, so name your files right and work with folders. Especially ‘tiny’ things that can be done within seconds, will add up over time. Create groups/folders in your inbox, have a mail system and know what you print out and what’s better if you don’t – does the pile of documents really give you a good vibe or does it bring you down in a way? Sometimes it’s better to keep things digital.. so you can focus on them when you have time instead of seeing them all the time.
- Keep a to-do list.. for your personal life. I know, as an entrepreneur there isn’t really a difference between personal and biz life, but keep a personal to do list. If you do take the weekends off: write everything down, from doing laundry to groceries and seeing friends. The moment you check off will give a positive call to your brain, so trust me, you’ll feel better over time doing this, especially if you have the feeling that you never get to finish things in your biz.
- Don’t work outside the office. Period. Try to not work when you’re not in the office (or office area if you work from home). This will set some boundaries that will give you more time, have you take your business more serious (yes it does!) and you’ll work more focused. If you’re always working everywhere, you’re set to be all over the place, literally haha. Not a good look. Treat your business like it’s work, and you’ll take it more seriously and work harder when you have to. The worst thing you can do? Work with your laptop in bed. Your bed is the place for your down time, never ever bring work into the bedroom! (Better tho, to bring your pj’s into work, that’s totally fine by me.)
- Work on your guilt. Do you feel guilty all the time? I sometimes do. I don’t feel like I’m working hard enough. I don’t feel like a good friend. I don’t feel like I get anything done… all these things aren’t true, but every now and then they pop in to my head and it’s killing for my productivity! Remember, you don’t have to do everything. Just try to focus more, especially on the right things. Try to have less meetings, have someone else proof-read the documents and have someone else make your latte macchiato’s or just drink water. All these tiny tasks add up and skipping these can save you hours each day! Bring your ‘working from home’ spirit to the office. Get more done within those 8 hours a day by doing less without feeling guilty. The game changer for me? I don’t go for coffees with everybody anymore, only if we have a specific collaboration in mind. Because these two-hour gaps are killing for my biz, I did so many coffees with people it’s ridic. We had fun, but most of the time people completely forget to come to the point, so you just talk for hours without actually talking biz. As an entrepreneur you don’t get paid for your time, so it’s just a waste of time! Make more calls or pick it up via email and you’ll feel more productive!
- Leave work for what it is on Fridays. It’s better to work really hard on Friday, than to go to home early (read: around 6ish) to work all weekend. Work as hard as you need on Friday in order to leave things for two whole days!!! This actually never happened to me, but I always try and the more practice I have, the less I do these days on weekends!
- Last but not least: do only things that matter. Analyze your social media, do you get no traffic or conversion via Twitter? Why spent hours scheduling tweets each week? Making time for a friend that doesn’t give you energy? Move over, better spend more time with your favorite people. Think about your life and analyze everything. What are the things you can remove from your life because they aren’t worth it?
More productivity tips? Read Work Smarter Not Harder.
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