The only way to achieve your dreams and build the business you’re meant to build is to do the work. And that’s where many of us struggle. Life happens, and if we are going to live a Fabulously Balanced Life, we need to manage our time and our energy.
At any given time, we can overbook our calendars until today’s to-dos become next week’s late tasks. We procrastinate on the things that are important while attending to the busy work. Other times, we just take on too much—even when we know better.
So, how do we manage our time during the busy holiday season if we are already feeling behind?
The answer is to embrace these five productivity hacks to get more done in less time.
1. Rituals and Habits
Simply put, a ritual or habit is a consistent way of doing something. You have a morning ritual (you wake up, brush your teeth, work out, shower, and head to your office.) An evening ritual (check homework, tuck the kids in, watch the evening news, and hit the sack.) A weekend ritual (sleep late, mow the lawn, catch a movie, visit your mom), and many others.
The trouble is, if you’re not careful with your rituals, they can turn into productivity killers. Is checking Facebook or email a part of your morning ritual? Is turning on Skype a part of your at work ritual? Distractions such as these can turn your best intentions into hours of wasted time.
Take a good look at your rituals. What are you doing that you should not be—or that should be batched with another part of your day? Work to make your routines more efficient, and you’ll automatically get more done.
2. Calendar Management
How much time do you have available for that new project? Try blocking off time in your calendar for all your existing projects. Fill in all your client calls, your business administrative tasks, time for meals and breaks, outside appointments, and everything else you’re committed to. Don’t forget family time!
What’s left might just shock you.
Make it a habit of blocking time in your calendar for every commitment, and you’ll never again over-promise or over-commit. It will also help you to be more selective in the projects and clients that you choose – Bonus!
3. Learn to Let Go
Here’s a news flash. You do not have to do everything in your business. You can (and should) delegate what you can to someone else. Hire a VA to create your documents and manage your calendar. Let your tech support handle your blog and email. Turn over your bookkeeping to a bookkeeper or accountant. The time you free up will allow you to work on what’s truly important—and those tasks that only you can do.
4. Work Hard, Play Harder
You are not a machine. You cannot work all day every day and hope to be at your best all the time.
Take a day off. Get some rest, or relax on a long, slow hike. Take a friend out to lunch. Go shopping with your kids. See a movie or a show. Do something—anything—other than work.
Not only will you return to the office feeling much more refreshed, but you’ll find yourself more creative and productive than before as well.
Multi-tasking is impossible. You cannot efficiently create a new product or service while you’re simultaneously surfing Facebook, keeping an eye on the kids, and answering the phone every time it rings.
Instead, use your calendar to block time off for important tasks, then turn everything else off so you can focus. No phone, no Facebook, no kids or husbands or neighbors or pets demanding “just a minute” of your time. Tune everything out, and you’ll find your work getting done much faster.
Managing your time and turning up your productivity is not something that comes naturally to most people, but when you learn to master this skill, you’ll find your business grows right along with you.
FREE Time Audit Workbook
When you make the best use of your time, you focus on the priorities and free up time by letting go of the rest. In business, this means you can focus on building your business while having time for the things you enjoy the most.
Find your blind spots within a week and have a Fabulously Balanced Life with this FREE Time Audit Workbook!