Quick takeaways if you’re in a hurry
- Keep your brain in peak condition by getting lots of rest and building downtime into your schedule
- Set clear goals for your business so that you can identify where you priorities lie, and where you don’t need to focus
- There are a range of great apps designed to help you be more productive and manage your time better. Choosing one that suits your needs could help you boost your efficiency.
Read on: Increase productivity with 6 simple steps
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The more we have to get done in our working day, the more important it becomes that we learn how to make the most of our time. So how do make sure we get the maximum output from every hour we put in?
1. Create defined business goals that allow you to prioritise your tasks
Running a business seems to be about having more work to do than there are hours in the day. Before you allow this to cause you stress, try to become more focused on exactly where the value to your business lies in the tasks you choose to deliver.
Allowing your business goals to provide a context to the work that you prioritise today ensures that your time is spent on driving the greatest change for your business. It also gives you the chance to deprioritise tasks that add no value to your business, and move them down or off your to do list.
2. Stay in control of your to do list
Highly productive and successful entrepreneurs often cite their ability to know when to do tasks as well as what to do as the secret to their success.
Productivity relies on having a close handle on exactly what needs to get done to move your business forward. This includes removing tasks that don’t add value, delegating tasks that can be better delivered elsewhere, and giving top priority to tasks that will have the biggest impact on your business.
Keeping a to do list will tell you what needs to be done, but if you want make sure you achieve it you’re going to have to schedule it into your diary. Scheduling tasks builds focus into your day, and ensures your time doesn’t get used up in activities that will not add value to your business.
3. Become focused
Booking time into your schedule to get something done is great, but how are you going to make sure you actually achieve your tasks? Focus is essential if you want to get the job you’ve prioritised done within the time you have available.
Make yourself more efficient by removing the myriad of distractions from your working space. It’s up to you to decide what level of contact you’re willing to accept while you’re working, but consider diverting phone calls; switching off email notifications; silencing your phone; and closing all programs – especially the internet – other than the ones you require for your task.
There are many excellent time management applications available that can help you to enforce and reward the working structure that you want to create. These can hide all programs other than those you want to use, and silence all notifications while you are in your working zone.
4. Don’t put things off
Controlling your to do list and scheduling your priorities into your diary is a great way to avoid procrastination. If you’re prone to sitting down to work and then finding yourself distracted or pushing back the deadlines on what needs to be done, you’re going to have to take control.
Breaking your work into small chunks of activity will allow you build mini-deadlines that keep you motivated, build focus and also increase your ability to achieve your tasks. This is also a feature of productivity apps that will allow you to allocate a task to a small block of time and notify you when it is complete.
5. Rest and relax – keep your brain fresh
No matter what your role is in a business you will benefit from a well-rested brain. Studies have proven time and time again that our ability to work at pace and react to challenges is hugely enhanced by a good night’s rest.
Even if your to do list goes on for miles, make scheduling down-time into your day a priority, and try to avoid letting the hours you spend doing your job encroaching on your ability to sleep. Both of these things will allow you to be more productive.
6. Picture success
Working hard and being productive is much easier to achieve with a strong focus on what you are trying to deliver. Setting goals is not just about saying what needs to happen and by when. If you can picture the success you are dreaming of for yourself and your business, you will find it much easier to stay motivated and focused.
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