There never seems to be enough time to get the thousands of jobs on your to-do list done. Here are ten ways to get more out of each day.
Make a list – at the end of each day, list all the things you must do tomorrow, then write rate them by order of priority. Now you don’t need to waste half an hour tomorrow morning remembering everything before you can even get started.
Treat yourself – you need to reward yourself for all your hard work. Buy your favourite chocolate bar to reward yourself for finishing that task you’ve been putting off, or save the jobs you actually enjoy doing to pick you up after all the boring stuff!
Check reality – be realistic. Things always take longer than you expect them to, especially paperwork. Budget in an hour or two every day as reaction time for things that take longer than expected, or tasks that get sprung on you suddenly.
Prepare for the weekend – try to wrap up as many of the week’s tasks as you can on Friday afternoon so you don’t spend the weekend feeling guilty for every hour off. You’ll be able to relax much better knowing that everything important can wait until Monday.
Do what you love – if you love your work, you’ll want to spend time on it and it might not even feel like work. If you don’t love it… maybe you should re-think why you started this business.
Set an agenda – for arranged meetings, create an agenda and send it out. This will help you and participants prepare your thoughts beforehand and help your meeting stay on track.
Avoid interruptions – turn off your email notifications and turn on your answering machine. Budget in time to check them all at once rather than constantly interrupting your other important work.
Clear the desk – don’t pile tasks up on the desk to get in your way and distract you. Put everything away and only get it out when you need it. This saves time on tidying and cleaning as well.
Time yourself – spend a week or two timing yourself. Are you spending 10 minutes on a phone call chatting when your business was done in the first 5? Where else can you identify time wasting?
Be assertive – Control your conversations; use your selling skills to extract commitments; walk that chatty customer to the door instead of letting them decide when they leave; sometimes you just need to accept that your time is precious and refuse to let other people waste it for you!