Ever wanted to feel more organised and blitz through your to-do list in half the time? If you have, then you’re not alone. Many of us turn to articles that promise us hacks and tricks to be more productive then wonder why we’re still rushing around with too much on our plates.
Whilst these articles may be very good at referencing the latest tools or software, I like to strip away the clutter and focus on simple habits that will make a big difference to your weekly routines.
Below I share five small things you can do to that will have a powerful effect on your productivity levels and help you to feel more calm and in control.
Write your to-do list, then half it
Nothing tricks us into feeling more organised than writing down a to-do list that’s as long as our arm. However, we quickly feel demotivated when we realise the day is over and we haven’t even ticked off half of it.
There’s no point in setting yourself up to fail and the best way to get more done is to allocate fewer tasks.
No, that doesn’t mean that you are lazy or work at half the pace of anyone else. Chopping down the list to 3 – 5 non-negotiable tasks per day means that you will actually have the time to achieve them.
If you’re struggling to decide what to remove from the list then you need to review your priorities.
Be strict on yourself.
There’s no need for anyone’s to-do list to fill a side of A4 paper, so now is the time to remember the three Ds: do it, delegate it or delete it.
Set yourself a time scale
We’re all guilty of procrastination from time to time. It’s incredibly easy to cruise along and think that we’ll get round to something tomorrow when there’s no pressure looming over us.
Suddenly, the flash of panic hits as we realise that a deadline is suddenly urgent and we’ve not even started. We throw ourselves into a frenzy of work and scrape through at the last minute.
Whilst that’s one way of getting things done, a smarter way to work is to set yourself a timescale for every piece of work you take on.
Ask yourself: When do I need to do this by?
Answering this question will help you to organise your work so that you prioritise and avoid last minute craziness.
Give yourself less time
Sitting down at our desk in the morning with an entire eight hours stretched out in front of us can feel exhilarating, only to end in an unproductive funk by 2pm with only half what we set out to achieve completed.
Just like you would with any project that needs managing, mitigate the inevitable ‘time creep’ by being firm on yourself with the time you will allocate to each task.
With your daily goals and their deadlines decided, try to block out time in your diary to complete each one. Planning out your day not only helps you to keep focused on your tasks, but the act of setting yourself a timescale means that you keep up the pace.
Our actions can stretch to fill the time we allow them. After all, we’re all pros at a leisurely lunch…
By giving yourself less time to carry out your work, you will find that you get more done – and quickly. As time drags on, we become less focused and our minds start to wander back to our emails and the latest on our social media feeds.
Remember your why
Our motivation to do anything has to be based on either our intrinsic values or our business goals. If our lengthy to-do list doesn’t reflect the tasks that are bringing us one step closer to where we want to be – plus making us happy – then it will be a real struggle to keep going.
Ensure you stay clear on what it is you need to be doing for the health of your business and more importantly, your own.
Asking yourself why helps you to check in with yourself to ensure you are working on the things that will bring you and your business the most value.
Can’t do it all alone? Don’t
My final tip is to all those solo business owners and entrepreneurs out there who feel that they have to do everything themselves, which has most likely been all of us at some stage.
Juggling the many priorities of a small business can be very tiring, especially if some of the things you have to do fall outside of your skills or expertise. We may be the ideas and creative force behind our business, but that doesn’t mean we have all of the necessary knowledge and time to spare to dedicate to aspects such as:
- Finances and accounting
- HR and recruitment
- Customer care
- Business administration
- PR and marketing
- Social media
- Web and graphic design.
And the list will go on!
There is no shame in outsourcing some of your workload to a specialist in their field who can help you get more done and free up your time. Realising that you don’t have to do everything alone can release the pressure of taking on things that we can’t or don’t want to do.
Do you feel that productivity is more about your mindset than anything else? What things do you find help you feel more in control and get more done?
Share your tried and tested methods in the comments!
Smash Your To Do List helps busy business owners free up their time to focus on the things that matter by providing virtual behind-the-scenes admin support. With a background as a PA and a degree in Creative Writing, SYTDL’s founder Megan enjoys crushing people’s to-do lists one tick at a time. Find Megan here.
Megan is one of Wizu’s co-working members, as well as a member of the Girl Tribe Gang. Megan joined Wizu just after our partnership with Girl Tribe Gang was announced. Together we are working together to positively impact business owners health and wellbeing, by combatting the feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Fancy becoming part of the Wizu Family? We’re now offering 2 FREE co-working taster days! Click here to find out more and book in!