3 Tricks To Get More Done Each Day
One of the benefits of starting a business is getting to do more of the things you love. Now, I love running a business, but it’s not the only thing I love doing. I enjoy golfing and I enjoying hunting and spending time with friends and family.
There are a few times in my life when I looked at the people that really seemed to be happy. I paid attention to how they lived their lives and I’ve even asked them a few times about their approach to life and why they might be so happy.
The answers I usually got especially from those that were older and wiser were about how they realized the importance of family and enjoyment. Others also talked about enjoying their work, but not overdoing it. These folks certainly worked hard, but they never overdid it to the point of making themselves and others they cared about unhappy.
I think of my dad and the importance he put on family because it was important to him. I never realized it at the time, but I now realize that he created his work schedule based on what was going on with me and my brother. My dad was an airline pilot (now retired). He often had to leave on trips. Most times he would leave on Sunday night and come back for the weekend. But if my brother and I had something like a baseball tournament during the week he would alter his schedule. It meant working on a weekend, but to him it was worth it.
So that’s a little insight into priorities, which I think is a good lead in to the topic of productivity.
Your business requires you to work hard and get a lot of things done. I’ve fallen into the trap of trying to do too many things and all that’s happened to me when I’ve done that is I get burned out and I don’t have time to enjoy anything including my business.
So these are a couple little tricks I use to get more done while not overdoing it.
1. The Top Priorities Only
There are a number of things you could be doing for your business. A hard lesson I had to learn is that you can’t do all of those things. I even learned this in a previous job and I still fell into the trap once I started GBW.
Now I focus on the most important things for GBW each year, month and day. If I have a goal for the year I’ll work backwards and make decisions on what I’m going to do each month and day based on those annual goals.
Things come up every day and it’s easy to just add them to your to-do list. But I go back to my overall goals and ask, “Is this task going to get me closer to that goal?”
It kind of allows you to prioritize things. And if something looks good, but doesn’t really fit into your priorities or if it would require you to take time away from enjoyment or family then you need to cut it out of your day.
For GBW it might mean that we get into writing ebooks or something like that. Right now it’s not a top priority. It’s an opportunity, but not a priority right now. There are more important things to focus on. So that gets pushed aside at least for now.
2. Work When Others Are Not Working
I’m trying to get away from keeping my inbox open all day long, but I haven’t quite gotten there. It’s a big distraction. The people sending messages aren’t the issue. It’s my internal feeling that I need to respond to emails right away when I see that little number pop up on the browser tab.
A trick I’ve found to work for me is to work on at least a couple things while others are sleeping. It might be easier for me since I’m an early riser. I can wake up at 4:30 AM, grab a coffee in the kitchen and work on a few things. You don’t get too many emails at that time of day. It gives me a chance to work while others aren’t awake yet.
I can’t confirm, but you can probably do the same late in the evening or even into the night if you’re more of a night person.
Then when emails tend to come in hot and heavy you can take time to enjoy life or have a nice lunch with business partners to discuss strategy. You kind of work opposite hours as everybody else.
3. Get In The Habit Of Shutting Things Down Every Day
This has been incredible for me. I shut down work every day at 4 PM or around there. That’s pretty normal for most people that work regular jobs, but it’s quite the challenge for those in business.
I used to check my email all day and night. It drove me nuts eventually because when something would come up I would want to do it immediately. I would actually lie awake at night thinking about the task. I would put this pressure on myself for no reason. The clients didn’t really expect me to work 24/7 to handle their inquiries. I was doing it to myself.
So now I shut things down and make time to avoid burnout. I think burnout is one thing that cuts into your productivity and the quality of work you do. I know it has for me. I would work all these hours and feel like I was “putting in the time”, but the work wasn’t as good as I thought it could be.
I cut back on those hours and now do more quality work and actually seem to get more done. Part of that was making time for family, friends and the enjoyment of life.
I hope these have been helpful. I meant for this to be a quick little post about productivity and now it’s turned into a post that’s over 1,000 words! Sorry about that. I’m glad you stuck with it to the end. If you have a comment I’m usually on Twitter so you can find me there.