There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of How-to Coaches out there. Coaches that will teach you how to do everything from how to set up your office for better efficiency to, you guessed it…how to be more productive. So today, I’m going to share with you some ideas that have worked for me.
Welcome to, or back to, the GinAdmin Blog. My name is Gina Koran and I’ll be your host on this journey into How to be More Productive. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and see what insight my coffee-fueled brain can share with you!
Okay, so how CAN you be more productive this week?
You can spend a lot of time doing things that add little to no value to your life or your business and are just plain busy work.
OR you can plan your week to be more productive and useful than you ever thought possible.
Sounds great, but exactly how do you do that?
Here’s what I do. My coach, Tawnya Sutherland at www.VANetworking.com coaches her VA Insiders to set aside a 3-hour block of time EVERY week to work on our OWN businesses.
So “My Business Time” is Saturday morning from 9am to noon. During those three hours, I look first at my goals, then the things I need to do next to achieve them.
Those tasks get added to my calendar based on my goals and objectives for the week. I even go so far as to list each action that needs to be taken for the final result I’m looking for so that I don’t get caught up in a bottleneck or roadblock.
Or worse, get sucked down a rabbit hole and spend hours looking up recipes for snickerdoodles. Anyone else guilty of this? No? Just me?
Are there tasks on your list that someone else can do for you and free up some of your time?
Are you spending a lot of time doing tasks that aren’t directly related to money-making tasks for your business? You know what I’m talking about – posting to social media, responding to comments on your posts, writing blog posts…all those tasks take up valuable time!
One of the items on my list (this one is more personal, but it’s time-consuming and eats into my own business time) is menu planning. Those of you who plan and cook meals for your family will understand the pain of figuring out every single day what to feed your household. Can I get an “Amen”?
This task is outsourced in my house. Sort of. Basically, if I ask “what’s for dinner tonight” and there’s no response, you’re getting either leftovers or breakfast. Simple, fast, but still nutritious.
So, think about turning those tasks over to someone who can do them for you to save time, time that you can spend on tasks that get you closer to those goals! Someone like, say a Freelance Admin (wink).
3 tips to be more productive
The Hive Team over at http://www.hive.com have written an awesome article about productivity. In this article, they found that “…research suggests that in an eight-hour workday, the average worker is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes. That leaves a lot of room for improvement”.
“…research suggests that in an eight-hour workday, the average worker is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes. That leaves a lot of room for improvement”.https://hive.com/blog/productivity-tips/
When you want to get more done in a day, the best thing you have going for you is a good plan based on smart goals. I find that I can do better by following these three tips.
Tip #1: Set Daily Goals and Objectives
Work with a long-term plan to create your medium-term and short-term plans and actions. If you plan right, you’ll be able to set daily goals and objectives that allow you to finish any project or task on time. Start with the result you want, a time you want the result, and then work your way backward in your calendar to today, planning small actions that will lead to the result you want.
I learned this idea ages ago, possibly even before my military days. You’ve heard the old saying “Start with the end in mind”. What’s the goal? Now work your way backwards to today and you’ll have the steps you need to take to reach it!
Tip #2: Remove Distractions
It’s also important to achieving your goals to avoid and remove distractions that take you away from the schedule you set for yourself.
My own calendar looks like a kindergartener got ahold of a crayon. Each day has tasks, reminders and appointments listed in different colors based on what that task pertains to.
By listing my daily steps in my calendar and taking away anything that will interrupt me during the day, I can be sure to achieve each task and get me one step closer to my goal.
Tip #3: Stick to Deadlines and Timelines
Setting a realistic timeline and deadline requires you to know how long it takes you to do things and what is happening with the rest of your schedule. If you schedule everything you need to do, including personal tasks, it’s going to be much easier to set and stick to realistic timelines and deadlines.
This is probably THE hardest part. At least for me. There are so many shiny objects to distract us and so many other tasks that have to be done each day, that it’s easy to go off course.
One of the ways I combat this is, again with the calendar…I block time throughout the day to work on my tasks. If it’s a big goal, then I break it down to working maybe 90 minutes every day. I try not to go beyond that because being human, my attention span only allows me about that amount of time before I look for those shiny objects to distract me!
Speaking of time blocking, that’s a big part of this next area:
What IS time management and how does it relate to being more productive?
When we talk about time management, we’re not really talking about managing time as much as we’re talking about managing the schedule you set for yourself, ensuring you have enough time and energy to do what needs to be done in that timeframe.
This requires that you understand how long it takes you to accomplish the task, knowing how to do the task right, which technology or equipment you need and that you have the right resources to get it done. All of this requires planning.
Here again, I defer to my colorful calendar. I know every morning when I sit down at my computer EXACTLY what has to be done today to move me another step forward toward my goals.
How often does someone call or stop you if you’re out and about and ask you for a favor? My husband is famous for poking his head in my office with a “Hey, can you do me a quick favor?”. Sometimes I shoo him out, especially if I’m in the middle of a project or task. But, since I live with him, mostly I say sure.
I’ll ask you here: “Hey, can you do me a quick favor?”. When someone comes to you with new things to add to your schedule, don’t just say yes automatically.
First, tell them you’ll check your calendar.
Then check your schedule but also check your mind to find out if you really want to do it or not.
Only say yes if you CAN actually fit it in, even if you think you want to do it.
The great thing about being a business owner and being your own boss is it lets you say YES to more of the things you’d like to do and turn over the rest to someone who likes to do the things you don’t!
MULTI-TASKING: Is it keeping you from being more productive?
If you’ve ever read job advertisements, you probably see them asking for “natural multitaskers” or “good multitaskers” as if this is a good thing to be. The problem is that scientifically, you cannot truly multitask. No one can. As a human, you can only truly focus on one thing at a time.
A person who multitasks might get by and do a good enough job, but if they really focused, they’d do better. Studies show that multitasking reduces productivity, increases stress, and it’s not realistically possible.
I found this quote, which made me laugh because it’s so completely me that I might just put it up on my office wall:
“Multitasking is the ability to screw everything up simultaneously.” ~Jeremy Clarkson
I’ve gone away from trying to multitask myself. I found that those studies were dead-on for me: I was stressed out because I never felt like I was accomplishing anything and was driving my productivity down. Once I started focusing on one task at a time, I was a much happier me!
Now, while multitasking may be a productivity myth, you can still have more than one project going at a time. Consider working with a Freelance Admin. Our job is to work with you to take some of those tasks off your hands so you can focus on the bigger picture of your business.
Okay, so here is my disclaimer:
You have to do what works best for YOU. These are the things that work best for me in my own business and in my own life. If they work for you, then my goal has been achieved, which is why I share my coffee-induced “wisdom” with you!
Bottom line: We all have enough time to get things done, if we know and implement the ways that work best for us to achieve our goals. A great option if you find yourself not having enough time in your day to complete the tasks you need to in order to achieve your goals, is to work with a Freelance Admin. We’re good at taking those tasks, freeing up your time so that you can do what you love!
I’d love to hear from you – what tasks could you outsource that would benefit you and your business and help you achieve your goals? Leave me a comment!
And if you’d like to know what GinAdmin can do to make your life easier, hit me up and let’s chat! Head on over to my contact page and send me a message! http://www.ginadmin.com/#contact