Running your own business is a rollercoaster, with so many ups and downs that are out of your control. And doing it all solo means that you have to wear many different hats while trying to do everything every day. It’s often difficult to get things done.
It’s exhausting just thinking about it!
Maybe you had great intentions for completing something this week, but you’ve been busy all week and still haven’t achieved what you planned.
If you feel like things are getting out of control while you feel unable to do anything about it, these tips are going to be a game-changer for you!
Use high-performance habits to get things done.
High performance is not about working harder or faster. It’s about being able to consistently achieve a sustainable state of productivity.
This doesn’t mean being constantly busy.
Anyone can be busy and still be unproductive.
This is about being effective. Meaning, what you do has to have value and move you towards your goal.
One of the best tools to do this is to create routines.
Creating a routine allows you to be flexible AND proactive.
Being flexible is important. The pulls on your life or business are unlikely to be the same every single day so being able to accommodate variations in your schedule is important.
Besides, working proactively means you decide what to work on. Therefore, you choose what is important and has value and will grow your business.
When we are working reactively, we are doing unplanned work. This means you are spending your valuable time on activities that will not get you any closer to your goal.
5 Tips to become highly productive
Time is one of your most precious commodities. It is the one thing that you can quite honestly say that once it is gone, it is gone. You can’t get that time back. This is why wasting time is such a dreadful thing.
One of the reasons people don’t achieve a lot is because they put off things until later. They think it will somehow be easier, better, convenient. Unfortunately, that better time rarely arrives and you miss the opportunity.
Since time is in short supply, it makes sense that you learn how to be efficient with your time to become highly productive.
1. Block out time to work on your goals
If you want to get things done, it is important to recognise that you need to allocate time to your goals. This means reserving a certain amount of time each day where you focus on achieving your goals.
This is commonly known as time-blocking.
Different people are more effective at different times of the day and for different types of activities. Working with your body, find a time of the day, or night, that you can block out in your schedule to progress your goals. This may mean working at different times of day for different types of goals.
During these blocked out time periods, you must focus on the activity you planned to do. You need to minimise distractions so that you can really concentrate on the work you are doing.
A flexible weekly plan contains all of your regular, designated time blocks.
2. Win back time
You may feel that you don’t have time to work on your goals as you are already maxed out. But it’s surprising where you can create time.
Maybe you can go to bed earlier so you can get up earlier when you are most productive. Or perhaps taking a shorter lunch break will provide enough time to move some goals forward. And we all recognise the time drain watching the TV is.
Explore how you spend your time and consider eliminating activities that don’t contribute to achieving your goals.
It’s important to be ruthless in eliminating activities that do not progress your goals.
When you first start managing your time better, it may feel like you are giving up your freedom. But you will soon see that you will have more time to spend on the important stuff by eliminating unimportant activities.
You will have far more time to create and live your life the way you want it.
3. Plan your time – every day
One of the best tools that high performers use is to plan their day – EVERY DAY!
Planning daily is one of the simplest and most effective secrets of high performers.
It’s important to be able to re-prioritise daily to best use what time you have available.
It is also important to make consistent and steady progress towards your goals each day. If you don’t, you may get disheartened if you don’t achieve any results.
To make progress, you need to plan for success daily.
Creating a daily success planner puts you in the right frame of mind each day to get things done.
A daily plan can incorporate your flexible weekly routine. This will contain your time blocked activities that you have already identified. You then just need to plan for your remaining time on that day.
Your daily success planner should include the following:
- an area to detail the 3 most important goals you are working towards.
- Under each goal, write down up to 5 activities that you need to get done to help you progress your goal.
- Who you need to contact.
- Who you are waiting to hear back from.
- List the top priorities for the day. These are the activities that have to get done today, no matter what.
This will help you focus on what is important and stop you from getting distracted.
The planner itself shouldn’t take long to fill out each day. Much of it may stay pretty consistent from day to day until you start completing major activities or goals. I prefer to have my daily plan in a digital format so I can duplicate the previous day and make any changes.
A daily planner is an excellent way of planning your day. It provides five different ways to manage your day. This helps maintain flexibility to re-evaluate what you need to do and make sure you are re-focussed daily.
4. Stop multi-tasking
Many people think multi-tasking makes them more efficient and that it is a great skill to have. But in reality, it means you don’t give any one thing your complete attention. You are actually slower at completing the task, and the results are of lower quality.
Research has shown that multi-tasking makes you more stressed and 40% less productive.
As a result, if you want to be more productive, you should avoid multi-tasking as much as possible.
This is because it takes more brainpower and energy to switch between tasks, leaving you feeling drained and overwhelmed.
In fact, if you want to get more productive and less stressed, you should try batch working. This means grouping together similar types of activities and doing them together. Your brain won’t need to keep switching, making you less stressed.
This ties back to your time-blocking and flexible weekly routine – can you see a pattern yet – It’s all about organisation!
5. Stay focussed, alert and energised
As you know, how you feel has a dramatic effect on what you can achieve. You can find out more about how your feelings impact your success here.
Working too long on any one activity can be draining as the day progresses, even if you do enjoy it.
If you want to replenish your energy to get more done, you must take breaks. I know it seems counterintuitive.
Taking a regular short break is better for your performance, and you will have more energy at the end of the day.
Take a few minutes out every hour to move your body, practise your affirmations or get some fresh air. Doing this will really freshen you up.
Following these 5 tips will help you get back on your A-game and start moving you forward to hit your goals.