Are you having a hard time getting things done during your self-driven work day? When you run or manage your own business, your productivity strategies can mean the difference between failure and success, so if you’re struggling to focus, you’ll need to find your stride, and soon.
When you work by yourself, nobody knows your habits better than you do, so you’re the only one who can spot the problems and fix them. So first, you’ll have to find your “why”. What’s stopping you? What can you do about it? Which things do you most need to get done, and what’s preventing you from doing these things?
Here are 10 quick fixes you can implement to restore your productivity and effectively take on your to-do list.
If you’d like to listen to more details on these tips: check out the related podcast episode!
1. Remove notifications and emails from your phone.
You have your own agenda. Don’t become part of someone else’s. If you let clients, contacts, vendors, salespeople, or even friends take over your schedule and decide what you do and when you do it, your problems only increase. You’re the arbiter of your time, so check your phone during established periods, set by you, and remove all the flashes, beeps, and jingles that try to divert your attention. There are some apps that can help with this, like this example: SelfControl
Don’t be on OPA: Other people’s agenda.
2. Set only three big goals per day.
According to expert Michael Hyatt, a great way to achieve more of your goals is to reduce the total number of goals you set in the first place. Choose three big victories you need to have in your pocket by the end of the day. Just three! Then go after them. Check out Michael Hyatt’s fantastic planner: The Full Focus Planner!
3. Block and time 45 min focus sessions.
Also, organizing your day around 1 to 3 focus sessions has proven to be supper effective to get things done.
To do so, block 45 minutes and set your timer in a place where you can see the time running! After each “focus session”, make sure to take a break to regenerate, go for a 20min walk or take a 10 min break to the kitchen and have tea.
John Lee Dumas has a great planner that is designed to keep you focused and reach your goals. You can check it out here: The Freedom Journal
“Put your ass on the chair” and go after your three key goals.
4. Be specific with your to-do list. Use a verb!
When we create a do-list, we sometimes use our own code for the tasks on the list. We’ll say “Grandma’s birthday” instead of “Buy birthday gift for Grandma”. But when you add a verb to the item, you give yourself something to latch onto and a clear place to start. Next time you create your list, instead of writing for example: “blog article”, write: “Write the article on how to find purpose”.
5. Breakdown your goals into baby steps.
Break each one of your goals down into smaller sub-goals. Here’s an example using the task above (“Write the article on how to find purpose”).
Primary Goal: Write the Article
- Research the topic of “how to find purpose”
- Create an outline for the article and a title
- Write the first draft
- Research and create images
- Upload the blog article on my website
- Prepare the newsletter and social media posts to promote the blog
- Schedule the promotion of the article
6. Schedule all your activities and tasks
When you’re working hard to keep on track and stay focused from one task to the next, give yourself a roadmap so you always know where you are. Schedule each activity and allow an appropriate amount of time to complete it. Use this great project management tool to set up and track your tasks: Asana
If you don’t see it, you won’t do it!
7. Create a defined weekly schedule.
Create a weekly schedule that includes both private and professional activities, both your dentist appointments and your clients meetings. Start with a search on YouTube to learn how to set up a Google calendar with color codes for each activity, there are many tutorials there.
Also, to learn how to do that:
8. Batch and automate (or delegate).
Identify the tasks you find yourself doing over and over again, and find a way to automate these tasks so they don’t spend a long time on your plate. Use templates for similar writing projects that appear again and again, and use automated mailing systems to send messages to your customers, leads and subscribers. Use automated scheduling systems to take of reoccurring appointments.
You can also delegate repeating tasks to assistants, employees, or a company that provides the services you need, like a digital marketing agency.
Here are a few marketing tasks, for example, that you can automate and delegate:
- Scheduling appointments
Try this tool: ScheduleOnce
- Newsletters automation
Check out email marketing tools such as Mailchimp
- Content and Social media posts
Here are few helpful resource:
- For all content management: CoSchedule
- Facebook pages have their own scheduling tools (got to the section “publishing/scheduling”
- For Instagram use Later
- Emails management
For canned Gmail responses, check out these tips: Canned Responses: How to Create Gmail Templates in 60 Seconds
- Recurrent responses on all devices:
Check out TextExpander
And you know what?
Even meals preparation can be batched! Here’s a way to manage your food habits more effectively and still eat healthy.
9. End the day and start the day with a check-in
Finish your day by checking your appointments and tasks for the next day. Start the day envisioning what you will do to reach your three goals and avoid distractions.
10. Do not underestimate the power of habits and morning routines
Morning routines are so crucial to help you take your business to the next level.
Even if you are not a morning person, consider waking up at least 20min before your usual time to do one thing that you’d like to do but never have the time for it (ex: exercise!).
Check out this book that has made a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people: The Mircale Morning.
Here is a simple acronym from the book with the things you can implement to have morning routines that will take your business to the next level:
Silence – Affirmation – Visualization – Exercise – Research – Scribing.
By the way, know that the secret of a pleasant wake up in the morning lies in how you go to bed the night before! So it is in your hands!
Also, check out this great book: Someday is not a day of the week!
Take Action Now!
- Share in the comment section! Which tip will you implement get things done?
- Download your free video course: 5 STEPS TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TIME AND YOUR LIFE