Posted March 16, 2017 - Emma Mills in Uncategorized
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t start my own business to work even longer hours.
As much as I love my fab team here at Mi-PA (and I really do love them), spending every hour in the office is not part of the plan.
There are books to be read, family and friends to be enjoyed and certain little pooches to go walkies with.
When you’re up to your neck in work, though, it’s hard to find a way out.
Don’t worry! There are ways you can start winning the battle to claw back more of your time and restore a healthy work/life balance.
Here are four pretty neat strategies to help you squeeze as much into your day, so you can enjoy more time to yourself, guilt-free.
1. Narrow your daily focus
Ok, so that deadline two weeks from today is important and yes, you have to remember that client meeting next Thursday…. but beyond unavoidable milestones, try to start each day with a fresh agenda.
I know I’m far more effective when I focus on a single goal rather than many.
It’s better to be realistic about what you can get done in a day than set yourself an impossible list of tasks to get done by the end of the week.
We all know what happens, don’t we? One by one those important tasks fall by the wayside as new, more urgent jobs muscle their way into your schedule.
Don’t fret. Just relax. Keep a clear mind each day. Forget trying to mentally juggle all the other jobs you meant to get done two days ago.
Narrowing your focus to one or two tasks a day may seem counterintuitive, yet the result is greater focus. In the long run, you’ll get more work done, more quickly and, ultimately, achieve more in a week.
Because once you’ve done those big ‘ol tasks, it’s time to relaaaaxxxx. Seriously, give yourself a pat on the back. Be kind to yourself by not working overtime to fit in those little jobs you should delegate, do another time or even delete.
When you’ve done the one big task of the day that moves you closer to your goals, you can go home at a reasonable time and still feel absolutely wonderful about it.
2. The three minute rule
Nice and easy, this one.
Whenever you get something new to go on your to do list, ask yourself:
“Will this take less than three minutes to get done?”
If the answer is yes, do it now. Don’t think about it or leave it till later. Get it done.
This nifty little trick prevents a pile-up of little tasks you naturally end up putting off again and again.
You’ll feel super-productive and – with less time spent procrastinating – you can find some extra time for yourself each day.
3. Reclaim “hidden” hours
If you’re anything like me, chances are your working day probably hides pockets of time you could be putting to better use.
One part of your schedule where you can unlock more time in the day is your commute. What happens during those hours spent travelling? No wifi? No problem!
Just list out all the things you can work on without internet – including brainstorming, consuming business and audiobooks – and dedicate your commute to them.
Another place to look for “hidden” hours is in your morning routine.
Can you shave an hour or half an hour off your sleep first thing in the day to kick off a morning routine that puts you on the right foot for the rest of the day?
Whether it’s a Tony Robbins-style routine, a physical or mental workout, or meditation and goal-setting like Miracle Morning, your day is defined by how you start it.
The next point is also really important…
4. Not all hours are equal
Remember, not every hour is equal.
If you can squeeze in a extra half an hour of work in the morning, you could get as much done as you would in a few hours at the office, where there are distractions left, right and centre.
Why? Because most of us experience a surge of mental energy when we apply ourselves to a task soon after waking up.
Alternatively, go into the office an hour earlier to enjoy quiet time without the distractions or get into the office an hour later and complete your most important task at home or in a coffee shop (where your staff can’t find you!)
Find where in the day you experience your most productive period and work around it.
It’s a sure-fire way of allowing you to clock off a little earlier than usual at the end of the working day.
If you really can’t find any time hidden away in your schedule, though, there’s one more action you can take…
5. Get expert help
I’ll keep this short. Basically, if you haven’t looked into the time-saving opportunity of hiring a virtual PA yet, go ahead and do it now.
It’s a game changer for lightening your load. It lets you spend less time on tasks that could be passed onto someone else – without the burden of taking on an employee.
Yes, yes, I know… you’re thinking “well, you would say that, wouldn’t you?”.
True, but I’ve seen the huge difference it’s made to our customers. It may not seem like handing over a few admin tasks and answering calls is that revolutionary. Yet when you get into the swing of delegating tasks, you suddenly find lovely, great windows of time opening up in your schedule.
That may mean leaving work early to meet friends, doing more of what you love or spending more time with your family.
And if that isn’t life-changing, I don’t know what is.
Check out all the ways we help overworked entrepreneurs like this here.
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