If you are anything like me, I know your to-do list is a mile long, and you are probably wondering how to get it all accomplished. We can all use more productivity in our schedule, and the truth is it does not have to be complicated. No one is more eager to increase productivity than business owners running their own companies.
Increasing your focus, energy, and effectiveness every week is really simple by using the strategies I learned as a High-Performance Success Coach.
But I know you have a lot on your plate, and sometimes it can feel like there is not enough time in the day to get it all accomplished. The feeling of overwhelm is natural in entrepreneurship. However, overwhelm clouds your judgment and triggers the mind to focus on doing little things on your to-do list instead of the needle-moving activities, which leaves you feeling busy but not productive. There is a significant difference between the two.
The time-saving habit I am about to teach you has proven to have an incredible impact when consistently implemented with my clients, Olympic athletes, and Fortune 500 CEOs. It has helped me grow multiple businesses to 7 figures and beyond. This one strategy has helped me the most with increasing effectiveness across all domains. If you are searching for more vibrancy, joy, and progress, try this time-saving practice and see its rewards.
Since we are on the topic of productivity, I thought you would enjoy this story before we get into the action steps. See if anything resonates with you.
“Your productivity level sucks, Jodie.” I actually had to say this to a client recently. It was terrible. But accurate. Listen, did you know the average American spends 37 minutes per day on Facebook?
Let’s break that down:
- 37 mins x 7 days = 259 minutes.
- 4.3 hours per week = 207 hours per year.
- 207 hours = 25 8HR workdays per year.
That adds up to almost an entire month of work per year! That was just part of my client’s problem. She kept saying, “There is never enough time for my dreams..my health..my spouse.” But, this person was on social media for almost an hour per day and not posting stuff to build their business, just browsing divided throughout the day into mini-distraction moments to make it worse.
So I let this client have it with love, of course. Then we dug deeper. This person also lost to distraction or poor planning, on average, about 60 minutes before 3 PM every day.
Let’s break that down:
- 60 minutes per day = 30 hours per month.
- 30 hours per month = 3.7 full 8HR workdays per month.
- 3.7 8HR workdays= 45 full workdays per year.
So, by losing just over 90 minutes per day to social media and general distraction or disorganization, this person was losing 70 full workdays per year. That is losing more than two full months of work per year. But not all of that time had to go to work. That time could have been for family, health, leisure, travel, and life! So yeah, this person did suck at productivity. I know that does not sound nice, but I get paid to help people reach high performance. And time management and productivity are essential to that.
The sad part is – most people are way worse off. They watch 4 hours of television per day, spend almost 1-hour browsing social media, and do not have a written list of goals anywhere within 1000 yards of their body. Now that is not everyone, and probably not you. But dang, time is VALUABLE, right?! The numbers do not lie.
That is why I am so disciplined about my time. Here are the steps I recommend taking to start optimizing your time so you can align it with the things that matter and achieve more.
Step 1: Track Time
To optimize your time, we must first take inventory of where your time is going. We need an accurate assessment first to optimize it. The data, like in the above story, will not lie. I recommend tracking your time on a spreadsheet for at least 7 days and in 15 min increments. This practice will be eye-opening and show you where your priorities have been.
Step 2: Optimize Data
Now that we have the data, it is time to filter through and optimize. Take an honest look at your activities and ask the following questions.
1: Can anything on this list be delegated?
Examples of tasks that should be delegated: Any tasks that you can pay someone an hourly rate less than yours. For example. If your hourly rate is 100$ per hour and a house cleaner charges 30$ an hour, that is an activity that you should be outsourcing. A business example. If your hourly rate is 500$ an hour and you could pay a VA 25$ an hour to onboard clients and take care of your administration emails, then you should be outsourcing those activities to free up your time for money-making activities or simply for time off.
2: Can anything on this list be batched?
Examples of things that should batch: It takes a lot of mental energy to switch from an unrelated task to an unrelated job. Our brains are not built for that nor multitasking. Personal tasks that can batch are cleaning the house, laundry, watering the plants, checking the mail, trimming the bushes, and lawn care. All of those tasks are similar and are related to housecare. A business example would be marketing emails, social media posts, emails, and writing sales pages. Those are all grouped in the marketing tasks category. Other examples could be stacking client calls all on the same day, so they are not spread out during the week, or taking care of your business financials in a 4-hour block.
3: Can anything on this list be automated?
Examples of things that should automate: There are so many automation tools for you to capitalize on, for example, grocery delivery or automatic orders from Amazon of the items purchased the most. A business example is social media schedulers, which allow you to batch social media posts in one sitting and schedule them to post at later times. Another example is email automation which allows your email software to send emails at specific times to your clients or potential clients. Or using Zapier to integrate different apps you use in your business together. Hence, they talk to each other, which can automate many tasks I bet you or your VA are currently doing manually.
4: Can anything on this list be eliminated?
Examples of things you should eliminate: We face many distractions like emails, social media, and working from home. But if we allow distractions to steal our focus, we are losing precious time where we could be relaxing or making more money. Examples that you should eliminate are social media scrolling, checking email throughout the day, hitting the snooze button, and anything that is not related directly to the projects you are working on.
After implementing everything listed above, see how the next few weeks go for you. You may have to take another swipe at this in a few weeks to see where you can continue to optimize. The key is awareness and tracking the data.
The life of an entrepreneur can feel overwhelming at times. These tricks will lighten the load and help you get the most out of every day. Experiment with these techniques, and be sure to measure your results. Everyone’s success path is different in entrepreneurship, so allow yourself to explore, have fun with it and find a combination of strategies that best serve your personality and work style.