So much to do and too little time? This could help...
How often do you get to the end of your day and feel as though you’ve barely made a dent in your work? That common phrase ‘there aren’t enough hours in the day’ hovering on the tip of your tongue...
This is common for many business owners but how about when you're also trying to write a book or other content on top of your existing responsibilities and a very full schedule?
The thing that all writers know, and so do non-writers who are trying it anyway, is that the busier you get the easier it is to procrastinate. As I'm writing this post, a Marie Forleo blog arrived in my inbox that serendipitously covered this same topic. A prolific writer herself, she points out that we don't procrastinate over the writing itself, but over getting started.
She also references The War Of Art by Steve Pressfield, which, in addition to the simple changes below, is an absolute godsend for any busy entrepreneur trying to protect their creative energy and avoid the procrastination bug.
As with all productivity tips, the ones below are hardly new or innovative, but hopefully they are reminders of the good, simple habits we can all employ to enjoy better results!
Prioritise your work
Take a step back from your day-to-day work and think about how much time you spend completing tasks that add little value, or that distract from what should be your main focus. Now consider what the most important tasks for you and your business are - use Pareto's 80-20 rule to help you do this, or Dan Sullivan's The 80% Approach.
You need to prioritise those tasks above others, and set aside dedicated time to work on them each day/week. Make sure you understand why they’re so important too, as attaching that importance to a task will make you more motivated to complete it.
Without a deadline, it can be incredibly easy to leave jobs ‘until tomorrow’, and before you know it, six months have passed. In the same way that understanding why something is important to your business or career can motivate you, a deadline will give you that extra push to not only start something, but to finish it too.
A word of caution here though; make sure those deadlines are realistic. If you set yourself an impossible deadline in which to reach a big goal, you’ll miss it and that can demotivate you - the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve.
Check out Lifehack's article on deadlines for more tips and ideas.
Visualise your day
Taking just ten minutes to visualise the day ahead, planning what work you’re going to complete, will help you set an intention for that day. As Charles Duhigg, author of the best-selling book The Power of Habit, explains in this interview - http://time.com/money/4299927/simple-ways-get-more-done-charles-duhigg/ - setting that intention prepares your brain to focus on the things you think are important and therefore makes it easier to ignore distractions.
Find time before you go to bed, over your morning cup of coffee, or on your commute to work to set those intentions for the day ahead.
Don’t forget about downtime!
Working all the hours under the sun isn’t the way to become more productive - it will actually end up doing the opposite by making you fatigued and less efficient. Making sure you get a good night’s sleep, eat well and have time for activities away from work is the best way to set you up for a productive day. Arianna Huffington's bestseller Thrive and TED Talk is all about the importance of sleep, written after she blacked out due to stress.
Your brain needs to switch off sometimes, so let it. Make time for whatever relaxes you and build this into your daily routine. You’ll feel refreshed for having spent time away from work, giving you more energy to dedicate to your business and helping you become more productive in the process.
If one of the tasks you’re struggling to find time for is writing, designing, publishing or marketing your business book, Georgia at www.writebusinessresults.com can help you with every stage of your book project. She'd love to hear from you and find out more about your book plans.