No matter who you are, there are constraints on the time you have to do everything you want to do . . . everything you need to do.
Because of this, prioritizing is a must if you want to accomplish anything.
Keep in mind that your life doesn’t only consist of your business (work). There’s your family, friends, and keeping up with your home. There’s your faith. And, there’s your health, including preparing meals, fitness, sleep. There’s also fun/entertainment. Each of these categories require time and effort.
Ten tips to help boost your productivity.
1. Choose only 3 categories. This is Randi Zuckerman’ (Facebook) philosophy if you want to be successful. You can only choose 3 categories to give your all to. Zuckerman focuses on the following 5 categories: maintaining friendships; creating a successful business; spending time with family; staying fit; and getting enough rest. (1)
If you’re part of a family, especially if you’re a mom, this might be difficult, if not impossible. Along with this, which of those five categories do you give up?
One way to keep some sort of structure is to set specific business hours and stick to them. Give your business time a hundred percent. If you bear the bulk of responsibility for your family, make arrangements to have your family and home taken care of during your business hours.
This will help you stay focused on the work you’re doing, which will allow you to be productive.
2. Set limits. With today’s 24/7 business capability, it’s easy to work 60, even 80 hours or more a week. Don’t do it. Find a working timeframe that allows for business growth and time for the other aspects of your life.
3. Prioritize within each category. In other words, determine what’s a must at that specific time and what can be put off for a little while and what can be put on the back burner or dismissed all together.
This may be another difficult one at times, but prioritizing is a must if you are to be successful.
You’ll also need to learn how to just say NO.
4. Have a weekly, even daily, schedule. This is another strategy to keep your mind focused and streamline your work day. Be sure to keep that schedule or plan front and center. If it’s always visible, you will automatically know what you should be doing without wasting any precious mental energy on deciding what to do next.
5. Make sure your schedule is doable. Make sure the work load, project, or other isn’t overwhelming. Your objective, even if it’s your daily goals, must be realistic.
Nothing will discourage you more than having unattainable goals.
6. Do your most important tasks when you’re most energized. According to psychological research, this is the morning for most people. Studies show that mid-afternoon is ‘decision fatigue’ time. Both your body and mind get tired.
You have a certain amount of ‘mental energy’ each day. With each decision you make and task you complete, that energy source is depleted. This is why it’s advisable to do your important work during the morning. (2)
7. Strive for perfection, but don’t wait for it. Don’t waste precious time waiting to get something perfect. Jump in now.
Often, we can learn and build a successful business as we go along.
8. If you need help or the right team players, get them. It could very well be the difference between success and failure.
If you have a project that’s simply beyond your physical, mental and/or time capacity, get qualified help. While finding the right help may take time, it’s the kind of time that’s well spent. It’s the kind of time that will allow for more productivity.
9. Monitor your actions. You can be super busy, but that doesn’t mean you’re actually productive. You must see positive results for your actions. If you don’t see results, analyze what you’re doing and figure out how to do it so it works.
Don’t do ‘busy work,’ do productive work. Unproductive work is a waste of time and effort.
10. Give it a rest. Extra work hours do not translate into extra productivity. Studies for years and years have proven that there’s a ‘40 hour work week’ for a reason.
According to an article at Alternet.org, “By the eighth hour of the day, people’s best work is usually already behind them (typically turned in between hours 2 and 6). In Hour 9, as fatigue sets in, they’re only going to deliver a fraction of their usual capacity. And with every extra hour beyond that, the workers’ productivity level continues to drop, until at around 10 or 12 hours they hit full exhaustion.” (3)
Your body and mind need rest. Overwork not only leads to health issues, it increases the chances of work related accidents.
Remember, all things in moderation.
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