Have you ever had one of those days where you have back-to-back appointments, you’re answering emails on the go, you’re killing your to-do list and it’s just non-stop work and productivity?
It feels good right? You’re on a productivity high, you get to tell people how busy your day has been – you are a total BOSS.
Except… those days aren’t your everyday reality. And if you try to make them your every day reality… well, I’m not being dramatic if I say, you’re right on track for an epic burnout.
It is not physically possible for most of us to maintain that kind of pace.
Those Instagram heroes who look like they’re living that lifestyle long term most likely are following some of the tips below and are just showing you a carefully curated version of their life.
Just because you see the occasional post where I talk about my hectic and exciting working day, does not mean that I haven’t also spent several hours sat on the couch procrastinating, while wearing the most stretchy pair of pants I own.
Super busy days mean stress, adrenaline, cortisol, anxiety. None of these are good long term. But don’t worry, we’re not telling you to focus only on slow-paced days.
It’s about finding the right balance so you can Do Less and Accomplish MORE, consistently.
There are benefits that come with structured, busy days. You are forced to stay on schedule, limited opportunities for procrastination, you build momentum which boosts your productivity. If you’re anything like me, you need a little bit of busy to keep you on-track.
Running your own business does mean more responsibility, but why work harder than you need to when you can work smarter? So, how do we work smarter and achieve the right balance?
Don’t fall for the multi-tasking myth
The so called benefits of multi-tasking has been proven to be a myth, so don’t bother trying to convince yourself that you’re being more productive and efficient. Focus on one task at a time and use our next tip to group and block similar types of tasks together.
If you are meant to be completing admin tasks, don’t keep taking breaks to brain storm creative ideas. And close all those unnecessary tabs!
Use time blocking
The Simplifier’s CEO – Mary Baird-Wilcock, taught me the time blocking method. Designate specific chunks of your day to specific tasks and blocking that time out in my Google Calendar. Email notifications are off and I only check and respond during designated times.
The benefits are that I stay focused, I don’t get overwhelmed by my to-do list, and I am able to set realistic goals for the day because I have set blocks to complete, not just a never ending list to follow.
Take it to the next level: Let your staff, colleagues or clients (if appropriate) know when your blocks for meetings, calls and answering emails are. Set expectations and no one will be harassing you while you’re trying to focus or getting annoyed because you haven’t responded within 15 minutes. Everyone wins!
Set 5 must-do goals for the day
These are the non-negotiable tasks that you have to get done and that can’t be carried over to another day. Any more and you’ll risk overwhelm. Complete those tasks early? Great! Carry on with the rest of your to-do list and feel even better about how productive you are.
If you set yourself an unrealistic amount of work, you’ll be disappointed even if you complete 5 or more goals. It’s all about building positivity and momentum without the risk of burnout.
Focus on high yielding tasks – outsource or ditch the rest
You’re the boss because you have valuable skills, knowledge and experience. Don’t waste your time doing admin work or focusing on tasks that can be delegated. If you’re spending a whole week trying to figure out how to update your website and get it looking impressive, you’re losing time that could be spent on sales calls, meeting new clients or doing work only you can complete.
You don’t need to hire new staff or spend a fortune. Hiring a Virtual Assistant is becoming more and more popular amongst business owners who know that it’s an investment that pays off. You could make it even easier for yourself by Hiring a Simplifier!
Have you listened to our latest podcast episode? Our CEO – Mary Baird-Wilcock, CSEP talks to experts and helps you simplify in business and in life.