4 Ways to Squeeze More Hours Out of Your Day
It's been such a chaotic year for business, especially if you own your own company. It's felt like we've been running on a giant hamster wheel without enough hours in the day to get everything done! Being productive is a good thing, but we can get stuck in that busy-busy mentality and forget to slow down or to organize our day so we aren't exhausted and overwhelmed. HOW? I have four tips that help you squeeze extra time out of your day!
1. Protect Your Peak Time
We all have that time during the day when we are at our BEST, when we're able to get a lot done and make it look easy! So what is that time for you?? If you're an early bird, it might be those couple of hours just as you get to the office. For others it might be around 2pm when your lunch has fueled you up. Whatever time of day it is, PROTECT IT! Make that the time for getting your most important tasks done, and don't let anything or anyone distract you! It's like being at your peak as an athlete - you wouldn't hit your stride and then decide to look at something on your phone, right?? So why are you sabotaging your best work? Keep that peak time open for getting things done!
2. Plan Your To-Do List the Day Before
There are new studies that show that if you plan out your tasks the day before they need to be done, it gives your brain time to get ready to get to work. So just before you leave each day, put together a list of 3-4 things that you want to accomplish the next day. Don't put everything from your master list of "to do's" (that really really LONG one) on this task list! Just put the top things on there, the things that NEED to be done. When you do this the day before, you're helping your brain set itself up for success. When you come in the next morning, you've already organized your day and you know what you need to accomplish.
3. Block Out Your Calendar
This is another GREAT way to organize your day and to keep you on track. Block a time to check your email, a time to be in the design room, time to meet with your team. We all know that multitasking doesn't really work (and never has), so this approach will keep you focused on each thing you need to do. DO NOT let any distractions creep in from other tasks or people. When you're in a block for creativity, for example, don't take a call from your bookkeeper! That's going to cause a switch between your right brain and left brain, and it can take more than 20 minutes to get your focus back. Not a good thing.
4. Turn Off Notifications
I can tell you 100 times to turn your ringer off and I can tell you how important it is to NOT check social media and emails while you're in your "zone" of focus. But there's an even more important distraction that you probably are still looking at. It's all those notifications that pop up on your phone's home screen! If you have those banners and alerts set for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc., the screen of your phone can light up almost non-stop with notifications. And eventually, you WILL give in and pick up your phone. You do not need to know when someone likes one of your posts - it is NOT an emergency. So turn those off and enjoy more quality work time!
To help you get organized and get more out of the hours you DO have, download my FREE Guide to Organizing Your Creative Time. It will help you keep your focus where it needs to be!