I’ve always got a pretty packed schedule, so maximising my time is absolutely essential.
Here are my top tips for maximising your business day.
1) Checking emails – have designated times for checking your emails. First thing in the morning, midday and before I finish for the day works well for me.
If possible, shut down your email between those times. If you need to refer to information in your emails, set it to offline mode. This will allow you access to all your information whilst also ensuring you do not constantly feel the need to look at what is coming through.
When going through your emails, if there are some that you can deal with via a quick response, do it immediately. It’s quicker than flagging for follow-up and then having to come back to it later.
2) Social Media – this is very much a part of business today and we can’t do without it. However, we do need to be aware of what a time waster it can be. I’m guilty of getting sucked into reading funnies, articles, etc., so willpower is essential.
The solution I’ve found is to apply some rules, just as with emails. Unless you work in an occupation which requires you to be constantly on, then a similar schedule to email checking works very well.
Create a system for posting and checking your pages and stick to it!
3) Mute your phone and set your Skype to offline– this will avoid interruptions and allow you to concentrate so much better!
I actually have my Skype set to offline for the vast majority of my workday. I also only answer my phone at set times. If you answer your phone when you’re busy on another project, you often end up losing focus and worst of all, you fail to give the caller your full attention.
If it’s necessary to have your phone on for the family, it’s a good idea to have a totally separate mobile number that is exclusively for very close family.
4) Keep a notepad handy – this is perfect for scribbling down any thoughts that pop into your head at random moments.
Have you found how when you’re not thinking about a particular area, a thought will suddenly form? I often find when I am working I’ll have an unbidden thought of what I need to buy at the supermarket, or a great idea for a client blog, etc – I don’t want to lose the thought, so my notepad allows me to get it down on paper. The act of writing it down, then frees my mind to continue to concentrate on the task at hand.
5) Break times – Set yourself designated break times and stick to them. Leave your desk, and if possible go outside into the fresh air.
Don’t eat at your desk, take the time to chat to colleagues or read a magazine/chapter from a book, listen to some relaxing music or whatever appeals to you.
This is not wasting time, it’s actually setting you up to be more productive. It’s amazing how much more clarity you have after a short break – even 15 minutes can make a difference. You’ll work more efficiently – guaranteed! I didn’t always used to do this, but once I started to implement this technique, it’s made a huge difference.
6) Make Life Easier – there are lots of great tools out there that can help make life easier.
Trello is a great tool for keeping all kinds of stuff organised, kind of like a virtual pin-board. I use it to put up task for my VA’s and pop my ideas that need to be “parked” so I do not get hit with Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS)
7) Set aside the last 15 minutes at the end of your workday for review.
Use this time to:
- Go over your emails
- Delete and file anything you don’t need
- Check your trusty notepad for the days unbidden thoughts
- Look over your calendar and add in/delete/accepts as appropriate
- Transfer any outstanding tasks to tomorrows
- Finalise the next day’s priority list
I’d love to hear your feedback and of course please share, in the comments below, any tips you like to use to get more out of each day.
This post originally appeared on Simple Team Meeting as 7 Simple, Proven Tips to Immediately Get More Out of Your Day.