One of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people set is to work smarter, not harder. And if you’re a business owner, getting things done is incredibly important, as there are multiple people relying on you every day. Avoid falling into the trap of being busy instead of productive with these 6 tips that will help you get more out of each day.
Get Up Early
We’ve all heard the phrase “early bird catches the morning worm”, and it’s true, early mornings are dim and quiet, perfect for clearing your mind. Entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Victoria Beckham swear by it as it makes them feel like they have a head start to the rest of the world. Ease your way into this new habit by simply going to bed earlier and setting your alarm to thirty minutes earlier than you would usually wake up. Each week you can gradually increase this until you form the habit and your body naturally knows when to wake up. With this extra time to yourself, you can take the time to enjoy things such as your morning coffee without stressing about how much time you have before you dive into the working day.
When making decisions about what to focus your time on for the day and week, you should always be actively aware of your goals and how each action is aimed at bringing you closer to achieving those goals. If you feel like you’ve lost a bit of motivation on the goals you set earlier onin the year, read the article on how to build momentum and get your goals back on track here. A great way to remind yourself of your goals is by keeping them somewhere visible. Whether it’s above your desk or in your diary, being able to easily reference your goals each day will work as a reminder on what you should be working on to get you closer to achieving them.
Too often it feels like your to-do list is endless and everything needs equal attention. Prioritisation should always begin with eliminating the tasks that you should not be performing and doesn’t require your immediate attention. Once this has been done, you can switch your focus to doing the most valuable work with the time and resources that are available to you.
4. Turn Off Notifications
Every day, countless messages compete for our attention and time. In a 2015 study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology studying Human Perception and Performance, it found that simply hearing your phone ring, ding or vibrate can destroy your focus. As soon as you start to think about who was trying to reach you, what they wanted and whether it was important, it takes time and energy to re-focus and dive back into the work you were doing. Get started by turning off notifications for ‘less important’ applications such as facebook and Instagram. Those likes and comments will still be there when you check your phone later, we promise. If you’re bold enough, put your phone on flight mode for an hour at a time and see how you go.
5. Practice an Hour of Power
We all have certain times in the day in which we operate at our peak, whether it’s right after lunch or when everyone else has gone to sleep. Knowing when these times are for you should be utilised to your advantage so you can complete dreaded tasks more efficiently. I find I am most efficient when my family has gone to sleep and I set aside an hour to pick one task, I then put on the timer and go!
6. Learn to Say No
Politely refusing to accept additional tasks if you think that you’re already overloaded with work is the right thing to do. This is your day, you are in charge of what gets done so take a look at your ‘To Do’ list before agreeing to take on extra work, you’ll thank yourself later.
Getting more done isn’t about how many hours you have in the day, it’s what you do with those hours. Get Shit done with our range of notebooks that also work as a to-do list here.