The Rolling Stones lied–time is NOT on our side! The average work week in the United States is higher than anywhere in the world, and we take less time off. Even worse, our stress levels are contributing to health issues for far too many of us.
Here are some tips to get more done during the day and reducing your stress:
Eat That Frog! – For me, this short, easy-to-read book by Brian Tracy was a major life changer. The basic concept is first thing in the morning before you do anything else, do the most important task that you dread doing. It accomplishes two things. First, you get a great sense of accomplishment. You also get projects done daily that would be put to the back burner while you were handling smaller or less important tasks (like cleaning your desk or those relentless emails). For many people, their mind is fresh in the morning, and they can focus better and get tasks done quicker.
Millionaire Mind – Ever notice that people who do make lots of money seem to have more time to do things? Yes, some of it is delegation of tasks; but, more importantly, they simply manage the time they have better.
The common thread for all of them is that they avoid distractions and schedule time on their calendars to handle things that:
- Require a high degree of focus
- Meetings – with customers and staff
- Time to plan – they realize how important this is so that they are steering the ship and not just reacting to emergencies
- Their personal time – vacations, golf, etc. They realize the importance of refreshing themselves and how much doing so helps them focus on their business
In addition, they will schedule similar tasks together–phone calls, emails, etc. Some go as far to only do certain tasks on certain days of the week. Others do this on a daily basis.
They also have had to accept that not everything is an emergency and not everything is urgent. This is the first step in learning to prioritize tasks and to use the time-bunching principle discussed above.
Doing this requires outside help and discipline. PLENTY of discipline because it is very easy to fall back into old habits.
Hire a Good Assistant – Most small business people complain that they cannot afford this. This could not be further from the truth. You cannot afford NOT to do this.
For starters, this person can handle tasks that do not make your company money or are time-consuming. This frees you up to spend more time with your customers and to develop new business. It also takes an enormous amount of things that need to be done out of your head and reduces your stress. The pay back is enormous.
This person can also handle some of the tasks that you really need to get to but cannot find the time–social media posts, making sure projects are done on time, coordinating employee assignments, etc.
This is one of the single best investments in your business you can make.
Adopted from “On Millionaire Time”, Sandi Smith Leyva