Do you have a long to-do list and you cannot keep up with it? Do you tend to spend too much time on a task and other important ones remain undone day after day? Do you find it difficult to prioritize your tasks or to work out a schedule that suits you?
You’re not alone! I have been there too, and so have most entrepreneurs.
What I have found with clients and social network contacts, certain tasks – especially, email and social media – tend to absorb most of their time. The need to stay connected all day long distracts us from what is really important – reach goals, complete projects, meet deadlines.
So what do you do to schedule your time in the best possible way? You don’t need any fancy tool or software to do that. The only thing you need is to develop better work habits.
(Image source: secretselling.org)
Here are a few tips, some of which I have learned from Marketing Strategist and Business Advisor Andrew J. Cass.
Tip #1 Set time blocks
Let’s start our working day with income-generating activities. Assign time blocks to writing, contacting or speaking with clients/prospects, preparing presentations, etc. and don’t allow any distraction that might interrupt you during these time blocks. Emails, phone calls, text messages can all wait until you have completed these activities.
Set specific times during the day to actually “be” online to check out your email and your social media account. I generally do that 3 times a day: morning (very quickly), lunch and evening. Getting up 30 minutes earlier every morning to check your sites, make posts and talk to your associates and friends doesn’t distract you from your income generating activities. Check your inbox and social media again at lunch and then before calling it a day.
Tip #2 Environment
Find YOUR best environment for certain activities. Most people work on projects, make phone calls, talk on the phone, and read all emails in the same place. This is not good. I have learnt that working always in the same environment is a productivity killer. How can you possibly concentrate on your writing if your phone is ringing to your left, your email is open, your cell phone is silent but keeps flashing, your kids want your attention (if you work from home, of course)?
So choose your best environment for different activities. For example, you may make phone calls and reply to and write emails in your office; you might write and work on marketing/presentations at a coffee shop, and you might read and study in your living room or garden. Get creative. Move around and find your best environments that boost your concentration and productivity. Moreover, changing environments kills boredom and frustration. I couldn’t imagine sitting in my office all day long!
Tip#3 Allow for breaks
Include breaks in your schedule. Time away from your computer screen is important to re-energize, breath and rest your brain. You can use this time to exercise – a 10-minute walk, dancing, some stretching – or get a healthy snack (I recommend fruit, rich in vitamins and fructose that are very good for your brain and energy). I often use these breaks for my daily meditation whenever I am unable to meditate in the morning Moreover, I have discovered that is during these breaks that I get the most inspiring ideas for my projects!
Tip #4 Allow for some flexibility
This is very important. Always allow time for unforeseen circumstances – delays, emergencies, forgotten duties or appointments, etc. – so, when they occur, you don’t get frustrated!
Here’s an example of the schedule I have currently set up for me. It’s just an example. You should find a schedule that really suits you and your needs.
7:00 am – 8:00 am Wake up, shower, dress, take kids to school
8:00 am – 9:00 am Meditation and breakfast
9:00 am – 11.00 am Work
11:00 am – 11:30 am Break
11:30 am – 01:30 pm Work
01:30 pm – 03:30 Lunch and shopping
03:30 pm – 04:30 pm Work
04:30 pm -05:30 pm Reply to emails, plan next day, close shop
Leave your comment below and let me know how you organize your working day and if you found this article valuable, please share it with your friends on Facebook and with your contacts on Twitter.
To a prosperous work schedule