Nearly everybody feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. The truth is that there are 24 and that’s more than enough to do whatever you need to do. The challenging part is making the most of those hours and also ensuring you’ve got time to recover from your daily tasks. There are a few good ways to carve out more time from the same number of hours.
Streamline Your Work
Are all the actions you take getting results? Take a good look and identify which are and which aren’t. The actions that aren’t making a difference to the results you want should either be cut out or streamlined so that they don’t take as much of your time. In particular, get rid of daily tasks that don’t offer long-term benefits. Monitor how much time you spend on each task with a timer and see where you could be more efficient.
If you’re working online, almost everything you do can be automated. There are software programs that do just about everything and many of them are free to use. Take a look at your tasks starting with the ones that are most mindless. Identify which ones could be run on autopilot and then look for a program to do them for you.
Can somebody lend you a helping hand? Whether you’re an Internet marketer with access to a virtual assistant or a busy parent with kids who can help, all you need to do is ask. As you identify tasks that could be automated, also make a list of items which could be done by someone else. Determine the skills needed for each task and the type of person who has those skills. If you don’t already have access to the help, you can find service providers looking for work on freelance websites. Even better, ask for recommendations from people you know and trust.
Take More Breaks
Wait a minute – you want to get things done faster and more efficiently. Why on earth would you want to take more breaks? The reason is that when you work for too long at a stretch, you start to burn out and lose your concentration. You may not realize it, but your productivity lags and you don’t get things done quickly or to the best of your ability. Schedule short breaks every hour where you simply get up and stretch. Even five minutes will help. These will allow you to work for longer and maintain your focus. Using a timer again in this capacity will help you know when to get up and move away from your desk or computer.
Stop the Interruptions
You can create more time in your day by cutting out activities that waste it. Cut out your distractions and be strict about the times when you’re working and not working. If you work at home, tell your family not to disturb you during working times. Stay on task and avoid checking email, looking at Facebook or surfing the Web. I know there’s a lot of time passed during the day where I could be more efficient. This takes discipline. But don’t forget to allow some fun into the day too. If you love being on Facebook but have to get stuff done, shut it down, do your task and reward yourself by coming back for a visit onto Facebook.
Change Your Schedule
Most people have certain times of day when they’re more productive than others. For example, many people find the mornings good for content writing because that’s when their focus is at its sharpest. Experiment with your schedule and find your sweet spot for each type of activity. If you’ve followed me at all you know I’m a morning person with my most productive time between 430-630am before the entire house gets up to start the day. Figure out what works for you and use it to your advantage!
Know Your Limits
These are all great ways to make more hours in the day, but you also need to take an honest look at yourself and know your limits. Should you really be aiming for a 12-hour workday? Most people can’t do this without going completely insane. It might be that what you need is actually less working time that’s more highly focused.
I know I have my nose to the grindstone for a couple of weeks and then I need to completely veg out and take a break. No one can sustain crazy hours week after week without a break. Its ok to push yourself, just honor your limits and your body. If you’re starting to be unproductive it could be that you’re working too much. Only you can assess where you are. Give yourself permission to do that.
I’d love to hear how you have carved out your day. Drop me a note and let me know any of your key tips!