There’s never enough time. I know no other way to say it.
I get the Ford mantra, “If you think it’s hard, you’re right…” and the Wayne Dyer philosophy of “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” but here’s the deal:
If you have major life commitments outside of your business (i.e. a family, going to school full time, a day job, a part time job, etc.), building your business means that you have less time to become MORE productive.
So how do you leverage what little time you have to get A TON of stuff done in your biz?
Here are 10 Time Hacks you can use to create entrepreneurial momentum and SERIOUS productivity:
Hack #1: Stop multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is highly overrated. #1- Studies now show that human beings don’t multi-task, #2- Multi-tasking results in less done well. Total waste of time. Stop doing it. Instead, put WHOLE mind into PRESENT action. In other words, whatever you’re working on, give it all you’ve got for the entire time you’re working on it. Set a timer if you have to but be PRESENT.
Hack #2: Create a triggering ritual that starts your day off right. What is one thing that you could do that would start your entire day off on the right foot? For some, it’s exercise. For others, it’s Starbucks. Find that one ritual that wakes you up, gets you excited for the day and do it CONSISTENTLY. Some-timing things doesn’t produce long term results. It needs to be something that will become what Twyla Tharp, in a book she wrote called The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life,calls a “triggering ritual.” It signals to your mind and body, “On your mark, get set, go!!!!!!!!!!!” and you’re off and running. Do it daily.
Hack #3: Sleep less. Yes, I’m the big bad wolf here. Yes, I know sleep is critical (books like Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
and The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time are champions of this and I agree with them). However, when you are launching a business, when you are growing a business, and when you have many other priorities pulling for your time, guess what? Sleep becomes a luxury. I’m not saying sleep 2 hours a night. Be smart about your sleep requirements. Everyone has a sleep threshold (the minimum number of hours of sleep they can operate well on). Whatever that threshhold is, apply it to a MINIMUM of 4 nights a week. Try to get good sleep (7-8 hours) 2-3 nights a week. Will your body’s sleep clock be off? Yes. Will your body basal thermometer readings look coo coo for cocoa puffs? Yes. Will this be short term if you do it right? Absolutely! Do what you HAVE to do now so you can do what you WANT to do later.
Hack #4: Hire help. I’m bad at this one. In fact, I’m trying to hire my first assistant right now. The reality is: no woman is an island. At some point, if you want to get to the next level, you have to DELEGATE. For most of us starting out, the sentiment is “I can’t afford an assistant.” What I’m quickly learning is that you can’t afford to NOT have one. Go to Task Rabbit or post on a job board or get a referral from a friend but hire help. And, yes, you will have bad hires the first few times you do it (all of my women entrepreneur friends who’ve been there and done that have told me MANY horror stories) but you’ve got to get up that learning curve. Start hiring and decide to fail forward. Eventually, you’ll get the process down and you’ll find the right people to be on your team.
Hack #5: Slash half of your To-Do list. Ooooh… I know… Tough stuff. Far too many of us love the feeling of a checked off looooooooong To-Do list but do we ask ourselves, “How important is each of these things to the overall success of my business?” I don’t think so… Be super-vigilant about your To-Do list and keep it small (like 3 items a day). What are the 3 MOST important moves you’ll need to make today? Get those done and then figure out your next 3 steps…
Hack #6: Get a massage. Weird, right? Massage? Business? Massages relieve tension. Relieved tension makes way for creativity. Creativity fosters innovation and innovation produces results. Use Groupon to find cheap massages or go to the local massage therapy school in your area and have massage students give you a one hour massage for cheap. Either way, make this a once-a-week to once every two week REQUIREMENT. Ease your mind, restore your life!
Hack #7: Keep family time CENTRAL and work time PERIPHERAL. One of the most profound things I’ve ever read on this issue came from Jon Acuff’s book,Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters. In the book, he says, “Be selfish at 5:00 am… When you’re a spouse, parent, or caregiver, your time doesn’t just belong to you. It’s in large part communal property, shared by the entire house. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be selfish with some of that time. You just have to know when you can be, which is why I mention 5:00 am.”
None of these hacks are “secrets.” They’re timeless strategies that work. The key to making the most of them is CONSISTENCY.
Pick one of the above hacks and commit to implementing it for the next 30 days.
I’d love to know which one you pick.
Leave a comment letting me know which Hack you’ll be working on the for month of December.
Let the accountability begin!
2 thoughts on “7 Ways to Use Less Time to Get More Done in Your Business (Read Time: 5 min.)”
So much goodness here, Kassandra. Like you, I’m currently trying to find ways to hire out certain tasks, so I can focus on the more important parts of my business. Definitely a goal for 2015. And the to-do list – I’m completely guilty of creating to-do lists that are waaay out of hand 🙂 The one thing I’d like to commit to for the next 30 days however, is to create a morning routine. I have the habit of going straight to my computer and am trying to break that. Instead, I’d like to incorporate (much needed) exercise. Great tips!
I’m there with you Lisa. It amazes me how good it feels to start my work day off with exercise and, yet, how often I run right to the computer. Time to break the habit 🙂