If there are nine rabbits on the ground, if you want to catch one, just focus on one. ~Jack Ma
You’ve always got something to manage, be it caring for their family, accomplishing tasks at home, completing tasks at a job, or simply chasing a dream or desire that has been elusive due to “lack of time.”
So, whether you’re an entrepreneur trying to run your own business, an artist that has been looking for a way to break away from the cage of day-to-day life to pursue your passion, or a stay-at-home mom or dad who feels like a constant victim of the clock, these tips are for you to boost your personal productivity.
I haven’t always been an entrepreneur; at one time I had a regular job working for a regular boss and I was pulling in a regular paycheck. But as time wore on, the pull for something more became unbearable. My desire for creativity wasn’t being met and I needed more out of life.
So I quit.
I know I make that sound simple, and in a way it was. But I also had to be intentional about what I wanted to do. I outlined all my assets, made a list of all the things I wanted to do and I had to decide how I could best make those two lists match up.
And I did find that match with starting a freelance writing, editing and marketing business. The best part was that I could create my business around my lifestyle – not the other way around!
But as I grew busier with more projects and clients, I discovered something that I didn’t plan for quite as well – not at first anyway.
I found myself often checking emails, answering phone calls, spending time on the Internet. My to-do list kept getting longer, and it seemed I just wasn’t ticking stuff off my list as fast as I wanted. Essentially, I had a personal productivity problem, and I knew it.
I started talking to other successful entrepreneurs, reading books, learning the holes in my own personal productivity. Of course, not everything worked for me; a lot of it was trial and error.
Eventually, after failing several times, I could come up a system that worked for me and made me happy with the amount of work I get done in a day. Keep reading to find out if you can resonate with it.
Personal Productivity Basics
There are a lot of personal productivity tips out there; some of them may work for you and others may not.
However, at the core of all of those tips, there is one theme: Don’t spend time on low productivity tasks during your peak productivity period.
Peak Productivity vs. Low Productivity Times
We can’t be “switched on” all the time. There are going to be times that we just don’t feel like doing much, a time when our brains and our bodies must take a break from all the things on our lists. These are known as low productivity times.
In contrast, peak productivity times are when you’re motivated, you’re in the flow of things. Tasks are quickly and easily accomplished because you are focused on the task at hand. These times should be guarded carefully because wasting them will lead to overall low productivity and, eventually, stress.
Only you will truly know when your peak productivity time is, so take the time to observe how you feel throughout the day. You’ll know you’ve found it whenever you feel the most motivated or the most energized to complete a task.
During that time, here’s how to avoid these common time wasters:
- Check and handle emails at only set times of the day.
- Have blocks of time to handle personal phone calls and let friends and family know when this will be.
- Learn how to turn devices to silent when you are working; better yet, put the device away so that you’re not tempted to check it while you are working.
- Unless what you are doing involves the Internet, avoid it altogether when you are in your peak productivity time. Only keep work-related browser windows open. (Kill the email window!)
Simple Personal Productivity Hacks that Will Work for Almost Anyone
No matter how well you manage your peak productivity times, there are going to be some other things that crop up as you try to accomplish your tasks, things that could keep you from accomplishing your goals.
Overcome some of these obstacles with these simple productivity hacks, and as always, feel free to adjust them to suit your personal needs.
1. Delegate the things you hate
Obviously you can’t always do this, but know when you’d do better having someone else handle the task at hand. Maybe you need to have someone come to your home to complete the mundane daily chores – the things that drive you nuts but take almost no time – so that you can have time to do some house repairs.
Maybe you need to hire a personal assistant to handle small secretarial stuff for your home business to give you more time to focus on connecting with clients. Whatever the need, there’s someone out there that can (and loves to!) do it.
2. Use technology to your benefit
While technology can be a major time waster, it can also be a time-saver if you know how to use it properly. Apps, phone email and more can help you stay productive during your downtime.
I discuss which ones I find most helpful in my book, Online Business Productivity: Be Super Productive. Get More Done in Less Time. Make Your Lifestyle Business Soar.
3. Use goal-setting to keep yourself on track
Whether you call them goals, desires or life plans, goals are practically essential in keeping things on track. This allows you to keep your eyes on the tasks at hand, the things that will help you accomplish what you want. You may even find it beneficial to set up a small reward system when certain tasks are complete.
How do you boost your personal productivity? Share your tip below.
Want to get more biz productivity tips? Check out my new ebook here.
Image by Yuri Samoilov Photo.