As many entrepreneurs know, the key to maximizing productivity lies in a solid workday structure. The not-so-secret art of structuring can be applied at many levels and can save time and energy yielding massive returns in increased levels of productivity and focus. Yet, building a workday structure can be a bit confusing or unsettling, initially.
Here are 8 strategies that you can try and check which ones work best for you:
Set Your Agenda
Having a clear plan and goals before the workweek begins or perhaps prior to the start of the day or a night before, helps you set the table in a way that allows you to get the most out of each day. You should set up your schedule to come in very early twice a week in order to get the work that requires your full attention done—like contract reviews, reports and so on—while the office is quiet. Then for calls, meetings and appointments with others, you should do your best to take those at end of day when you are not being pulled from a thousand directions! Getting your personal work done during the early and late hours of the day allows you to focus on midday with employees when things are the busiest.
Avoid Context Switching
There are some simple ways to avoid context switching. Schedule all your meetings on the same day or two of the week to increase the blocks of times on the other days to focus. Triage your email once or twice a day, rather than being in your inbox all day. Everyone has tasks that are necessary to do but don’t require much critical thinking. Tackle these when you realize it’s the best you can do.
Create A Routine
Creating a routine is one of the easiest ways to have structure, which can maximize productivity such as starting every morning with a cup of coffee at home while catching up on a series of blogs and news outlets. This will help you limit your news consumption to the morning and prevent it from distracting you during the day. Therefore having a routine would help you to have a structure.
Switch Between Tasks
Working in short time frames helps to keep you motivated and productive, since it forces you to keep engaging with fresh ideas and problems so you avoid feeling bored or burned out. If you get into a good rhythm, you can finish a week’s worth of work this way in only three days!
One of the big reasons people don’t get as much done as they want is simply because they don’t have a plan. You should use a simple checklist that features five tasks that you want to work on for that day. You should write this the day before so there is no confusion what you will be working on when you get to your desk. Out of those five tasks, circle the three tasks that are the hardest in your mind. Those are the three you should focus on accomplishing for the day.
Plan Around The Biggest Goals
You have one limited resource—your time. To ensure that the important, not merely the urgent, gets the attention it deserves, we must plan around our biggest goals first. Some call these their “big rocks.” These are your big goals of importance that will guide all of your actions moving forward and focus on business, personal, family, health and spiritual. All five work in unison to move you forward toward your final chosen destination finish line. Set your big rocks and put them in your schedule before all else.
Hire A Personal Assistant
Hiring a personal assistant to handle your administrative tasks will help you not only complete smaller tasks such as making quarterly tax payment or following up with a supplier, but also to move from project to project, stay organized and stay on schedule.
Leverage Specific Tools
Being a small business owner, it’s important that you stick to tasks that will move the needle and move projects along instead of getting trapped doing busy work. That’s where to-do lists come in. They help you prioritize tasks and manage expectations and project completion dates. There are tons of tools available such as Todoist, Trello, Focusme that help you manage tasks.