See if this sounds familiar: when you get to the office in the morning, you have 200 emails to sift through. But before you do that, you have to run to the office supply store for toner. Then in the afternoon, you’ve got a sales meeting. There’s simply not enough time in the day to get everything you need to do done.
Unless you’ve discovered the secret to cloning (and if you have, share it with me!), you’l need some smarter strategies to be more productive.
1. Get Help. Even if you’re a micropreneur, you can still get help. I frequently work with freelancers who can take on some of the work I don’t have time to do, or that I’m less skilled at, such as graphic design. Pay for what you need done rather than investing in a full-time employee if your business can’t support one.
2. Use Smarter Tools. So much of what we do can benefit from technology. Whether it’s CRM to help us keep track of client conversations, email marketing to stay in touch, or social media management platforms to schedule our Tweets, there are a plethora of apps and software that can help.
3. Prioritize. You really need to respond to that client email. But you also need to write a proposal. Which comes first? Exercise your prioritization muscle and rank your to dos in order of importance. That way you never miss a deadline and you can ensure those top-ranked priorities always get done.
4. Focus. We’re so easily distracted by the ding of our email programs. But every time you switch from one task to another, you waste valuable brain energy, and it becomes harder to refocus on what you were working on. Shut off your email if it’s the distractor, and try to work on projects for blocks of at least 30 minutes at a time.
5. Organize Your Time. Everyone has a different system for this. Mine is to put each task I have as a calendar item in Google Calendar. That way, I’ve blocked off time to work on, say, writing blog posts for a client, and nothing else gets in the way.
Productivity isn’t a gift; it’s a skill you develop with effort. Learn more ways to maximize your time with our free webinar, “8 Ways to Improve Productivity” on June 19, 2014 at 10 am Pacific and 1 pm Eastern.