Calming the Whirlwind.
Ever feel like you’re constantly flying around in a whirlwind of ‘busy’ – grasping at things as they fly past you, always on the go, but not getting much done? Are you searching for that moment of calm, where you can concentrate on one thing until its completion?
I think, for all the amazing things the internet has done, it may not have done us any favours by opening a 24-hour window for us to be ‘switched on’. Distractions such as Instagram, YouTube and social media accounts such as Facebook all contribute to seducing us into feeling as though we are ‘busy’. Unfortunately though, being ‘busy’ often means that actually, we aren’t being as productive as we could be; spending more time on something doesn’t always mean more gets done!
Turning ‘busy’ into productive
There are lots of ways in which you can save yourself time, but get more things done. I believe that productive people often sit back or step away from their workload to evaluate their time. Yes, this does sound scary, but imagine a world where you are calmer, can focus on one thing at a time and can sit down for 5 minutes with a cuppa without feeling guilty!
If you think you are ‘busy’, you may be wondering when you could possibly break free of the whirlwind and take some time out to analyse your workload and priorities. But, being disciplined with yourself and realising that being objective now will help to increase productivity in the long run.
Eight tips to make this process easier are:
- Use a paper or electronic calendar to schedule not only meetings but the tasks you have to complete too and your breaks. This will increase productivity and determination by setting out a clear time to complete a task.
- Use a time tracker such as Toggl to record how long you spend on each task – you may be surprised!
- It may sound obvious but log out of your social media accounts while you complete tasks. You can always put a holding response message on your company Facebook messenger, so you’ll be able to let people know when you will be getting back to their query.
- We all know that one thing leads to another and yes, you might start out researching a new development from one of your competitors, but we all know it’ll turn into watching cute puppies jumping up and down in autumn leaves…! If you’re using YouTube or researching as part of your task, make sure you have a clearly defined objective, write it down on a post-it note and stick it to your computer – it will draw you back to the task in hand when you go off track!
- Switch off your phone so there are no distractions. Just make sure to schedule the time to respond to messages to ensure customers or clients aren’t left waiting too long.
- Set up your email inbox, using folders and rules. This will help to manage the email overload that can sometimes build up and means you won’t get distracted by off-topic emails arriving.
- Remember that you are allowed to say no. Your most valuable commodity is your time, so make sure you respect that and in doing so, look after yourself; no tasks will be completed if you are experiencing burn-out!
- Delegate! Saying you need help, but you’re ‘too busy to delegate’ or ‘you don’t know what to give away’ can lead to all sorts of problems and is a never-ending cycle. By keeping track of your time and looking at the tasks you need to complete, you will be able to identify those that can be passed on to others.
With a little research and planning, you can really change the way you work for the better and be more effective and productive in your work. It’s time to learn how to work smarter, not longer! You, your staff and your clients will thank you for it!
If you are looking to outsource to a virtual assistant, why not take advantage of my free, one hour, no obligation consultation and see how I could help free up your time. Call 079580 50856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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