Every day, I come up with a plan, a list, and a set of goals. But by the end of the day, I find myself not accomplishing everything. The worst part of all, my to-do list has become even longer than before!
It’s frustrating but part and parcel of work life. The trick here is to be as productive as possible within a given period. You’re never going to finish everything because there’s always going to be something new that comes about.
I get it. It’s tough. Many times, you can’t even decide where to start.
As an entrepreneur and coach, I’ve helped fellow business owners streamline their processes, automate their marketing and use tested and proven tools to improve their operations.
Every individual’s problems are different. Despite the differences, most parties struggle to effectively structure their time. No matter who you are, you need to be on point with how you manage those 24 hours a day.
Try incorporating these tips to increase that productive flow and work smarter!
- Stop multitasking
I always tell my hubby, “I’m the queen of multitasking.” Truth be told, it’s not entirely true. It wouldn’t be possible for me to write and speak simultaneously. To some extent, I can multitask, for instance, watching anime while formatting a document. That’s only because I don’t really need to think when formatting a document.
If and when I need to write a proposal or do a creative concept for a pitch, I’d have to shut off everything and just focus on that one item.
- Take breaks
My hubby says I work all the time. That’s a myth. I don’t deny I think most of the time when I’m awake. However, when I’m working, every hour or so, I’d take a break to do something else, like walking on the treadmill while reading messages or watching anime, or simply scrolling social media to gain some inspiration.
Sometimes, I sketch on my Procreate app or chat with a friend online just to chill.
- Set small goals
A marketing campaign usually has multiple tasks, from creating a campaign landing page, social media content, visuals, advertisements, curating and engaging influencers, writing the press release, etc.
To make the tasks seem less daunting, I break the “marketing campaign” into multiple smaller tasks. Making each task shorter and more achievable.
Instant gratification can be very motivational. Seeing that tick on the checkbox tends to push me to do things faster, just so I see more ticks. Before I knew it, I’d have completed the entire proposal.
That said, breaking a big task into smaller pieces also increases the number of tasks on the list. So the trick here is to focus on one list at a time, just so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
- Take care of the biggest tasks when you’re most alert.
The other day, I had tasks from designing a social media content calendar to completing an entire marketing proposal. Both with the same deadline.
I was tempted to work on the social media content calendar first cause it was so much easier to complete. However, I took a breath, took a walk on the treadmill and started working on the campaign first.
Why? Sometimes when a task seems significant, it becomes a bit daunting. The problem here is because it’s big, it requires more energy. If I had done the content calendar first, I wouldn’t have had enough energy to complete the marketing proposal by the end.
Furthermore, a marketing proposal had many elements to consider and items I would have to go back and forth on.
After doing the skeleton of the marketing proposal, I took a break, did the content calendar then went back and tidied up the proposal again.
This way, I could also QC my own work in the process, making it more productive.
- Implementing the “two-minutes rule”
According to Steve Olenski, I read this article that finding and immediately completing tasks that take two minutes or less actually saves you time.
So, if it takes less than two minutes, do it now.
To some extent, it’s similar to the logic of item 3, “set small goals.”
I hope my experience and insights are helpful to you. Leave a comment if you’d like to discuss it.
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