Do you ever get the feeling that you’re working against the clock?
Who am I kidding… of course you do!
Every Sunday evening, you diligently sit down to fill up your calendar for the week… and then you blink, and it’s the weekend again and – oops! You didn’t do nearly as much as you’d hoped. And this happens, more or less, every week.
If you’re tired of schedules that never work and goals that seem as distant as the moon, then this one’s for you!
Read on to find out what it takes to take back the control over your time and finally make the progress you’re working so hard for!
Is it you – or is it your schedule?
Yes, we all have 24 hours in a day – Beyonce and Bill Gates included! – but we don’t all have the same circumstances. Before you blame yourself for not being productive enough, see whether the problem is in your schedule.
Signs that your plate’s just too full
Sometimes, the more you have to do, the less you’re able to get done.
Take a good look at your calendar. What do you see?
If you’ve noticed that:
- You can’t find a free slot in the next 7 days
- You always seem to jump from one major task to the other
- You have more than three URGENT slots every day
… and your mind is just scattered around, unable to focus, then it’s not your productivity that’s the problem.
Give yourself a break before you burn out heavily!
READ NEXT: 6 Ways You Unknowingly Sabotage Your Business
Your schedule looks just fine? Then keep on reading!
Here’s what you can do to claim back your most precious resource!
Track your time
Are you investing time in something – without even knowing it?
Carry a notebook with you for a week and write down every single big or little thing you spend time on. You’d be surprised by what you find out!
Let’s say, maybe replying to Instagram messages isn’t the five-minute job you thought it is… and it’s actually taking you 45 minutes to work your way through your inbox.
Once you find where the leak is, only then can you take the steps to fix it!
Urgent is not your friend
More often than not, it’s the urgent things that end up crushing your productivity.
And while you can’t do anything about real emergencies (they do happen), there’s a lot to do about the urgencies that aren’t really urgent. 😉
Checking your messages all that often in case you miss an important message? A real emergency would very likely show up as a phone call.
A client’s requesting work that isn’t exactly following your preferred timeline? A rush fee is a nice way to sort the real urgent work from the we-can-wait one.
READ NEXT: The Secret of Success: Knowing When to Say No
This is the hardest part for a lot of entrepreneurs.
For some odd reason, if you’re your own boss, people expect that you may have a bit more wiggle room than you actually do.
However, there comes a time when you have to set some firm boundaries in order to keep both your productivity and sanity!
For instance, after deciding on your office hours, let your friends and family know at what times during the day you won’t be available. Do the same for your clients, so they can know when they should (and shouldn’t!) expect to hear from you!
Other ways to set boundaries:
- Turn off your phone notifications and turn on airplane mode while working
- Set SMART goals
- Check your email only once or twice per day
- Schedule meetings at least a week in advance
READ NEXT: 5 Tips to Give Your Productivity a Nudge
How do you make sure your time is truly your own?
Leave me a comment and let me know – I’d love to hear from you!