Written By Cassandre
What do you do when you don’t feel like you’re being productive enough?
I’m certain that you are no stranger to creating a to-do list. We create lists for everything. Grocery shopping, business meetings, social media, projects, etcetera.
Procrastination becomes a welcomed friend. We do not know how to limit ourselves. We tend to overextend or over commit. That eventually we do not get everything we set out to do accomplished.
So what are the ways to resolve this?
Well, I’ve come up with a method I like to call the power of three. While I’m familiar with procrastination and feeling ineffective with the things I know I’m supposed to do. I found myself constantly feeling overwhelmed with my to-do list, that I stop writing them. ( Bad idea)
So I would set alarms or reminders, but then I began ignoring them. So after feeling like a failure and not getting anywhere near my goals. The idea of writing down three things and attempt to accomplish the following day appeared more doable. This idea was brought to my attention when I came across an Instagram post from a well-known reality star turned businesswoman.
She mentioned in this post that she always wrote down 3 things before bed and would aim to accomplish the following day. And that her juggling so much this helped her stay grounded. (my interpretation) So I’ve done some more digging around to compile a list of methods that anyone can apply to their busy lives.
1. Make getting enough sleep a priority.
Usually, most people would believe and advise entrepreneurs to hustle and grind. But, sacrificing your sleep time isn’t always a good idea. When your sleep deprived you are more than likely to not perform at your peak. So rest up guys, it will show in your work.
2. Start your day the night before
This is actually one of my favorite things to do because I feel a little bit more confident in knowing I have something planned ahead to put my focus on. So take the time to write your tasks down
3. Begin every day with a moment of mindfulness
What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed? Do you check your emails? The morning time, is a great time to set the tone for you’re day. It’s healthy to have some sort of ritual that gets you in the right frame of mind. For example doing a few stretches using yoga, can help with getting your body ready to handle the day.
4. Make your calendar your master plan for success
The calendar can be your ally or enemy. But, it will not disappoint when it comes to keeping things in perspective.
5. Instead of a to-do list, create a schedule
Have you noticed when you have a to do list you seem prone to overwhelm?
Creating a schedule is a better alternative. Why? Think about highschool when you were on a schedule you knew where you needed to be at certain times of the day and after a while it was second nature and you knew were you needed to be and doing the work that needed to be done. Here’s an example of what my current schedule looks like courtesy of using Asana.
6. Learn to say “No”
As a small business owner, you often may feel compelled to say “yes” to every proposition or project you’re offered, especially in the beginning. When your mindset forces you to believe that if you reject potential clients or projects, that you’re losing out to the competition. You’re usually operating from a place of “scarcity”. This is far from true because there is enough pie for everyone. What actually occurs is, you become a “Yes” man/woman to every Tom, Dick, or Sally. Which causes you to become overwhelmed, overcommitted, burned out and miserable. When that happens your quality of work suffers. That then makes your clients unhappy with the service/product and turns around hurting your business. Definitely, not a good look. Saying no sometimes is a good thing.
7.Break down your tasks into 3 parts.
If you recall in the beginning I mentioned a method, I personally call the “Power Of 3“. This is where you take your tasks and or to do list and break them down into categories/parts. For example, when it comes to my to-do lists I have them labeled Business, Personal, and Miscellaneous.
When it comes down to the actual tasks, I break them into three parts first, middle, and last.
I love this part most of all. Why? Because when everything is being done by only you or by a small staff. It is imperative to have access to technology, that will help leverage as well as implement repetitious and tedious tasks. This can in part help with scaling your business, deliver your products and services to your customers faster. An example, social media posting for the purpose of marketing.
9. Block time for what matters most.
This would be similar to the idea of making a schedule and sticking to it. Determine your peak time. Let’s say you’re not a early bird, but more of a night owl. You can schedule a time when it’s best to handle the tasks you need to get started on or continue to work on.
10. Stop procrastinating
I know this is hard to get over, I’m guilty of this as well. So I’m not judging. But, you may notice that when you procrastinate you’re actually setting yourself up to fail. That is obviously the opposite of what your working for. So what can you do?
- If there is something you can do in under 10 minutes, just do it.
- Write it down or create some sort of reminder to get it done.
- Remove yourself from common distractions.
- Speak to yourself as to why you’re trying to accomplish this task/ goals etc.
11. Let It Go.
This can be hard to do, especially if you’re a perfectionist. But, stuff happens. You need to take a step back and revalute if the task or project will get you closer to your overall goal.
Sometimes you have to scrap the idea, and go back to the drawing board. It’s better to let go earlier than later, so you can make the necessary changes. Life can get in the way sometimes.
So I hope these tips will help you get a grasp on working towards being productive versus being busy. This isn’t a definte list it will be updated continuosly with more tips I come across or when I have applied any new methods to my own personal business. So if there are any tips you would like to mention or share below in the comments. I look forward to reading them.