04 Dec 7 kick ass ways to get more done
Okay this is a juicy one – I’m about to share with you my top 7 tips for getting more done, all at once!
I’m feeling generous, normally I’d phase this over 2 or 3 blog posts at least. Actually, I could write a blog post about each one of the seven tips.
But no, I’m going to give you all seven in one sitting. This doesn’t make them any less powerful, so please take the time to really think and consider each one individually.
Most importantly, take time to consider how you can apply each one of these to your business and your life – just imagine how much more you will achieve by simply using these tips…..
Here we go…
1. Rule of 3
I bang on about this a lot so you may have come across me talking about this before. Basically it’s the theory that we can only cope with 3 things in our head at any one time. When we take on more than 3 things, this is when ‘overwhelm’ creeps in to visit.
I know that you have more than 3 things going on in your business and I know that there are more than 3 things you need to do.
The ‘rule of 3’ is about selecting the 3 most important things to focus on at any one time and getting these done.
For example, each month, set yourself 3 goals you want to achieve in the month. Each week, break these 3 goals down into 3 tasks you need to do to achieve the bigger goals.
If you are using your to-do list as a dumping ground right now for every little thing you need to do then STOP and write out 3 tasks you can do this week that will really make a difference in your business and move you nearer your goals.
2. Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s Law states that a task will expand to fill the time you allow for it.
It’s all about the importance of setting yourself deadlines for tasks.
For example, if you find yourself losing time in the day to check social media sites, this is because you are allowing too much time for it. Instead set yourself a deadline of 15 minutes and when the 15 minutes is up, stop and move onto something else.
Setting yourself deadlines is a great way to overcome procrastination and also the trap of perfectionism i.e. keep working on something until it’s ‘perfect’.
Set a deadline, get it done, then move on.
3. Pareto’s Law (80/20 principle)
You may be familiar with this concept. It’s been proven time and time again that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts.
This means that 80% of your profits are coming from 20% of your customers. Do you know who your 20% most profitable customers are?
80% of your customers will be coming from 20% of your marketing. Do you know which of your marketing activities is most effective?
80% of your time is spent dealing with 20% of your customers.
How would it feel to just be working with your most profitable customers, only doing marketing activity that works, and to get rid of the 20% of customers who take up most of your time?
All it needs is a little time to figure it out, then apply it, and hey presto – huge increase in productivty and profitability!
Doing similiar type tasks together.
For example, dealing with your emails in one sitting rather than randomly dipping in and out throughout the day.
Or doing your invoices together. Or writing a month’s worth of blog posts. Or visiting clients on a set day.
By doing similiar tasks at the same time, you should be more in the flow, and therefore it should take less time to do lots in one sitting rather than doing little bits here and there throughout the week.
Make sense so far?
I like to think of this as the sister to batching.
If you have tasks that need doing on a regular basis then schedule time in to do them.
Sounds obvious I know but check your to-do list – do you have tasks on there that you need to do all the time? Take them off your to-do list and put the time in your diary.
Maybe you need to schedule in an hour each week to stay on top of your book-keeping. Or perhaps you have recurring marketing activities each week that you need to put half a day aside for.
Schedule the time in your diary on a recurring appointment basis so that you don’t have to keep thinking about them and feel reassured that you have the time booked in to do it.
You are a business owner so act like a business owner. This does not mean that you have to do everything – quite the opposite in fact.
Your time is best spent on activities that generate money for your business.
Work to your strengths and build a team who can support you with the other stuff.
This doesn’t mean you have to employ people. There are loads of people out there who can support you on an ad-hoc basis, where you just pay for the time you need.
Or, if you need someone on a more regular basis, find a freelancer who can do what you need them to on a monthly retainer basis.
If things don’t work out, or you no longer need the help, then you just stop using them.
7. Say no
Sounds simple doesn’t it? How often have you found yourself doing something that you wish you’d said no to? It may be a new client you’ve taken on or it may be extra commitments outside of your business.
I’ve diagnosed myself with ‘volunteer syndrome’ before (yes, I made this up)- if someone needs a volunteer my hand tends to rise up by itself. I now try and be careful of situations I put myself in where I know this will happen, and make sure I have a clear view of what I can commit before going along.
Remember this quote – “in saying yes to others, what are you saying no to for yourself?”
If this has been useful to you, you can also get my weekly Rock Your Biz tips, helping Solo Entrepreneurs to be more productive and profitable, here
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Zoa ArnelPosted at 06:59h, 02 September
Hi Alison, thanks for this, it’s really useful. I already do a few of these points but will try to do the other points from now on. Another useful tip is to keep a notepad by your bed so when you wake up in the night and you think of an important task, you can write it down and drift off back to sleep rather than lying their for hours worrying that you will forget it!
Alison BradfordPosted at 10:24h, 02 September
Hi Zoa, Thanks for your comment. Having a notepad by your bed is a great tip, though I’d love someone to invent something that could take my thoughts and type them up without me having to turn on the light and write – wrote a couple of blog posts in my head the other night! 😉
Jenny McKennaPosted at 21:44h, 28 December
Such a great article Alison. Thanks for posting all 7 tips together.
Alison BradfordPosted at 08:35h, 29 December
My pleasure Jenny – glad you enjoyed them.