1. TO-DO LIST:
The key item here is to write everything down, writing it down gives you a visual of what really needs to be accomplished. Tonight before you go to bed make a list of items that you HAVE to get done and WANT to get done for tomorrow and for the rest of the week. Prioritize them by importance, due date, or easiest/fastest first.
2. ASSEMBLE THE PROPER TOOLS:
In order to take on certain tasks you need to make the right preparations. For larger items, be sure to break them down into smaller tasks that you can do throughout the day or week. Planning a road trip for the weekend? then spend an hour each day during the week gathering the items you need for Friday’s departure. Don’t leave it until last minute to rush everything, this never turns into anything good.
3. START FIRST THING IN THE MORNING:
Stop waking up at 11:00am and 12:00 noon, by this time half of your day is already shot. Wake up as if you have a 9-5 job. Whatever is marked #1 on your list should be taken care of first thing in the morning. By waiting until the afternoon you’re just going to come up with more excuses and put it off. If the bank isn’t open at 7:00am to pay your bills, then take care of the easier, less time consuming tasks. Procrastination has a snowball effect and the longer you put things off and let yourself get distracted, the bigger the to-do pile gets, the more you get stressed out, and the more your personal life and business will suffer.
4. BE EFFICIENT:
Contrary to popular belief, there is always time in the day to do two things at once. If you’re sitting watching T.V. while waiting for the laundry, how about going the the gym instead or running to the grocery store. The goal here is to maximize your time so you don’t fall behind.
5. USE A DAY PLANNER:
Day planner should be with you at all times. In-case you haven’t gone to elementary school, we were all taught to use our assignment planners. Following a schedule that is right infront of you makes it easier to see what else needs to get done and how much time you have to complete them. With today’s technology there are hundreds of apps for smartphones (i.e. iPhone and Blackberry) that make it incredibly easy to organize your day to day activities. Click here to see a list of the top 10 organization apps I use to keep me on the ball.
6. AVOID DISTRACTIONS:
Do you browse around Facebook aimlessly instead of preparing that invoice? Or maybe chatting on BBM (blackberry messenger) instead of dealing with client issues. One common pitfalls of the Entrepreneur is the HUNDREDS of distractions of the home office. From your T.V., to Facebook, to BBM, to back to Facebook, these are things that you probably say “I deserve a break, I finished most of my tasks today.” The problem is that these little “treats” turn into hours of complete uselessness. Turn off that television, set your status to Busy or just turn your phone off all together (unless it’s your business phone). STAY FOCUSED!!
There are some things that you just can’t do by yourself or simply take up way too much of your time. Ask a friend to give you hand, or hire someone to take on a task. For example, if you need to touch up some photos for your gallery, its easier to pay a designer to do it for you in a fraction of the time. Now you can use that extra time to do something else like finding a new client or finish off another project.
8. SCHEDULE PERSONAL TIME:
Having your own business you are always the one that has to deal with anything and everything that might pop-up in the course of a day. So don’t try to do 50 things in one day and leave no time for yourself, you will just burn yourself out and that’s never a good thing.
9. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE MONEY:
Keep thinking about how GOOD it will feel when you finally finish that pain-in-the-butt task that’s been nagging you for days or even weeks. The pay-off in the end, that feeling of success, is always the most rewarding feeling you could get, that and a big paycheck. So keep at it until its done.
10. REWARD YOURSELF:
As each task gets crossed off the list, give yourself a little treat by catching up on some news or grabbing a quick bite to eat with a friend. For larger tasks go and buy yourself that hat you wanted or whatever floats your boat. Setting goals and rewards gives you something to look forward to when you finish, but be realistic…you don’t deserve an iPad just because you did the laundry.