8 ways to maximise your time

Getting organised is so key to being effective and improving your workflow. Especially these days where we are all juggling many aspects of our life and business.
If you are practitioner, you need time to be able to tend to your clients, write emails, letters, referrals, invoices as well as market and sell your skills and spread the word about the great work you do and what you have to offer to people. On top of taking time for yourself and your loved ones.

It is all possible, so long as there is good organisation and here are 8 tips on how to do this and make life easier and for it all to feel more manageable.

Oh and…. what I will say just before I start, is that reading this article, absorbing it and understanding it in is one step, but actually following through and taking action is the necessary one to making the changes and creating a life that you love.
Remember to make it fun, give yourself rewards when you get stuff done, this is also really important. Recognise and honour your wins, big and small.

Okay, so onto the tips….

1. Allow time to get organised and make it a habit.

You could set aside one day a week or some time each morning, depending on what works for you, but give yourself time to get organised, update your calendar, check what has been done and what still needs to get done, add in new tasks, check all your emails are up to date and have been dealt with, file your receipts and plan out the week ahead, see what meetings need to be set up. etc.. etc…

Making a list and really  makes it easier to see what could be outsourced to free up some of your time.

How do we make this fun – well find a nice place, home office or café or where-ever works for you – making sure it doesn’t have distractions and put on a music playlist!

Take regular breaks, they don't have to be long 3-5 mins is enough, just refresh yourself and get back to the task in hand.
2. Create your own system to schedule for productivity
Create a system that will help you to get organised and do want you need to do. Use your favourite app or method to do.
I like to use Asana, but other great apps are Trello, Evernote & Todoist. You can also simply use notes on your phone and create check lists there that will help you with daily, weekly, monthly or random tasks.

For calendars you can use google calendar, Ical, fantastical, or a traditional diary or paper calendar.

I personally like to use google calendars.

3. Meetings or Events and Tasks
Meetings and events (such as webinars, zoom calls, podcasts, FB live, exhibitions etc..) are time specific, so they will go in the calendar.
Tasks will go into the to do list.
If a task has a deadline – like a launch date or video shoot, then these can be put into the calendar also to help with prioritising them.

4. Do the most important tasks first.
Have the 3 most important tasks identified for each day to get done.

20% of the input creates 80% of the result.
In business there are always lots of small, fiddly things that want attention, but these aren’t the tasks that produce revenue. For instance, checking emails, running errands, checking stats, cooking meals, cleaning, writing proposals, scheduling social media posts.

The important tasks maybe, following up with clients, collecting testimonials, shooting videos etc…
Take a look at all your business activities, make a list.
The 80/20 rule demonstrates you can and should either delegate or outsource 80% of your business activities so that you can focus on the top 20% that produce revenue.
So prioritising and coming up with your top 20% of rapid revenue producing activities whatever they may be, figure it out and once you have put together a list of these vitally important activities it’s time to get to work and start automating and creating systems for the rest!

5. Batching to stay in the flow.

Batching similar tasks together like blog writing or research for social media posts, or writing emails or running errands.  If try to switch between writing a blog, to researching for social media, to running an errand, to writing emails, you will be taking time to recalibrate between tasks and losing effectiveness.

Think about the way you do laundry. You don’t just take every single dirty piece of clothing you have and put in into the washing machine, right? Instead, you wait for enough clothes to pile up, and then you wash them.
This is a perfect example of batching, where you gather all similar tasks and do them all at once. By completing them this way, you can maximize your focus on one type of task over a period of time, and therefore greatly increase your productivity on that particular job. If you do that for everything that can be scheduled ahead, then your overall productivity will be amazingly higher.
6. Plan projects before you start them
Make sure that you have a plan for a project before you dive straight in and start them. Schedule in this time, so you know what you need to do and when for the project to go smoothly.

I like to use Asana is a great tool for this.

7. Schedule a restricted amount of time to complete a task.

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

If you take a 4-hour task and allocate 2 days to it, then you’ll probably spend the whole 2 days working on that task. Those hours will not only be filled with more work, but with excess research, analysis, and even stress and anxiety.

It works the other way too! That means that, if you take a 4-hour task and allocate 2 hours to it, there is a very high chance that you’re going to get it done within that time frame. 
The fact that you focus on the important things clears away all of the meaningless noise.
You can try using the pomodoro technique (https://pomodoro-tracker.com/)  to breakdown your tasks and time your take regular breaks – and really do take those breaks. Go for a walk or make a smoothie or tea. 

8. Keep on top of your emails
Do not let your inbox’s get out of control, keep on top of them either every other day or every week.
Most likely you will have various different inboxes, so it is necessary to go through and delete, archive, flag for follow or reply.

Another task to do when you next go through your emails, or as soon as possible, is to unsubscribe from anything that isn’t important. So you do not get bombarded with marketing emails. Do this as soon as you can to prevent you from getting distracted or creating unnecessary extra work.

Final thoughts
Using these tips can really help to prevent procrastination taking over, which can really be detrimental to your productivity. Play around with what works for you, everyone is different, so it is about creating a system that you are happy with. It can take a bit of time, but it is such an important foundation to put in place right now, so that you can save time in the future.

Please do share any tips you have on improving productivity and efficiency, or if you have already created a system that works for you that can inspire others.

Join my mailing list and get my weekly newsletter and
Follow me on social media.