As a busy professional service provider it can seem impossible to get everything done. Do you look around at others and wonder how they get so much done and make it look so easy? There are some tried and true methods for getting more done each day that you may not have considered.
Even if you are a business of one, you can still delegate both at work and on the home front. Hire a virtual assistant to help you with repetitive tasks that aren't your main money-making ones and that you don't even like to do. Is there something you avoid doing but must be done? Find someone else to do it. It might be dealing with customer service, sharing blog posts and items on social media, or it might be housework. It's up to you what you choose to delegate.
Use Your Calendar
Today we have so many useful ways to use a calendar. Using an online calendar that lets you create separate calendars for each portion of your life yet integrate them into one big life calendar (such as Google Calendar), can be a very good way to keep track of your schedule. You should schedule not only work, but personal time too.
By time blocking and scheduling work in time increments that you think you need to get a particular task done, you'll be able to fill your calendar more productively. For instance, if it takes you 15 minutes to check email in the morning, schedule only 15 minutes for checking email. By micromanaging your calendar, you'll end up with more time to do everything that matters to you. This is also something your virtual assistant can help you manage.
Set Milestones and Deadlines
When you do services for others it's easy to create milestones and deadlines based on your clients' needs. But, it can seem a little harder when you're creating milestones and deadlines for yourself. Even so, it's an important component to being more productive. Be realistic when determining how long any one project should take you. Then, work your way back on the calendar to today giving yourself enough time each day to work towards meeting your milestones.
A Little Self-Discipline Goes Very Far
Periodically during the day, double check yourself to ensure that you are doing tasks that are in your calendar. If you're not, stop what you're doing, look at your full calendar and start working on the things on it for today. Do not allow yourself to do anything else until you've done the things on your calendar for today.
Just as tasks should be listed in your calendar, so should rewards throughout the day. Put into your calendar "when I finish this to-do, I can spend 15 minutes on Facebook." Set a timer so that you don't lose track of time. By keeping track of your time this way, after about a month it will all become second nature to be very productive and not let yourself get sidetracked.
Do you do something on a regular basis over and over again? Do you have a new client checklist? Do you have various task checklists to ensure you don't miss a step? Many different professionals have checklists that help them stay on track for any one task. They use it to ensure that nothing was forgotten. Don't assume you'll remember; use a checklist every single time for best results. To take it a step further, use task templates in your project management system so you can set up deadlines and reminders.
Finally, always stay mindful of the consequences of being disorganized and unproductive. As a professional service provider, everything rides on your ability to be able to plan, organize and implement all the tasks and projects you need to do on any given day, week, month, quarter and year. As you create processes and implement them, you'll be amazed at how productive you'll become.
If you need some support and you’ve been looking for a virtual assistant or online business manager to help you get things done and stay on track, click here and let’s connect.