How to be Productively Busy The hyper-connected world that we live in perpetuates the idea that we all need to be available 24/7. There’s a constant feel that we must be busy all of the time, but this ideal isn’t necessarily productive.‘Being busy’ could be the result of procrastination, avoidance or just feeling like you need to be busy to have success and satisfaction in your work. However, it’s impossible to be productive all the time and taking time out for some fun or relaxing moments is essential for staying on top of things.
Here are five non-frantic ways to get things done:
Learn to Say No:While it can be tempting to take on every opportunity that comes your way, having too much going on means that you won’t have enough time to do your best work on each task. This makes getting things done more stressful than it needs to be. Also knowing what you can manage increases your professionalism and confidence in your own abilities.
2. Make time for friends and family:As so many inspirational quotes like to announce, we weren’t put on this earth to work and pay bills. Scheduling time for normal, everyday things is important for your well being and will give you a much happier daily routine. Even if you only have an hour for a coffee- sometimes talking out a stressful situation with a friend makes it seem much easier to manage.
3. Prioritize:Sometimes a busy day can feel like your drowning in tasks and just knowing where to begin is the challenge. Prioritise the important things first; start with the hardest or your least favorite tasks. Small things like emails or messages can always wait- put your phone on flight mode, or do not disturb, if you find these distractions difficult to ignore.
4.Minimize distractions: One way of measuring your focus is the Pomodoro technique- you completely focus on your work for 25 minutes and then you’re allowed a 5 minute break. This helps break up a big task into little manageable chunks.
5. Allow time for recharging:Sleep is important to be able to function properly so prioritising a proper sleeping pattern will make your day much more effective. If you’re tired then it’s so much harder to concentrate. Taking regular breaks to re-focus your attention will make your productivity last much longer.
When I start to talk to prospective clients about what I do, I often find that many business owners have been struggling alone for far too long before they decide to ask for any help.
There are many explanations as to why people do this. And if this resonates with you then I’ve set out below the 3 main reasons why you don’t want to hire a virtual assistant right now.
You think that you’re saving money by doing it yourself. Why pay someone to do tasks when you can do them yourself ? It doesn’t make sense to you. However, those accumulated hours that you spend updating your website, typing up a report or putting together a newsletter are time that you could be focusing on doing client work and attracting new leads. Remember that every minute that you spend on these types of tasks is a minute that you’re not earning money for your business and if this stacks up then it could seriously affect your bottom line.
Nobody knows your business like you do. That’s true especially if you’ve built the business from scratch yourself. But if you want to grow your business then you need to understand that it’s important to build a team of people to help you. Whether that’s a bookkeeper to handle the finances, or a virtual assistant to manage the back office tasks. If you try to do it all yourself then you’ll end up burnt out and your business will just become a burden on your shoulders. By delegating tasks to others, you will be able to leverage your time so that you can focus on what’s important for your business.
You’re frightened of damaging your business reputation. Trust is a major issue for people when they start to delegate work to others. How can you trust other people to do a good job and not damage the reputation that you’ve built up with your clients? One way round this is to have a clear set of policies and values for your business and communicate these to anyone that you outsource work to. Also create a contract with terms and conditions for any associates or contractors that you take on so that there is no misunderstanding about what is required.