Do you sometimes feel like you are always two steps behind? Does your to-do list keep growing no matter how many items you tackle on it?
As a small business owner, it often seems there are never enough hours in the day and never a shortage of tasks on the to-do list. Taking back control of your days is one of the keys to sanity and success in the business world (yes, they are simultaneously possible).
I was going to write you a nice long blog post (because long seems to be my specialty) all about all the things you can do to snatch your day back from the jaws of distraction and disorganization, but then I realized that neither of us really has time for that, do we?
Instead, I found this nifty infographic that already has some of my favorite productivity tips for the office. Since it’s pretty tough to add commentary to someone else’s infographic, here’s my take on the tips.
Take 5 Each Morning
I’ve been doing this one for years. If you’ve been following for a while, you probably know I am a list maker. I find my days go much better, when I sit down in the morning with my calendar and take a few minutes to prioritize my day. It’s important when you do this to be realistic about how much you can accomplish. You aren’t Superman. Sorry, but someone had to say it. You also have only have a finite amount of time each day. Overstuffing your calendar will only frustrate you.
And, yes, I do make a brand-new list every day. That way, I have left yesterday behind and I’m not borrowing from tomorrow. A new list each day allows you to give your full attention to today.
FAR Rule of Three
I’ve never heard it call this—in my office we call this the “touch it once” principle. Pretty much the same thing. If you pick something up, make a decision about it and be done with it. Do not fill your inbox with piles of things you will get to later. If you want to make a reading pile for magazines and journals, that’s fine. Just make sure you have reading time on your calendar. If you can’t get to it within a month, it’s time to let it all go.
Take 5 At The End of The Day
I do this, too. Stop and review things before you call it a night. Look at what you got done and what you didn’t, what went wrong and what went right—and a quick survey of what you need to be prepared for tomorrow. Now you can go home and turn your attention to something other than business (yeah, I know; I don’t either—sometimes) because you are on top of things.
We don’t realize the importance of calendars until we start using them. I notice I’m more organized and get more done when I’m following a schedule. Of course, we should allow room for flexibility, but it’s important to have a plan. I like your tip about allowing time for interruption, thanks for sharing!
You are most welcome. It’s amazing how life changes once we accept that there is no shame in being organized, isn’t it? Thanks for your comments, Catherine.
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