Do you know someone who is naturally slim? Do you find it annoying that it seems no matter what they eat they don’t put on any weight?
I know quite a few people like that but I’m not one of them. I have to watch what I eat and consistently exercise to maintain my weight, which at the moment is nowhere near I where I want it to be!
Since starting my own business the pounds have slowly crept on. The reasons are obvious enough, what with a change in schedule, being at home and near the biscuit barrel, and of course being seriously stressed on a regular basis! Yes, some people shed pounds when they get stressed but for me it’s the opposite. If you can relate to any of this, we’d love to hear your story and hopefully you’ll find the tips in this blog helpful.
As a busy entrepreneur you will know that time is at a premium and you may have asked yourself on occasion ‘where has the day gone?’ When I first started my business, time just seemed to slip through my fingers and it took what felt like forever for me to get everything done. It probably took me about a year to realise that if I wanted to be as productive as I was in the corporate world then I was going to have to change the way I was approaching my day. Just like my daily eating regime I was going to have to get time efficient and food effective. Below are some tips for getting more done in the time you have.
Tip 1 – We love a list
Brian Tracy suggests that an hour before you go to bed you should write a list of all the activities you need to do the following day and put them in order of priority. Don’t expect to do everything on your list but decide on:
- the one thing you must do
- the other two activities that you would like to do
- what else you might be able to get done
Not only will your list be ready to get started on the following day but you will also have emptied your mind so you can have a good night’s sleep.
Tip 2 – Get supported
Recognise that there are some activities that, although you might be good at doing, ideally someone else should be undertaking them. Great business people surround themselves with individuals who excel at what they do. This frees up your time so that you can focus on what you do best. And it means that you can build a great team of people you trust.
Tip 3 – Don’t put off till tomorrow…
Don’t put off the tasks that only take a few minutes to complete. Personally I love this tip.
- Set aside one hour a day to do the tasks that take no time at all like: calling your printer to replenish your business cards, making an appointment with your bank manager, changing the cartridges in your printer, phoning a family member or friend to arrange dinner, a lunch or drinks.
- Set a timer for 60 minutes and don’t stop until the buzzer goes.
Doing these small but necessary tasks should take no time at all and you will find that you soon get on top of your administration. And the key to this tip is that you feel great when you’ve complete your hour and you realise just how much you’ve managed to get done.
Tip 4 – Take a break
Make sure you take a break and get outside for some fresh air. This is especially important if you are a home worker as it’s all too easy to stay cooped up all day. A brisk walk around the block and maybe a coffee can help recharge your batteries, stimulate your mind and help you look at your business from a whole new perspective!
Tip 5 – The 80/20 rule
It’s great to get email and generally we want to be fully aware of everything in our inbox, however if you find yourself allowing every ‘ping’ to interrupt your work then it can be a real problem. So here’s how to break the habit.
- Get fully focussed on bursts of uninterrupted work for 45 or 60 minutes
- Then read and respond to your emails for 15 or 20 minutes
- Then go back to another burst of uninterrupted work.
Reading and responding to emails can eat into your work time very easily so rather than slavishly being at their beck and call, pencil in periods in your day specifically to deal with them.
Tip 6 – Plan, plan, plan
This is such a great way to start the week.
- Choose a day at the weekend to plan out the following week.
- Group activities together so that you can make the most of your time.
Knowing the shape of your week from the outset helps you get into the right mindset and having a plan of action gives you the flexibility to agree to unexpected requests, like taking on a new client meeting.
Tip 7 – Tracking is your NBF
Tracking your output can give you an invaluable insight into how you are spending your time. I make a note every hour what I have been doing and review it at the end of the week. It helps with long-term planning as you have a much better understanding of the length of time that a task actually takes to complete. It also works as a reminder of what you have achieved.
Tip 8 – It’s time to work
Be strict with your time and allocate work hours. It’s really easy when you work for yourself to get into the habit of agreeing to meet friends for coffee, lunch or go to that mid-morning gym class which you wouldn’t normally do if you were working in an office. Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t do these things but if you want your business to grow and be successful you need to be disciplined about your work hours, so agree them upfront and stick to your plan.
Tip 9 – Selling and marketing
Make sure you set aside at least seven hours per week to sell and market your business. It’s something that a lot of entrepreneurs and micro businesses struggle with especially when there are opportunities to get on with existing client work. But if you want to ensure that you have a constant stream of new clients working with you then marketing remains a ‘must do’ activity.
Tip 10 – Work, REST and play
When you are an entrepreneur there are no rules for how much time you can spend on your business but the fact is that your body cannot work 24/7. To ensure you stay creative and energised you must take time off to relax and rest so that your body and brain can be refreshed.
Getting fit and healthy and losing a few extra pounds takes commitment, time and dedication, and the same is true of building a healthy business. If you want to take your professional life to the next level then ask yourself which of the above could you start putting into practice? You might find that you soon have more time on your hands and hopefully you won’t be carrying any extra baggage.
We would love to hear if you have put any of the above into practice or if you have any tips to share with all Women Unlimited readers. Post your thoughts in the box below.