I would hazard a guess that at least 80 per cent of entrepreneurs finish the day not having accomplished everything that they had set out to do. Does that mean that they need to work longer hours? Or does it mean that they need to change their routines to accomplish more with the time they have? The answer is work smarter, not harder.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” -Lena Horne
As an entrepreneur, every little bit of time matters; especially when you are trying to achieve work-life balance. Just think of how much time you waste in a day. Every time you check your emails or social media accounts; go for that extra cup of coffee; or watch television in the evening, you could be doing something more meaningful that drives results.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t partake in activities outside of your career. Obviously finding a balance and doing activities that you love is important for stress reduction and simple enjoyment of life. However, if you try to cut back on the time spent wasting moments doing tasks that have no purpose, you will find more minutes in your day.
Simple Techniques to Work Smarter, Not Harder
Streamline Your To Do List
To-do lists are a good starting point to organize your daily tasks. However, did you consider if that list is achievable and meaningful? A lot of people don’t look at their list and triage the mundane tasks from the must-do. Be smart with how you allocate your day and ensure that what ends up on your to do list is absolutely necessary and focused.
While this might seem obvious to some, there is a valid reason behind building routines that actually make you more productive. Simply put, we take time making decisions throughout the day – what should I have for lunch?; red tie or blue tie?; reading the newspaper or checking my social media accounts over breakfast? Building routines and habits into your day helps reduce the amount of time spent simply deciding. This will free up more time for actually doing.
Whatever disruption looks like to you, avoid it. Perhaps it means turning off your email notification and simply checking three or four times throughout the day. Maybe it’s closing your door with a note that you are not to be disturbed until a certain time. Or it could be as simple as cleaning clutter from your desk (or desktop) and only having the task at hand in sight. Do one or two things today that will help you better focus on your priorities and you will notice that your tasks get checked off your newly modified to do list a lot faster.
While there are some that have taken multi-tasking to a whole new level, for most of us, multi-tasking is simply a disruption that we should avoid. Researchers have found that they can actually see the brain struggling when multitasking, so do yourself a favour and focus on one task at a time until it’s done… then move on. You’ll not only notice higher productivity, but the quality of your work will improve drastically.
Implementing these few simple tasks each and every day should help you find minutes, that lead to hours of productive time. Freeing up those minutes will leave you with enough time to do what you really want to do outside of the office. Balance can be achieved by those who work at it, and those who work at it will find they work smarter, not harder.
Roy Murad is a father, husband, business advisor, investor, advocate for new business ventures, and consummate entrepreneur. Over the course of 35 years building businesses, guiding companies and identifying strong investment opportunities, while nurturing a thriving family, Roy Murad has amassed a wealth of experience; experience, that may be of value to others who are looking to shape a balanced and successful life experience.
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