Do you feel like you work 24/7 but never really get ahead? Or like you’re constantly dodging distractions, and not really gaining momentum in your business? Wish you were being more productive?
You’re not alone!
Most small business owners desperately wish for more hours in the day. But since this obviously isn’t possible, there’s really only one realistic solution: to work smarter and more effectively.Most small business owners desperately wish for more hours in the day. But since this obviously isn’t possible, there’s really only one realistic solution: to work smarter and more effectively.Click To Tweet
If you’re wondering how to work more effectively, minimize distractions, and get more done in less time, this post is for you!
1. Have a Running Task List
In my experience, this is one of the most effective strategies you can use to work more effectively.
The research seems to support this as well. According to the Zeigarnik Effect, when we leave tasks unfinished, they tend to come into our minds again and again – distracting us from whatever we’re doing.According to the Zeigarnik Effect, when we leave tasks unfinished, they tend to come into our minds again and again - distracting us from whatever we’re doing.Click To Tweet
Fortunately, research suggests that simply making a plan for completing these unfinished tasks can free our mind and make us more productive in all areas of our work.
While you can obviously just keep a running list of important tasks on a note pad, I love using apps that let me access my to-do list from anywhere, anytime.
2. Have a Plan for Minimizing Distractions
A tool like Mindful Browsing can help keep distractions to a minimum
As a business owner, distractions are to be expected.
Interestingly, there is some research that suggests distractions actually don’t impact productivity.
However, this same research also suggests that in order to “make up for lost time”, people tend to work faster – resulting in more stress, frustration, and effort.
To avoid this, have a plan in place for minimizing distractions. Some of my top tips for doing this include:
- If you work from home, have a dedicated office space away from high-traffic areas. While the idea of working while you watch the kids is great, more often, this leads to constant disruptions and frustrations.
- Use a tool to help you stay focused online. Sometimes it helps to have some outside motivation to stay on task. A tool like Mindful Browsing or Focus can help by sending you a gentle reminder when you visit distracting sites like Facebook – or even blocking those sites altogether.
- Plan your breaks ahead of time. Realistically, you won’t be able to avoid all distractions. But if you can build in set times during the workday to check social media, make personal calls, etc., I guarantee this will be less disruptive than doing them whenever the urge strikes!
- Check email twice each day. This is a hard one for many business owners to wrap their mind around! But I promise that if you do this, those around you will adjust…and you’ll find you get more done in less time.
3. Embrace “The Flow”
Do you ever have those times when you’re so immersed in what you’re doing that the world around you seems to disappear?
This is often referred to as being “in the zone” or in “the flow”.
In his TED Talk, Flow, The Secret to Happiness, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discusses a number of elements of flow. Two of my favorites are: Being “completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated”, and “Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.”
When you’re lucky enough to find yourself feeling this way, embrace it!
Drop everything else and work your butt off until the feeling passes. This will not only lead to greater productivity and less wasted time but likely too much greater satisfaction in your work.Drop everything else and work your butt off until the feeling passes. This will not only lead to greater productivity and less wasted time but likely too much greater satisfaction in your workClick To Tweet
Working More Effectively in Your Business Makes a Difference
As a service-based business owner, you have a lot on your plate.
You pour your heart and soul into your work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work smart.
Using the 3 productivity strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to being more effective, wasting less time, and even finding more satisfaction in your work!