You’re working 24/7 but never get ahead. Constantly dodging distractions keeps you from being productive. You frequently search Google for tips to get more done in less time.
Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone.
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Most solopreneurs secretly wish for more hours in the day. Or for a clone.
I bet YOU do!
But since this obviously isn’t possible, you work harder, hustle and grind until you’re exhausted, cranky, and sick.
The better solution and more realistic one is to work smarter in order to be more effective and efficient.
So today, I’m sharing five tips to help you get more done in less time. Because when you do that you’ll be able to:
- Work more effectively and efficiently
- Minimize distractions and other people’s priorities
- Reduce overwhelm and stress (Cliche? Perhaps — but it’s still true)
This means more happiness and overall joy. Not to mention more of my favorite “F” words: freedom, family, friends, and fun.
Do Less in Your Business to Achieve More
You work hard. But there are only so many hours in a day. To achieve more, you mistakenly believe that you have to DO MORE.
It’s easy to fall into that mindset when you do “all the things” all alone. Especially when you consider that 62% of small businesses don’t have any staff. And yes, my solopreneur friend, you fall into that statistic.
Well, I don’t believe that you have to do more to have more. I believe that to make progress on your goals, generate more revenue, and grow your business, you have to focus on the activities that actually matter to these things.
I’m not telling you not to work hard. Rather, I’m suggesting investing your time and effort on the activities that bring you real results and none of your time on activities that don’t.
Essentially, you’ll do less of “all the things” and focus on the right strategies, tactics, and tasks that, in the end, will help you achieve more.
Why Is It Better To Do Less?
There are benefits when you do less of what doesn’t matter.
Of course, there are the reasons I mentioned earlier. More time-freedom for things like family, friends, and fun.
Those aren’t the only reasons it’s better to do less, however. There are the other obvious reasons:
- Reduced stress
- Less overwhelm
- Greater calm
- Feeling happier
But more importantly, doing less can:
- Improve productivity
- Narrow your focus
- Save time
- Improve decision making
- Speed up progress
- Increase revenue
The point is, doing less of the wrong things and more of the right things is more constructive than running yourself ragged trying to do all and be all.
Efficiency and Productivity
Before diving into these tips to get more done in less time, I’d like to address the issue of efficiency and its relationship to productivity.
Being efficient is only a small part of productivity. Being effective is an equally important part. Doing a task or procedure efficiently sounds great, but unless it’s effective for your business, being structured in that activity doesn't matter in the long run.
For example, creating a streamlined Facebook posting strategy that you can execute in a timely manner is helpful to you only if your audience hangs out there. Make sense?
First, it’s necessary to figure out which strategies, tactics, and tasks are effective for your business' success. Then, you can deal with being efficient in executing them.
Tips To Get More Done in Less Time
And that is where these tips to get more done in less time will really come in handy. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
1. Set Time Parameters
The first tip to getting more done in less time is to set time parameters.
You can do this in two ways:
- Set clear due dates and deadlines
- Use time blocking
When you don’t set these parameters it’s easy to end up with incomplete work. And it’s likely that important tasks will get pushed back days, even weeks or months.
This means you won’t make progress on what’s important.
Setting time parameters takes advantage of Parkinson's Law, which states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
For example, if you block two hours to create and schedule a week’s worth of social media content, you’ll do just that. But if you don’t block the time for it, it could take you all day. Or worse, you won’t complete the task at all, and nothing gets posted that week.
Or, say you want to create a lead magnet, but by not setting a deadline it gets pushed back time and time again. However, the deadline ensures it gets done by a set time.
2. Identify the Priority First
Setting time parameters is a useful tip for getting more done for these reasons:
- You waste less time
- It makes it imperative to figure out what work is necessary
- It’s easier to identify the priority in any given moment
And that’s the next tip to get more done in less time — identify the priority first.
In other words, you want to know what work tasks to focus on before you sit down to work. This is the work that will move you forward in pursuit of what you’re looking to accomplish.
Ask yourself, “What can I do right now that will help me make progress on this task?”
Then concentrate your time and attention on those things.
Because getting more done in less time doesn't mean throwing a ton of insignificant tasks on a to-do list and doing them as fast as you can. That'll keep you busy, but that's not effective.
3. Have a Plan for Minimizing Distractions
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, quick-start 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 minds 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.
You can also put a system in place like my One Hour Focused System. This system has three parts:
- Plan in Advance
- Create the Right Work Environment (one that minimizes distraction!)
- Take Focused Action
The sum of these three parts will help you minimize distractions resulting in a more productive work block.
4. 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!
Don’t worry about what you’ve planned. Just keep going until the feeling passes.
This will not only lead to greater productivity and less wasted time but likely to much greater satisfaction in your work.
5. Build Rest Into Your Day
The last of the five tips to get more done in less time is to build periods of rest into your day.
Much research continues to be done and many articles written on the subject of “rest and productivity”. This is not surprising because most business owners work themselves past the point of exhaustion.
Working through your fatigue will not help you be more productive. It certainly won’t help you get more done in less time. Resting will.
Making time for rest each day improves your mental, emotional, and physical health along with
- Attention span
- Problem-solving ability
- Decision-making ability
The moral of the story is? REST!
Of all the tips to get more done in less time, this is one of the best and easiest things to do.
Which Tips to Get More Done in Less Time Most Interest You?
As a solopreneur, 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 smarter.
Implementing even one of these five productivity tips to get more done in less time will get you well on your way to being more effective, wasting less time, and finding more satisfaction in your work!
Which strategy above are you going to try this week? Let me know in the comments below!