How to be productive with your time comes in many forms. Some people are very satisfied with their lives, but others are constantly restrained by the lack of time to do what is most important to them.
Knowing how to be productive with your time can make a big difference.
In this article, I'll be sharing how you can achieve more by not doing things you hate so you can take back your life, happiness and focus on the things you're passionate about.
1. Design your work around your life
Often as entrepreneurs, we fall into the trap of wrapping our lives around our work...we live and breathe our work/hustle. While that could look like a good step, it often creates a void that longs to be filled every time.
Most times, it could feel like you can't pinpoint what's causing the vacuum. The answer to that could be making a shift from designing your life around your work to designing your work around your life.
To do this:
- Make yourself a priority, not your work: if you are trying to design your work around your life, I'm taking it you agree that your work/hustle depends on your existence.
It's time to assess things you do that adds up to your physical and mental wellbeing. Start your day off by doing something deliberately for yourself, which could be as simple as meditating, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast...you get the idea.
- Prioritise your time around your most important task to achieve more.
2. Analyse your task.
Have you ever felt that with some tasks, you breeze through while some feel like a struggle, or that you have been compelled to do them?
This is where categorising your tasks come in:
- analyse your passion
- analyse your competence or proficiency
This will help you break things down further into what I call C.I.T.Y.
CHORE: Low Proficient, Low Passion
INDIFFERENT: High Proficiency, Low passion
TEASY: Low Proficient, High Passion
YEARN: High Proficient, High Passion
You want to put most of your energy into the last part, which is your sweet spot (YEARN). This is where you shine effortlessly. And there is one other step to this, the GROWTH zone.
This isn't the YEARN zone; however, you can improve yourself and your capabilities to get here. The things you do in the growth stage can be improved upon Or turned up a notch higher to achieve better results.
You enjoy what you do in the GROWTH Zone, but you require more practice to become better. Now, you want to make sure that you don't stop yourself with limiting beliefs in the growth zone.
This is where a growth mindset will benefit you.
3. Restore your vitality
If you continuously work without recharging and getting adequate time off, you will burn out faster than you can imagine.
There are necessary simple steps you can take
- Optimise your sleep.
Sleep is non-negotiable for your well being. Most entrepreneurs struggle to get seven hours of sleep, and that in itself is a recipe for overwhelm and burnout.
You can get more sleep by cutting down on habits that disturb your sleep. For example, nightcaps and screens.
- Mind the nourishment on your plate.
What you feed your body is what you get. So eat well, feel well, Live well and ditch Sugar, and you see yourself achieve more.
Create your exercise regimen. You can't possibly try all the exercises out there, but you've got to pick and start with simple exercises you can commit to first.
Once you get into your customised routine, feel free to switch things up as you please. Remember, keep it simple, short and consistent.
- Nourish your relationships.
Just as food and exercise give you energy, So does people in your life. We are wired for relationships, and no one is an island. Nourishing your relationships will add a spark and meaning to your existence.
- Loosen Up
All work and no play makes jack a dull boy. I'm sure you've heard that cliche a couple of times; taking time off work to play helps you reboot, and rebooting yourself makes you more focused, more creative, and a better problem solver.
- Set boundaries around your work and personal life
As an entrepreneur, it is likely to be at home and still think about work. This affects how much we live in the moment with our loved ones. You want to deliberately get yourself to stop thinking and doing anything work-related, like checking work emails or receiving work calls, while you're having your personal moments.
4. Excuse yourself
In the end, our lives will be defined by how we spend our time. If you have to be engaged in things, make sure they aren't things you're not passionate about.
Suppose something is in not your YEARN zone. You don't have to take it on board; however, you can give yourself some time to think it through and check if it's worth your time or not.
To excuse yourself from activities and tasks that do not move the needle for you, You want to evaluate the things you've done in the past that weren't worth your time and the ones that you achieved more on.
Doing this will require you to draw out a table of a to-do list and not-to-do list. Be brutally honest with yourself with this exercise.
5. Create automation
A lot of things and tasks we do can be automated to free us more time to achieve more. You can do this by
- Personal automation
This is about Making a basic routine into a ritual. For example, if you enjoy tea time in the mornings, it can become a routine that you don't require much mental resources to get done. Once you get the hang of everything needed for this routine, your mind can conveniently focus on other things.
- Process automation
There are things you do every time in your business and personal life consistently. You want to write down the steps it takes for you to complete this task.
Design The best way to complete it so you can repeat it next time. For example, if you send out weekly reports, you want to write the steps, you go through from research, compiling, analysing and designing the reports, before it's published.
Creating these templates will reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the job next time.
- Tech automation
In this digital era. There are excellent resources that can automate things for you so you can achieve more. And it's okay to use them to save some time.
For example, After putting together your reports, you could use the autoresponder services to send them out on a particular date or time.
6. Learn to Delegate
After setting automation that can be done by machine, there's the possibility that you will be left with tasks that require human imputes.
This is where you need to understand that you can't possibly control everything, and it's okay to get help and delegate.
Some people love doing what you hate. If you can find anyone who thinks that things under your CHORE zone are their own YEARN zone, delegate to them.
Things and tasks in your INDIFFERENT zone might require you to hire someone, for example, getting an accountant to manage your books; even though you understand all that goes on with your money, you can delegate that to a professional accountant.
It will cost some money, but you will free yourself some time which you can use to make more money.
For things in your YEARN zone, you might struggle to have someone handle them because you are passionate about them.
However, you need to evaluate if the total time used working on them is worth it or not and if you can achieve more by delegating them or not.
7. Stop Multitasking
I'm assuming by now you know that multitasking is not productive.
Sometimes though, you can fall into that trap without realising it, you could be doing a seemingly easy task and attending to a major one, and it just looks like you've got things figured out. That is also a form of multitasking.
You don't have to be doing ten things to be called multitasking; doing two things simultaneously is also multitasking. Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. So what can you do?
- Batch your activities
You can do this by size, type, or however it applies to you in your business. For example, if you interact with followers on social platforms for your business.
You can pick a day or time to batch prepare your posts for a week or two. The point is to focus on one thing at a time.
- Plan your week and let it have related tasks you are passionate about. This will help you focus better.
8. Take Action
So you've gone through steps one to seven, and you have a good plan in front of you; what next? Execute.
One of the things that slow execution down is distractions around us, from people to emails, text, notifications. These all affect productivity.
If you force yourself to avoid distractions, you will soon realise it's a struggle. So, it would help if you did not fight it but create an environment that makes you enjoy working. Like, a clean workspace, lovely music can make being at work more fun. You will forget to indulge in some distractions like social media.
Final thoughts on how to be productive
Every second spent is precious. And if you must make the best of it to achieve more, you want to do things you are passionate about and enjoy.
Learn to delegate and hire people who YEARN for things you regard as a CHORE or INDIFFERENT about.
The key point is understanding that when you set out to do something, make sure it is the right thing for your business and progress, then get it done as quickly as possible, so you can achieve more and enjoy the life you want.
What's the main thing you got from this article. I will love to hear your thoughts. Comment Below.