1. First Things First. Instead of checking email or Facebook first thing and possibly wasting an hour or two in a blink of an eye, try focusing on a project or task and get it done.
2. Speaking Of Email. Do you drop what you’re doing every time you hear the new e-mail sound or see that little envelope icon in your system tray? Close Outlook and focus on the task at hand. Better yet, turn off the alerts and notifications in your email program. Try scheduling a specific time of day that you check email.
3. Tracking Your Time. Do you have a good idea of how you spend your time each day? If you don’t, use a paper time log or track your time in Toggl (what I use) so you know how your precious minutes and hours are being spent. You might be surprised. This is a great way to see if you are wasting too much time on a certain aspect of your business that might be able to be delegated to a virtual assistant.
4. Best Use Of Your Time. In the simplest terms, there are really two sides to a successful business: saving money and making money. If what you are doing doesn’t help your company do one or the other, give some serious thought to whether it’s a good use of your time.
5. Breakdown Tasks. If you are having trouble wrapping your head around a project, make a list of the first few steps to get you started.
6. Guard Your Time. Manage your time, just like you would manage your budget. Don’t just give yourself away to anyone that asks. Be selective.
7. Schedule Appointments With Yourself. Don’t just use Outlook for your daily appointments. If you need to carve out time to work on something specific, put it on your Tasks and block out time just like you would a meeting with a real person. Don’t stand yourself up!
8. Break It Up. If you can never seem to get the ball rolling on a big project, think of it as a series of smaller tasks. The work will seem less intimidating, and you’ll have a good chunk done before you know it.
9. Group Tasks. Don’t let small, repetitive tasks repeatedly interrupt your day. Carve out a few dedicated minutes each day to handle repetitive tasks like filing, processing mail, or handling invoices. Get things done in groups.
10. Be Decisive. Don’t waste time with indecision. It will often take less time to correct a mistake than it does to obsess over the decision. Once the decision’s been made, it’s easier to move forward.
11. Organize Your Space. Clutter and confusion will not only slow you down, but it will drain your energy as well. Make the effort to get your work area in order and reap the benefits day after day.
12. End Your Day With A Great Start. Close out the day. Don’t waste the last few minutes of the day. Make it a priority to close out your day by organizing yourself and setting priorities for the day to come.