One of the most common reasons people seek out the services of a coach or mentor is as a result of feeling overwhelmed. All the pressures of running a business, or being in one, mean that there are a lot of balls to keep in the air and people to keep satisfied. It may all seem insurmountable.
Over the years I’ve found a few simple strategies can help to make a difference.
Here are my 5 Top Tips to getting the important things done efficiently and effectively each day.
1. Determine your “Hour of Power”.
Every individual has a time of day they feel most energetic – for most, it’s in the morning for an hour or two. Make sure you schedule your most important tasks to that period and never let more trivial tasks like replying to emails, returning phone calls and meetings impose on that valuable time. You will be amazed how productive you will be.
2. Write tomorrow’s To Do list today.
By planning tomorrow’s activities today I guarantee you will sleep much better tonight. Your subconscious always works overtime to “remind” you what you need to do tomorrow while you try to sleep – so give your mind the rest it needs by planning at the end of today with a written list for tomorrow.
3. Work out your Top 3 Must Do’s for the Day – and Do them!!
I have had a client come to me with a 3 page Excel worksheet as a To Do list!! Of course he was stressed. To reduce your stress over a lengthy To Do list – which most of us have – just ask yourself which 3 activities must you categorically complete today. Put them on top of the list and make sure, at all costs, that you do those and then any others you are able. Putting a line through those gives such a high feeling of achievement and relief. Then repeat the next day.
4. Use the Pomodoro Technique to maintain focus.
This technique – originally named after the tomato-shaped timer used – breaks your day into periods of 25 minutes of focussed activity, followed by 5 minutes of a distinct break. Just get a coffee, some fresh air, or go for a walk… get away from the project for 5 mins. Then start your timer again and repeat. This helps re-energise the mind and focus for another session. In practice I find a 50 min period followed by 10 min works very well; after 3 sessions like this its lunch time, so take a longer break of 30-60 mins and start the process again. Just use whatever time period works best for your situation….but take that break.
5. Get an Accountability Buddy
When alone in business you can get very insular in your thinking and justify what in reality are not-so-important goals or poor habits. This just slows down your progress. Having a mentor or buddy is a great way of ensuring you are kept on track and the right goals are being achieved. Develop some core 90-day goals and help each other by meeting each month and checking on each other’s progress. Two heads are always better than one.
I have a 90 Day Goal Planning template available as a free resource here: http://grapestogrange.com.au/resources/