Do you look at everything you have to do and panic? Do you have a system to work through the madness, or do you just pick a task at random and try to get it done? If you get your planning right, you can actually create flow and productivity. But if you get it wrong, you can just add to the chaos!
So here is how you can create productivity when you map out your workload.
Creating Productivity In Your Workload
If you are always busy, but never feel like you are making progress, then you need to be more effective with your planning.
Knowing What Time You Have
You cannot effectively plan out your day, week, month or year unless you know what you have to work with. Examine your life in detail. How much time do you truly have to work on your business? Not how much time you want to spend, but the realistic amount of hours you can spend working when you take out the family commitments, other obligations and down time.
Whether it is 4 hours a week or 40, you want to make the most of your time. So, delve into how long it takes you to complete each task. Once you have that information, you can effectively plan your time.
Large Scale Planning
You will never be able to create consistent flow in your business if you tackle each day as it comes. It is important to have a larger scale plan. Consider all of these things when you are mapping out your workload:
- Large projects
- Regular commitments – daily, weekly, monthly, annually
- Important dates in your social calendar – birthdays, planned trips, events
- School holidays – if you have children then the school holidays can provide a definite disruption to your working time
- Key dates – end of financial year, public holidays, tax payment dates and any other industry relevant dates
Being productive and creating flow is all about prioritising your tasks. Recognise the tasks that are imperative to complete, the ones that will generate your revenue, and the ones that are just busy work. Making sure you complete the right tasks first will have a real impact on your productivity.
Proactive Not Reactive
Are you always racing around putting out fires and reacting to messages? Then it is time to get more proactive instead of always being reactive. What can you do to get ahead of the game? Is there a way that you can stop common issues from springing up? Are there communications that you can send to stop surprise messages from coming through and disrupting your day? Implement all of these things so that you feel in control of your workload.
Stop Switching Between Tasks
The time you spend switching between tasks can really have an effect on your day. Each time you switch you have to take the time to refocus and get yourself up to speed. Minimising the switches you do in a day can help you streamline your workload.
Are there a bunch of similar tasks that you can complete at once? Maybe write all your blogs, then edit them all, then load them all. It will be far more efficient than writing one, editing one, loading one and then starting the process all over again. Gain some efficiency by preventing the down time that switching tasks causes.
Using The Right Tools
There are times when the humble to do list scribbled on a piece of scrap paper will do the job. But usually when it comes to your business, you want to use something a bit more intuitive and powerful. Having the right tools to support your workload can make a huge difference. Try these:
- The It’s Time Marketing Planner – there is something about writing in a beautiful planner that really helps you stay on target. This planner not only helps you plan out your day, week and month, but it also helps you to develop aspects of your business with its monthly themes.
- Asana – This project management tool allows you to get your entire workload online and synced with your calendar. You will be able to see your priority tasks for the day at a glance from any device.
- Scheduling – Checking your emails first thing in the morning can cause you to fall into the reactive trap. Instead, schedule time in your day to complete those time consuming tasks like checking your emails.
Creating productivity and flow in your workload is possible with a bit of careful planning. Stop, take a breath, ditch the overwhelm and get your workload under control.
Let me know what your favourite productivity tips are in the comments below. We can all do with the chance to work smarter and not harder!