7 tips for being more productive and getting it all done

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." -William Penn

You've heard the saying, everyone gets 24 hours in a day. Either you deliberately manage your time or your time manages you. Most of your time management issues stem from the inability to separate "the urgent" from "the important." Eisenhower's quote, "What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important." Important items are things that need to get done because they're critical to accomplishing a vital outcome. On the other hand, urgent items are usually tasks that other people put upon you for their own benefit (tire-kickers who want to pick your brain, problem clients who you shouldn't be working with etc.)

That being said, here are 7 simple and easy tips for leveraging your time for maximum results. 

#1. Identify time wasting activities- Are there things you do throughout your day that don't add value to your business? Awareness is the first step towards releasing these activities. Be aware of how you're investing your time! Re-think your to-do list.

#2. Delegate- What is your time worth? $150, $300 or more per hour? If you go to the bank, grocery store and dry cleaners twice per week- including drive time, wait time etc.-- that's 3 or 4 hours of your time gone! Which is $450-$1200 you're not generating. Get your groceries delivered to your home, take advantage of online banking and bill pay or hire a pick-up and drop-off laundry service for a fraction of the cost. This will give you back many hours each week! If you do have to do errands, go at non-peak times to avoid crowds and save time (go just after the store opens or shortly before it closes).

Do you waste time procrastinating on tasks you're not good at or don't like doing? A better strategy would be to delegate or outsource these tasks. Hire an assistant. 
"Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life." -Michael LeBoeuf
#3. Automate- Have systems in place to save yourself time and help your clients have a smoother experience with your business. Can your clients and customers pay you online? Can they schedule appointments easily online or does it take 3 or 4 emails back and forth to determine availability?

#4. Delete- What can you get rid of completely? What isn't giving you a return on investment (in time, money or energy)? You can also include ending draining relationships in this category. Ban the 'Negative Nelly' or 'Downer Dan' from your life. I want you to forever ditch things you don't need to continue doing and relationships that you don't need to stay in. Just say, "No." The word "No" is a complete sentence.

#5. Stop distractions- If you need to be calling prospects, writing blog posts, drafting a proposal, creating content for a home study program, shooting a video, developing a sales page or any other value-creating task-- you can't afford to allow yourself to be distracted by the minutiae of the day. Make it your goal to finish all tasks to completion. 

This means while you're completing value-creating tasks, you're not fiddling around on Facebook or Twitter, you're not browsing the Internet or shopping online, you're not reading emails/newsletters/magazines. There have been studies that show multi-tasking is actually counter-productive. So, don't allow distractions to get you off course or task.

#6. Eliminate interruptions- If you work from home, it's likely that you experience people wanting your time and attention. You need to educate them that being self-employed doesn't mean you're unemployed. 

#7. Schedule focus time- Set aside a certain amount of time each day for marketing and client time. You are defined by your rituals. Ritualize your revenue-generating tasks. Commit to a specific block of time that you're going to do marketing and sales activities. For example, you can do these activities daily from 9am to 1pm. 
"Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present." -Roger Babson
Also, choose to beat procrastination by completing your most dreaded tasks first. This positive momentum will set the tone for the day (making you more productive since you've freed up some energy!). I hope these tips help you get everything you need done (either by you or someone else). Remember to reward yourself and celebrate your progress and successes.

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