I’ve been in business for over 17 years now and along my journey, I’ve learned a lot of things which have helped make me more productive and more successful. There’s a certain method to the madness of getting things done, and a strategic approach to tackling your to-do list is going to make you much more efficient and productive.
I’m always looking for ways to get things done faster and smarter, and then use my newfound free time to do other, more important tasks or things that I love doing. There are two types of people in this world, people who are highly effective with their time, and then people who have a lot of non-productive time not achieving a great deal.
If you’re reading this article, then I hope you have arrived on this page because you want to become more productive, be more efficient and effective with your time, and be smarter with your time. Which of course, all leads to you becoming more successful and having more time to spend doing the things you love to do.
I want everyone to be successful, and I truly believe that one of the key principles to success is being productive and effective with your time. No matter who you are, what you do or what your business is. So here are 7 principles that smart business owners live by each day.
1. Introduce Forced Deadlines
According to Parkinson’s law, work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Introducing a forced deadline, such as picking up the kids, a phone call or meeting you need to attend, or attending a dinner. Something that you simply must do/attend to, so you know that you have to complete the task by this time.
Another suggestion is to give the task to someone in your team or personal life to complete who is already a busy person themselves. Busy people can’t afford to not get things done because they simply have too much on their plate already, so they find a way to make it happen and get the task done.
2. Utilise Non-Productive Time
If you’re running your own business, you need to look for times when your arms and legs are busy, but your mind is free. Because you can be using this time to get a whole bunch of stuff done. Now, you could be sitting in the car, driving and listening to music or news, or you could have your phone read articles to you via Pocket app which reads saved articles out to you, or take the opportunity to call 5 people in your life, perhaps your clients, and catch up with them, or listen to a PodCast and learn something while you drive.
3. Focus On What You Do Best
If you do the things that you’re good at and skilled at, you’ll find you do them really fast and efficiently. But if you deviate and do something that isn’t your core focus, you’ll find that it will take you a long time to do and get done. So you might want to consider hiring a professional, someone who does this for a living. Because chances are they can probably do it in one tenth of the time.
Now it might cost you a little bit of money to do that, but if you think of what your time is worth as a business owner, you’ll be much further ahead.
4. Hire A Virtual Assistant
This is something that I’m really passionate about because I know the huge difference it has made to my business. Now I could talk about this for hours, however, just get this principle. If you’re in your business, doing it alone, without any help, then you’re just doing it way too tough.
You can hire someone that works for you from anywhere in the world and this costs as little as $6 per hour. So you can focus on what you do best, and a lot of those repetitive tasks, you can build a system for and pass it on. So the task still gets done, just not by you anymore.
5. Pay For Expert Advice
If you’re running your own business, you need to have a mentor or a coach. Someone to help you along the way. Because whatever it is that you want to achieve in your life, there’s someone out there who has probably done it or has done something similar. So rather than go through the process of trial and error, you should find someone that can help you along the way.
For example, a number of years ago, I wanted to write a series of books. So I found someone who was already successful in that area. Now I paid $2000 to spend 1 hour with that person, but they gave me a whole bunch of different ideas during that time. That mentor gave me one piece of advice that totally changed my perspective on what I was doing. I took that advice and applied it, and within the next 3 years, I made over $1.2M from publishing books. So that is a pretty good return on investment.
6. Write Your To-Do List The Night Before
This is a really simple one, but it’s also really effective. Because what happens is we get to the office, we check our emails, we then have our morning meetings, then we have more meetings after those meetings, then eventually we realise we’re hungry so we grab some lunch, then we grab a coffee. Then we realise it’s 2 pm and we need to get some work done.
So you grab a pen and start writing down a couple of things. But by then, the day is already gone. So what you have to do is get in the habit of writing a to-do list before we go to bed. So it just becomes part of your routine. You put your PJ’s on, brush your teeth, and you write your to-do list for the next day.
7. Do An Hour’s Work Before You Check Your Email
It’s a hard habit to break, because often at times it’s the first thing that we look at when we turn on your computer. However, when it happens, instantly we have 20-30 things that we need to do and get done. Sometimes this can take half a day or even half a day. And we go to bed at the end of the day and feel like we haven’t achieved anything.
However, if you wake up in the morning and resist the urge to go in and check your email. And instead look at what you need to get done today, you take the most important thing and do at least an hours work on that task. In most, you will get a good chunk of that task completed before you’ve even started your day. And then you can check your emails, but at least now you have already achieved one major task.
So there you go, 7 simple principles that smart business owners use to stay productive. Now it’s over to you, and I’d love to hear from you how you went about implementing these into your life. So leave a comment below and we’ll see you soon.