I was tired, exhausted, and my work still wasn’t done. I was working 80-90 hours per week for months on end without a break. I was angry when I came home from work. I couldn’t find time to take a vacation and I was at my max of earned vacation days. I was ready to quit and move on to the next job. Something had to change and I started searching for answers. I read everything I could find time to read while I searched for a new job. I finally realized that I was the problem. Ouch! That really hurt! I realized that I was my own worst enemy because I kept taking on more work each and every day when I had no more capacity. I put an action plan into place that dropped my hours back to a normal 40-45 hours per week and I was getting everything done that needed to get done.
I want to show you how I did it and how you can put the same action plan into place. I’ll even give you two free videos and an Excel spreadsheet to quickly regain two or more hours back in your day.
Each day you accept new tasks. The key is to understand which tasks you should work on and which tasks you should say No to. If you are like I was, you are probably saying Yes to most things because you feel you have to get it done. The flow of tasks you receive is like a river after a major rain storm. The river of tasks is more than you can handle unless you can slow down the flow of water or tasks. You must start building a dam to block those tasks that you should not be working on.
- Start by evaluating and understanding what tasks you actually work on each day.
- Write down the top 10-20 tasks that you work on daily and throughout your week.
- Estimate how much time it takes to complete each tasks.
- Then spend the next few weeks actually measuring how much time it actually takes you to complete those tasks.
- Get ready to start saying No to those tasks that provide no value.
In my video you will learn when to say Yes and when to say No.
Once you have started building a dam to block tasks that you don’t need, you then must focus on identifying three types of tasks. Unnecessary, Necessary, and Productive tasks. Admission is a gate for allowing necessary and productive tasks into your day while blocking all the unnecessary tasks.
- Unnecessary tasks. These have to stop today. Period. These tasks may be as simple as checking social media or may include helping your friend to finish that report she forgot was due today. Unnecessary tasks are nice to complete but they do not provide any value to your business or to your career. In the video I outline at least 7 examples of these types of tasks that you can stop right now and help you identify other unnecessary tasks in your day. Stopping these types of tasks may save you 1-2 hours per day by just saying No.
- Necessary tasks. These are the tasks that need to get done to take care of your customers and your employees. Examples would be checking email, faxing, or finishing the report due today. The problem with necessary tasks is that they keep your business running but they don’t move you to the next level for your customers or your personal career. These need to be minimized so that you can focus on the most productive tasks.
- Productive tasks. These are the tasks that move the needle. They grow your business and grow your career. These are the tasks that you should spend the majority of your time working on. A productive task may be signing a contract for a sales rep or delivering a new awesome product for the business. Productive tasks produce significant results for your business. This is where you should spend 4 hours or more per day. Ask yourself the 100% question. If I could spend 100% of my time on one or two tasks, what would they be?
In the action step you need to focus on the necessary and productive tasks. You need to review those tasks that you identified in the admission step and outline how you will take care of these tasks.
- Create an outline for your day and schedule your most productive tasks at the start of your day when you are most innovative and full of energy.
- Use the rest of the day to complete the necessary tasks. You can then walk away from your day with a feeling of relief.
- Identify a way to say No to the unnecessary tasks people ask you to complete. You can be very pleasant yet firm when you say “I’m sorry but I already have two tasks that are due today and I won’t be able to do justice to the task you need me to complete.” The other person may not be happy that you won’t take on their task, but they will grow to respect you for getting your work done with excellence and only taking on what is most important.
In the videos I’ll show you how to focus more on your productive tasks while still completing the necessary tasks. You must schedule your day and determine how much time will be allocated to each of these types of tasks with the majority of your time focused on productive tasks. If you want to advance your business or career, you have to focus on the productive tasks first. Anything else must come last.
Now that you have built your dam, you have identified your different types of tasks, and you are scheduling time for the appropriate tasks, you must step back and look ahead. It is time to do a little planning each week. If you are guiding a raft down a river you must constantly be watching for obstacles that can sink your raft. Your business and career are the same. You need to take time out of your schedule to be looking ahead and avoiding those obstacles that are getting you off course. Or worse, that are going to sink all your efforts. You will use this step to get out of the river and evaluate where you are going near term and long term.
- Look at your plan and determine what worked and did not work this week. Make changes daily if possible to constantly improve your performance.
- Evaluate the tasks you identified as Necessary and Productive. Are all the Productive tasks truly productive or are they really just necessary tasks?
- Schedule your productive tasks for each day of the upcoming week. If you can’t schedule out a full week in advance, then schedule out tomorrow before you leave work today. This will provide significant relief in your stress as you will now know exactly which productive task you are going to work on first tomorrow morning.
- Schedule your necessary tasks later in the day or in between your productive tasks.
- Add a buffer to your tasks. If you think a task will take you 30 minutes, then plan for 45 minutes. We almost always underestimate the amount of time and resources it takes to complete a tasks. This buffer will remove a great deal of stress by
There is so much material in these four steps that I have created two videos and a spreadsheet for you. The first video will walk you through each of these steps and will provide you enough information to save yourself at least 2 hours a day by the time you finish the step for Admission. However, the additional steps will help you build an easy to use flow that will allow you to squeeze in additional time savings. The best part is that you will not only save 2-4 hours for yourself each and everyday but you will also be so laser focused on the most productive tasks that it will grow your career and grow your business.
So, Click below to gain access to your two free videos and bonus spreadsheet.
Simplifying Your Business So You Can Enjoy Life Again!