We start our businesses for more freedom but so many entrepreneurs find themselves working longer hours than ever before because they’re responsible for everything. If you’re up at midnight on your laptop while the rest of the family is asleep, if you’re thinking about work all day, every day, and you never take a day off, it’s time to simplify your approach to work.
Even if you love what you do, it shouldn’t be the only thing you do. We need time and space to rest and recharge, we need to be able to take a step back from our business and have a break without it all falling apart.
Creating a routine for your work day can help you focus, get things done, compartmentalise, and feel like you are in control of your day instead of it controlling you.
When creating your workday routine, take into account your typical most productive time of the day and work on the most important tasks during that time. Save the repetitive tasks that require little mental effort for the time of day you usually feel less productive so you can manage those on autopilot.
Focus on urgent and important tasks first.
Our to-do lists are getting longer and longer and it’s getting harder and harder to know what needs to get done first. There will always be more to do, so don’t aim to tick everything off your list, every day.
Want to be more productive at work? Start with the most urgent and important task on your list, and don’t look at anything else until you have completed it. Don’t check your email, let your phone go to voicemail. You’ll be surprised at how much easier and faster it will be to get your task done when you can focus on it completely, without interruption. Give up multitasking and you’ll be less stressed at work.
Turn off notifications so you can focus.
Every little ding or beep you hear unexpectedly pulls you out of the zone. Those little notifications add up throughout the day and if you keep them on, you’ll be stopping and starting repeatedly and struggling to finish a task. Turn off your notifications so that you can stay in a state of flow when working. If anything is really that urgent, someone will come and knock on your door.
Schedule breaks so you don’t forget to take them.
Include breaks in your daily routine so that you can rest and recharge at various points throughout the day. Taking regular breaks helps you avoid burnout and gives you a fresh perspective and renewed energy when you return to your work.
Ditch, delegate, or automate the tasks you don’t enjoy.
You don’t have to do it all. In fact, when we try to do it all, we usually find nothing is done well. Write a list of everything you do in the running of your business and then look at what can be systemised, automated with an online tool, or delegated to someone else. You might even find some can be given up altogether if they’re not moving your business forward. Focus on the tasks you enjoy, the things you are good at, and the parts that require you as the face of your business.
Work fewer hours.
The best decision I made as an entrepreneur was to work fewer hours per week. It meant I could have more downtime to do the other things I love, and it also meant I had no choice but to streamline how I ran my businesses. It was the motivation I needed to start prioritising my most urgent and important tasks, procrastinate less and get more done, and create a simple business model that would free me up without sacrificing my income. As a result, I’m now less stressed, I enjoy my work more, and I have solid foundations set up for both of my businesses so that no matter what happens, they keep ticking along smoothly. I now work 2 hours a day, 4 days a week, and love it, but if you feel like that’s too big a jump, start with having one short day each week, finishing a couple of hours early, and go from there.
Those are my favourite ways to simplify my work day! If you'd like help tailoring one of these ideas to suit you and your business, book in a consult and we'll do it together.
P.S. I recently added a section to my website sharing the tools I use to run my business easily, if you're interested in checking that out, click here!
Hi! I'm Marissa.
My courses, consults and trainings help entrepreneurs lighten their workload while they grow their business, for more income AND more freedom.
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