“You’ve leveled up!”
Oh, the joy of the video game when you reach the end of one level and get to go on to the next. Nothing gives quite the same amount of pleasure than “graduating” to the next step in a game-or in life. It is, as we say, goals.
Whether you are full time entrepreneur, a solopreneur just starting out, or a side hustler with a dream, we all know that time is tight. So why can some of us get so much done in eight hours (or four, or two), while others struggle to check anything off the to-do list?
We all have the same amount of time, but so much of the difference comes from how well and how often we are able to truly focus on what actually needs to be done to make a long-term difference in our business.
Here are five simple ways to level up in your business and become more productive with the time you do have to give to it.
1. Turn Off Wifi
Ping! Bong! Whoosh! Working can be noisy, can’t it? And the noise of different requests coming in, the popping up of notifications is inherently designed to steal your focus away from the quiet you need to think, plan, and execute. It’s hard to ignore–it’s made to be hard to ignore, so sometimes you have to do something drastic. Turning off wifi and letting everything on the outside chill out let’s you focus on one task you need to get done right now. It’s hard to cut the (invisible) cord, but the rewards you can gain from an hour or two without those sounds can be priceless.
2. Block your time, and give yourself 30% more time than you think you will need…
Blocking time for a single task will give you focus and keep your attention on The Most Important Task that you have to do each day. However, almost everything takes more time than we want it to. The computer needs an update, the file isn’t where you thought it was, the words don’t come as easily as you thought they would. It’s wise to just allot for those sorts of things, because it can be intensely frustrating, and therefore distracting, when you are trying to beat the clock and things aren’t going as planned. When we are realistic about the time it might actually take to accomplish the Most Important Task, we can cruise through the hiccups…
3. …and take the breaks you need to make that time truly productive.
Repeat after me: “Breaks are good. Breaks are life.” Seriously, though: Studies show that even a tiny 30-second break can increase your productivity by 13%. Our brains and our bodies need a few minutes away from hard work to decompress, inhale, and start fresh. By allotting more time than you hope you will need for a project, you can finish it more quickly, with higher-quality outcomes, and without the fatigue that comes from working fast and furious.
4.Put your phone and watch on silent.
Just because everyone *can* reach you 24/7 doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. And goodness knows when you have a big project going, you don’t need the buzz of a YouTube update interrupting your focus. See what happens when your phone on silent–or better yet, do not disturb, and turn off all notifications on your phone. We are conditioned to think that those aren’t “big” distractions, but a series of small distractions can mess with our concentration as much or more than one big one. Try it, and take back control of where your brainpower goes.
5. Rent Co-working Space
This may make no sense to you if you already have an office to go to, or an office in your home. But here’s the problem: at a traditional office, people know where to find you–so they do. And one knock on the door or one “Hey, got a minute?” can derail your most productive hours. Likewise, the distractions surrounding a home office, whether it be the dishes in the sink, the whimpering dog, or the kids getting out the door, can shift your focus away from where it needs to be. Renting a co-working space (or, if you are on a budget, heading to the library or coffee shop) for just a few hours a week may be all you need to get away and get some space to get the real work done.
Even trying just one of these things will see you advancing in your productivity game. And the more you Level Up in your time, the more your business will level up, too. Go forth, business owner, and conquer–with focus.
P.S. We can’t leave this post without reminding you that another great way to level up in productivity is to outsource your “can’t-do’s” or “don’t-want-to-do’s” with a virtual assistant. A VA can get you back to doing what you love by taking a lot of small, distracting tasks off your plate. Email or call us today at 916-756-5439 for a free consultation and let’s get your virtual assistant working for you!