Focus Your Mind, Get in Control of Your Time

How to Make Every Day a Productive Day

– Posted in: focus interruptions overwhelmed prioritization procrastination small business owner stress time management working at home

When was the last time you felt you had a really productive day? Hopefully it was not too long ago.  Hopefully you have more productive days than not. Unfortunately for many small business owners life gets in the way, work piles up and truly productive days feel rare.

So what can you do to make sure you have every day be a productive day?

Working on the right thing at the right time is one of the main secrets to success. It distinguishes the high achievers from those who always seem to be chasing their tail.

There are a number of different ways you can prioritize the work that is on your plate but the big secret is in understanding what your goals are.

Once you are clear on your goals it becomes much easier to see how everything fits into the big picture.

So step 1 – get clear what you want from your business and your life.

We all know we should have clear goals for our business and track against these. But in my experience many business owners do not. We may try to pull something together if we need funding, but otherwise we “just know” where we want things to go.

This is just not good enough!

You need to have clear written goals for your business, you need to keep them somewhere you can see them regularly.

Don’t limit your goals to your business; include goals for the kind of life you want to be living too.

Having clearly stated, visible goals allows your subconscious to prioritize all the day to day work and distractions that can make or break your day.

So now you have clear goals you can use these to figure out the priority of each of the tasks in front of you.

So what methods can you use to help your gut sort out what to work on?

The traditional “important versus urgent” model works well when applied properly but you do need to clarify in your own mind what important and urgent really mean. Being clear on your goals can help with this.

If this method still leaves you in a dilemma another model may be the way to go.

Another method is to consider what you “have to versus want to” do.  This model works best if you find you are putting off your priorities because you just don’t want to do the task. It is easy to do work that we enjoy doing – no fear of putting that off! But what about those things that we don’t want to do but are important.

People tend to do things they like to do before those they don’t like to do, even if the things they like to do don’t even have to be done! (Think Facebook!!) The result is that a lot of things that don’t have to be done get done, while a lot of things that really do have to be done don’t get done. Sound familiar?

The solution is to change it so that you do the things that have to be done and forget about the things that don’t need to be done whether you like to do them or not.

To use this simple method of prioritizing, write a list of all the things that you feel you must do, should do or could do.

Then decide if you want to do them or not.

Next decide if they really need to be done, based on them helping you to achieve your goals.

Tackle the things you don’t want to do that really need to be done as your number one priority. Then move onto those that you want to do and really need to be done.

The rest does not need to get done so if you want to do them as a leisure activity then feel free once the first two batches are complete. This way you can do them without the slightest bit of guilt.

Combining clarity of goals with a good method of prioritizing will help you really focus on what matters, allowing you to plow through your work and have time left over for fun.

If you are struggling to control your time and get the results you know you are capable of then it is time to take action. The Focused Time Management System TM avoids all the clutter and gives you the most important things to focus on to get you back in control of your time and your life. It’s all step by step, not a big mish mash of things. So you do step one of the system, and when you’re done with that, you move on to step two, and so on. So easy! All the tips, tools, and worksheets are handed to you on a silver platter. E mail me at Julie@DevelopmentSolutions.US to arrange a time to chat over your issues and see if I can help

2 Comments… add one

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2 comments… add one
Jen October 8, 2010, 7:15 am

Thanks for the reminder Julie. It’s so important to remember our goals to be really productive. Otherwise we do all the little things that at the time make us feel productive, but that don’t help us in the long run.

juliebaird October 8, 2010, 8:25 am

Thanks Jen, I am always in favor of keeping goals visible, right in front of your nose, for top of the mind awareness.

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