How is it possible to get more done in the new year (without working day and night)?
Today’s blog article is a guest post courtesy of Jacqueline Franklin, Founder of Coach2Growth. Coach2Growth helps executives, corporate leaders and business leaders grow by capitalizing on their strengths and innate abilities to lead and partner. Jacqueline is a valued member of my inner circle of trusted colleagues.
1. Just say “yes, and….” Accept new projects and meeting requests with boundaries and alternatives. When someone asks you to take on a project or attend a meeting, respond with phrasing like, “Gee, Ryan, I’d love to help, and because I couldn’t possibly give this project its due attention right now, let’s talk about how to structure it over time to ensure the greatest likelihood of success.”
2. Give it a rest. Commit to only one late evening a week. You need sleep and down time to recharge your batteries. It’s true that inspiration often strikes when we’re not working, so give yourself time and space for those ideas to surface.
3. Respect the “end” in weekend. Five full days a week is ample. Stop working on Saturday and Sunday. If you must catch up on email, try not to send anything that requires action or a response over the weekend. Consider creating the emails and saving as drafts to be sent on Monday morning.
4. Let go. You do not have to take on every task because you know how to get it done. Instead, focus your energy on assignments that require your unique talents — and delegate the rest. While a task may not get done to your standards initially, letting people grow and learn is a key element of leadership. Ultimately, learning how to delegate will allow you to lift your head up to steer the ship.
5. Stop multi-tasking. While the idea of managing many activities simultaneously sounds efficient, it can actually slow you down and detract from the quality of your deliverable. Responding to text messages or sneaking a glance at an email pop-up creates frenetic brain behavior and zaps energy. Focus on each task at hand and do it well.
6. Get outside. Breathe some outside air, at least once each day. If you must carry on with business, invite a team member to join you on a walk around the building to discuss the issue. Then, of course, you’ve built in a little exercise for the day as well. Bravo!
7. Book time like a therapist. Schedule meetings for 45-50 minutes, versus an hour, leaving you with 10-15 minutes to register commitments, regroup for your next meeting, or take a health break.
8. Plan and reflect. Carve out 15 minutes at the beginning and end of each day to reflect on what’s coming. Ask yourself this question when you begin each day: “What is THE most important thing I need to accomplish today?” Write it down on the day’s “to-do” list and assign it the highest priority.
9. Batch email. Devote three 15 minute blocks of time each day (morning, mid-day and late afternoon) for responding to “A” priority emails — those sent from or on behalf of current clients or strong prospects, or related to key business priorities. Rather than working your in-box chronologically, sort by client and limit your email time to maximize efficiency.
10. Set boundaries. Commit to arriving at and leaving the office at a certain time — and hold to it. This is challenging for those who have developed habits of working until everything is “caught up.” Today’s sad reality is that rarely are we caught up, and the proverbial treadmill will be there to greet you tomorrow. Use an audible alarm to remind yourself when your workday is scheduled to end, and resist the temptation to snooze. Consider registering for an after-work exercise class or booking early evening commitments to force the workday’s end.
While these ideas are not rocket science, changing engrained habits can often feel that way. To raise your business to new heights in the new year, invest in changes that buy mental time to think more strategically. Want marketing help? Contact us.
Wishing you happiness and success in the new year.