How to deal with your time thieves and be efficient at work?
Have you ever wished for a couple of more hours to be added to your day so you can finish one or more tasks? We know how that feels.
Being an entrepreneur means that you will constantly get involved in various projects and you will be aiming to achieve several goals. Your days will be filled with work and there will be many tasks pending… There will be days when you would give anything for a few extra hours; especially if you are working with deadlines. Regardless of the industry you find yourself in, entrepreneurs live in a hurry, with so many things on their mind to finish.
TIME is the most valuable resource you have! Time can cost you so much as an individual or already set up a business. And the sad part is – you cannot really control time.
However, there is one thing for sure that you can do, and that is to identify what takes up your time during the day. Let’s call them “time thieves” for the purpose of this article (since they are actually stealing your time, right?!). When you identify your time thieves, you can avoid or reduce them, so in that way you can get an extra hour or two to work.
First, we would like to divide these time thieves into two different groups: external and internal. Let’s start with the external first. These come in different forms and constantly bombard you; typically they will make you less efficient. We are pretty sure you can already think of several examples, but here are the most common ones:
External time thieves:
· Unexpected calls
· Unscheduled visits
· Pushing yourself without clear goals
· Inexperienced co-workers
· Colleagues and unecesssary breaks
Do any of these sound familiar? We know that you have probably met with at least 3 time thieves listed above. They are so common and can be really annoying. However, the upside is that once you identify them, you can work to control them. To build up, let’s discuss the other category:
Internal time thieves:
· Unclear goals or shifting goals
· Inability to say “No”
· Lack of order
· Inability to delegate tasks
Do you find this list of factors relatable, or some of the reasons listed are the main reasons for not having enough time and being less efficient during the day?
Do you want to know how you can keep these time thieves at bay? Don’t fret. We will share some tips on how you can avoid them and maximize your efforts so that you can be as productive as possible during the day. Let’s dive in:
1. First, set up your goals
It is important to define your goals from the very start. If where you want to go and what you want to achieve are clear, deciding between what is worth your time and what is not will come more easily. Focus helps you set your priorities straight.
2. Organize your day and tasks
You would be surprised to know how much time we are spending on tasks that feel urgent, but are actually not important for us or our business. That is why it is really important to organize yourself and your day.
As an entrepreneur, you must learn to be good at planning. Additionally, you need to set aside quality time to sort out your tasks and define which of them are important and which are only urgent for implementation. Organizing helps you be more productive.
3. Prioritize your tasks according to their importance
This may sound very basic to you, however a lot of people don’t find time to do this regularly and then wonder where their day has gone. Our suggestion here will be to always make a-to-do-list. Preferably the night before, or first thing in the morning, this way, you will be super-efficient.
4. Plan for unplanned work
We are living in a complex and unpredictable world, so you should be aware that there will always be unplanned work to do. Things will pop up! So, plan! Plan ahead for unexpected work. Prepare by leaving some time in your schedule. As a result, you will have time to finish your tasks. And if it turns out that nothing unplanned happened for that day, then yay!! You have some free time! Use it wisely.
5. Isolate yourself
Sometimes, the only thing you can do to be productive for the day is to isolate yourself. TURN OFF WHATSAPP! If you are working remotely from your home, create a workspace if you don’t have one. You could rearrange your schedule for the tasks so that you can work when the people you house with (if any) are out. If you still get interrupted, then another solution is going to a library or coworking space with your work tools.
6. Communicate clearly
It is really essential to have good communication with everybody around you; be it friends, family or co-workers. Make sure that people truly understand you. Clear communication and mutual understanding are crucial to entrepreneurs, employees and contractors. Let them know what weakens your work productivity, and if they respect you, they will give you space and time to work.
7. Learn to say “No”
Lastly, you have to learn to say “No”. This can be challenging. However, it is very doable. Everybody needs to have and communicate their boundaries. The trick is knowing how to do so without making people feel disrespected.
To round up…
Time thieves are many, in most cases we are not aware of how much time they are taking away from us.
The key is setting boundaries and creating balance. With these, you can focus more, reduce distractions and define your rhythm and productivity.
We hope you will find this post helpful and start implementing at least some of our advice points mentioned to get the most out of your day! Stay productive!