There are a ton of things going on with my business, and people are often surprised to find that I’m still doing practically everything by myself. A question I often get asked is “How do you do it all?”
The Secret is Written on the Wall
There is no secret. I get more done because I work longer hours than most of you. Everyone sees me out and about during the week and people are always jealous, but they never realize the time I put in every single night when they are watching TV, and all the hours I put in during every single weekend when everyone else is doing anything but work.
Productivity is Still Important
Having said that, there are a few little things I learned along the way that makes me more efficient. After all, when I get more done with less time, I can choose to a) relax more or b) make more money by taking on more. Let me share them with you today.
- Stop Believing the Damn Lie that Multitasking is Good – No one can possibly multi-task. We can handle multiple tasks and prioritize, but no one can ever do two things at once. Stop distracting yourself with multiple projects and get one thing done, then move on to the next.
- Stop Checking Your Email/Twitter/Facebook Account Constantly – I love technology, but all these alerts and Blackberrys only slow down the time it takes to finish whatever you are doing. Turn them off.
- And When You Read Them, Respond Right Away – We all do this. Whenever we read an email, many of us never respond right away. Then, we spend more time looking at the subject title again and again, and when we do respond, we have to re-read the email again. How efficient is that? Read it, respond, or send it to the trash can.
- Be Ready Early – Prepare for your calls and meetings a day early, and then set your meeting reminders to 5 minutes before the actual event. There’s no need for a 15 minute warning just so you can click on snooze many more times than once.
- Write Down What You Will Do Next – If you have blank out every once in a while, just write down what you are doing on a piece of paper so you can remind yourself when you stare at the screen and forget. This happens to people often when they are trying to multitask. Stop.
- Wear a Headphone – If you are in a noisy environment, or have a gossipy neighbor, you may want to check with your boss to see if you can wear a headphone. Office rumors are interesting, but they won’t be your coworkers anymore if you cannot get your work done and get fired./li>
- Learn to Say No – Tell them you are busy. It’s okay. Everyone needs to learn to respect your time.
- Sit Away from Hot Spots – Or at least move your monitor so you don’t see Joe and Jessica every time they walk by to the coffee area.
- Software Could Help – I use a software that turns the whole screen black when I write call Writeroom. It’s for Mac but they also have a Windows equivalent called Darkroom. At the very least, turn off all programs that sends out alerts when you are working.
- Turn Off the Freaking Phone – If you hear this message, it means that unlike you, I’m actually working. You can leave a message if you’d like but wouldn’t it have been easier for the both of us if you sent me an email instead?
- Set a Schedule – You can’t possibly work 24/7, so block out a time where you can be interrupted by doing tasks that don’t need much concentration.
- Clean Up Your Desk – Everyone who can’t keep their desks clean always say that they know exactly where everything is. Sure, but they also spend countless minutes looking over them every time they need to find anything. A clean desk offers less distractions, guaranteed.
There are a ton more ideas obviously. How do you stay focus and get more done?