The goal of any business is to keep making money and keep growing toward the ultimate dream you initially set out to achieve. But there are pitfalls along the way. And distraction is one of the biggest ones! It’s important to stay focused and not get distracted by all the little tasks that leave you overwhelmed, always feeling behind, and basically disconnected from your goal.

Your business shouldn’t be in charge of you!

When you’re under pressure to meet deadlines, market yourself, network, create graphics and more then you’re reacting to the small needs of business and not focusing on business growth.

So, we should take a breather before you take another step into the messy tangle of your business overwhelm.

I’m not asking you to stop doing. You still need to meet those deadlines and obligations. You should continue marketing. After all, doing what you set out to do is part of business growth as well.

We’re going to look at ways to make it cleaner for you when you next start making deadlines. We’re going to look at how you can complete tasks quicker than before. You and I are going to start talking about how to start making the small changes that will make a big difference to your business growth, wellbeing, and bottom line – all without wasting even more precious time.

1. Start Batching For Time Management

Start popping like work with like work into the same time slot.

Did you know that the average worker switches tasks once every 3 minutes and it can take 30 minutes to get on track with the next task?

By putting similar tasks in one-time slot you’re able to maintain focus and waste less time. It helps you be more productive and stay on track with deadlines and business growth goals.

As a bonus, working with time blocking methods means that you’ll feel happier and less stressed. And save you all those 30 minute distractions!

2. Monitor Your Repetitive Tasks

Keep a notebook or scrap paper next at your work station. Make notes of regular tasks you do (as you do them) and the time you’ve taken to do them.

At the end of the week, review your repetitive tasks and the time they’ve taken up. This works great as an overview of your habits if you’re going to try batching your tasks but it also helps identify wasted time.

If you’re finding that you’re doing the same thing over and over again and you’re always starting from scratch then you are wasting time! W

Here are a few things that may help you reduce the time you spend on rote tasks:

  • Repetitive tasks are a time waster if they’re not in a workflow that you can use over and over again. Identify the tasks that you do every week that take up time and require you to start from scratch e.g. sending contracts, keeping clients updated on progress, saying thank you to past customers.
  • Identify emails that you send regularly and start considering canned responses (see the article on canned responses)
  • See how often you’re checking emails – could you reduce that time to a few times a day rather than all the time.
  • Check to see if you’re falling into the dreadful trend of ‘immediate response’ syndrome. You do not need to respond to everything immediately. That includes your Etsy inbox, your Facebook posts, and your emails. Try blocking your time (see above) because if you’re reacting to every small thing then you’re wasting more time than you think (up to 30 minutes for every changing task!)

Start Using a System That Let’s Your Brain Dump Ideas + Research Tasks

If you’re anything like me there’s always a new thing you want to read up on and you’ll also come up with excellent ideas when you’re completely focused on something. Case in point: I’ve already come up with 3 different blog post ideas since I started writing this post.

It’s not that long ago that I would come up with an idea, write it down, and immediately start researching it.

But I find that when I write down a passing thought or idea:

  1. Ideas bring on more ideas. Especially if I just write down my first idea + get back to work
  2. I don’t waste time chasing an idea that may not actually be that good
  3. I actually finish the thing that got my brain flowing with creativity
  4. When I do have time to review and start a new project or task, I’m able to approach it with a clear head and assess the value of it.
  5. I never forget a great idea!

Are you an idea generator? Consider staying on track with a notepad (dedicated solely to idea generation), setting up a Trello board, or using a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

Whenever you get ideas don’t pass judgement on them just get them down. You can bring the judgy attitude to the table another day.

3. Give Yourself Extra Time To Achieve Business Growth End Goals

Whenever you plan a task make sure you give yourself enough time to complete it.

Research has shown that our weird human brains always underestimate how much time we need for something. And then there’s either a mad rush to finish on time or you never finish it.

Be kind and give yourself the time you need.

Another thing to note is that you probably won’t get your estimations right the first few times. But see it more as an experiment and monitor how long things, on average, take you.

4. No Distractions: Stay focused on your business goals

Say no to all distractions. Remember the fact above about taking 30 minutes to recover from changing tasks? Take a moment to imagine what happens when you get distracted.

Apparently, the average person works a total of 3 hours any given 8 hour work day. What a lot of wasted hours! Make sure that you set boundaries with your work time, ensure there are as few distractions as possible, and stay focused.

Your productivity will benefit, you’ll actually save time, and you’ll feel more in control of your business.

5. Outsource Your Tasks

If everything is feeling too much and you’re just not seeing the movement in your business right now then it’s time to get back on track and outsource the stuff that isn’t fulfilling you or helping you reach your big goals.

As a special offer, I’m offering 25% off any of my business support packages or hourly rate. Get in touch and quote: “OUTSOURCE-FEB” in the contact form.

The 25% off applies to anyone who either enquires about a package or schedules a free advice call between now and February 15th.

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