1. Plan The Day Before
There's nothing worse than being busy all the time busy but never accomplishing anything.
We've all been there before. You spend the first portion of your day just trying to figure out what you're supposed to be doing. Once you've figured that out, then you remember all the things that didn't get done yesterday. Next thing you know, you're getting a call or email that needs your immediate attention; and you're focus has turned to whatever that is. Before you know it it's 5 o'clock and that pile of papers on your desk that was supposed to be done 3 days ago is still sitting there!
The solution for combating days like this is pretty simple- Plan for tomorrow today. Start spending the last 30 minutes of your work day planning for tomorrow. Draft a plan with a pen and paper, use a mobile app, record your voice... whatever. Just take the time to develop and record a plan for the following day. This way when tomorrow comes, you can start it off with a clear plan of attack. That alone will make the difference in your day.
2. Schedule Down Time
I know we live on a super fast-paced planet, but contrary to popular belief, you are not a robot! You need downtime. Make sure it happens. As entrepreneurs, it's so easy to lose track of time and spend the entire day and night working; but you have to stop doing this. You think it's helping your business, but it's not. In the long run, lack of down time leads to burnout, brain fog and stale production.
It's important to keep your mind fresh, fit and healthy. For an entrepreneur, the best way to keep the mind in shape is to give it some rest. So schedule at least 2 to 4 breaks during the day to do NOTHING! Use this time to meditate, listen to music, take a walk, read a chapter or 2 of your favorite book... whatever you do, just don't work. Use this time to relax and let your mind recharge. After a couple days of putting this into practice, you'll start to notice a better attitude, an increase in energy and a new found appreciation for your seemingly stressful business... all things that are needed to become more productive in business.
3. Work in Spurts
Let's face it, with all that we have going on in our lives these days, people's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; and the convenience of technology has done nothing but encourage this phenomenon. So what do you do about it? You stop trying to fight it. Stop trying to force your attention span to be something that it's not. Instead, you learn to love your free flowing mind and make it work for you! So for those of us adults who have the attention span of a creative 6 six year old, that means taking the kindergarten approach by working in small spurts.
Stop trying to sit down and work on one project for 3 hours straight when you only have an attention span of 20 minutes. When you start forcing yourself to work well beyond your natural attention span, you're likely to lose focus and start wasting valuable work time thinking about what you're going to cook for dinner later, or how you forgot to take the dog out this morning. Instead, use your short attention span as an opportunity to master the art of multi-tasking, and work on a couple of things at a time. Set a timer. Take 20-30 minutes of all-in focus to make your first set of follow-up calls, then take the next 20 minutes to do invoices. Keep going back and forth until you're done. This way, your focus stays fresh, you stop wasting precious time trying to refocus and stay on task, and you get twice as much done in a fraction of the time.