BOOM! Just like that, summer is over and the holidays seem as if they were a lifetime ago. It’s back to the daily grind and, if you’re anything like us, everything seems all work and no play again.
How do you stop work from infiltrating every waking hour of your existence?
How do you avoid working long nights and weekends?
How do you improve your work/life balance?
Regardless of whether you are a start-up business or an established business, a sole trader or managing a whole team, we know how draining work can be and it can take over your entire life. We’ve put together some of our top tips below to help you get organised, maximise your work hours and reclaim time for yourself!
1. CLEAN UP YOUR DESK
An organised desk is an organised mind. And we’re not just talking about your worktop. From download folders full of random stuff to digital desktops littered with files, it’s easy for all of our spaces to get messy. Did you know that incomplete tasks and knowing that areas of your work are ’messy’ can impact your productivity? Schedule some time to clean all your folders and file things away properly each week to save it from becoming unmanageable.
2. SET OFFICE HOURS
From start to finish times, set lunch hours and scheduled breaks; having set hours prevents you from falling into a pattern of continuous work without downtime. Schedule alarms on your phone to help remind you to switch off for five and take breaks to improve your focus.
It is also critical to end the working day at a defined time and disconnect from work. Shut down your laptop so it’s not as tempting to quickly nip back on to check anything.
3. BLOCK YOUR TIME
One way to force yourself to stop one task and move on to the next is by blocking time. It allows you to focus solely on one task for a set period of time before forcing you to move on to the next. The result – you work more efficiently, tackle more work and achieve more allowing you to switch off fully in the evening or over weekends!
4. PRIORITISE YOUR TASKS.
As a business owner, the number of tasks can seem endless. With so many distractions, it can be a bit tricky to get on top of everything so it’s important to prioritise. Here are two quick ways to organise your list:
· RANK YOUR DAILY TASKS IN ORDER OF DIFFICULTY and get the easy ones out the way first and fast.
· FIGURE OUT WHEN YOU ARE MOST LIKELY TO FOCUS and schedule your trickiest tasks for that time of day when you’ll be able to concentrate.
5. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR EMAILS (AND INSTIGATE THE TWO-MINUTE RULE)
How much time do you spend checking and responding to emails on a typical day? The answer is probably far more than you'd even guess! The average worker spends 28% of their working week on email, that's more than 2 hours per day! ⠀ Let us introduce the 2 Minute Rule. This is a great way of disciplining yourself to make sure you're organising your time and emails most efficiently. For every email that lands in your inbox, if you think you can deal with it in 2 minutes or under, you should action them as they come in. For everything else that you estimate will take longer, you should file into folders as actionable tasks for later on. Try using the 4-D System; Do. Defer. Delegate. Delete. This can also help keep your inbox tidy and manageable. ⠀ Put time aside for your emails each day instead of dipping in and out of them when you hear a ‘ping’ and you'll see huge improvements in your productivity.
6. BATCH AND SCHEDULE
Batch create post templates for your social media, this will save you hours. Once you have templates set up, all you need do is pop in your text each time you create a new post and BAM, content is done! To ensure your templates flow together use your brand colours and fonts, we recommend making around 12 -14 that you can recycle time and time again.
Schedule your social media posts up to 4-6 weeks in advance. This enables you to plan ahead with any marketing or event days you’d like to focus on, create a balance of selling and engaging posts, and frees up your days (yes literally)! Making time to focus on your social media once a month prevents you from having to think up and create content daily, can help streamline your posts, and improves your engagement through regular posting.
7. SILENCE NOTIFICATIONS
That’s right, we’re telling you to silence your social media and email notifications! By limiting your time online and only looking at these during designated time blocks (we recommend once in the morning and once in the afternoon) you omit distractions and regain focus. Of course, this isn’t always possible but even just two days a week can see an increase in your productivity.
If having a work/life balance still seems like the impossible dream, it may be time for you to consider outsourcing some of your daily tasks to a virtual assistant.
Our team has a wealth of skills and experience meaning we can ensure you that we have the know-how to help get you on track to your goals. We know the importance of quality work and timely delivery, so you can rest assured that we will complete all tasks efficiently and to a high standard.
We offer a free, no obligation, call to discuss your specific needs and requirements. Take the step today and let us show you how we can help.