I know, that you know, you’re busy. You’re probably using evenings and weekends to catch up. If long hours are becoming more of a habit than an exception, it’s past time to fix it!
How to work less when there’s so much to do
Your instinct might be to buckle down and squeeze more out of your days. Unfortunately, multitasking is a myth, so that’s out. The trick is to set up your workday so you can focus your energy on true priorities.
“But Jil!” you say, “how do I focus on my true priorities when EVERYTHING ELSE still needs to get done?!” The answer: reducing your workload.
Here are 3 ways to reduce your workload
1. Improve your processes. Identify the tasks you do often (hint: this is usually more than 50% of your typical workday). Then, grab a notebook or your favourite project management app and record all the steps you take as you complete those tasks. Now, take a hard look at the lists you’ve just made; is anything more complicated than it truly has to be?
2. Get someone else to do it. Some things in your business must be done by you alone, but the list is shorter than you may think! You know those things you don’t like doing, aren’t good at, or don’t have time for? Delegate them to someone good at them!
Don’t have employees? No problem - that’s what contractors are for! Think Bookkeepers, Social Media Managers, and (ahem) Virtual Assistants.
3. There’s an app for that. You probably already get your calendar to remind you of upcoming appointments and your email to send automatic out-of-office messages. But it goes so much further than that! Every tool on your computer (and phone) has built-in options to improve your experience.
I can confidently assume that there are several useful functions in your existing software tools that you aren’t taking advantage of. Did you know that you can have responses to your online forms automatically added to a spreadsheet? Or that draft invoices can be created automatically in Freshbooks right from your email? These are just some quick examples, but the list is endless!