August 2017 Motivate

Revamp Your Daily Behaviors to Optimize Your Time


Written By: Nadia Alcide, Founder and Chief Problem Solver, Simply Sociable LLC

It’s 5:30 a.m. and your alarm clock goes off, marking the start to a new day. If you’re a business professional, entrepreneur or influencer, your days are action-packed with meetings, high priority tasks and the occasional fire.

We live in the age of distraction. At any given moment, there are multiple people and things vying for our limited attention. With all of these factors, it’s hard to know if your time is spent wisely. Think about it…your time is valuable, and it never comes back. For example, if you desire more revenue, you put in the work to meet your goals. However, with time, you can’t get that back…ever. Let that marinate for a moment.

Using your time wisely and effectively isn’t anything new. There are numerous hacks to try, which in itself can be very exhausting. Think for a moment: Do your behaviors influence your ability to get things done and move the needle? Making clear choices to evaluate daily behaviors influences essentialism — purposefully removing unimportant and time-sucking activities from your day. Start Your Days With Intention

Know where you’re going before you get there. Doing so allows laser-focused control over the day versus the day commanding the control.

Are You Practicing Gratitude?
Gratitude pumps positivity into your day, giving you the feeling of thankfulness and assurance that anything can be accomplished.

Everything In Your Head…Write That Down!
Lucky for us, technology advancements have made it easy to jot down notes on the go. There are a number of digital and traditional printed options to record priorities, ideas and action items. Digital tools like Asana, Evernote and Trello help organize what you write down. For more traditional options, a notebook, whiteboard or bullet journal make the process equally intentional.

Maximize and Load When You Are Fresh
We are human, not the Energizer Bunny. It’s normal to feel worn down, but once we get to that point, we either can’t focus enough to get work done or end up producing less than amazing work. Opt to do higher-level thought work when you are fresh.

Learn the Difference Between Important and Urgent
The meaning of what’s important and the meaning of what’s urgent get confused all the time — you’d be surprised. For example, something “urgent” is described as the notifications and alerts that force you away from your must-dos.

Beware: Email
Living in your email makes your day reactive. Constantly reacting to emails as if they are all urgent distracts from impactful work. Block out time in your schedule to check and respond to email. If you’re too busy to get through emails in a timely manner, create a system to delegate to staff members or an administrative professional to get it done. Control the inbox using proactivity.
Author and artist Jocelyn K. Glei created the term “reactionary workflow,” explaining that many of us live like we are “pecking away at the inboxes around us, attempting to stay afloat by responding and reacting to the next thing.” It’s not just email; this includes texts, tweets and other messaging platforms that are helpful but also great distractions.

Learn How to Delegate
One of the most important skills you can master for your professional toolbox is proper delegation. If done correctly, delegation will save you time to focus on larger-impact activities and creative thinking.

Do This:
Take 15 to 30 minutes to jot down all the tasks you complete each day, and then make a decision about what to delegate, keep or automate. This exercise will keep you prepared and organized when it comes to who needs to do what.

Leverage Your Calendar
Use your calendar for more than just appointment and meeting reminders. Use it to create and carve time out to work on specific tasks during scheduled power hours. Leveraging your calendar lets you know where, who, how and what there is to be done at the times you set.

Create Flexibility
Scheduling out each minute of the day might sound inflexible, so make sure you are using each 24-hour day wisely. The last thing we want to do is fill up every day with work to-dos. Create flexibility in your schedule to take a breather and reset.

Track and Analyze
Record and measure how you spend your time — you’ll be surprised! Most likely, you do not have an exact idea of how long it takes you to do something from start to finish. Use a convenient time tracker like Toggl, RescueTime or Harvest to track where your time is spent. After a week, you will have an idea of time-wasters, productivity victories and how to structure your days going forward.

Focus on what’s important. Time is a resource we can’t get back. It pushes forward no matter how slow we’d like for it to go. Because of this, be strategic about what’s essential to creating balance and growth.

 

 

NADIA ALCIDE is the chief problem solver at Simply Sociable LLC, a virtual business management firm. Over the years, Nadia and Simply Sociable have helped small businesses and entrepreneurs scale by managing their back-end systems, thus allowing them to focus on growth-related activities. Her team takes pride in making admin simple.

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