The following post is my from my new twitter friend, Ryan. His full bio can be found below.
Doesn’t it seem like successful people get way more done then you do? The truth is, they probably do.
While most of us don’t have extra cash to hire somebody to help us with our work and minimize our responsibilities, there are easy ways to get more done in less time.
The secret is to plan ahead and minimize distractions. Using these 8 simple tips, you can get more done is less time, and set yourself up for better success!
Find A Productive Space to Work
I work from home. The only problem is, I don’t get much work done when I’m there.
To fix this problem, I go to my favorite coffee shop (Biggby in Canton, Michigan). When I’m there, I crank out work at three times the pace as when I’m at home because I’m not trying to do laundry, dishes, or wandering to my refrigerator every five minutes.
Budget Your Time and Stretch Your Hour
Like money, you have a limited amount of time to spend every week. In fact, you have 168 hours, just like me, Donald Trump, and the Dalai Lama.
Using a zero-based budget, you can sit down every Sunday and figure how you want to spend your week. You can then decide how much you want to sleep, work, exercise, and work on side projects.
By doing this, you can stretch your hour, just like you can stretch a dollar in financial budgeting.
Schedule Your Facebook Status Updates Ahead of Time
I could tell you to get rid of Facebook. Let’s be honest though, that’s not happening.
One thing you can do though is pre-schedule your facebook and twitter updates ahead of time so that you don’t feel compelled to tweet all day. By using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, you can take one hour on Sunday night to schedule an entire week’s worth of posts and updates, keeping your adoring fans happy and distracted while you do the one-two punch on your tasks for the day!
Schedule Email and Facebook Time into Your Time Budget
Piggybacking off of the last tip, schedule two or three specific times each tday to go on social media, and only go on during those allotted times. I recommend when you eat breakfast, right around lunch time, and sometime during the evening. It should take you no longer than fifteen minutes to see your notifications, respond to messages, and stalk your ex-boyfriend’s new armcandy.
Listen to Books Instead of Reading Them
For those who don’t like to read physical books, like me, you can use your iPod or MP3 player to listen to books or podcasts.
By listening instead of reading, you can layer your time. You can read a book AND get the chores done around the house, run six miles, or do your grocery shopping.
Bonus tip! Audio books are often cheaper than their physical counterparts (but not always).
Turn Off Alerts On Your Phone
In order to get more done, you have to stay focused on the task at hand. Even though the cell phone was invented to be an aid to our work, it has become the greatest distraction of our time.
Go into your phone settings and disable noises, buzzes, and popups. It will be hard at first, but push through the hesitancy and try it for three days.
The first day after doing this, you will be amazed at how focused you can be, and you won’t miss the endless “new mail” sound and tweet noises!
2 Minute Email Rule
This is one of my favorites and I talk about it often. If you can answer an email or accomplish any task that the email calls for in less then 2 minutes, do it and be done with it. Don’t let it sit around until the end of the week.
Take Adequate Breaks
It is ironic, but one of the best productivity tips I know of is to take breaks from your work. A fifteen to thirty minute break every 2 hours has been proven to increase focus, concentration, and productivity.
Bio: Ryan Eggenberger teaches others how to make their career, business, or entrepreneurial dreams into realities. He is also a marketing professional, entrepreneur, blogger, and social media consultant for political, religious, and business organizations. He blogs regularly at RyanEggenberger.com.
Could you explain the zero-based budget?
I think this would help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-based_budgeting
Yep, zero-based or zero-sum budgeting is where you allocate every hour, or dollar, to some purpose. Your budget is only complete when you have a purpose for every single unit ahead of time. I start with 168 hours; I spend them all on paper ahead of time until each one has a purpose. The same with my money: I make X amount a month, but I spend all of them on paper ahead of time, insuring that I save what I want to save in my “savings” line-item.
I like how two of the tips are how to avoid time-wasting on social media. It’s so true though, isn’t it?!
I need to schedule tweets more often and only check facebook on my phone, not my work computer. That will help a ton. Also, scheduling my tasks on the calendar is a great way to block off time to get each of them done.
Jacob, I know the struggle brother! It’s tough to stay away, especially since I blog so much. But sticking to your guns you can really free up time to do more important things (like spending time with that cute kid in your picture!)
I love reading your ideas Ryan, they are common sense but really helpful! I started implementing scheduling my social media posts ahead of time, and I’m much more efficient now. I also listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I’m exercising and doing house chores. It’s definitely a great way to multitask!
Hootsuite and I are best friends these days.
Thanks, Carrie! Scheduling posts is so great, isn’t it? I love layering my time…it makes me feel powerful and efficient!
I too find working from home can be a bit difficult, I usually go to the local Starbucks and do my work there:)
I hear you Aaron…the only problem from working in a cafe is that my dishes no longer get done, haha! But seriously, it’s better to get the work done then my dishes…those can wait.
Awesome tips Marissa. Unfortunately time management is not one of my strong points.
Its a guest post from Ryan, but I have the same issues with time management.
I appreciate the comments, Sean!
These are great tips and I’m sure they will work if I actually implement them. I don’t spend much time on social media, but I still manage to was a lot of time online when I am supposed to be working.
I can waste time on line with the best of the time so I know where you’re coming from.
I hear you there, Andy. This is particularly a struggle for me because I blog, and obviously blogging is done online.
Great tips! I recently started getting into audio books and podcasts so that I could listen on the go!
Me too. I recently found out that my blackberry allows me to dload them.
Robert, thanks for the kind comments! Listening on-the-go is the BEST! I just downloaded Platform by Michael Hyatt. You should check it out!
I always feel awful when I don’t schedule my time. I end up on doing exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. Great tips.
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