With the constant pinging of your messaging system internally, client calls, customer emails, and the countless amounts of tasks to divide your attention every day it’s easy to look up at 5 pm on Friday afternoon and ask yourself: “Wait, what did I do this week?!”
The bigger tasks, the long-term tasks, and sometimes even the most important tasks can get lost in the constant rush of other components of the job.
If you aren’t organizing your work life effectively it can massively impact your productivity. To optimize the productivity of our team, and to get a different perspective on how to stop the above problem from happening, we brought in Sara Caputo of Sara Caputo Consulting.
Here are some of the changes, inspired by her consulting, that we have since talked about implementing for the team:
Prep for the Next Day
Taking a few minutes at the end of the day to analyze what you need to accomplish in the upcoming week (https://engagedly.com/7-steps-to-setting-workplace-goals-and-making-them-happen/) is a great way to isolate specific goals.
Think about any long-term projects that you have been putting off, anything emergent that needs to be handled right off the bat, and your daily tasks. Then make a plan to tackle those tasks one-by-one. It is key that while you’re making this assessment you have an awareness of how long the tasks are going to take you to complete – It does no one any service to bite off more than you can chew!
Side Note – If you have difficulty assessing how long tasks take consider using a time-tracker to chart yourself for a few weeks. This will help you to understand the way you work and better prepare.
Tackle Your Least Favorite Tasks First
In our training, this was called, “swallowing your frogs.” Internally, we’ve started calling it “eating your pretzels” because in one of the snack mixes in the kitchen the pretzels are the least-favored item… always leaving us with a mess of pretzels at the end!
Regardless of what you call it, the idea is simple: do what you don’t like first so that you can’t put it off!
Not only will you be more productive it feels more productive, too! It’s a great psychological benefit to organizing your work this way.
Schedule regular meetings with your team, co-workers, etc. to express out loud what your goals are and how you hope to attain them in due time.
Then check up on each other to see if any problems have arisen that is getting in the way of progress. On our team, we chose specific “accountability partners” who have their eye on each other and help them out when needed.
Delegating as a Business Owner
It is important to ensure that you are only doing the things that YOU are the expert at and consistently ask yourself if what you are spending your time doing is the best use of your time. Your time is precious and should be conserved.
Consider delegating or outsourcing other tasks so that you can use your time better. This could mean training a great #2, reallocating members of your team to better utilize their skills, or outsourcing some of your services. We think that bookkeeping and accounting is a great place to start with delegating back-office tasks!
What to Do if You are Feeling Overwhelmed
Work life can be a lot of stress (especially if you are the business owner) but it doesn’t have to be if you’re paying attention to these tips and tricks. And, we’re always here to help! Reach out here if you want to start tackling the delegation!