Want those big dream to become big realities? Then, action needs to become your new friend.
Many of us are dreamers and visionaries. We have big, hairy audacious goals that, if met, will be amazing. However, it’s not enough to dream of success. It’s not even enough to set goals.
The only way to truly achieve your dreams and build the business you’re meant to build is to sit down and just do it. Ideas that don’t turn into action keep us from building the businesses and lives we want.
And that’s where many of us fall short from seeing our dreams become a reality. It’s the doing that trips us up more times than not over the dreaming.
We overbook our calendars until today’s to-dos become next week’s past dues. We procrastinate on the things that are important while attending to things that are merely “nice to do.” And sometimes we simply take on too much—even when we know better. We lose sight of our vision and start “working” but not really making any progress…kind of like that little hamster on a wheel.
So, how do you ensure your dreams turn into your reality. Make a plan! Embrace these five productivity hacks that top coaches use to get more done in less time.
1. Rituals and Habits: Simply put, a ritual or habit is a consistent way of doing something. You have a morning ritual (wake up, brush your teeth, work out, shower, and head to your office), evening ritual (check homework, tuck the kids in, watch the evening news, and hit the sack), weekend ritual (sleep late, mow the lawn, catch a movie, visit your mom), and many others.
The trouble is, if you’re not careful with your rituals, they can turn into productivity killers. Is checking Facebook or email a part of your morning ritual? Is allowing a constant stream of Slack or email notification on your desktop part of your work ritual? Distractions such as these can turn even your best intentions into hours of wasted time.
Take a good look at your rituals. What are you doing that you should not be—or that should be moved to another part of your day? Make your rituals more efficient and you’ll automatically get more done.
2. Calendar Management: Want to know how much time you really have available for that new project? Try blocking off time in your calendar for all your existing projects. Fill in all your client calls, your business administrative tasks, time for meals and breaks, outside appointments, and everything else you’re committed to. What’s left might just shock you.
Make it a habit to block time in your calendar for every commitment, and you’ll never again over-promise or over-commit.
3. Learn to Let Go: Here’s a news flash. You do not have to do everything in your business. You can (and should) hand off those low-level tasks to someone else. Hire a VA to create your documents and manage your calendar. Let your tech support person manage your blog and email. Turn over your bookkeeping to an accountant. The time you free up will allow you to work on what’s truly important—and that only you can do.
If you need a simple framework for determining what work is best to hand-off. Draw four squares and label them with the following titles: Only Work I Can Do; What I Have High Experience In; Work I Have Some Experience In & Is Somewhat Satisfying; Work That is Highly Satisfying.
Start by contracting out the work that you are either inexperienced in and/or is unsatisfying to you. Someone else exists who loves that work and it’s going to be able to do it better and more efficiently. Also, start by handing off those repetitive, repeatable tasks.
4. Work Hard, Play Harder: You are not a machine. You cannot work all day every day and hope to be at your best all the time.
Take a day off. Get some rest, or relax on a long, slow hike. Take a friend out to lunch. Go shopping with your kids. See a movie or a play. Do something—anything—other than work.
Not only will you return to the office feeling much more refreshed, but you’ll find yourself more creative and productive than before as well.
I suggest by writing out a self-care list – identify all the things that energize you, fill your bucket, and make you feel great. Incorporate this into your schedule and if you find yourself with some unexpected free time take a look at this list and see what you can do to care for yourself.
5. Focus: Multitasking is impossible. You cannot efficiently create a new coaching program while you’re simultaneously surfing Facebook, keeping an eye on the kids, and answering the phone every time it rings.
Instead, use your calendar to block time off for important tasks, then turn everything else off so you can focus. No phone, no Facebook, no kids or husbands or neighbors or pets demanding “just a minute” of your time. Tune everything out, and you’ll find your work getting done much faster.
Managing your time and turning up your productivity is a process. You have to just start and then check and adjust as you go along until you find the right groove that works for you. Then, when you do, STICK WITH YOUR BOUNDARIES. By focusing on what matters and aiming for productivity, you will start to see your business grow and little by little you will realize that you are, in fact, living the life you had once only dreamed of.
Ready for 10 more tips check out one of my favorite Productivity Coaches on Strategies to Improve Productivity.
What are your best productivity hacks for your own life and business? What is the #1 thing you do that keeps you on track? Share in the comments below so we can all benefit.