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Get More Done Each Day Without Having To Work Harder

Running a business is always going to work, that should be a given. If you want success, you have to work hard for it. However, that doesn’t mean that working harder guarantees more success. In fact, there’s a clear line where working harder reduces your likelihood of success.

As much as we love the romantic story of the ever-hustling entrepreneur, there’s no-one who works endlessly without burning out. It’s not about working harder, it’s about getting more done. And here, we’re going to look at a couple of tools to help you do that.

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Set realistic goals

This is important. You have to have realistic ideas of what you can expect to get done in a certain day. Those tasks that seem like they’re going to take five minutes could prove more complicated, and too many people forget to account for breaks, meetings, and other interruptions. These interruptions can be reduced, but you should focus on creating manageable goals when you’re organizing your workday. SMART goals can keep you on the right path, ensuring that they’re not only realistic but measurable and accurate, too.

Prioritize the work that matters

If you’re like many other business owners still relatively fresh in their career, then it might be likely that you don’t give enough thought to which work is going to take up your time today. However, perhaps you should. Whether it’s focusing on customer wants, current major projects, or urgent needs, you should take the time to look over your to-do list and to ensure that you’re prioritizing them effectively. Otherwise, you could end up spending most of your day bogged down with busywork that, on the surface, needs to be done but, in reality, is nowhere near as valuable as some of the other work that you could be doing at the time. Prioritizing tasks based on urgency and importance is a good way to start.

Create time blocks to set out your day

From there, you need to figure out when and how you’re going to work on those goals. One of the most effective methods is to take your schedule and break it up into blocks of time. Spend half an hour to an hour doing this every morning. Give yourself a set period of time to focus on a certain task and, regardless of whether you finish it or not, you move onto the next task when the next time block begins. This helps ensure that you don’t run over the clock and don’t let certain tasks get in the way other objectives that you want to work on. Make sure to make this schedule available to your team, too, so that they see when you’re available and when you need alone time to focus on a certain objective.

Choose a project management model that works for you

For bigger, more extensive projects that require collaborative efforts, you’re going to need a system for managing and organizing work that’s better suited to teams. There are plenty of models that are well suited to this, such as the spiral model SDLC commonly used in software development companies. Project management isn’t just helpful for helping you spot what your current goals should be in an ongoing project. It also shows an order of workflow and events that shows which tasks you need to wait for someone else to finish, where someone could use your help, and who relies on you finishing your current task. It improves communication and monitoring of the whole project so that it’s easier to keep it progressing.

Know where to delegate and to automate

Finally, you should look at whether you really need to spend your time on some of the tasks that are biting into your workday. When it comes to busywork and simple admin tasks, there could be a wide range of automation software that could take care of it, from invoicing to emailing, HR, accounting, and beyond. Otherwise, could a member of your team be better suited to taking on certain duties that you’re getting too busy to handle? Delegation must be handled with care, ensuring that they can fit it into their workload and that you’re not passing off core responsibilities that should always fall on your shoulders. But it might be time to look at whether you should be doing all the work you are. As the company grows, you will find that you get to work within it less and less, and instead, focus on working on it.

Stop focusing on judging the value of your workday based on your input, judge it based on your output. What did you achieve? Could better structuring your day help you achieve more while also getting more time to yourself?