I hear over and over again that people can't get done what they say they want to do. Like everything in life, the ability to get er done comes with practice. Here are some habits to put into place and start getting the results you are looking for:
1. Focus on the task at hand. Master this!
2. Check email infrequently. Do not obsess over email or social media. Work time should be productive time. Most people do not expect you to sit on top of your email all day. If they do, you need to explain that you have specific times for checking and responding to email.
3. Do ONE task at a time. Multi-tasking is a time waster. I talk about this in my book Get ER Done: The Green Beret Guide to Productivity. We didn't multi-task much in the Special Forces. It was a good way to make a fatal mistake. I know you think you can get three things done in half the time, but it simply does not work that way if your attention is spread across several tasks. Do one thing at a time and you will get more accomplished in less time.
4. Find or develop and master shortcuts. If you can't develop your own shortcuts, then ask around and find out what other people do as shortcuts to daily mundane tasks. For example, if you create products and put an About Me section at the end, save that into a Word file so you can copy and paste it into all future projects.
5. Do it right the first time. This one will take some mastering. There's a saying, “Of course I don't look busy. I did it right the first time.” This is so true. It may take some work, we do get better by repetition, but strive to do it right the first time so you don't have to constantly re-do everything you work on. I had a team sergeant when I was first starting out in Special Forces. He always reminded us to do it right the first time. He asked for a professional job no matter what we were doing painting the barracks or cleaning our guns. This saved time in the long run.
6. Use your peak times to your advantage. Pay attention to the time of day you have the most focus and are most alert. Do the difficult tasks during this time and save the mundane “auto-pilot” tasks for when you aren't at your peak performance.
7. Write it down. Keep an on-going list of things you do throughout the day. This will also help you keep track of your time. If you send out 3 emails, write a little note in your journal. Be sure to note who the emails went to and the subjects covered. At the end of the day you'll know exactly what you accomplished and what wasted your time. Plus, if you ever need a reference to look back on, you have it all written down.
8. Take breaks and clear your mind. If you start feeling fuzzy headed and lose your focus, it's time to get up and move around. Go for a short, brisk walk, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. If you keep coffee or tea at your desk, then take time to go enjoy a cup away from your workstation.
9. Close all computer programs that aren't work related. You don't need your task bar full of distractions. Just glancing down and seeing you have your browser open to Facebook can distract you in an instant.
10. Prioritize. This seems simple, but sometimes it isn't. Take a look at the things you want to get done and decide exactly what you need to get done. These are often two different things. Ask yourself which things actually go to building your business. If writing an opinion piece for your blog isn't business related, then save it to write at a non-work time. During work hours, only write about things that increase your business.
I talk more in depth about some of these topics in my book. As Green Berets we didn't have access to any secret weapons or powers. We just used our time and other resources much more efficiently and were able to get amazing results.
What do you do to make sure you get er done? Leave a comment, I read them all.