Even if you work from home full-time, and you’re not juggling a side hustle with a 9-5 day job, being productive can be surprisingly challenging.
People have good days and bad days. Some days, you just don’t have it in you.
And that problem gets worse as your business grows.
Your workload grows with it, and that can get genuinely exhausting after a while.
And it’s not exclusively a fatigue problem, either.
Sometimes the underlying issue is that you’re juggling so many tasks on your to-do list, and there’s only so much usable time in the day.
In these situations, you need to step back and re-examine things.
You need to start planning, prioritizing, and creating order out of the chaos.
You need to figure out where to invest your time and energy.
What are the biggest tasks you need to accomplish? What’s actually, seriously mission critical?
And which things can wait a little while, and get taken care of at a later time?
These three little tweaks can make a massive difference — not only in your productivity, but in your quality of life and personal happiness.
Manage your energy, not your time.
It’s impossible to be perfectly productive for an entire day. On Twitter, leadership expert Robin Sharma wrote, “Productivity is less about what you do with your time, and more about how you run your mind.”
How you run your mind will depend on your energy level.
Most people have a certain time of day when they are most productive.
Perhaps it’s the early hours of the morning or right before lunchtime, or maybe you’re a night owl. For me, I have the lowest energy from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
So, guess what?
I stop working at 2 p.m. and go home.
Purge useless tasks.
Twice a year, I sit down and do this exercise: I make a list of all of the tasks I do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Then, I group the tasks based on importance.
This allows me to figure out what tasks I’m spending too much time on — ones that I’d be better off letting someone else do.
Doing this exercise also shows me what tasks I maybe need to hire someone for or what I can outsource.
Try making your own list to see how you can streamline your work. Ask yourself, “What can only be done by me?”
Everything else can be delegated to someone else on your team.
Choose your top three things.
In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey wrote: “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
What are your top three priorities?
These should be your main focus each day. Only choose to work on tasks that move the needle and make an impact on your business.
This will allow you to work smarter.
(And because I work smarter, I can run my two multimillion-dollar companies, travel a few times a month, manage 20-plus people around the world and still have dinner with my wife and a life.)
You can find more great advice for productivity, career development, entrepreneurship, and more over at Entrepreneur.