February is coming to a close, how are those resolutions going?
If you’re like us, it’s new year; same resolutions. We all want to use our time more productively, work smarter, not harder.
As a team of small business owners ourselves, and at the vanguard of work from homers, the Upsource VAs have tried every productivity tool out there. We’ve put in the blood, sweat, bullet journals and tears. So here are some productivity hacks to improve your time management and efficiency that the team at Upsource can personally vouch for.
The O.G. of productivity hacking, beloved of serial procrastinators everywhere, the Pomodoro Technique is a cute way of saying “Just Do It” for 25 minutes at a time. Anything is possible for 25 mins, even not looking at your phone while you make a start on that finance report.
The premise is simple, and probably the easiest productivity tip to integrate into your day. Work in 25 minute chunks, with 5 minute breaks in between. Intimidating, difficult, or just plain boring tasks feel much more manageable when broken down into smaller blocks and any distractions can easily (in principle!) be pushed into your regular breaks.
Beloved of Bill Gates and Elon Musk as well as early adopter Benjamin Franklin, time blocking sounds easy and is easy in theory. Simply block out your day, hour by hour, for the tasks that need doing, and, here’s the kicker: stick to it.
No more replying to the odd email when you should be writing that proposal. No more sporadic meetings preventing you from getting down to some serious business strategy. Rather than wasting time and focus moving between tasks, you concentrate on the job in hand for the time allocated.
The key here is to prioritise your to do list in advance, plan and prioritise for the week ahead, and at the end of every day review incomplete tasks and anything new and adjust your blocking accordingly.
You can even schedule in time for social media, noodling around on Google, anything that distracts you. So you can get your Instagram/Youtube/Wordle hit, whatever your poison, without derailing your day.
Think of day theming as time blocking to the max. Rather than breaking up tasks into hourly blocks, each day is strategically planned with a single focus or theme. These could be anything depending on your business and goals. What we really like about this hack is it keeps your bigger picture goals in focus. Want to diversify your product offering? Devote a regular day to R&D rather than letting it slide week after week.
Like time blocking, prioritisation is key here. What is really important to you and your business? Do you perhaps want to dedicate a day to a passion project like charity work or learning a language? This is a great way to create that protected, diarised time. So no excuses mi amigos.
If you want to really go in deep and become the next James Clear, you can use all three of these techniques to complement each other.
And our ultimate productivity hack? Buy yourself some more time and delegate to a Virtual Assistant. Upsource has a team of expert VAs across a diverse range of skills, from traditional admin, to website design and build, to event management. By entrusting tasks from your business to a specialist, you have more time to channel into the parts of your business that you love, that you’re best at. No more procrastination when it comes to writing those social media posts because you’ve already taken them off your To Do list.
If you’re looking to outsource and boost your businesses productivity, get in touch with Caroline, and she can match you with the perfect VA for your goals.