Don’t get it twisted – being an entrepreneur is hard work. Very hard work. And with hard work comes a heavy workload. From learning new skills to managing employees as well as planning ahead, just getting through an average day can sometimes feel overwhelming.
But there are ways to work smarter and not harder.
We’ve listed some handy tips to help you handle your workload, alleviate your stress and sort through even the deepest sea of never-ending tasks.
- Take time out to plan
Just one hour of planning could save you hours of time. Avoid rushing in and wasting time by mapping everything out before you dive in.
Think about the purpose of each project or task, how long it will take, the deadline and the desired outcome before noting what the KPIs and challenges are.
Having absolute clarity on your to-do list will help you block out the required amount of time and help you focus and concentrate, as a result.
- Get your priorities straight
The saying “there aren’t enough hours in the day” holds very true. In times when there seems to be more work than capacity, don’t wear yourself thin. Accept that you aren’t a superhero and that you won’t be able to get everything done at once.
Prioritise tasks so that the most urgent and important items rise to the top of your list. Get these done first before moving onto tasks that fall further down the list.
And remember – don’t put off tasks!
This will only push important tasks further down the list and delay your progress. Don’t let this happen!
- Limit the amount of time you spend on tasks
The law of diminishing returns dictates that the more time spent on a task, the less value gained from it. With this theory in mind, make sure you limit the amount of time you spend doing certain tasks.
It may also be worth investing in a time audit to see exactly where you are spending your time.
Start by analysing how much time it takes to complete each task and what value you are getting out of each one. At the end of the work, record the total time spent on each task and change your focus, if needed.
- Stay up-to-date
Keeping track of what you’re doing each day can help you measure how much time you really need for each project or task.
Knowing this will help alleviate your stress levels as you will know what to expect from individual tasks in future.
- Avoid being a perfectionist
In the famous words of Gordon B. Hinckley, “mediocrity will never do”. And while mediocrity is never okay, spending hours on tasks just to bring them to your personal level of perfection isn’t either.
Being a perfectionist will not only affect your confidence level, but also kill time, delaying other tasks in the process.
Remember – good work is what you produce for your clients. Perfectionism is something you only spend time on to satisfy yourself.
- Rid yourself of distractions
Do you know how many times you get distracted in the day? You may actually be more affected by distractions than you think.
According to The Cost of Interrupted Work, a study conducted by Gloria Mark, it takes a person 23 minutes and 15 seconds, on average, to return to the original task after interruption.
This can lead to increased stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.
So, eliminate distractions at all costs! Exercise discipline and remain focused on business-related projects and tasks.
- Share the load
No human being is good at everything. So, focus on your own unique skill set and outsource everything else.
From general admin to social media management and copywriting, you can utilise the service of a virtual marketing company to redistribute tasks and help you manage your time better.
Remember – you’re not an expert on everything. So why not utilise someone else to do what you can’t?
- Stop multitasking
No matter how good you may think you are at multitasking, try to stop yourself from doing it.
The truth is, multitasking is a myth and your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time.
Focus on your list of priorities, get through each task one at a time and create firm boundaries for specific tasks. That way, you won’t feel overworked.
- Take time out
As human beings, we require rest to replenish energy levels and stay on top of a heavy workload.
As impossible as it may seem, take time out of your day to go for a walk or exercise. Leave early when possible and even sneak in a nap (if you can).
And never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and healthy eating plan!
- Maintain a healthy work-life balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be an uphill battle but it is of utmost importance.
A healthy work-life balance is subjective, but it involves finding peace within yourself in order to be fully present wherever you are at any particular time.
Make a conscious choice to focus on what matters most to you and create a balanced life that serves your needs.
A heavy workload can be tough to deal with. From stress to fatigue and burnout, it is something that must be tackled head-on to overcome it.
Utilise this step-by-step guide to be the champion of your workload.