How to Get Things Done When You Have Too Much To Do

Interestingly, when push comes to shove, we can squash a whole month’s worth of work into fewer days than usual when there is a definite cut-off point, be that upcoming festivities or a well-deserved holiday. So, how do you find the discipline to focus on what needs to be achieved? We all know it’s easy to run around like a headless chicken and achieve nothing! The answer lies in every business coach’s favourite buzzword: improving productivity!

I’m sure reading that induced many eye rolls, and I don’t blame anyone for that reaction. We harp on being productive, and it can feel tedious. But if you’re overwhelmed with an ever-growing workload, you need some processes to manage that because it’s just as much about doing less as doing more. 

So today, I’m sharing five simple, actionable tips that will immediately help improve your productivity, so you get the essential tasks off your to-do list for good.

How does poor productivity affect your business?

Poor productivity negatively impacts your bottom line as a trades and construction business. It can also affect your reputation and overall customer experience—two things that are crucial for companies like yours to thrive.

When you’re not as productive as you could be, you’re wasting time on things that don’t need to happen. It means you don’t have enough time to focus on the crucial tasks that will make the difference between your company thriving or struggling.

The productivity level you sit at sets the bar for the rest of your team. Poor productivity levels in your group can cause delays in project completion, which means more money spent on overtime and delayed income. 

Your work and the processes you set up will dictate your business’s productivity. It all starts with you.

The 5 productivity hacks to help you get more done.

Hack #1: Setting SMART goals

Setting SMART goals is the best way to ensure you’re moving in the right direction because it allows you to set a target and keep track of your progress. What gets measured gets managed.

What does SMART stand for?

  • Specific: Clearly define your goal so everyone involved understands what they’re working towards. 
  • Measurable: How will you measure your achievement? It gives you an idea of whether you need to make any adjustments or improvements along the way.
  • Attainable: Your goals should be achievable within reason – otherwise, there’s no point in setting them in the first place! 
  • Relevant: Think about why you’re setting this goal. Is it helpful to help you achieve your other plans, or is it a waste of valuable resources?
  • Timely: Give your goal a deadline. When would you like to achieve this?
Hack #2: Prioritizing tasks 

Do you find yourself constantly distracted by busy work? Are you so overwhelmed by everything you have to do that you never get anything done? Make yourself a “Things to Achieve” list with only the three most important tasks you need to complete each day. It will ensure you’re not allocating your precious time to less critical tasks.

Hack #3: Delegating tasks 

Delegating tasks to your team is one of the best ways to free up your time so that you can focus on the essential items on your to-do list (hack #2!)

Write out all the tasks you usually complete in a day/week when done by someone else. Hand the jobs over to an appropriate team member and set clear expectations for what needs to do, how it needs to be done, when it needs to complete, and any other information that may be relevant. It will help ensure that everyone involved understands what to expect from them and their responsibilities to remove potential mistakes you need to fix.

Hack #4. Organizing your office space or worksite 

A cluttered workspace is a distraction. A messy desk can lead to a confused mind, leading to mistakes that are not good for anyone.

When you’re ready to get down to business, you don’t want to waste time searching for things—or worse, have to work around a messy workspace full of clutter. It would help if you had an efficient workspace that keeps you focused and lets you do the job promptly.

Hack #5. Minimizing interruptions 

It’s impossible to stay on track with your essential business tasks when phone calls and emails constantly interrupt you or colleagues come over to chat.

Here are some tips to help you minimize interruptions:

  • Set up an out-of-office reply for when you’re busy so people know not to disturb you.
  • Use your phone’s Do Not Disturb feature to silence incoming calls and notifications during specified times.
  • If a colleague or client needs urgent help, ask them to send their question in an email rather than calling or popping by your desk.
  • Leave your door open if you have an open office plan, so people can see when they should come to talk to you instead of interrupting what you’re working on.

Boost productivity. Get organized.

Productivity comes down to intelligent time management. As a business owner, you have to prioritize your activities and move away from the ones that aren’t moving you towards your goal. Determine when it makes sense to roll up your sleeves and when it’s time to get some help.

The key reason why business owners don’t invest their time in high-priority areas is that ‘they don’t know what they don’t know. It is particularly notable in the area of using other people’s time!

Use your team, and don’t let yourself get distracted from your “Things to Achieve” list. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll get done.

It can be overwhelming to decide what needs your focus because everything seems essential. Sometimes, we’re too close to our business to see it objectively. A business coach can help you identify those high-priority tasks and, more importantly, help you get them done!

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