Entrepreneurs are both blessed and cursed. On the one hand, they have more control over when, where, and what kind of work they do. On the other hand, most self-employed business people tend to end up working crazy hours. Fortunately, there are some simple ways for you to start to do less while accomplishing more.
1. Employ the 80/20 Rule: If you want to get more done in less time, then you need to create your daily work schedule around the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. Creating a daily work schedule using the 80/20 rule will allow you to spend 80 percent of your day working on the most critical tasks, and 20 percent of your time on the menial, but necessary tasks.
2. Disconnect: If you want to keep your mind fresh and your energy levels up, then you need to take a break from your work frequently. Don’t continue to work under the assumption that you have to work harder to accomplish your goals. Taking frequent breaks throughout the day and disconnecting from your email and phone calls, and stepping away on the weekends, will allow your brain to refresh and your body to recover.
3. Be Willing to Say No: Those who are highly successful have to contend with many demands on their time. It is essential that you know what it is you want to achieve and be willing to say no to other projects. Working less and achieving more is necessary for a balanced life. If you can’t achieve that balance, then you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed and on the verge of burning out. Prioritize your tasks and be willing to pass on other work and projects.
4. Have a Plan: While most entrepreneurs have a long-term plan on how they’re going to reach their goals, they fail to plan and prioritize their days. When you are scattered throughout the day, you aren’t able to maximize your time. If you want to get more done, then you need to set some time aside every evening to plan out and prioritize the tasks you need to accomplish the next day that will move you forward toward achieving your goals.
5. Outsource Where You Can: This doesn't just apply to work tasks that someone else would be better suited to complete. Think about the 20 percent of menial, but necessary jobs that you have to complete every day and determine if you can outsource them to a freelance or contract worker.
While it is impossible to restart your career overnight, taking these five time management strategies can significantly improve your productivity.