“How did it get so late so soon?”
This is about maximizing your time so you make more money. That’s it. This is not going to be easy for some of you, but trust me: It will be so worth it. Let’s get right to it, right now.
1. Have a morning routine. That means consistent.
Having a morning routine – and the commitment to exercising it consistently – keeps you sharp while simultaneously preparing you for your clients and your business.
For example, every morning, I do meditation, yoga, run two miles, and say a prayer before my kids wake up. I’ll then make them breakfast, get them ready for school, and then get myself into the shower. While I run, I listen to NPR, a podcast, or an audiobook – anything to get my learning on. By the time I am in the car, I’m ready to go. I’m ready to embrace the day and tackle the challenges awaiting me in my business world.
Your task: Write down your morning tasks. How many of them are done most days? How many should be done most days? Determine what is important and line up the tasks so you are ready to begin committing to your morning routine tomorrow.
2. Go for an afternoon walk.
Look, the day can drag on and minutes turn into hours. Some days, we struggle to overcome single challenges that just don’t seem resolvable. Here’s what you need to do: Walk away. Literally! Leave your desk and take a walk. Just five minutes, maybe ten if you can swing it. Take these few minutes to allow your mind and your body to recharge and refocus. Spinning your wheels will do you no good, but lubing up those wheels will make them roll more freely towards your intended destination. I mean it! Do it!
Your task: When are you at your lowest concentration point in the afternoon? We all have one. Figure out when it is and take your first walk then. It’s okay to move it around, but start by choosing some time and go.
3. Turn off the screen (and the gadgets). OFF!
Huh? Yeah, for real. Just turn it all off.
Turn off your cell phone while you engage in work activities, and close your email. Leave your cell phone in your office when you are in meetings. Put that phone on DND (do not disturb) at all times. Give yourself a few minutes every hour to catch up … that is, after you have completed the activity you were working on. And, especially, get away from social media during the work day (unless, of course, your work is in social media in the first place – in which case, never turn to your personal account!). Focus fully and completely on your business without the surprises that your phone, email, or social media can interrupt with. In fact, there are few surprises that you need to know about instantly. So, why enslave yourself when you could be getting a ton accomplished?
Your task: Make a short checklist of all the interruptions in your work day. Everything that dings, buzzes, knocks or otherwise distracts you. Then, when you start your focused activities, run through your checklist and make sure it is all OFF.
4. Set work hours. Share them. Stick to them.
It’s time to stop letting outside sources – every Tom, Dick, or Harry – control what you do and when. Decide that you “work” during certain hours, and entertain “emergencies” during others. Let people know that between certain hours you focus yourself so that you can stay on (ahead) the ball. Unless there is a true emergency, don’t waiver from your commitment to focus during those hours. They can bother you outside of your dedicated focus time. Start by setting those hours, then turn off your gadgets (see number three above!) and start to maximize your time so you make more money.
Your task: A big sticky note on your screen or some other obvious place with your on-task hours reminds you that you are not available to the whole world. You may even want to set an alarm on your phone … to turn off your phone!
5. Clean up before you go home.
At the end of your day – wherever it is you spend it – clean up. That’s right. Don’t leave your place of business, office, cubicle, whatever location you have without cleaning up. Yes, that means throwing out random notes and bits of paper. But, it also includes planning the next day, getting your to-do and call lists ready, and wrapping up today’s correspondence. Walking in and seeing a clean slate in the morning is refreshing. And, it inspires enthusiasm for a great start to a productive day.
Your task: Give yourself 10 minutes and the end of THIS DAY and assess what is on your plate for tomorrow. Sort it out and lay it out.
Maximizing Your Time So You Make More Money Can Be Easy
We give our time away all day long, to emotions that gain us no advantages, to people who do not value our time, to inefficient habits. If you want to take back this time, you need to cut to the chase.
STUART R. LEVINE, Cut to the Chase: and 99 Other Rules to Liberate Yourself and Gain Back the Gift of Time
Do you see it now? It’s time to cut to the chase. Give up the inefficiency and wasted emotions. It’s time to control those who attempt to control you and to have what it takes to succeed in your everyday life, your business, and for your clients. If you commit to these five steps I have given you, you will save time overall AND have more time for business development. No more rushing through your day in a panic. When you have more time to think because you are organized, you naturally make more money or get recognized for that raise you deserve before you thought possible. Be the person your boss wants to promote. Be the business owner who makes the best out of their time. Be the employee who sets the example for the others. And, love your career from here on. Now is the time to start!