Many of us have put in 12 hour days at the office, working hard to get that last minute project completed. The only problem is that even with a fresh attitude and a lot of energy, it doesn’t take long for the distractions of life to take hold. Most people can only go about 2 hours before they start spending time on Facebook or Twitter. Add in emails, text messages, phone calls from home to pick up the milk… and out of those 12 hours, you’re maybe actually working 5-6 hours in total.
That’s all well and good when you’re earning a paycheck from an employer. When you’re an entrepreneur and your pay is based on your productivity, however, those distractions could cost you a lot of money every year. It pays to work smart.
Why Are We Always So Busy?
The modern lifestyle is a busy one for everyone these days, but it is a choice that each person has made that makes it this way. We can each choose to slow life down, work hard for 8 hours with a break here and there, and then spend time pursuing a hobby, taking a hike in the woods, or playing with the kids. We choose to be busy because it’s a badge of honor.
We were busy. That means we had a good day.
Many times we’ll complain about how busy we are and this too becomes a badge of courage. If you’re more swamped than someone else, then you’re more important than that person – at least in your eyes. The only problem is that your busy life is taking away the things that truly matter in life. ears from now, it won’t be the busy times that you look back upon fondly. It will be those special, perfect moments where you did the things you love with the people you love.
How Can Changes Be Made?
The good news is that you can begin to change right now. The fastest way is to set deadlines for yourself that must be met. When we have actual deadlines, we stay focused. Those distractions go away because you have tunnel vision on the project at hand. You can give yourself 45 minutes or 4 hours – as long as the timing makes sense and you stick to it, you’ll find that a line in the sand helps a lot.
Once you’ve done that, then cut out the non-essential tasks you’ve got going on. Eliminate low paying activities to give high paying ones a better priority. Get rid of meetings that are just a waste of time. Always be working on something that will pay you now or in the future as an entrepreneur.
The final change is to set rigid scheduling. This might require help from someone, like a virtual assistant, but it will keep you on task every day. In the end, you’ll be surprised about how much work you can get done… and you may just find that you’re not complaining about how busy you are any more.