Any leader, entrepreneur, business owner, or working professional will be the first to tell you that there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. No matter what industry you work in, the feeling of being overwhelmed with various tasks that all seem to have the same level of priority is a common one. However, if you don’t get a handle on things, you can find yourself burning out fast.
Organization and time management are a couple of key factors to focus on when you want to maximize your efficiency at work. But what are the best ways to get organized and manage your time? Here, 13 professionals from Young Entrepreneur Council weigh in with their best advice. Whether you’re just getting started or are already running your own business, here’s how to get more work done in less time.
Q. What’s one strategy you use for getting more work done in less time? How does this help your overall efficiency as a professional?
1. Plan and Group Similar Tasks
These two rules will do wonders for your workday. No. 1 is to plan every week in advance. By doing so, you save the Monday morning hassle and get down to the actual work from the moment you walk into the office. No. 2 is to group your tasks by similarity. For example, schedule three client calls in a row and spend the rest of the day writing presentations so that you don’t have to shift focus throughout the day. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
2. Use Time Tracking Software
My No. 1 tip for getting more work done in less time is this: Use time tracking software to keep yourself focused. I found that, when left to my own devices, I would get off course and end up not getting as much done as I had hoped. When I started using time tracking software, it became easier to manage my schedule and get more done. This also helps me detach when it’s time to clock out. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
3. Hire a Virtual Assistant
Many entrepreneurs are missing out on the advantages of working with a virtual assistant. You can easily hire someone on a project or time-frame basis from a freelance site. Assign tasks to them that are time-consuming but don’t require your close attention. Getting virtual assistants to clear your inbox, find leads, and carry out other tasks will have you getting more done in less time. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
4. Focus on Eliminating Distractions
Focusing and eliminating distractions enable me to complete more work in less time. I will schedule an afternoon to complete six hours of work in three hours without distractions. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
5. Use the Eisenhower Matrix
My favorite thing to do when swamped is to focus on the Eisenhower Matrix. When time is precious, make sure to only focus on things that are important and urgent. Then you can save less important and less urgent work for when you are less busy. – Torrey Tayenaka, Sparkhouse
6. Use the Pomodoro Technique
I like to use the Pomodoro Technique. I’ll set my timer for 25 minutes and focus on completing a task within that time period. After 25 minutes, I’ll take a short break of five to 10 minutes and move on to either completing the same task in another 25-minute interval or I’ll take on another task. This time interval is proven to be optimal. – Kyle Michaud, Experience Expositions
7. Make Better Use of a To-Do List
I prioritize everything on my to-do list. Red means it’s urgent and must get done right away. Orange means it is a priority. Blue are things that should get done when everything else is done. If it doesn’t fit into one of those categories, I do not do it. This system helps me to figure out what is worthwhile to work on and what to make a priority so that I do not waste time on trivial tasks. – Morissa Schwartz, Dr. Rissy’s Writing & Marketing
8. Follow the Snowball Method
The snowball method has been my go-to productivity hack since the beginning of my career. Essentially, I do the most important task of the day as soon as I get up in the morning. Once the coffee hits my mug, I sit down at my desk and get down to business while I’m feeling fresh. This is when I’m the most efficient at work. Then, the momentum carries forward throughout the day to the smaller tasks. – Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets
9. Use Organizational Software
Prioritize and don’t waste time. There are so many different types of organizational software out there that can help with this. Personally, I use Asana, which has been instrumental in helping me organize and prioritize my tasks for the day. By doing this, I have time blocked off on my calendar to focus on whatever pressing task is at hand so any last-minute items or things that can wait don’t interrupt. – Nic DeAngelo, Saint Investment Group
10. Work on One Task at a Time
Accept the fact that there’s no such thing as multitasking. Limit distractions and hunker down with one task at a time. You’ll find that you’ll not only get more done, but you’ll also feel way more accomplished when you can check that task off once and for all rather than have it linger. – Shay Berman, Digital Resource
11. Prioritize High-Impact Tasks
Forgo smaller projects. Many entrepreneurs waste too much time on tasks that deliver little value, and the best way to make the most of your time (other than delegating and automation) is by prioritizing the highest-impact projects. This ensures you optimize your own impact on your business rather than overwhelming yourself with busy work. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress
12. Leverage Templates and Checklists
Sometimes you need to do some tasks repeatedly on a regular basis. You can easily get such work done more quickly by creating templates and checklists that can be used over time. For example, you can use email templates or templates for monthly finances, etc. You can also have a checklist to make things easier. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
13. Listen to Isochronic Focus Tracks
I like listening to isochronic focus tracks when I have a lot of work that needs to be done. The science behind this type of music shows that it acts as “brain entertainment,” which can reduce distractions and improve productivity. I typically listen to a three-hour track, then take a break for 30 minutes before jumping back in for another three hours. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
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