Almost everyone wishes they had more time in their day right? More time comes from being more efficient at what you do! I started my business because I could see that my ability to do things efficiently isn’t an ability that everyone has and I wanted to share my knowledge and expertise.
I see things differently. I know that there are others out there that see things the same way that I do, but I have learned to apply my skills to making systems work more efficiently. At home, in business and at work.
It’s why people are always saying “how do you do all that you do?”. It’s something that comes naturally to me and something that I have improved on over the years.
But just because it comes naturally to me, doesn’t mean that it can’t be taught to you so that you can become more efficient too.
Before you can do anything efficiently, you need to set your focus and know what you need to do.
To set your focus you need to be clear on what you need to do and when you need to do it. I plan my day the night before so that when I get up in the morning I don’t waste time ‘getting round to things’. I know what I need to do and I just get on with it. I know what meetings or appointments I have and I schedule my tasks in around that. I know what tasks need to be done each week and I schedule in time to do them – grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, routine work & business tasks. And when I am completing a task I minimise distractions and interruptions because I know that it is a task that needs to get done.
I am clear on how I need to do things.
This is easiest when you have a system in place for how you do things. Consider the things that you do as a recipe. What do you need to do the task ahead? What steps do you need to do to get it all done? Know this ahead of time, have everything that you need available and you will work through it more efficiently.
I prepare ahead of time and I prioritise.
There is always something that has a deadline. I have learned to prioritise these and prepare for them, especially if it is something that will make you run late. And knowing your focus and how you do things makes this step a whole lot easier! I always aim to get the biggest, most important task done first. It is so much more rewarding & motivating to get the big task done than it is to knock off the little ones and miss that big one yet again.
I am big on routine.
Routine might not seem like fun, but having a routine gives you more time for fun! When you do something the same way every time, or even most times, you get more efficient at doing it. It doesn’t have to be done at the same time and same day every time you do it (though that can help with scheduling), but having your ‘method’ makes you more efficient. Routine comes when you have your focus set, you know how you need to do things and you prepare ahead of time.
Can you see how everything ties in and becomes a process in itself?
And the final key is that I make improvement.
Continuously implementing improvements makes everything I do more efficient. The kids lunches is a key example of that. I used to make their lunches the night before and would sometimes delegate the task to them too. But it annoyed me no end to get the same things out every night to make the same sandwiches for the next day. It became much less of a drain to my evenings when I switched to making them once a week (and sometimes once a fortnight!). I only need to get everything out once, which cuts down time over the week. I only have one evening where I am making sandwiches, and not five. I am happier because I am not making sandwiches every day!
So how can you apply this?
First, you need to identify where you are not working efficiently. It will be something that you get frustrated doing or avoid doing because it takes so long all of the time. Maybe you’re letting distractions come in to stop you getting it done?
Once you’ve identified it, think about what you need to do to focus on it better. Is it scheduling in a set time to do it each day or each week? Are you clear on what it is that you need to do each day, week or month? Do you need to put them into your calendar or planner to remind you? Is there something that is always distracting you when you do it?
Whether it’s something new or something that you do all the time, are you clear on how you do it and what you need to do to get it done? If not, what do you need to learn or do to make it clearer?
What can you prepare ahead of time that will make everything run more smoothly? If you’re always running late in the morning, what do you need to do the night before to make you more efficient in the morning? Do you need to have set days for cleaning or laundry? What can you schedule in to do on a regular basis so that you can ‘set and forget’. What are the big tasks that you keep running out of time to do? Are you scheduling them to do first? Do you make sure you have all that you need with you before you even start?
And when you have your ‘system’ and routine in place, is there a way you can improve on it? What small change can you make that will make it easier next time?
It’s now time to move forward with more efficiency!