Reader Question: “To kind of piggyback on last week’s question, you said, “Only work when you can work focused” but how do I do that and get everything done?
Read Time: 4 Minutes
I love this question because it seems so counter-intuitive for me to tell you to work less to get more done. I get it.
You’re probably thinking, “yeah, that sounds great in theory, but it would never work.”
But it’s the opposite that is true. You are spending the same amount of time focused and actually moving the needle each day, whether or not you spend your extra hours piddling away on menial tasks. So why would you not want to take those hours to actually do something that lights you up instead of letting them drag you down and make you feel unfulfilled?
According to a survey by Atlassian:
- 60% or less of work time in a typical 9-5 is spent productively.
- 80% of interruptions are trivial.
- The average worker has 56 interruptions in an 8-hour day.
- The average time spent on one task is 3 minutes before switching tasks.
- We spend an average of 2 hours recovering from distractions each day.
I choose to work 5 hours a day at most, five days a week. If I spent 40% of that time unfocused, I would be wasting approximately 2 hours a day. If I work 50 weeks this year, that’s 500 wasted hours! The equivalent of nearly 21 days!
Three full weeks! 🤯
I think we can all agree that we would much rather use three weeks to take another vacation or spend more time with loved ones than waste it on tasks that do nothing for our business.
But how do you actually only work when focused?
5 STEPS TO SCHEDULE YOUR MOST FOCUSED WORKWEEK
Weekly High Five
Schedule Life First
Two things have the power to control your business; other than you: your revenue and your calendar. If you want to prioritize your life or your goals, you have to prioritize them in your schedule as well. Always schedule what’s most important to you first.
Are you a morning person? Then there’s a good chance your most productive hours will be the first two hours of work and slowly drop off. If you are a night owl, your brain may not rev up until after lunch. But everyone is different, so how do you know for sure? You get data! I’ve created a free workbook to help you do just that!
Structure Your Week
Batch working and theme days have changed my life! Honestly. Dedicating the same day each week to each client; establishes clear expectations and allows the time needed to handle all of my clients and my own business. I also batch two days specifically to work on my business.
Set Office Hours
Once you have your most productive times and have structured your week, set office hours for when you plan to respond to emails, separate hours that you will take calls, and specific hours for each client. Here’s an example. I check email between 9 and 9:30 am each day. I take calls one day each week, and each client has access to me on their specific day.
Respect Your Time
Set these boundaries to protect your time and values, but communicate them clearly with your clients every step of the way. The person that will have the hardest time following them will always be you, though. And once you step outside of those boundaries, your clients lower their expectations of you to follow them and increase their expectations of your availability.
These steps are not always easy, especially the last one. That one’s a doozy. But, I honestly believe that these five steps CHANGE THE GAME for entrepreneurs and really allow you to reclaim your time and energy. Not to mention, establishing these clear boundaries creates a mindset shift that helps you value your own time.
This week I want to challenge you to take the Productive Hours Challenge and commit to valuing your time as much as you do your clients.