What the heck is a hack? Hacks are tricks, clever solutions or workarounds that help you do a task the easy way. Let’s dive right into it.
Get rid of distractions
An easy way to get rid of distractions is to ignore all means of communication while you get your work done. For example, don’t check your email 20 times a day, check it in the morning, at noon and before you quit working for the day. Ignore texts and calls if possible. You will find that your concentration goes up when distractions are down.
Every time someone distracts you from your work, you need several minutes to get your head back into what you were doing. It can also make you lose your place or cause errors to be made.
Multitasking sounds great. However, when you concentrate on one thing at a time and do it thoroughly, you might just find you get more accomplished in the long run.
Some people can work with music or people talking in the background. Others can’t. Make your workspace optimal for the way you work best.
Sometimes you have to say no!
When you are very busy with your work volunteering to do things will just make life harder. You know volunteer work is important. Will it make your life miserable because you don’t have enough time for it?
You don’t have to say no every time, but there are probably times when you shouldn’t take on more than your time allows. Whether it’s a favor for a friend, or a special work project, know your limitations. Consider your time constraints.
James Altucher describes exactly how to say no in his book, “The Power of NO.”
Eat the frog
According to legend, Bill Gates uses this method to get his work done. Eating the frog has three steps.
- The frog is your hardest task in the day. Figure out which task is your most difficult and important. Just pick one.
- Do that task first. Eat that frog!
- Repeat daily.
The idea is that if you do the toughest thing first, the rest of the day will be easier. When you eat the frog, you also ignore distractions and can build a better work ethic as you continue the practice each day.
Do you get asked the same question in emails over and over? Create a template and simply fill in the person’s information before sending it. This will save time and effort over the long haul.
If people often ask for quotes on jobs, have a list handy and a template for your estimate sheet. You might find that you have several things you can create in this manner. Or, you can create an FAQ (frequently asked questions) and either send people the whole list or pick the specific answer required and send it to them.
Similar to templates is batching. Instead of responding to an email, then doing something else. Hold off on answering anything that isn’t urgent and answer all your emails at one time. Batching is when you do one task over and over at one time. Make all your phone calls from 2-3 p.m. instead of calling one person at 9:30, another at 11 and another at 3.
Manage your passwords
Use a password manager like 1Password to keep all your passwords in one place. Of course, you will have to remember the password for 1Password, but you will only have to remember that one. You can store all your passwords in there and have them handy when you need them. Avoid spending time looking for passwords. You will not have to find a password when you don’t know where you scribbled it on a sticky note. This is a time waster that is easily remedied.
Hopefully, some of these hacks will help you get through the day with fewer distractions. In addition, they should give you back the time you have been wasting. You will have more time to get everything done. For more business tips, check out a recent blog on the topic.