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It's freakin' awesome, isn't it?
Unfortunately for most of us, being productive is a rare thing. I don't mean like, getting things done sometimes. We all do that. I mean actually being productive.
So, here I am, to save the day – and share my top-secret-tips for how to get shit done.
I've already covered that.
Learn to say “no”.
Say it. Come on, say it. Out loud, right now. “No”.
You don't have to say it in a mean way (though it is kinda fun). Just speak it. Hear yourself say “no”, and get used to it. Heck, type it a few times. No no no no no noooooo!
Your time is valuable. Your time is limited. Do not allow it to be wasted by unnecessary time-suckers. Whether that's a person or a project that is only paying pennies, turn it down.
Stop being such a control freak.
Delegate, delegate, delegate. Even if you can't afford to officially “hire” someone right now, you can always work in trade or train someone in a task in exchange for them helping you out with email and such.
Make a list of tasks you must complete each day. Prioritize them, and then move the ones you really hate doing to another list. That's the list of tasks you're going to give to your new
Yes, this means letting go of control a bit. Deal with it.
Once you've created your to-do list and prioritized it, schedule out how much time each task should take you. Use a timer, working your way through one task at a time, being sure to schedule in breaks where you unplug. Plan out 30 minutes a day for exercise, even if it's just walking around the block a few times every few hours.
Read about balancing working from home and family.
Try the 3 Day Digital Cleanse.
Save time when you can.
Don't cut corners on the important stuff, but figure out which tasks are taking more time than they should.
— Educate yourself. Instead of spending hours (and hours and hours) trying to learn something, take affordable courses that can teach you everything you'd learn – and more – in a short amount of time. My virtual assistant training is a great example of tons of info all organized in one spot to save you lots of time (and money).
— Instead of running to the store every time you run out of paper towels, sign up for Subscribe & Save on Amazon. Not only will you save time, you'll probably save money, too. I do this for things like toilet paper, paper towels, and really anything else that we go through on a weekly or monthly basis: shampoo, toothpaste, razors, etc.
— Shop in bulk. Instead of having to go to the store once a week, buy things in bulk so you only have to go big shopping once a month – and then little shopping when you absolutely need something.
— Set up all of your bills on auto-pay. This will save at least an hour each month, if not more, because you won't have to deal with the billing statements, setting up the payment each time, etc.
— Use your DVR. If you don't have a DVR, ours is only $9.99 a month and totally worth it! Remember, time is money – so if you're saving 20 minutes or so on each show you watch, imagine how much time you're saving each month.
— Shop online whenever possible. I did 90% of my Christmas shopping online, and it saved me HOURS!
— Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails. I use unroll.me (free) – it's awesome because it also “rolls” the subscriptions you want to keep up into one nice little email each day (or week – you choose).
— Create keyboard shortcut keys using autohotkey.com. It might not seem like it saves a lot of time, but if you work from home, it definitely will.
— Complete tasks in batches. Instead of checking email constantly, or every hour, set up twice a day where you'll take 10 minutes (or however long) to read and respond to emails.
At the end of the day…
To be completely honest, at the end of the day, getting shit done is really just about doing it. Eliminate the distractions, stick to a schedule, and stop making excuses as to why there “aren't enough hours in the day”. I'm saying this to myself as much as I'm saying this to you – so let's get this done together!