Plan it, set a time limit, and get ‘er done!

Vendors ask me all the time if there’s a faster way to list their coupons, is there a faster way to clip and ship, is there a better way to organize their coupons so they can clip and ship faster. Everybody’s spending a lot of time looking for more Time, so how do some people get so much more done in a day than others?

 

Everybody is more productive when they have a plan

 

Take a look at your own work habits. If you don’t have anything planned for the day it can take you all day to clean the house and you’re still in your jeans and sweatshirt when it’s time for bed. But if you know you have guests arriving at 6 PM your house is sparkling by 3, the roast is in the oven, and you have plenty of time to put on your party dress and do your hair and makeup.

On days when you’re under less stress you tend to take it easy and work a little slower. Again, take a look at your own work habits. On Monday you wake up to 30 orders and understandably it takes you all day to get them clipped and ready to ship. On Friday you wake up to 5 and it still takes you all day.

It’s a mindset thing. When you have more that needs to be done you tend to work faster and harder. The next day, when you have less to do, you tend to slack off a little to give yourself a break, but it still takes you the same amount of time to complete fewer tasks.

But what if you worked just as fast and just as hard on those 5-order days as you do on those 30-order days? You’d have time left over to do other things like set up that new record-keeping system you’ve been thinking about or promote your shop on Facebook. Or even spend time with your family!

 

Why you need to plan your work day

 

Increased Productivity: You’ll work faster and more efficiently and get more done if you already have a list of what you want to accomplish when you start your day.

Decrease ‘Burn-out’: You’ll be able to take some time for yourself. Time to regroup, renew your energy, spend time with family and friends, and maybe even – surprisingly – brainstorm some new ideas for your business.

Sense of Accomplishment: Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment you get as you watch your business grow and your hours spent at the clipping table shrink. You’re getting more done in less time and it shows in your Paypal account. Trust me, that first time you have time to actually cook a real meal and eat it you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of this before!

 

How to schedule your day

 

Create a Things-To-Do List

 

I have 4 lists: Things I want to do today, things I want to do this week, things I want to do this month and special projects for the future. Every day I move tasks from one list to the other based on the amount of time I want to spend on work tasks vs personal tasks that particular day. Read “What’s On Your To-Do List Today

 

Assign a Time Limit for Each Task

 

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m a General Hospital junkie. I’ve been watching for – well, let’s just say Luke and Laura weren’t even friends when I started watching. And I got pretty tired of missing my daily dose of GH because I was stuck at the clipping table.

One day I had 52 orders to clip and I knew I was in for a long day. It had also been weeks since I’d seen a full episode of General Hospital and Robin was about to be rescued, an episode I did NOT want to miss.

So I set myself a time limit that day. I’d be done clipping by 1:55 PM come Hell or high water and I’d be on the couch with my feet up and a Miller Lite in my hand by 2.

And it worked! I clipped like a demon that day because I was not going to miss that episode. I found the coupons faster than ever, envelopes were typed and stamped at lightning speed and not one error was made that day because I was completely focused on achieving my 1:55 PM goal.

After that, I never missed another episode of General Hospital 🙂

Some mornings I’ll check my email and nothing new came in over night and some mornings I’ll have 15 or 20 problems to deal with. I’ve learned to give myself one hour, twice a day, to deal with emails, regardless of how many I have. This forces me to make decisions and solve problems quickly and keep moving through the list so I still have time to accomplish other tasks that day.

On those days when I don’t use the whole hour then I either use that extra time to work ahead on tomorrow’s Things-To-Do list or I quit a little early that day.

My point is, set a time limit for each task you want to accomplish, and even set a time limit for when you want to end your workday. Time limits force you to keep moving forward.

 

Eliminate Distractions and Get ‘Er Done!

 

Turn off your cellphone, shut down Facebook, and turn off the television. If you have kids in the house, consider getting up an hour earlier so you can get some work done before they get up. (I start work at 4 AM. That gives me a solid 3 1/2 hours before the kids get up. You’d be surprised what you can get done when it’s just you and your scissors!)

Forget about the laundry and vaccuuming and dinner. Multi-tasking is a myth. If you want to get the job done and get it done fast – and right – forget about everything else and do it! You’ll be finished a lot faster and you’ll have plenty of time for everything else. On the plus side, since you’re actually focusing on the task at hand, you’ll accomplish every task faster, with better accuracy and results.

 

Start Now – Plan Your Workday

 

Step 1: Decide what time you want to quit working on your business today

Step 2: Create your list of Things-To-Do based on your time limit

Step 3: Focus and Get ‘Er Done!

Now that you’ve seen that it’s possible to take charge of one day and you’ve seen how it positively affects your business, it shouldn’t surprise you that Day 17 is going to be all about carving out the time you need to focus on yourself and your family and how taking time away from the clipping table will actually help your business grow.