I will be the very first to admit that time changes — whether from East coast to West coast or the “falling back” and “springing ahead” that we do in most parts of the country wreak havoc with my sleep cycle. I will spend the first week of the daylight savings time change saying, “Well, sure the clock reads noon but it’s really 1 pm.” Drives the family crazy! However, for a busy entrepreneur you might want to look at daylight savings time — especially in the autumn — as a gift of an additional hour. How you use that hour will determine how productive, or not, you are.
Here are some of my thoughts on how to wrangle the most of that hour we’ve just been given. (HINT: These tips are good year-round and work even if your state doesn’t participate in daylight savings time — Arizona!)
Hit the delete key.
I mean this both literally and figuratively. If you find that your to-do list isn’t getting done at the end of a day and you’re “carrying stuff over” to the next day. Take a look at
- Which items are getting carried over
- How often the same items are getting carried over
- Which items you’re doing first
Looking at this information might help you to realize that you either have too much on your list or you have low-priority items on your list that are a breeze to complete so you do those rather than your high priority items which will take more time or brainpower.
Rethink your priorities.
Remember, you cannot do it all. If you think you can, but find you’re not, you need to rethink your priorities. Do you have too many high-level projects? Are you placing a high priority on a project that truly isn’t? Have you said “yes” to too many things where you should have said “thanks, but no thanks”? Take an hour and list all of the tasks you need to complete for yourself and your clients on a daily basis. Number those tasks in order of importance. Chip away at the high priority items first and then work on the lower levels at a later time.
Know your peak efficiency times.
I know that I am uber effective and productive at 5 am. I make sure I am up, dressed, have eaten my breakfast and had a couple of cups of coffee and am at my desk at 5 am most days of the week. When I have a task that I know is going to require high levels of brain power and concentration, that is when I complete it. This month, November, I have decided to participate in National Novel Writing In A Month and am spending my early morning hours writing my 1,667 words before I jump into client work. I believe that once November is over I will continue to use that hour first thing in the morning for my own writing — whether it’s for one of my websites or for the classes I am planning to offer in the new year. On my “off peak” hours I clean my desk, work on my bookkeeping and filing of my receipts, mindless, but necessary tasks.
Take a step a day toward your audacious goal.
What is your audacious goal? Is it to write a book? Uncover speaking opportunities? Write some items for free giveaways on your website? Write an ebook that will highlight your expertise? Write that goal down on a sticky note and put it on your desk where you can see it daily. This month, my audacious goal is to write my novel for NANO and I have a sticky on my desk that says just that, “WRITE YOUR NOVEL 1,667 WORDS AT A TIME.” I have broken down that huge goal — 50,000 words in a month — into a doable goal of 1,667 words per day.
Take a break.
How is taking a break from your work going to make you more productive? Because you need to step away from your tasks and refresh and rejuvenate yourself from time to time. You can’t be an automaton — especially if you work in a creative field like creating content for your clients. Get outside. Take a walk with your pet. Sit in a quiet space and enjoy a cup of tea. Read a novel that you never seem to have the time for — allot 15 or 30 minutes a day and just indulge. Pick up your crochet or knitting project and indulge in that for a few minutes every day. You will return to your desk refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your to do list.
Look at the additional hour you have received as a result of the “falling back” of the clock to pamper yourself. Use that daylight savings time hour to take a walk before you start work. Use that hour to work on “your own” projects — if you’re an entrepreneur you know how hard it is to get to your own blogging or editorial calendar creation; we are like the cobbler whose kids have holey shoes.
What will you do to make the most of the additional hour? I’d love to hear it in the comments below. Also, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, grab a copy of my ebook that offers tips to Conquer the Overwhelm.