If you’re running on empty, it’s time to make some changes. Following are ways that you can find more time in the day and ultimately take better care of yourself.
1. Identify commitments you made that you dread including memberships, time-wasting meetings, etc. Learn to say no and eliminate them.
2. Start and end each day with a To Do list and then prioritize each task. Odds are that you won’t accomplish every task on the list so tackle the most important items and then forget about the rest when the day is over.
3. Make a list of goals. This will help you focus on what is important. Goals should include short-term and long-term plans for your business, personal life and family.
4. Set a schedule for daily and weekly activities and put them on your calendar. For example, dedicate one hour per week to updating your blog or decide that you will make sales calls between 9am to 10am each morning. When you start blocking out your time for tasks, not only will you use your time more wisely, but you will start meeting goals and will put an end the multi-tasking cycle.
5. Get organized. Countless hours can be wasted due to missing paperwork and lost time can equate to lost income. Schedule time to take care of the clutter and either hire a professional organizer or dedicate yourself to getting systems in place and finding a home for everything in your work and home space.
6. Check e-mail no more than two to three times per day (morning, afternoon and end of the day). Organize messages with folders and try to touch each message only once.
7. Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Sitting at a desk all day is a recipe for disaster resulting in back and neck problems, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. Get up, walk around, stretch, breathe, have a glass of water and take a few minutes to clear your head.
8. Keep your energy up with small meals throughout the day. It’s easy to skip meals when you’re in the heat of the workday, but this can actually impair productivity. Instead of reaching for a caffeine fix, grab a granola bar, piece of fruit or a cup of yogurt. Keep snacks on hand to make it easy to keep your personal engine fueled throughout the day.
9. Leave early at least one day each week. Treat yourself to some time alone or spend some quality time with your family.
10. Quit doing it all yourself. Outsourcing is a great way to reclaim your time. Think you can’t afford it? Consider what you earn hourly. If you can hire someone to take care of tasks for less, then it’s probably a worthwhile investment. Hire a virtual assistant to help with paperwork, have your laundry picked up, get a landscaper or house cleaner and have your groceries delivered.
Even implementing just a few of these suggestions can make a dramatic improvement in your well-being. And if any of these suggestions leave you feeling guilty, shake it off. Work will always be there, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be of any use at work or at home. Take care of number one and the rest will fall into place.
About the Author:
Stephanie Chandler is an author of several business and marketing books including “LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business” and “From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, eBooks and Information Products.” She is also founder of http://BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs. For author and speaker information, visit http://StephanieChandler.com.