With Christmas literally around the corner, we are all trying to cram as much work into each day so that we can take a few days off over the holidays to spend with our family and friends.
When you are self-employed this can be tough, as a lot of the time there is only you to get all these jobs done and there are only so many hours in a day.
Take some downtime
It is important to have some downtime and the holiday season is a good time to try and take some quality time off and spend some time with the people that you love.
I can hear some of you saying, well how is that possible when I have X, Y and Z to do and there really isn’t enough hours in the day between now and Christmas to get it done. Well, at the end of the day we all only have one life and we all must think what is important. For me, that is spending time with my family over Christmas and having quality time with them with as few interruptions as possible.
Christmas is a stressful time of the year and work can add to those stresses. Therefore, it is important to take some time out for yourself. Think about the things that you enjoy. Do you really spend enough time throughout the year with your loved ones or doing the things you enjoy in life? This might be hobbies, travelling or just finding the time to sit down and read a good book or listen to your music collection.
How to use your time better
So, how do you find the time to do the things you want to do this Christmas with still only 24 hours in a day. My tips are:
Ensure that you are getting enough sleep. If you aren’t then you won’t be as productive and motivated as you should be.
Get up one hour earlier if possible and get organised NOW.
Start your day with breakfast and some exercise to motivate yourself and give you the energy to go through the day.
Structure your day and work through one job until it is complete. Multi-tasking can be useful, but sometimes it can hinder your efforts and it takes longer to get the tasks done than if you just concentrated on doing each task well and in its own time.
Start with the hardest task that you need to complete that day and get that done and then progress down to the easiest.
Make sure your desk is clear and organised, so you can see the woods from the trees.
Don’t get distracted by social media, personal calls, messages etc. Take time out to focus solely on your work and get back to personal interactions during a scheduled break or after work hours.
Do you take forever to make even simple decisions within your day? Live by the 60-second rule and see how you get on. This means that you need to make decisions within 60 seconds, instead of it taking 15 mins or more. You will more than likely come to the same decision, it just won’t take up as much of your day
Do you have any unnecessary things in your diary that you can cut out? This might be meetings, webinars, phone calls that aren’t really necessary.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘NO’ from time to time. If a job isn’t for you or you just don’t have the time to do it, be honest and polite about it. Offer an alternative, maybe someone you know who can do the work or find a way for the client to get the task done easily.
If you try the above tips out it would be great to know how you got on or if you have some other tips on how you structure your time to get more done in your day I would love to hear from you.