6 keys to Accomplishing More in Less Time

“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.”

Elbert Hubbard

Moving Office Doormat

After 8 years of working in the same room with my incredibly talented wife, something interesting happened. She moved. Now, she didn’t move out of the house or anything, just to her own office down the hall. It didn’t happen because she was annoyed with me (well…. maybe a little), and not beacause we don’t communicate well. We just needed a little extra space, and because we have the room in our new house, we did it. What it reminded me of was something more important about work space that we wanted to share with you all.

Having a focused space for work is critical to getting tasks accomplished and having your time spent working be effective. Here are the 6 keys to accomplishing more in less time.

1. Get a door.

If you have to hang a sheet up in your living room to clearly define your working space, clean out a bedroom that is not being used, or rent some cheap office space, you NEED a private place to do work. When you go in, you work, and when you leave, you are done working. Create that separation and you will get more things done in a shorter amount of time.

2. Eat & Read each morning. 

My goal is to spend 10-15 minutes reading something that nourishes my mind and soul, and to eat well each morning. Every other day my goal is to spend 10 minutes working out using Burst Training to keep my body in top shape. This simple goal of reading, eating well and working out helps me feel complete as a person and does wonders for your energy!

3. Get off Email. 

“Email is the killer of the modern day business” says Tim Ferris in his book The Four Hour Work Week. Check email at specific times during the day and DO NOT let it be the first thing you check you get to work. It gets you off-task and the excitement of someone contacting you takes precedence over what really matters.

4. Spend 10 minutes to Prioritize your day. 

Jody and I spend 10-15 minutes talking about what things really matter each day and then we do them in order. We also start each week with a weekly plan and each month with a monthly plan and each year with a yearly plan. Forecasting and prioritizing your time is the best way to do what matters and stop wasting precious time on what doesn’t. Try creating a Standard Week Workflow that has a few important tasks that need to be done on certain days, and then put a print out of that up on your wall to help you focus. It is simple and works really well! It might look like this: “Monday, edit and check email at noon – Tuesday, Write Blog post and check email at noon – Wednesday, Reach out to Vendors and comment on clients FB pages” and so on.

5. Take Lunch. 

It is amazing how many of us try and plow through our work without stopping (which is illegal if you work a day job to work that much without a break), but the problem is that we lose focus over time and lose productivity. We need to stop, eat, breath and laugh a little to refresh our minds. Take a scheduled lunch break each day and see what it does for you!

6. Stop Mult-Tasking. 

Even though it seems like you are doing more when you have email open, three internet windows and Facebook while you edit a shoot, it actually slows you down tremendously. The human mind can only focus on one thing at a time and when you move from thought to thought and task to task, you mind has to re-engage with the new problem and that slows you down. Just do one thing at a time and get it done, and then move on to the next task. Your work will fly by much faster when you focus your mind and you will be refreshed!

 

Start the conversation: What is ONE thing you have done that helps you get more done in less time?

 

PS:  We have a video series coming up about some of the most important lessons we’ve learned in building a photo business! We can’t wait to share it with you! Stay tuned!