And it’s probably the simplest productivity tweak that’ll make an obvious dent in your to-do list.
We all have the same amount of hours in a day. A full 24. Yet we all know someone who seems to get a lot more done. They’ve simply mastered managing themselves in time. Stick around, and my hope is you’ll be mastering that too.
When it comes to saving time, I’m a big proponent of it. Why take more time to do something when you don’t have to, right? I love a good productivity tip and this one has helped me improve my output so much that I have to share it with you.
I know I’m wired for productivity because I’m always looking for ways to shortcut. That’s been the case for over two decades in my marketing business and in how I do my photography business today.
It seems, without fail, I always circle around to the Pomodoro Technique when I talk with small business owners, solopreneurs and freelancers, and this tip works beautifully within that technique.
Another bonus, and why I think you’ll love this productivity tip is
it’s simple, effective and it really works.
It’s time blocking.
Time blocking is simple – dedicating blocks of time so that you can devote all your energy to specific tasks or projects in that session.
Full on focus. Uninterrupted.
Nothing revolutionary here, I know. But its simplicity is what makes it a must-do in your productivity arsenal.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF TO GET STUFF DONE
Block off your calendar as if you had a meeting or appointment with someone else and stick to it. Use that appointment time to get your stuff done.
Over the years, I’ve tried different types of blocking – 1 hour, 2 hours, a day. And what I found works well for me is the 2-hour time block, especially if I am using the Pomodoro Technique – because that fits perfectly in with the four 30-minute sessions that make up a Pomodoro.
It seems that to me anyway, one hour doesn’t give me enough time to see results – but it’s going to depend on what you’re doing.
I spend a lot of time being more creative than analytical, and I feel I need more than 60 minutes at any one time devoted to what I’m working on.
When it comes to creating content, you may like to time block your days and dedicate certain ones to admin, social media, personal branding, graphic design… So, Monday is admin, Tuesday is social media, and so on.
Some folks like to time block by “department” meaning you block off “appointments” or a whole day and they will dedicate them to do the work of a
CEO – strategizing and envisioning, overseeing
Marketing – social media, web design, landing pages, ads…
Sales – calling, prospecting, networking, follow up, proposals etc.
You get the idea – imagining that your solopreneur gig has a lot more people working in it with you (in other words, all the hats you wear in your biz.) This option may also be useful if you have multiple personalities. 😛
This productivity tip works whether you are old school and want to do this on paper – which I suggest because it cements in the commitment mentally in a way that doesn’t as much when using an app – or if you go digital.
I use both.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Sunday night, I plan out how my week is going to look using a mind map. I write down my appointments in my planner taking them from my phone, or adding them to my phone as needed. Every day I review my mind map to see the big picture of what I’m going to do for the week, and I check my paper planner for the blocks. Then I let my phone and computer notify me of upcoming time blocks throughout my day.
COMMITMENT IS KEY
Depending on how much time you have, dedicate set periods to work on your projects so you can truly focus on them, getting deeper and more productive results.
And very importantly, stick to those time blocks – treat them as you would appointments with prospective clients. You will show up for a potential client, so have the same dedication and integrity when it comes to your work.
Now you know this must-do productivity tip, if you’re not doing it already, give it a try. I think you’ll get as much benefit out of it as I do. It’s made a massive difference in how much work I get done each week!
If you have a hard time getting work completed, getting things done in time, or need clarity in exactly what you should be doing to yield faster returns, set up an introductory call to see how I can help you. I’m just a click away!