Everyone has tasks that they absolutely dread. They could simply be deeply dull. When I do something I find difficult it seems like I’m wading through mud. If I delegated to someone with a different skill set they’d be racing ahead.
Improve your productivity by eating frogs
I’ll forgive you a double take on that one. It comes courtesy of Mark Twain:
He’s also credited with suggesting that if you have to eat a live frog it’s best to do it first thing because you can move on knowing that the worst part of your day is behind you. You can get it over with and move on.
Joking aside, getting your least favourite task over and done with quickly can really improve your productivity. When I procrastinate I can’t focus on the things I enjoy because the task I hate is sitting there waiting. It turns into some sort of terrible beastie sitting on the edge of my desk. I improve my productivity and focus simply by getting it over with and moving on.
When I just get on and do the dreaded thing I can get on with the rest of my day knowing that the worst bit is over.
If your least favourite task isn’t going to be completed quickly, you could give it a day to itself. Put it on a Monday and then you can move on to the things you enjoy later in the week.
Mix it up
If your day holds a few tasks you love and a few you hate, you could try alternating the two. I reward myself for sorting out my receipts with some time writing my blog or doing research.
Improve your productivity with outsourcing
Are you the only person who can do the task or can you delegate it to someone else? If you are your business it’s easy to feel that you have to do everything yourself. When you’re getting your business off the ground you might not have the budget to outsource and even when you’re more established you still need to make sure you’re not overspending.
If you’re part of a wider business community you’ll come into contact with people with different skill sets. You might hate admin or finance, but a VA or accountant will love it. If you don’t have any money to spend try setting up a skill swap. For example, I could offer to write a couple of blog posts for a graphic designer in return for a new logo. The idea is that it should be something that will take a similar length of time to complete.
When you start to generate revenue that will allow you to invest in some outsourcing, think about where you’ll save the most time. I’ve spoken to people who might spend two hours writing a blog post when they could be seeing clients. While I’m writing a blog post for them they can be doing two hours’ worth of client work which brings in three times as much as they pay me.
Be kind to yourself because running your own business is a steep learning curve. You find yourself learning skills that you never imagined you’d need. When you get something done, give yourself a pat on the back, especially if it’s something you hate.
Finally, have you taken steps to improve your productivity? I’m always open to new ideas, so please share in the comments below!