Day after day you wonder where your time went. You want to get more done but you can’t find enough time to do the things you need to do.
We all feel like this at times, especially if we work from home, but the hard truth is that you decide how you are responsible for how you decide to spend your time. And the worst thing is that you are wasting time every day, whether you realise it or not.
One of the reasons you end up wasting so much time is that you always say YES to the following 5 things:
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Say NO to Social Media
You have 5 minutes to have a coffee. While you’re having a coffee you go on Facebook to see how your Facebook Page is doing or to post a link to your new product. You reply to your fans’ comments on your post. Then you write a couple of helpful comments in one of your Facebook Groups. Then you see a trending article and stop to read it. Oooh, your friend’s just posted a photo of her newborn baby, so you comment on it… Three quarters of an hour later you are still there. And the same goes for Twiter and Pinterest, or Instagram.
So big news! You (and me as well) spend too much time on social media and it stops you from doing the things that matter.
What you can do to stop wasting time on social media
- Time yourself: Give yourself 15 minutes to get everything done, then stop.
- Stop notifications going to your email and pop-ups: So you don’t feel tempted to go back to it when somebody replies to your message.
- Use a tool: You can use Hootsuite or a similar tool to monitor your “professional” profiles so you are not distracted by cute photos.
- Schedule it for the right times: If you have to interact with your followers, choose a time when you have 10-15 minutes spare so it doesn’t stop you doing other things.
Say NO to Freebies
What?! How can I tell you to say no to freebies? But they’re free!
Is your inbox full of emails and you don’t know who the heck sent them to you in the first place or why you subscribed? Yes? That means you subscribed to too many freebies and newsletters.
I know you can just ignore them, but going through a list of emails that you do not want is already costing you time. So keep only the ones you really enjoy reading or are really useful to you and get rid of the rest. (If that means getting rid of mine, go ahead! You know where I am if you ever need me.)
Does this mean that you shouldn’t get a freebie again? Of course not, but do not get a freebie because it’s cool or you think you will learn something from it later on, or it might be useful next month. Get the freebies that are going to solve a problem you have NOW.
Having a “clean” inbox will help you deal with your emails much faster, trust me!
Say NO to Webinars
The same thing applies to webinars and Facebook lives. Webinars are great and you can learn lots from watching them but have you found yourself registering for several webinars in one week and not having enough time to watch them?
I am raising my hand here as well… I have tried to get the time to watch 2 or 3 webinars or their replays in one week and because I didn’t want to waste time, I was listening while I was doing something else.
That sort of worked, but even when I managed to do something mechanical I wasn’t being very productive.
What works for me is when I have 20-40 minutes while I am preparing dinner or something like that and I can just listen while I cook. I keep pen and paper nearby so I can write down some notes, but I can’t do that if the webinar is very technical.
So register only for webinars that will solve your problem now or teach yousomething new. And I mean completely new. You can register for 5 different webinars on how to grow your email list. And each expert will give you their views and their experience, but the basics don’t change.
Just don’t tell them I said this…
Say NO to interruptions
When you are working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by kids and other people wanting to talk to you and ask you a question.
Every time you stop and do that, you waste time. And what you’re actually telling your family is that the time you use to do your work is not important.
BUT IT IS. You must be able to spend quality time with your family but you ALSO NEED enough “quality time” to do your work. This cannot happen if they think it’s OK to interrupt you every time they need a glass of water, a snack or they can’t find the red Lego apple that goes on top of the tree.
This is probably the hardest one to tackle because you can’t just ignore everything that goes on while you are working, especially if you have young children. But here are two things that can help with this:
1. Set up a few blocks of time when you can’t be disturbed. If you are working from home, you are most likely fitting everything around your family’s timetable anyway, so make sure you have a few periods to do your work in private, no interruptions. Even if you can only get 30 mins it’s worth it.
2. Set up rules for when you can be interrupted, how and what to do instead. You will have to figure out what these are because they depend on how old your kids are and what support you have but you can always negotiate: “Give me 20 minutes to finish this while you play on your Fire and have your snack and then I can be with you.”
Say NO to Doing Things for the Sake of It
We do things sometimes because we think we have to do them. Or because that’s the way we were told to do them. Or because that’s what everybody else is doing.
I am going to give you an example from social media. If you are active on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN and Google+ and you are doing things right, you’re probably spending quite a bit of time on each one of them.
But are you getting the same results from all of them? More than likely you are going to get most of your blog traffic (and income) from 1-3 social media networks.
Drop the rest.
And the same goes for things at home and at work. Why are you doing everything you do? Have you got a goal or a reason to do them? Does it matter if you do something every three weeks instead of two? If your answers are NO, NO and NO, stop doing them, ask somebody else to do them for you or do them less frequently.
The Thing You Must Do
There’s one thing you must say YES to if you want to stay sane and deal with your overwhelm.
You have to say YES to taking time for yourself every day, every week, every month.
One week you forget to take a bit of time off because you have a deadline. And the week after you get a new client. And the week after something happens that means you need to redo all your ads.
There is always something that will stop you from taking time for yourself if you allow it.
When you feel overwhelmed because you must get more done and you have to juggle your family and your work and even your side-hustle, set aside some time for yourself.
It doesn’t have to be a weekend away at a Spa, though this would be lovely. It’s also for small things like getting a coffee with a friend, reading a great book, going for a 20-minute walk, or having a calming bubble bath (and locking the door).
Because you deserve to have some time for yourself when you are not thinking about everybody else.
Because having a bit of time for yourself will re-energise you and make you see things from a different perspective.
Because you need to give your brain time to rest so it is more effective when you are working.