Work Less and Accomplish More With These Life Hacks

May 20, 2016

9:00 pm

The sad reality is that most entrepreneurs are overworked and as a result are struggling with various physiological issues, stress and anxiety. While being a healthy entrepreneur isn’t as difficult as you may think, it still poses some challenges including getting smarter with your time management, eliminating the common time-wasting habits and learning to find the ultimate embrace a work-life balance.

If you are constantly feeling overwhelmed with your to-do lists seem endless, maybe it’s time to overlook your daily work routine. Here are the smart hacks that can help you transform your work habits.

Teach Your Garden to Weed Itself

This brilliantly simple tip comes from “Think Like a Freak” book co-authored by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. This concept is brilliantly simple, and can be applied easily to your work process. It includes modeling a situation where people will automatically group themselves into different categories.

The following approach could be applied in numerous ways to your advantage e.g. by asking new employees to bring a pack of only yellow M&M’s to work during their first way (to check how good they are with following the intrusions and paying attention to details); to screening potential vendors, sub-contractors, freelance applicants and more. You will save yourself tons of productive time by letting your garden weed itself without your direct input.

Have Solid Systems For Everything in Place

Just like your company needs bulletproof systems of all the in-house processes, you also need to have a personal system. This allows you to minimize distractions and reduce your workload. The best part is that building this solid system isn’t hard.

David Allen proposes a few essential bits of productivity wisdom: don’t keep all the tasks in your head, but put them on paper or another physical medium. To-do lists are still one of the most actionable productivity practices you can incorporate. Breaking large tasks into smaller actionable steps to avoid burnouts when trying to tackle more complex problems. Instead, feel more accomplished and happier when you cross off small tasks one after another.

Properly scheduling your time is also vital. Having a shared calendar with blocked off time is productive in two major ways: to help incorporate less stress when completing tasks and others a good idea of when not to bug you with side requests or meetings. You can go even further and set availability hours when you are open to having a chat, talk things in person and so on.

To minimize digital mishaps from happening, make it a habit of creating auto-backups and synchronization among all your devices apps. Consider creating custom IFTTT recipes to automate and remind you of some important tasks on your agenda.

Don’t Try To Solve Each Problem Heading Your Way

Whether expected or not, challenges will arise on the daily basis for your business. But that certainly doesn’t mean you should straightly dive in them as a company leader.

Teach your team to solve their problems themselves rather than relying on you to give immediate guidance. Sometimes the best solution you can offer is simply step away.

Ryan Honeyman recently conducted a curious experiment where he reduced the time of checking his email to once a week on Monday afternoons. Here’s the most common pattern he has since noticed:

  • Someone emails him and a few other people with a work related question/problem.
  • Ryan obviously does not respond.
  • Other people in the thread start emailing back and forth.
  • The original sender gets a reply to the original question.

The problem solves itself. Honeyman has calculated that since the start of his experiment he has become at least 30%-40% more efficient when it comes to important tasks, started getting a better sleep, established even better relationships with his existing clients and improved his family life.

While this experiment might be a bit too extreme for everyone, it provides a great illustration of why the always-on and always-available mentality isn’t always necessary for a company leader.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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