How can you get more work done in less time?
Wouldn’t it be glorious if we had 8 uninterrupted hours each day to get work done? Even more, wouldn’t it be amazing if during that 8 hours our creative juices were flowing and the work just poured out of us effortlessly?
It would be pretty amazing. But we all know that’s a pipe dream.
As a stay-at-home mom who is running a successful photography business, I know I likely have less than 8 hours of time to work PER WEEK to work. As CEO, photographer, office admin, mom, lunch maker (the list goes on), my task list each week is no small feat.
I have little time to spend on things, while wanting to run a business that impacts other photographers and serves families with a beautiful photography experience. But how?
My number one tip for getting more work done in less time is to break down your workflow into micro-steps.
For everything that you do in your business, create a workflow. Examples include the entire client experience, from inquiry to gallery/product delivery, write it down. EVERY. SINGLE. STEP. Content creating? Write down that entire workflow.
As you examine your workflow for a specific part of your business, see what areas might be wasting time. What tasks can be combined, automated, or even outsourced.
By seeing your workflow in front of you sometimes time sucks and areas of improvement are obvious. Wonderful. Make those corrections and then keep digging deeper.
Next, take note of which tasks can be done with interruptions and which cannot.
For example. When you write a blog, likely, it’s hard to write good content that makes sense as your kids are running around you playing and making noise. However, you might be able to outline that blog as the kids play nearby, or pull images for a blog, or even upload the photos onto your site.
As you get to know which tasks take the most focus, you can ensure that times you have set aside to work that is what you need to get done.
Another tip for getting more work done in less time is to begin each dedicated work time with intention and a plan.
If you know that Tuesday, you have work time from 4-7pm, prepare for it. Plan what you will work on during that time and have ready what you’ll need. With only 3 hours to work, you don’t want to spend 30 minutes figuring out what you need to get done.
Planning ahead with things such as that blog outline, or photos for social media content pulled together before sitting down in those short blocks of dedicated work time will allow you to make the most of your time.
To help avoid writers block, jot down notes as inspiration hits throughout the week.
My biggest struggle when I first started ensuring I had set work time was, what if I can’t write then? What if you sit down and ideas just don’t flow.
Part of that answer is preparing, outline that blog, have your month of blog topics decided ahead of time.
Even more, write down ideas as inspiration hits. I find my inspiration watching the kids play, watching a good show, or even listening to a podcast. As an idea comes to mind, I write it down (I use the Notes app in my phone).
Then as I sit down and find myself blanking, I can go look at my notes and use that inspiration as a starting point.
Bonus tips for getting more work done in less time:
- Turn off distractions. This isn’t the time to get on social media, or likely even check email. So keep those tabs closed, and move your phone away. Email is easy to answer anytime, and social media will be there waiting. Trust me.
- Focus on ONE task at a time. Go into your work time with one main goal, like write blog posts OR write newsletters. Having one focus will allow you to stay better focused. As you complete the task, you can look to your next goal. But start with a purpose for that time so that you don’t feel pulled to try to do all the things at once.
- Get your partner on board with your work time. Whether this means you physically leaving the house to work at a coffee shop, or you locking yourself away in the bedroom, having your partner on board will make it that much easier for you to stay focused knowing you may be home, but you’re not. This is YOUR work time.
If you find sending emails is taking the longest amount of time, it’s time to grab my email template checklist. They will save you time, helping you streamline one more thing in your business. In fact, grabbing any of my free resources for photographers will help you find ways to streamline your business.