Whether it's the amount of email that arrives in your Inbox every day or the paperwork you have to deal with or the shear amount of work that you have to get through that leaves you working late in the office.
Write it all down. This is the scary part - working out just how much you have to do. Once you've got it down on paper you can start making sense of it all. Grab an A4 sheet and write it all down as you think of it - or create a mindmap of it all.
What's important? Not everything has equal importance and it's highly likely that you spend most of your day avoiding the important but managing to find time for the small, menial, unimportant tasks. Take a look at your list and highlight the important versus the relatively unimportant. How does each of your tasks relate to your business plan or objectives? Can you group similar tasks together and do them at the same time?
Get organised. When you've got a lot going on it helps to be organised, so you know what's where, what needs to be done and you can find things when you need them. Having written down your list, create a system, process and routine that will help you get things done.
What do you need to enable you to be more organised?
- daily planning
- have a routine
- create a structure
- organise your filing system
- put things away
- get up earlier
- go to bed earlier
- plan ahead
- delegate better
Step back. Sometimes when you're so caught up with everything you've got to do - you actually need to take a break from it all and get some perspective. Perhaps things won't look quite as bad when you put some space between you and them. It helps to do something completely different - switch off for a while and then go back to it.
Get help. You don't have to do everything all on your own - if you've got too much to do, what can you hand over to someone else to do for you? The chances are that much of your work isn't essential and you're not the only person that can do it.
- clearing email
- booking meetings
- making travel arrangements
- updating your accounts
- taking phone calls
- sending out invoices and reminders
It's important to know where you're starting from, so you can get back in control sooner rather than later. Take the Time Audit today and see where you need to focus first - just enter your details on the Time Audit form. Return your completed audit for free email feedback, tips and ideas.
Yield Sign (Photo credit: Rennett Stowe)