3 Rules For Ultimate Productivity

Donna Hann3

As a business owner, it’s true that we wear many hats! Often the number of tasks on our to-do list outweigh the amount of time we have in which to complete them.

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Cue stress and overwhelm!

On any given working day, most business owners are looking for ways to maximise productivity levels, which requires effective prioritisation and good decision making.

And that’s where most of us run into trouble.

Why? Because good decision making requires space and time, two things that are generally in short supply when we’re feeling overwhelmed by our workloads.
Rather than hope that time magically opens up in our calendar, or soldier on and burn the candle at both ends – let’s get proactive instead!

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Here’s my 3 rules for dialing back overwhelm and becoming more productive!

The one-minute rule

This rule is for all those tiny, little jobs that seem to build up over time. Although small, they cause angst because they are always at the back of your mind and it takes up valuable brain space that could be dedicated to more important things.

So, this rule is simple: if something can be done in less than one minute, do it now. Spend a few minutes a day getting the little tasks done.

When you close down all those open tabs, it frees up a tonne of valuable head space that can now be channeled towards the business proposal you’ve been putting off for three days.

The one-hour rule

How do you spend the first hour of your working day? If you’re like most people you check emails, grab a coffee, and get ‘settled in’.

Taking this approach means other people’s urgencies (communicated via email, phone calls and messaging) become your priorities and suddenly it’s 11.30am and all you’ve done for the past three hours is react.

This is the major reason most business owners only ever have time to work in their business rather than on their business.

So, my one-hour rule is this: the first hour of each day must be spent doing something that actively generates income for your business, or is a business building activity that you’ve mapped out in your big picture goals.

It might be:

● Following up/ Making sales calls.
● Writing a proposal.
● Reaching out to five people who might be interested in collaborating with you.
● Writing up a system or process for a task that can be handed to someone else.
● Reading through the financial report your bookkeeper sends you each month.
● Researching a piece of software that can improve internal efficiencies.
● Taking a staff member out for coffee to check in with them and see what ideas they might have that will make the business better

The best thing about taking this approach is that the start of your day won’t get kiboshed by someone else’s ‘emergency’ and you’ll be smashing your business goals in no time!

The one-day rule

Most of us have schedules that are booked solid, we cram 10 hours of work into 7 or less and we can never seem to catch up. The main reason we never catch up (other than the fact we’re hopelessly over-committed) is because there’s no room in our schedules for contingencies.

● Having to take over a job that’s gone pear-shaped.
● Personal emergencies like a sick child home from school.
● Losing the entire document you’ve been working on for the past two hours and having to start again from scratch.

This is where the one-day rule comes in: every week needs to contain a ‘buffer’ day.

It’s a day where you have no meetings or firm commitments. It’s a day you pretend you don’t have when you’re planning all your jobs for the week. It’s a day where, if you’re actually on top of your workload, you can breathe and take stock of what’s going on in your business. But if you need time to catch up on things that have been derailed by contingencies, then you have that time too.

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Are you a business owner who is struggling to grow and looking for expert advice? We can help find the best business coaches matched to your specific needs. Click below and fill out the form and we will be in touch!

Business is a marathon not a sprint! We all have the ability to run at full pace for a period of time. But it’s not sustainable for long periods of time.

If you’re sitting there and thinking to yourself, ‘This is all well and good but I don’t have time for the one-minute rule much less the other rules’ … then you absolutely need a planning tool to start to take control of your time and effectively manage your priorities >>

Download My FREE Ultimate Productivity Planner


As a business coach, Donna’s superpower is working with women in business to help them transform from feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and on the path of burn out to feeling energised, inspired and fulfilled by their work-life blend. Donna’s podcast ‘She’s in Business’ airs new episodes every Tuesday. For more information about online programs and private coaching go to:
www.donnahann.com or instagram @donna_hann_sib

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