Small Business Development Center

Simplify Your Work Days to Get More Meaningful Work Done

 

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Simplify Your Work Days to Get More Meaningful Work Done

Author

Authored by: Eric Grimstead

Many entrepreneurs are obsessed with productivity and optimizing their business lives — from having the perfect productivity system, the latest time management app, and more 'hacks' than you'll find at a tech conference. Zero inbox anyone?

Perhaps here in the City of Subdued Excitement a few more souls are hip to realizing that's an ideal that not only doesn’t exist, it’s harmful to our health and happiness. And what’s more, it’s completely misguided — what many of us really want to do with our days is do meaningful work and have an impact on the world.

Sadly, the reality is we’re burning through a lot of busywork, spending our days doing a lot of 'stuff' but not really getting anything accomplished. This leads to burn out and feeling like you're stuck in a rut.

So how can you get more meaningful work done? 

Simplify. 

Focus on the important, meaningful tasks instead of mindlessly spinning your wheels or allowing constant interruptions to disrupt your flow. 

Easier said than done - right?

My favorite time management system came from legendary Fortune 500 consultant and sales trainer Chet Holmes (who wrote a killer book on sales and marketing called 'The Ultimate Sales Machine').

Chet's system was, in a word, SIMPLE.

Each day you identity your Top 6 things from your 'to-do' list and block out chunks of time on your caledar to devote to moving each of those things forward to some degree.

You break those 6 things into manageable chunks of time and schedule that time, uninterrupted, on your calendar.

If you have a huge project you're working on that will spans days or weeks, maybe you only devote an hour or two at any one stretch before moving on to the next task.

The key to getting more meaningful work done is minimizing distractions and interruptions.

So put your staff on notice that there will be no more 'gotta minute' meetings. If your employees want to bend your ear about something make them schedule those 'gotta minute' meetings on your calendar...you'll be amazed at how much time that frees up for you!

If you have a ton of email messages to go through, or calls to return, do those in short bursts.

While you're working on your Top 6, turn off your email client and put your phone on 'Do Not Disturb.'

Start being hawkish with your time and the meaningful tasks will get done. An upside bonus is that you will feel like your work is more meaningful and that you're in control of your days. 

All because you simplified and focused.

To summarize:

1. Pick your Top 6 most important, meaningful tasks, and focus on those.
2. Create space by clearing away all possible distractions.
3. Push busywork like email, phone calls, and social media check-ins until later in the day.
4. Eliminate 'gotta minute' meetings from your work day.

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