As you probably know, I decided long ago to live a stress-free life. For Stress Awareness Month, the people at Intuit are sharing top productivity tips to help small business owners. Here are my personal tips to help you achieve a stress-free life.
I wish someone had told me this 12 years ago! Whether it’s a walk outside or putting the washing in the machine (for all of the homeworkers), a few minutes away from your screen works wonders. It’s amazing how the perfect sentence of that tricky email pops into your head when you come back to your laptop.
Complete the most difficult thing first
Try to complete it before 9am or whatever time your industry sector starts their day. This way, you can enjoy the whole day ahead having already achieved your best accomplishment. Also, you may well do the less desirable tasks faster so you can get onto the fun, creative ones.
Do something every day towards your goals
Break down any annual goals to monthly ones and then do at least one thing towards them every day. When time is short, this could be as brief as phone call or a quick email to get a conversation going.
The 5-3-1 technique
Each day undertake 5 small tasks, 3 medium and 1 large. How big these tasks are on any particular day will depend on how long your day is but each day, you’ve potentially achieved up to 9 tasks that take you nearer to reaching your monthly goals.
To keep focus, schedule the tasks into time slots. When your time is up for that particular task, stop and move onto the next one, regardless of whether you finish it. I guarantee pretty soon you will start completing your tasks quicker. Or else, you’ll realise how some jobs take longer than you think and you’ll schedule future tasks accordingly.
I started the list with a break and end it the same way. Working breaks are great for undertaking projects or just clearing the to-do list without the pressure of completing tasks for clients. You’ll come back refreshed and raring to go with a clear head.
If you can’t spare the time for 2-3 days away from home, try a day trip to another city and visit a few different coffee shops to work in. A change of scene can be as good as a rest.