Why you should work smarter, not harder
Strategically planning your day keeps your productivity and energy levels where they should be, writes Garth Jemmett
Many people in business set themselves goals around making more money. Which is not a bad thing in itself.
I am however interested in more time as I think it's more valuable than money. Especially in the time poor economy we live in where things like technology encroach on our personal time more than ever.
To be productive in the day you need to focus on the right things. The things that matter most to you and the things that move you forward as a business owner. The challenge is, if we are honest with ourselves, we are not always the most productive in the day. Our minds wonder, we procrastinate and our planning isn't always the best. All these things waste time.
'The less energy, the less focus'
Productivity generally comes down to focus and focus is based on energy output during the course of the day. The less energy, the less focus. Simple. Plus the harder the task at hand the more energy it requires.
Our energy levels are generally at there highest after a good rest. Therefore we have more energy and focus earlier on in the day. With all this in mind I decided to split my day in two.
The first half involves doing the things that sap my energy. Things like calling clients for new business, dealing with issues and things that need my input. My diary drives this daily and I ensure I avoid emails until 11am as they throw me horribly off course.
The second half takes less energy and therefore involves tasks I find easier like client meetings, putting together concepts and ideas and planning for my next day - also driven by my diary. I generally look at emails between 3pm or 4pm. After that I plan for the next day.
In a weird way I equate it to a run, with the tough part of the run, the hill climb, happening first. Here I've got to push myself hard and focus in order to make the climb. The easier part is the descent, here I take things at a steady pace knowing the tough stuff is behind me. Not forgetting the water breaks in between where I can refuel and catch my breath.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather hit the hill first everyday, and be able to ease through the second half of my day knowing that the hard miles are behind me so that if I choose to take some time out I don't need to feel guilty.
Give it a try. You might just surprise yourself by having some extra time on your hands.
More about the author: Garth Jemmett is a director at Flick Visual Foundary has 15 years’ experience in traditional advertising and eight years in broadcast media. He specialises in visual communication & strategic thinking which drives business results.