Life is busy! We are constantly taking on more and more, often meaning we are running from event to event, losing sleep and missing out on downtime. If you have children, more than likely you are even busier meeting their sporting, school and social commitments! Perhaps the work-life balance is a myth, but we can always learn new tips to be more effective with our time.

When you are passionate about your career, business or role, it’s hard to see that you are doing the lion share, and working like a woman (or man) possessed. But working smarter by definition means achieving greater results with less or the same effort being more demanded on yourself.

Try these tips to help you become more productive!

Use an electronic calendar. By using an online calendar, you not only have all your engagements at your fingertips, but you can also share your meetings, events and engagements with your partner, assistant and/or team. Sharing calendar access with those who make appointments on your behalf or help you manage your commitments, will save time.
Tips to make your calendar more effective;

· Colour code different events (family, business, etc)

· Include new events promptly

· Invite other attendees directly

· Include critical information such as locations to the entry

Communicate clearly. Whether in business or in personal life, miscommunication can lead to additional – heartache, expense and/or time! Slow down and take the time to communicate your instructions, needs or expectations clearly. Also listen to those you communicate with, they could be sharing vital information that will make your project, event or meeting a success.

Don’t delay. If you have a task that needs your attention, avoid procrastination and “Eat That Frog”. Delaying making a decision or completing a project can impact others in your workflow process. This includes managing your emails. Use the 3D rules of email management to help avoid delays;

1. Do. Action the email immediately

2. Delete. If the email doesn’t need your attention – delete it. Unsubscribe to lists that are no longer providing value to you.

3. Delegate. For those emails that need to be completed, but not necessarily by you.

Get a Mentor (or two!) A mentor who has already achieve the goals you are working towards can help guide you when hurdles arise. Choose your mentor wisely as they must be someone you trust. The right mentor will provide you with a wealth of knowledge & experience that should save you time and perhaps even money. You may have different mentors for different aspects of your business stage, but they should all have the same outcome – they bring out the best in you!

Take time for you. The best way to avoid burnout by taking on too much and not slowing down is to take regular breaks for you. “You Time” could be exercise, time with family or friends or undertaking a hobby. Whatever activity you undertake, try to incorporate it into your routine with a regular ritual. Schedule time each week for you to take a break – a visit to the gym, walk with the dog, a family day or regular day off. Book it in, make it not-negotiable and enjoy it!

Hire an assistant! This tip comes directly from the pages of The Accidental Entrepreneur by Boost Juice Founder, Janine Allis. According to Janine, the first person you should hire is an assistant. In many cases, you are your business, but if your valuable time is being taken up with less important tasks such as social media, follow up phone calls and even smaller errands – consider freeing up your time by partnering with a personal, executive or virtual assistant.

Do you have more suggestions on how to be more productive with your time? We’d love to you to share them below.

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by Sam Spence – Founder & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

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