This is Day 21 of the Advent Calendar for 2015. Open more doors here >>

“Everyone on this planet is given the same 24 hours in the day. The question is: what do you choose to do with yours?” Unknown


Some people just seem to get so much done don’t they? And others just don’t. We all have the same amount of time, the same number of hours in a day. Of course, during those hours we may also have things other than our business to juggle – kids, housework, caring responsibilities, volunteering, maybe more than one job, cooking, gardening, walking the dog, shopping, all sorts of things  – so what can we do to maximise our productivity when we are not doing these things?





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1. Get a kitchen timer – or set one on your phone. This is a great thing to do. Split up you day into 30 minute chunks (or whatever works for you!) and set the timer to give you that chunk of time. You know you only have so long and it means that you can’t procrastinate, you have to get on with the task because the timer will go off and you’ll not have accomplished anything… or you can set the timer for an hour and see just how much you can get done.


2. Keep a list of small tasks. If you have a ready made list of small tasks then when you get five minutes you can take a look, pick one and do it and just like that you’ve made some progress – even if you did have hardly any time to squeeze it in.


3. Hire others. This is always good. Yes, it costs money – but is it worth it? Yes! Suddenly you aren’t the one doing all the doing anymore. You have a team. You can hire someone to check your emails and fill your diary, someone to make sales calls or update your website, someone to manage your social media or do all of your design work, someone to do your marketing or write you some PR, someone to do your copywriting or send your email newsletter, someone to do your accounts or follow up your late payments. If there’s something that you’re finding to be a time suck or that you just don’t enjoy or aren’t any good at – then you can get someone else to do it, freeing you up to do the other stuff. Which means that when you have time to do some work, you won’t be doing “that”.


4. Use dead time. You’re making a cup of tea? Hop on Twitter while the kettle’s boiling. You’re early for a meeting, do some scribbling in that notebook. You’re on hold, take a quick peek on Pinterest for some inspiration. You’re in a queue at the supermarket, jot down some thoughts for your next newsletter. You get the idea. Those times where you wouldn’t really be doing anything anyway – use them. Use them for social media if you have no plan, but if you were paying attention at point 2 you might have the perfect quick thing to do on your list.


5. Switch it off. No Facebook, no phone, no emails. Turn them off. That way the distractions are removed. Leave the cat in a different room if he’ll sit on your lap and distract you. Take those tempting chocolates elsewhere so you won’t keep digging into them. If you’re working on a computer, have open ONLY the windows you need. If you’re not working on the computer, turn that off too. Focus.


In the comments: What are your tips?


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