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News, tips, and advice for small business owners

The How to Get More Stuff Done Guide

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Stephanie Davis

You’ve likely heard a range of motivational quotes to encourage you to reach your day-to-day goals. A fan favorite is “Beyoncé has the same number of hours in the day as you.”

A tablet showing a calendar with many appointments and colored blocks of time to stay organized and stick to a schedule.

Today society is busier than ever. From hustling between full-time and side gigs, picking up kids from school and activities, you’re probably craving a minute to take a breather from it all and just binge the latest on Netflix. The struggle to get everything done is real. As a small business owner, your hands are full, and you may be wondering how you can realistically tackle your to-do list. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to hustle like Beyoncé and get in formation to get things done.

Optimize Your Morning Routine

Time after time we are told that a productive day starts with a productive morning. Raise your hand if you lose count of how many times you hit snooze or leave just enough time to make sure you’re out the door on time while doing the bare minimum. Even if you’re naturally an early bird, there may be ways that you can optimize your morning routine to help you get more done. While some people feel rejuvenated by an early morning workout, others may feel better taking a few minutes to watch the news with coffee in hand. Some other routines you may want to consider adding to your morning are:

  • Spending a few minutes journaling or capturing what you’re grateful for. This practice can help you start the day in a positive mindset and set you up for success later to handle any stress that comes your way.
  • Incorporating some type of movement, whether it’s a quick walk around the block, a 5-minute yoga routine, or even some jumping jacks. You’ve heard it before; physical activity is good for the soul. Starting your morning with an activity releases endorphins and gives you an extra boost to crush your day.
  • Writing down your top goal or a list of priorities you need to stick to for the day. Sometimes when we have so much to do, it can feel overwhelming and paralyzing to find a place to start. If you’re feeling this way, choosing just one thing to get done can help. Once that task is done, you may find yourself in a better position to tackle others on your list.
  • Drinking water to rehydrate yourself before you reach for the coffee. When sleeping, our bodies become dehydrated, which can lead to increased feelings of tiredness in the morning. Starting your day with water, whether you prefer it cold, or warm with a little lemon, can help get your more alert even before you go for a boost of caffeine.

If you begin your morning frazzled and rushed, there is a good chance you’ll carry that energy through the remainder of the day. When you slow everything down and ease into the day, you set yourself up for more success.

Organize Your Tasks

When you’re ready to get started, consider organizing your tasks. This can take shape in a few ways:

  • Organize by type. Perhaps you have life task items on your list like pick up your dry cleaning, swing by the pharmacy, or get groceries. These items might also include phone calls like scheduling doctor’s appointments or checking in with your accountant. Maybe you have a ton of marketing items related to your small business like writing blog posts, updating website copy and scheduling social media posts. Try to group your similar tasks together so you can use the right brain power to get them all done instead of jumping around to different groups.
  • Organize by the time needed to complete the task. One popular approach to tasks is if it will take you less than five minutes to complete, get it over with instead of even putting it on an ever-growing to-do list. By assigning timing to your action items, you’ll have a good idea of what you can actually accomplish in a day.

Work With Your Body (and Mind)

Similar to how some people are naturally energetic first thing, everybody is going to get through their day differently based on their own natural circadian rhythms. While one person may work better getting their heavy tasks out of the way first thing in the morning, another may do better when they knock out some easy tasks and then dive into the more challenging to-do list items. Being more productive doesn’t always mean working harder; you should be focused on working smarter. To the best of your availability, make a plan for how you can work successfully based on how you know your body performs. If you notice that you’re crashing at 2 pm every day, make a plan for a walk or a non-work focused, but still important task, and then dive back into your priorities for the day. If you need two cups of coffee before you’re ready to get hustling, don’t schedule something intense first thing in the morning.

Make Technology Your Friend

In this digital world, there are so many apps and tools designed to make people more productive and help juggle everything. For work projects, Trello is a fan favorite for keeping teams on the same page. Simply create action items for your employees to do, have a board where you can share updates and generally keep everybody in the loop on projects. If making social media posts for your small business is time-consuming, platforms like Sprout Social and Hootsuite make it easy to schedule a post in advance and publish them when you choose so you don’t have to be on separate channels in live time to get a post out. It’s also important to know when your favorite distraction is… well, too distracting. If you cannot keep yourself off of Twitter to catch up on the latest reality tv drama, block the pages or have somebody change your password so you can’t spend too long scrolling for reactions to The Bachelor.

Know When To Delegate or Ask For Help

As a small business owner, you’re likely used to doing it all, and having an extra set of hands around may not be possible. If you need help with something simple and you’re operating solo, consider turning to friends and family and asking them if they could lend a hand. Maybe it’s taking some packages to the post office, or assisting with inventory. Thanks to the power of the gig economy, you can hop on sites like Task Rabbit and hire somebody to help you for an hour or two with little tasks you just don’t have time for.

If you do have employees, delegating can be your friend when handled the right way. Your employees want to help you and see your business succeed (hello job security) so give them tasks that you don’t have the bandwidth for. Delegating can be a great way to offer employees more job responsibilities and possibly open them up for a promotion in the future. Sometimes it helps to provide context to the task to ensure the employee feels they’re being helpful, and always remember to show your appreciation.

Bottom Line

Getting more done in a day is possible, it just takes some schedule optimizing to pull off. The important thing to remember is that you set reasonable goals and expectations for yourself. If it makes you feel better, put self-care on your to-do list so you know to take some time out for yourself and reward yourself for crushing your goals.


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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.