I sometimes feel like a begger on the street but instead of begging for change, I’m begging for more time!
My weekday generally starts at 5am and finishes at 9.30pm, with unavoidable admin done over the weekend, free time is at a premium and efficiency is key.
I learned long ago, the best time to answer emails is early in the day, before others are up and can interrupt my momentum with phone calls or questions. Interruptions drain efficiency, quicker than watching video drains your phone’s battery.
With your phone on silent, you can answer an enormous amount of emails very quickly in the morning. The commute is often the best way to tackle this, even if wifi coverage is poor, save drafts and send them all in one batch as you near your destination.
In the past I had an hour commute to work and while I could have driven or got the bus and saved a little money, I always chose the train. With my laptop out and earphones in, half a days emails were dealt with before most had hit the snooze button.
Lots of people aren’t aware they can use their phone as a personal hotspot, to piggyback internet connection to their laptop or tablet. If this is you, be sure to look into it. It’s a huge advantage, but beware of your usage costs. Quiet often, the personal hotspot, gives much quicker internet speeds than free wifi, so swap to hotspot, if you’re in a slow wifi zone.
Low battery power is the scourge of any businessperson on the go, you’re writing the best idea you’ve ever had or answering the most important email and your device dies on you. Putting you in bad mood for hours or meaning valuable time is spent catching up later.
Remember the Nokia 6210.? It had a legendary week long battery life, thanks to it’s simplicity and basic use. If writing, turn your device back in time to a Nokia 6210. Turn off wifi, Bluetooth and close other unused applications. If it’s your mobile, turn on airplane mode (if not expecting calls), until you need to send emails or upload articles etc. It adds hours to your battery life. Turn down your screen’s brightness, to add even more life to your battery. If traveling, constantly dropping internet or phone connection, also eats up the battery. So if possible, turn off wifi until you need it.
It’s so easy to get sucked into the addictive and often pointless scrolling through social media pages. Hours of wasted time, gathering snippets of useless information, that’s forgotten as quickly as it was read. Be strict with your social media time allowance and limit it to certain times of the day. Unless it’s from my social media pages of course.
I use social media extensively in my business but vitally only ever schedule posts once a week. Facebook allows you to schedule posts in advance and there are other apps that can be used to schedule for other social media platforms. I spend just 2 hours a week on social media, scheduling posts for the upcoming week. Posting ad hoc is time consuming and draining trying to think of good material.
A good tip is to reuse successful posts. If a post goes well, I think about how it could be improved, then schedule it again in 3-6 months time. Mixing in new material with the best of past posts, ensures very active and engaged social media pages, with good content and saves me lots of time.
Whilst constantly on the move, setting reminders, taking notes and writing down any idea that comes to mind, has always given me the best ideas for my business or even just content for social media.
Sometimes the phone can be my biggest enemy, as I constantly check for new emails. Rarely do they require being actioned immediately, or are something a member of staff can’t take care of. Yet, by constantly checking my inbox, they can add to stress levels, making me anxious thinking about everything I’ve to tackle later. Try not to check emails too frequently, especially late at night. Uninterrupted sleep is vital to anyone time poor and mulling over an email that can wait until the morning, is futile.