As you and I know when you’re running your own business, trying to juggle all the competing demands on your time can be a full time job in itself.  You’re a wearer of many hats – CEO, CFO, marketing director, receptionist and tea lady/man – and if that isn’t enough, you’ve also got some people called clients to look after!

Being your own boss can be great fun but it can also be a royal pain in the neck because a lot of the time every major decision you make for the business is down to you.  And there are times when you look at your to do list and groan at all the projects and tasks that you want to get done.

Now you’ll read a lot of advice on how to get these tasks done – the latest app that you can use, routines that you can put in place, tips to help you stay productive.

But the one thing that a lot of productivity advice leaves out is a vital ingredient to the successful completing of your projects – and that ingredient is YOU.

In fact when it comes to creating projects and setting actions and deadlines, we tend to look at things rationally and work out logical steps to get us from where we are now to where we want to be, which may involve a series of processes and procedures that we need to help us get there.

These are all necessary but they won’t work if they don’t align with your own ways of working and doing.

For example, some people will tell you that if you really want to complete your projects, you need to get up at 5 o’clock every morning so you’ve got a couple of hours where you won’t be disturbed.  Now this is OK if you’re an early bird but it won’t work if you’re a night owl.  All you’ll do is end up wasting a lot of time (and drinking a lot of coffee!), and then feel terrible by 9 o’clock because you’ve been up 4 hours and still haven’t got anything done!

If you want to successfully complete your projects with little effort and a lot of ease, you need to be working in flow.

Trying to force yourself to do tasks when your energy levels are low or you’re not in the mood won’t work.  Sitting in front of a blank screen at 7 o’clock in the morning trying to get inspiration for a blog post is a recipe for disaster and demotivation if you’re someone who’s more creative in the afternoons.

In fact, working in your own natural flow by taking into account your own moods and energy levels, means that you will complete your tasks far more effortlessly than you did before.

So before you jump into your to do list, step back and think what’s the best time of day to tackle each task.  When are you most focused? When do you feel more creative?

If you feel focused in the morning then that’s the time to make phone calls or write a proposal for an important project.  And if the afternoons are when you’re creative then schedule that time to write your blogs or newsletters.

By scheduling your tasks in this way, you will be working with your natural flow rather than fighting against it.  Doing this will mean that you get far more done in a lot less time – leaving you to hang up your many hats, put on your party shoes and go out and enjoy yourself!

About Valerie Eaton

Valerie is the founder and owner of Smart VA who provides virtual PA services to self-employed professionals who are feeling overwhelmed by their workload and want more time to focus on growing their business.

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