How successful women get more done in 24 hours – Birds on the Blog

How successful women get more done in 24 hours

What do others say about you when you’re not around? Do they say “she’s so organised, I don’t know how she does it all” or is it more like “that woman is driving me to distraction, she’s always late for meetings, she never meets the deadlines“. Which one would you rather they were saying?

Want to know how successful women get more done in 24 hours? Here are 7 tips that are going to help.

Face facts – you only have 24 hours in a day

First, let’s face the facts. There are only 24 hours in a day. Every hour has 60 minutes. Every minute has 60 seconds. I have 24 hours. You have 24 hours. Karren Brady has 24 hours. Victoria Beckham has 24 hours. Michelle Mone has 24 hours. Even The Queen only has 24 hours.

It’s not that the successful women in the Top 75 business women have found a magic formula to conjure up more time. They use their 24 hours differently. They may have a support team but what’s really important is how they use their 24 hours every day.

Want to know how to use your 24 hours differently?

It is possible to get more done in your 24 hours. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed or be drowning in information overload. You don’t need to keep missing deadlines or turning up late. Follow the simple suggestions below to have more energy, be more focused, feel more organised and therefore get more done in the 24 hours you available.

1 – Focus on one thing at a time

You might think you can multi-task because you can answer a client call, while unloading the dishwasher, shooing the cat off the kitchen worktop and noticing that the fresh basil on the window sill needs watering. But …. just as your client gets to the crucial part in the conversation, you stop still. You stop still, cutlery in hand, cat rubbing against your legs, because you have started to focus, properly focus, on what your client is saying. Because you can only focus on one thing at a time.

Yes, we can do a few things at the same time. You can walk down the street, chatting to friends, notice there’s a sale on at your favourite shop, and avoid the cyclist on the pavement … all at the same time. However if you suddenly have to focus on any one of those things, for example the cyclist veers towards you and you have to spring into avoidance action, your focus on the other activities will pause. Because you can only focus on one thing at a time.

You get more done when you focus on one thing at a time. It’s a myth that we can multi-task. Not even computers can multi-task. They process tasks so quickly that it looks like they’re multi-tasking but they’re not. Focus on just one thing at a time.

2 – The three most important things

If you are limited with the time you have available, be very clear before you start what the three most important things are. Be even clearer on the ONE most important thing.

Take 5 minutes before you leave your desk in the evening or when you sit down at your desk first thing, to write down the three most important (TMI) things you need to do.

When you get started, you don’t have to waste time trying to recall your to do list or what’s most important. You already know the three most important (TMI) things to focus on. I keep a pack of post-it notes on my desk.

3 – Set a timer

Those times that you only have 20 minutes, or 30 minutes, or an hour, close down ALL your social media, your instant messaging and email. Set a timer (my favourite is TomatoTimer) and GET IT DONE.

The Pomodoro technique is brilliant for those times when you have something important that is going to take 2-3 hours. For example, that industry report, your next online module to develop, the next chapter in your book. 25 minutes focus, 5 minute break, 25 minutes focus.

Challenge yourself to see how much you can get done in each 25 minute block when you set a timer.

4 – Block out time in your diary

One of the most common complaints I hear from mums running their own business “I just don’t have enough time to get it all done”.

What works really effectively for many women is to block out time in your diary for specific tasks. For example, blog writing. When do you do your best writing? Or get your best ideas? At the end of the week inspired by the clients you’ve worked with? Maybe you’re an early bird who likes to write first thing in the morning.

Take time every week to focus ON your business not just IN your business. Be clear and set boundaries around the time that you will do client work. It’s much easier when you know that, for example, Monday morning is for doing blog posts; Monday afternoon is blocked out to working ON your business etc.

5 – Don’t over-commit

As women, we are SO good at over-committing, then feeling guilty when we can’t get it all done. Is that you too?

We often overestimate how much we can get done in a day or underestimate how long a project will take. Break down bigger projects into smaller tasks. The Sticky Note method is great for brainstorming all the different steps.

It’s much easier to get started on a small task than a big project. It’s less daunting. It will take less time. You will feel like you are making more progress.

Learn how to say no. If you are asked to take on an additional project or responsibility at work, it is ok to say no “I don’t have the capacity to take that on at this time”.

Don’t over-commit.

6 – Self-love

When you want to get more done in 24 hours, do you simply work harder? Or try and do two or three (or even four) things at the same time?

This is a surefire way to burn out and collapse in a heap at the end of the day. Instead, give yourself permission to be kind to yourself. Many of us don’t get enough quality sleep (sometimes unavoidable if you have young children) or take enough time for ourselves.  Discover more ways to cope with overwhelm on my Resources page.

Self-love is about showing yourself compassion. Forgive yourself for mistakes. Don’t try to be perfect. Good enough really is good enough.

7 – Declutter your brain

If you have too much clutter in your brain – reminders about dry-cleaning, invoices to pay, notes to follow up potential clients – your brain slows down. Your creativity dries up. Decision-making stutters. Your brain overloads.

What you need is a good declutter. When your pre-frontal cortex in your brain is overloaded, it just can’t function efficiently.

Brainstorm all those reminders and notes in your head. Get them out of your head and onto paper. Stop trying to remember everything. That is what pen and paper is for. Create a list or a mindmap. Try an application such as Trello or Evernote. Whichever approach you prefer, get it out of your head to declutter your brain.

What do you want people to say about you?

“She’s so organised, I don’t know how she does it all” or “that woman is driving me to distraction, she’s always late for meetings, she never meets the deadlines“.

It’s not enough to read about how to get more done. Now you need to take action.

Pick just one of the 7 tips. Use it every day for two weeks and you will notice a difference in how much you get done in 24 hours.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you will do.

p.s. if you feel stuck, overwhelmed or not sure about your confidence, don’t stay that way. Get in touch and let’s have a conversation about what’s working, what’s not working and if that’s confidence related.

About the Author Sherry Bevan

It can be hard to balance career and family. Sherry helps ambitious women get clear on what they really want, then find the confidence to do it. If today's the day, you want to put your head in your hands and cry, know you are not alone. Why not check out these tips on how to cope with overwhelm. Coach | Author | Speaker | Dog sitter

follow me on: