How the heck are you going to get all of this finished?
You have tons of projects―all of which seem to be due on the same freakin’ day.
Clients are emailing you nonstop, new leads demand your attention, and you always have to be “on”.
Is it even possible to manage all of this stuff without a whole team?
I found myself asking the same question earlier this year.
I had overbooked myself―adding a few more clients than I could realistically handle.
After several months of working 60 hours each week, I decided enough was enough.
I decided to try everything people recommended in order to reduce my workload:
- Hiring an assistant
- Reading productivity blogs and books
- Changing up my schedule
- And more
After a few months of experimentation, I found a formula that reduced my work week to 25 hours per week on average.
While the specifics of the formula will probably be different for you, you can use the same principles to develop your own so you can free up more time to do things you love (other than work of course :D).
5 Ways to Reduce Your Weekly Workload (Starting Tomorrow)
1. Do creative work when you have a fresh mind.
Any time you have to do something that requires a ton of creative energy―like writing, coding, or design―it’s best to knock it out during your “peak” times of the day.
Usually, this is either in the morning or late at night.
Regardless of what times you have the most creative energy, be sure to schedule your hardest tasks for the day during those windows.
If you don’t, you’ll end up procrastinating on the hard stuff until you’re in the “after lunch drag” where all you want to do is take a nap.
I’ve noticed that my best time for creative work is between 7am – 10am.
2. Only respond to emails or Slacks within a 1-hour window each day.
You and I get bombarded with notifications all day long.
If you aren’t careful, it’s really easy to take up your entire day responding to other people’s problems instead of doing the most important work.
That’s why I recommended scheduling a 1-hour block of time in your workday to respond to emails, slacks, and notifications.
Outside of this time, don’t let yourself drift to answering emails when you’re doing work that’s hard (I do this all the time when I know I should be writing).
Knock out all of your emails when you have the least creative energy―for me, this is almost always right after lunch.
3. Outsource stuff you hate doing.
I’ll be the first to admit it: outsourcing is kinda scary.
It’s uncomfortable (especially at first) to trust someone else to do some of your work.
You can never be 100% sure that they’ll do as good of a job as you’d like them to.
So, start with only outsourcing things that:
- You hate doing
- Aren’t really hard to do
Think of stuff like:
- Admin assistance
- Customer service (this isn’t really hard to do, but be sure that you find someone who’s really nice)
Once you find a few people you can trust with more work, then start giving them more important tasks.
I mainly use these two sites for outsourcing:
4. “Templatize” and automate repetitive tasks.
Think of a few things in your business that you have to do over and over again…
- Sending the same customer service response
- Doing the same free consultation to get leads in the door
- Scheduling meetings
Whatever it is, there’s almost certainly a way for you to create a template for, or automate, at least some of it.
Here’s an example:
I offer a free SEO roadmap on my agency’s homepage that’s basically a quick, free consultation for anyone who’s interested.
Instead of creating a new document and emailing each person back and forth over and over, I templatized and automated some of the process.
Specifically, I created:
- A template for the roadmap that’s largely the same for everyone. All I have to do is change a few things that are specific to their site.
- An email autoresponder that asks them for the extra information I need in order to do the roadmap (so I don’t actually have to write a new email every time).
Set a goal to templatize and automate as many things as you can.
5. Work in intense 90-minute chunks.
Here’s the main idea behind finishing all of your work in 4 hours or less…
Instead of setting a schedule where you work from 9 to 5 like a standard job, work in intense 2-4 90-minute chunks throughout the day (with short breaks in between).
What do I mean by intense?
I mean don’t do anything other than work.
- Focus on anything else
- Answer texts or calls
- Browse the web
Just work for 90 minutes.
Once your 90 minutes is up, take a 15-minute phone break and get back to it for the next chunk.
You’ll be shocked at how much work you can get done.
You Can Do More Work in 4 Hours Than Most People Do in 8
Let’s not sugarcoat it: life can be overwhelming as a solopreneur.
You have to call the shots, set your own schedule, and decide what you’ll work on.
And without some sort of structure, it’s far too easy to spend 80% of your waking hours working.
I know from experience…
Experiment with these 5 tactics to find the formula that works best for you.
Once you find that perfect schedule and structure, you can get all of your work done in half the time. 🙂
Hunter Branch is a self-taught digital marketer who founded Rank Tree ―an SEO agency that works with New York Times bestselling authors, brands, and startups to generate traffic and leads from Google. His blog is dedicated to helping you learn new skills, make yourself more valuable, and build an online freelance business.