It’s no secret that the business world – actually, the world in general – is moving at a speed that wasn’t even possible just a short generation ago. Our new tech tools, most notably the emergence of the wireless Internet enabled device, have made communication, logistics, and management a quicker process than ever before. Combine that with the competitive nature of the business environment, and instead of being able to sit back and enjoy the productivity increases of these new tools, we’re often required to get more accomplished – in the same amount of time.
In order to maintain any ability to balance work and life, we must often learn how to get multiple things done at once, just to keep up. These 5 tips are designed to help you – the CEOs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners of the world – get more than one thing done at the same time, business-related and personal, so that you can achieve your goals, and more importantly, feel good while doing so.
1. The Magic of the Meal Meeting
Any business owner knows that networking and developing strong relationships is key when it comes to finding new opportunities, managing their team, and generating sales. They also know that finding time to get a healthy meal in can be one of the first sacrifices made, and on a regular basis. Considering nutrition is a critical factor in functioning at our absolute best, missing meals can be a slippery slope.
By scheduling as many informal meetings as possible over meals, it’s possible to facilitate strong business relationships while getting the food fuel you need to operate at 100%. By having a coworker or prospective associate meet you over a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), you’ll not only free yourself time to be in the office when you absolutely need to be, but allow yourself to maintain healthy eating habits as well. The added sense of camaraderie, and opportunity for some small talk, can go a long way too.
2. Harnessing the Power of Your Smart Phone and Its Email Capabilities
Granted, not all of us are blessed with the ability to be technological wizards that know how to make the most of the gadgets we have. However, with a little effort to learn, the time saving capabilities of accessing email on any modern smartphone can be great. As long as your phone is by your side, having your email inbox just a quick glance away can be invaluable.
You’ll instantly know when an important message comes through, and combined with some savvy use of filter settings, be able to keep all your messages organized with minimal effort. Not only does this prevent your inbox from becoming a cluttered, time-consuming, organizational nightmare, but being able to shoot out a quick response while waiting for an elevator, or a small handful while say, waiting for a haircut, can be a huge time saver over the course of a week.
3. Rethink Your Commute
For professionals that commute, switching to a passive form of transportation, such as the train or carpooling, can free up a great deal of time over the long term, and allow you to get a ton of less thought intensive tasks done. It might not be the most glamorous way to get to work, but now that so many devices can access the Internet through a cellular signal, being able to answer emails or work on a presentation while you’d otherwise be driving, can eliminate a lot of the work you’d be doing at home, ultimately freeing up time for you to relax or be with your family and help you balance work and life.
4. Put the “Work” in Workout
This tip might not be possible for the real work out warriors of the world, who go 100% percent at the gym. But, for those of us that only hit the treadmill to get a light jog or brisk walk in, it can be a great way to “kill two birds with one stone”. Peering over a report, listening in on a meeting (or a recording of one), and doing some light emailing or messaging, can all be accomplished while getting your heart rate high enough to be considered aerobic exercise. Not only does this allow you to multi-task, but also helps ensure that you can take care of yourself physically at the same time. That doesn’t begin to factor in the mental benefits of exercise either.
5. Master the Art of Delegation
The most difficult, but also most effective way to multi-task is to make the absolute best use of your most valuable resources – your subordinates, assistants, or employees. Sure, you could argue that this isn’t multi-tasking in a traditional sense, but whenever you’re doing anything that someone else could be doing for you, it drastically reduces your efficiency.
As you go throughout your day, make a mental note of the tasks you commonly do, that you might be able to source elsewhere. By effectively “outsourcing” some of them to others who may have some time on their hands, you’ll be able to get that original task done, while actually working on something more complicated or intensive yourself, which can go great lengths to giving you the power to balance work and life.
Many people say that multi-tasking is bad and that it’s impossible to do several things simultaneously. But as you can see, it is not difficult to combine useful and necessary things. We can show it on the example of informal meetings. On the one hand, you just have dinner, but, on the other hand, you maintain positive relationships with your partners and colleagues. There is one more opportunity to save your time answering email letters while waiting for an elevator, or a small handful while say, waiting for a haircut etc. Moreover, you can save time thinking over your plans and ideas when going home or exercising.