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4 Secret Strategies for Taking Control of Your Day

If you're feeling unproductive or overwhelmed (whether you're an entrepreneur or intrapreneur), you're not alone.

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Are you feeling swamped? Overwhelmed? Exhausted? Juggling the responsibilities of your business, your family and everything else that’s been thrown on top of you? You’re not alone. These are weird times for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs alike, particularly because the lines between work and home are distorted. Don’t despair though. Here are four secret strategies that you can use to help take control of your day:

  1. Tackle the “meh” first. Yup. I said it. Go for the “meh” before anything else. As a first step when embarking on your day, get the mundane out of the way early. You know, those things that you put off doing because you don’t like them or they’re tedious. If you do them first, however, you will eliminate some of that nagging stress hanging over your head and get those projects off the ground. The idea here is to remove them from your mental checklist (you’ll feel lighter when you do) and to put your day into motion.
  2. Learn to say no! Overcommitting can be a big part of the problem. You can’t possibly do it all, and that’s OK. Teach yourself to get more comfortable with saying no to things that you don’t have time for or simply don’t want to do. If you’re not feeling it, it doesn’t mean anything to you personally or doesn’t align with your professional goals, ditch it by declining politely (and don’t feel bad about it either).
  3. Drop guilt. Why are we always feeling guilty about something? There is both social guilt — guilt placed upon us by society and the people in our circle — and individual guilt, which is self-imposed. Did we do enough? Not enough? Are we having too much fun? Not enough fun? Spending the right amount of time with our friends, families or partners? Stop beating yourself up. You are not a superhero. There is no such thing as perfect and no one has enough time to do everything that they want to (no one!), so let yourself off the hook.
  4. Maintain perspective and treat yourself. Train yourself to look at the big picture as well as the day-to-day. Did you do everything that you had planned? Good. Reward yourself for your efforts. Go for a walk, treat yourself to a spa visit or a chocolate cupcake, or just give yourself a pat on the back. Celebrating your productivity will help you to become even more productive. Work smarter (not harder) to get what you want out of life.

Related: Morning-Routine Mistakes Could Cost You Productivity and Peace

The bottom line with taking control of your day is that it starts with you. That's right, you're in the driver's seat here. No one (and I do mean no one) else is going to worry about it for you. It’s your job to find that balance, manage your schedule and focus on productivity and time management techniques to make the most of your hours. If you learn to implement these four secret strategies, you’ll put yourself on the path to a happier and more productive day!

Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Need a mentor, accountability partner or co-strategist? Charlene Walters is a Business/Branding expert who developed a Digital Entrepreneurship MBA program. She is also an entrepreneur and has held a variety of sales, management and marketing roles at startups and larger corporations. Charlene enjoys combining her knowledge and love of marketing and business strategy with her passion for innovation and desire to help others succeed. Her biggest fulfillment comes from working one on one with entrepreneurs to launch their startups, hone their personal brands and further their business strategies and entrepreneurial goals. 

Charlene is also the author of Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur: 10 Mindset Shifts for Women to Take Action, Unleash Creativity and Achieve Financial Success,  a guidebook for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to develop the mindset needed to successfully launch and grow their businesses, and Own Your Other, a memoir about overcoming tragedy/loss and moving forward in life based on her own personal experience. As part of that, she serves as a speaker and mentor to others, and writes and contributes to numerous publications on business and motivational topics.

Charlene also specializes in consulting, curriculum and content creation, thought leadership development, and social media and business startup/growth strategies. She has created and taught numerous business/marketing courses and workshops and mentored many entrepreneurs and innovators.

Charlene completed a BA in English at The University of Connecticut, an MBA/Management at St. Thomas University, and a PhD in Business Administration/Marketing at Northcentral University where she researched Consumer Internet Behavior and analyzed why consumers choose to make purchases on one site versus another.

Charlene lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and is a writer, entrepreneur, life enthusiast and mother of two. She looks forward to helping you achieve your business and personal goals.