Cutting back on your workload can drastically improve your productivity and energy. When you strategically focus on what’s important and create your work schedule around those priorities, you’ll notice you’re not only happier but you’re more focused and successful, too.

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that we’re always ‘busy’ but often that feeling is spent on unproductive time-wasting tasks that distract us from what’s important.

If you’re feeling burnt out and swamped by too many things to do without really making any progress it’s time to take a step back and assess your situation.

Cutting back on work can lead to greater results because it forces us to narrow our focus on what’s important.

4 key ways to cut back and improve productivity

1. Focus on what’s important to you

First, take time out to consider your priorities in your life and business. What are the most important, non-negotiable things to you right now? Write these down and use these as your guiding blueprint.

Once you have your priorities in order (from family to work) you can assess your workload and start to cut back where you can so your focus stays on those.

2. Assess your workday

Consider your ‘9 to 5’ and look at where you’re spending your time. Run a test and write down what you’re doing each hour for a day and then look over it at the end of the day. What tasks did you complete? What meetings did you have? What projects took your focus?

Once you’re clear on where you’re spending time, you can see where to cut back or where to delegate and outsource to enable your focus back towards your priority list.

3. Learn to say no

It’s crucial to say no to any tasks or projects that don’t align with your goals and priority list. It’s easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to every new shiny object and end up overworked, overwhelmed and off track.

Keep your priorities front of mind and say no to anything that doesn’t align with them.

4. Reduce distractions at home

If spending more time with your family is a priority, or you find you’re working long hours at home after work with little progress, it’s time to reduce your distractions. If possible, leave your workload in the office and don’t bring your work home. Having a clear distinction between the two environments will enable you to regain energy and focus and, of course, spend time with your loved ones.

By following these simple steps and regularly checking in with yourself to make sure you’re still following your blueprint will assist you in working smarter, not harder, and allow you to spend more time doing the things you love outside of the work environment.