2016 to doIf you can believe it, it’s already July. 2017 is half over. Around this time of the year, many of us are focusing on our vacations, taking weekends to the beach and preparing for our big trips abroad. We are decompressing post-tax season and enjoying the summer weather. But this time is also a crucial planning period for entrepreneurs. Now is about time to check in and see what you’ve accomplished on your to-do list—and what’s left to do before year-end. What do you really need to get done before 2018 begins? And, importantly, how are you going to get these things done in time?

Here’s what you can do to maximize your efficiency in the next six months and get all you need to get done in 2017:

  • Automate tasks.

So much time is wasted completing tasks that can more efficiently be done with automation. Spending too much time on social media? Schedule posts via an app like Hootsuite. Feel like you’re wasting hours each month adding new newsletter subscribers to a Contacts spreadsheet? Automate the job with Zapier. The point is, there’s no need to be devoting your priceless energy to mundane tasks.

Need some automation inspiration? Check out this list of 101 Zaps to be more efficient.

  • Create to-do lists and set realistic deadlines.

With all you have going on, sometimes it’s difficult to stay on track of all the things you have to do. That’s why to-do lists can come in handy. To-do lists have been proven to help you better remember important tasks, turn abstract goals into concrete jobs, and focus on what really matters.

Need an example? Say you want to start a business blog for your company’s website this year, but you haven’t gotten around to doing it. Break down the big task into smaller, achievable jobs. For example, you could set a goal for the week of finding a solid blogging platform. Or you could set a monthly goal of writing 4 or 8 blogs (whatever capacity) to stockpile for when you finally get your blog up and running. The point is, it’s helpful to achieve big, long term goals by breaking them down into smaller, doable units with concrete deadlines.

  • Optimize your mornings.

The minute you open your email inbox, your day becomes about answering emails and dealing with internet distractions. Instead, establish a morning routine that promotes a sense of calm, creativity, and productivity. If physical activity is your preferred way to start the day, then wake up and go for a run or practice yoga. Devote an hour to endeavors that require your creative mind. Ignore your cell phone until the work day officially begins. Make your mornings quiet, productive times away from the noise that will inevitably hit you as the day goes on.

  • Focus on what matters—and delegate the rest.

You have a million things you’d like to accomplish before 2018, but there’s no reasonable way to do it all on your own. That’s why it makes sense to hire a helping hand. Some tasks require less of your attention than others— administrative tasks such as business travel planning and answering the phones— which means that you can often outsource these jobs to others. At this point in the year, it’s time to focus on what matters to building your business, i.e., what tasks only you can do.

Need some outside help to get some administrative, marketing or sales tasks accomplished before 2018? We have the talent to get the job done. Click here to learn more about our staffing process.