I am sure that you have found yourselves thinking or even saying this at some point, or often. So how can you complete all the things you need to do each day?
The first thing is that it is impossible to add more hours to the day. You need to find a better way to manage the time you already have. So how can you manage time more effectively?
Here are some tips to help
1. Time is valuable If you were being paid £500 an hour for your time, how much of your day would be worth paying for? I am sure that there are parts of your day when you are doing things that are not worth paying for. These are the times you can get time back from. Some people spend hours a day in front or the TV or just surfing the internet, sunbathing in the summer and so on.
2.Organise your day It is a good idea to plan out your day. You don’t have to remove all the fun from your life but you can be smarter about it. Set times for your activities. TV can quite often be recorded and watched later, this way you can skip the adverts and you will only have the program you want. If you watch live TV you will probably see what’s on next or flick through the channels during the ads to see what else is on and end up watching things as a result. Set a time limit for the internet. You are more likely to get things done if there is a limit, you will check for interesting posts on social media and search for things that you need rather that just looking and watching all the videos and clips on line “because they are there”. It is very easy to get stuck in what I call “the distraction zone”, things will attract your attention and you will be tempted to check them out or just do it for a minute or two and next time you check the clock you have lost a couple of hours and now you don’t have enough time to get the things you want done without staying up late or getting up extra early to catch up.
3.Stop juggling Ok you’ve followed the first 2 options. You’ve found time in your day that is not “valuable” and have found ways to plan for fun time and claim some hours back to use. What are you going to do with them? When I did this I started to write a list of all of the things I wanted to get done to reach my goals. Check my post about success to see how to find out what you need to do for this Got your list? Great! Now what? This list still looks like too much.
You start by prioritising your list, I find the following diagram a great help for this
All you have to do now is put the items from you list in the boxes and follow the instructions. Note that the bottom 2 boxes are low priority and may even give you a chance to remove them all together. If you have items on your list that fit in the blue box I’ll be very surprised so look at the green box. This is where you can look at outsourcing and support from friends and family to help. This way these tasks can still get done and cost you none of your valuable time. Outsourcing favourites are fiverr and elance, these guys can lighten your load significantly. If your tasks are business related and can be outsourced continually for a profit you may consider whether it is time to take on staff of your own. (friends and family may offer to do some of this for you)
Now for the red and orange boxes, you will be tempted to try and multitask these. DON’T DO IT! Put your tasks in order and get them done. If you don’t you will get caught up in the “distraction zone” again. A way around this is to have a pen and a notebook handy. Quickly note down any things that look interesting and get on with the task in hand. This will keep you focussed. you can look at this list when you are done with the items in the red box. If you think they are worth adding to your list assign them to one of the boxes and work from there. (sometimes these distractions are important, it is worth noting them before you forget)
4. Start with the small things big tasks are often the hardest to get started, you need to warm up first. So look for small jobs that only take a few minutes to complete in the red box first, pay a bill, sort out an insurance renewal, call someone about a meeting maybe. This way your momentum will help you start the larger jobs. I see this in pubs all the time. I work as a karaoke DJ on some nights and people decide they want to sing but “just need a drink first” quite often they will be singing along with the songs during this drink and listening to how they sound before they write out a slip to sing. They will then hand it in because they can always not get up when they get called, then the brave actually sing. The ones that get the most fun out of the evening are the brave ones.
5 Set reminders Throughout the day it is easy to forget the rest of your list once you get started. You may even forget to check your list and try and do the first thing you think of. If you set a schedule for your tasks you can set reminders on a computer or even a smart phone/tablet to remind you of when you should start the next task and what it is. This is especially useful if you have planned insome time for yourself as this is often the time that gets taken over by tasks. Personal time is important too, most people’s dreams revolve around them having time to do things they enjoy and wanting to live their lives.
I read a story once about a poor fisherman. He went fishing in the morning, had a really good catch, sold the fish and then spent the afternoon at home with his family. A businessman saw him and told him that he could make a killing in his business, there was obviously a lot of fish and if he spent more hours fishing he could catch more and make more money. He could employ staff get more boats and be very successful. The fisherman asked “Why would I do that?” and the business man said ” You could get rich and retire early and spend your time doing what you love doing”. The fisherman said ” So I could do what I enjoy and spend time with my family” The businessman said “Yes” and the fisherman looked confused and asked “then what am I doing now?”, smiled and showed the businessman the door.
Don’t forget to live.
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