Sometimes it feels like you never have enough time to get everything done each day doesn’t it? How do people with really busy lives somehow manage to tick everything off on their list, and still have free time to do what they ACTUALLY want to do?
There are few ways this can be achieved and it starts by making small incremental changes to the way you do what you do on a daily basis.
Don’t worry about getting all 5 things done straight away – like anything, this is going to take practice, determination and motivation to make this massive shift to the norm. The fact that you’re reading this is a great first step into managing your time.
I’ll be honest with you; It wasn’t that long ago I had trouble getting everything done in the day. I just couldn’t understand where all my time was going and it left me feeling frustrated and borderline angry that I messed up! By reading a few books, taking a few courses and watching a few videos, I managed to find out the exact steps you need to take to get things done, and to improve my time management.
It’s about working smarter, not harder. Sure, you can wake up at 4am, go into the office and look busy. However, are you getting the most important things done or simply procrastinating or doing RESEARCH online via social media?
The key is……
Table Of Contents
Get an early start
It’s funny, I mentioned motivation in an earlier paragraph, but no one ever really feels motivated to do the hard things, or the things that we don’t enjoy, do we?
Motivation isn’t really the problem. Breaking a caveman mentality and tricking the mind before it has time to think and procrastinate is….
Take a look at a brilliant video that has Mel Robbins explain how you can break out of the procrastination habit. This video truly changed my life and is how I now do things going forward….
First things first: You need to get an early start. Getting an early start not only focuses the mind but, have you noticed how few distractions there are either at home or in the office, when no one else is around? No distractions means there isn’t a break in concentration and no one to interrupt you in the middle of your flow.
I, personally, get up at 4am each morning, but you need to find a time that’s comfortable for you. It helps, if you go to bed at a decent time too. If you need to get stuff done, having an early night and getting up early is essential.
You might not be what they call “morning-person”. Guess what, at some point in our lives, no one was, really. It’s time to break the habit and build a new you!
Complete the most important tasks first
Even though I’ve made this the second point in this article, it could have easily been the first. If you have 10 things to do, work out which ones are the most important ones first and slide these to the top of the list. These are the tasks you’re going to do first. Ideally, the first two or three tasks will be the important ones.
I guarantee you, once you get into the habit of doing this each day, you’ll be surprised at just how much you get done each week, and you’ll find time starting to come back to you. If you don’t get the whole 10 things on the list finished, don’t worry – as long as the first 3 important ones have been done, you’re on the road to massive time-management improvements.
I won’t lie – this is going to be really hard at first, and you’ll wonder why you even started down this road in the first place. I ask you to trust me on this… If it doesn’t work, that’s fine – just give it a go and see if you notice any improvements.
Don’t forget, it’s making incremental improvements to both yourself and your business each day.
Sleep at least 7-8 hours
Getting enough sleep is underrated, when it comes to managing your time. Not only does it play a vital role on your physical health. It allows your body time to heal and repair your heart and blood vessels.
Not getting enough sleep leads to sleep-deprivation and affects concentration levels and the ability to learn. The average adult sleeps less than seven hours each night, when most need eight or more hours to be effective the following day.
Devote your entire focus to the task at hand
In the 80’s and 90’s, it was cool to be seen as being capable of multi-tasking. However, this is a very inefficient way of getting things done. It’s actually been proven that concentrated effort allows you to give your undivided attention to a the task at hand. You’ll actually have much better results by using 100% focus, instead of diluting your focus between multiple tasks.
Where possible, I try to close all browser windows, turn the mobile off or put it on mute, find a nice, quiet place to work and get stuff done. It works a treat…! Feel free to listen to ambient music (with headphones, would be my choice). Immerse yourself in the task and I guarantee you, you’ll start to see life-changing results.
Learn to say “no”
Have select times when staff can get hold of you or read and answer emails at a specific time (never first thing). The best way is to have specific times such as 9am, 12pm and 3pm (3 times a day). Believe it or not, when you train your staff to contact you at these times, they generally sort out any problems themselves and only come to you, if there’s something that needs to be signed off or it’s something only you can answer.
This is going to take time to bed in and won’t be easy at first. Especially if you’re like me – “a control freak”. You’d be surprised at how much problem-solving can be achieved by your staff, when you’re not around and things marked as “important” sometimes really aren’t that important at all.
So, what do you think? Is it possible to try these one at a time?
Like I said, it won’t be easy. Especially the last task of just saying “no”. This is how big business operates. If you manage several staff, having each one of them popping to your office at all different times of the day will eat into your time. Most of the problems could actually be sorted out by them, and you never need get involved.
Have you tried any of these before and did they work? Let me know in the comments below.