Get More Free Time with These Easy Steps
Naturally, you want to be more productive each day.
If you are an average American, you have probably tried different time management strategies. You have read many articles and quotes that should help you get better organized.
The problem is: Nothing’s working. You seem to always get back to square one every now and again.
"How do people get extra hours in their day?" You ask yourself.
Relax, no one has extra hours, just a few tricks. And no one is perfect either. As you will come to realize, even the most organized people need a little reorganization from time to time.
But it’s not other people you are worried about. The thing is:
You have work to do, you have deadlines to meet, you’ve got family to attend to, you need some time off to rest, and you need to stay sane while getting everything done.
No matter how hopeless the situation looks, it’s not beyond repair. There’s hope for you, happily.
Try these trusted steps and see yourself become the one people will be looking up to.
Step 1: Find Out What's Using up Your Time
This is more like a time audit. For you to better manage your time, you need to know how you spend your time each day. Keep an honest track of how much time you spend on each activity. Honest because you may be tempted to 'be disciplined' because you know you are auditing your self.
With an honest audit and examination, you will see clearly where you need to make the changes and which areas need to be assigned more time so that they can be better handled.
Write down what you find so that you can use those notes to move to the next step.
Step 2: Make a List of Things to be Done.
Now that you know where your time is going, it's time to find out how to divide your time among each task that needs to be done. It's time to make a to-do list. You need this. In fact, it's wrong to start your day without a to-do list.
In step one, you probably found out that some of your time is going to activities that aren't necessary at all. Do not include these in your to-do list. This list is only for what adds value to your day. That means that if you found out that you spend 2 hours each day checking your personal social media pages, that is 2 hours that can be used to do other things.
This, however, doesn't mean that you should remove important things from your list just because you do not see their immediate value. Things, like taking needed breaks and getting enough sleep, are important and should be factored in.
It's important to assign time to each item in the list so that you keep track of time and ensure everything is done.
Another tip to mention here would be to leave short breaks in between tasks to enable you to finish up incase the time assigned that task wasn't enough. This time can also be used to clear up your mind as you transition to the next task.
Step 3: Have a Plan
With a list of things to be done, you are ready to make an action plan.
Spend a few minutes at the end of the day to look at the next day's list of things to be done. From that list, create another list of the most important tasks. You can write down about 3 to 5 important things and that must be accomplished the following day and by what time they should be accomplished.
On the morning of each day, you still need to go through that list to find out if you have everything right or if there are a few things that need to be changed before you start working.
This step takes just a few minutes but is very helpful in making sure you spend your time wisely.
Step 4: Start with the Most Difficult and Least Exciting Task
You may know someone in the family who during a meal starts by eating the most interesting thing on their plate. Well, how does that usually go? Try as hard as they may, finishing up the rest of the plate is usually an uphill task.
The truth is, your energy levels and ability to be patient are highest at the start of the day. Take advantage of that and do what would have seemed too hard to do later in the day when you are still fresh and energetic.
Another advantage of handling the least exciting task in the morning is that the sense of achievement that comes from finishing that big task will give you the energy and the desire to tackle easier tasks without feeling overwhelmed.
Step 5: Be Fully Engaged
When you have decided that a specific time is assigned for a specific task, the next challenge you are bound to face is staying focused on that task.
It seems like there are so many distractions today that it is becoming increasingly hard to concentrate on what you are supposed to be doing. Phones ringing, emails buzzing, the urge to see what's going on on social media. It's like everything is against you finishing what you started.
You can easily overcome this trap by keeping away as many distractions as is humanly possible. Say, for instance, you are working on a report for your boss, you will do yourself a lot of good setting your phone on silent mode or even flight mode if you can, to allow you to focus on what you are doing.
Being fully engaged not only saves time but also allows you to give the best quality of work.
Step 6: Outsource
If you have reached this far, you are doing well. Only there may still be a problem, what if you are not able to finish all you have to do?
You don't need to worry over that. It has become increasingly easy to outsource for help. Several online sites are offering virtual assistance worldwide. Like this site, for instance. You can take advantage of that.
If you are a believer in doing things for yourself, it may be a bit difficult to start delegating tasks because you may feel that no one can perform them as well as you would. To overcome that fear, you may start by delegating only tasks that you do not consider highly important.
For example, you can start by getting someone to receive your calls and to take messages. Later on, as you build trust, you can assign tasks of greater importance. You will be surprised well others can handle the tasks you are scared to delegate.
The advantage of outsourcing is that you save so much time to focus on other important matters and you get to eliminate your to-do list in time.
Will you Get More Hours in Your Day?
Of course not ;)
The goal is not to increase the amount of time you have, because that's impossible.
Rather, the goal is to do more with the little time that you have at your disposal.
As you work to improve on your time management, remember that developing good habits takes time. So, don’t be hard on yourself, only work hard and the results will be so amazing you will want to share.
All the best.
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