We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so why does it seem like some people have more? One of the most common questions that I get asked is how to get everything done in a short amount of time? Most of my clients feel so overwhelmed by working , running a business and looking after their family that they often think they don’t have time to look after themselves.
The first thing we need to concentrate on is how we manage our time and there are many skills you can learn to help you use your time more efficiently.
When you learn good time management skills, you will feel less pressure, less anxiety and a sense of mental freedom to make right decisions. What does this mean? It means you are more productive and less stressed.
So, how do we achieve this? Here are some of my favourite tips to help you manage your time more effectively and efficiently:
“Bad ideas don’t kill businesses; too many good ideas kill businesses.”
Too many ideas can cause mental clutter. It’s important to understand that not every idea has to be actioned. Just because someone else is doing it doesn’t mean that it’s right for you, so ask yourself: “Is this going to help me get closer to my vision?” You need to figure out which of your ideas or projects are important for you and what impact they will have.
Stay focused, people don’t realise how important to have this skill is. Work on one task at the time and avoid over-committing yourself. Ask yourself how much time you have to complete your task compared to how long would it take to complete the task.
Your decision should be based on time available. Start with the smallest, fastest task that you can cross off your list first.
Learn how to concentrate on one task and block everything else in order to complete and move on to the next one.
Lack of direction can be a big problem. When you are not sure what your vision is or where you are going with it, it’s hard to create time for important things. Without direction we tend to procrastinate and waste time on something else and then complain that we don’t have time to get anything done. Those people who seem to have more than 24 hours in their day know their vision, their mission and direction they need to take, and they don’t lose time trying to figure out where they want to go with each and every task.
- Make appointments with yourself
After you have made a decision about your direction and priorities create a To Do list and block out time in your calendar.
Book family time, fitness time and work time and don’t compromise it. Learn how to say “no” to new ideas until you have completed everything else you have scheduled into your calendar. If you have family time scheduled in your calendar don’t push it aside for work time.
Don’t forget to block some downtime as well. Distractions will happen no matter what and you just need to take a breath and accept that. Each appointment that you make is important – including the ones you make with yourself.
If it is taking too long for you to complete something, reassess the situation. Are you the right person for this task? Is there some else who can do it faster so you can concentrate on something that you are good at?
My dad is a builder and he always tells me: “measure it twice, do it once”. It has a different meaning to everyone, but for me it means ‘delegate’. Delegate in order to be able to do a job once and do it right. You’ll free up time and be a lot happier as a result.
- Never Procrastinate
You need to learn how to motivate yourself. We all have days when we don’t feel like doing anything, whether we are tired, sick or just feeling blah. This is when discipline and self- motivation come in to play. As a business owner/ manager/ parent , you are a leader. Motivation is the key for leadership. If you want to become a better business owner / parent / co worker and have a more successful day, start with working on yourself and your own motivation. You are responsible to achieving results and getting work done. There is no one to hold you accountable for your success!
The only way to finish a job is to start it, so don’t put it off for tomorrow if it can be done today!
And so we come full circle. How to get motivated? Have a clear direction and vision for yourself.. Plan ahead, set long term goals and create your 90 days action plan.
Here is a kick start from me to you:
- Create a vision
- Set 10 years, 3 years, 1 year goals
- Create a 90 days action list
- Decide what is more important for you, what will help you to achieve your 90 days actions
- Create a To Do list
- How much time do you have for it?
- Decide how much you need to complete each task/action
- What can you get done next week with time available?
- Block your calendar for family, work, business, down time, fitness
- Schedule into your calendar
- Say “no” to the ideas that don’t fit your plan – add them to a wish list for the future
- Stick to your plan for 1 week and email me and let me know how it went!