Do you love getting stuff done and write endless to do lists?
Do you have big goals and dreams for your future but feel it’s impossible to grow because of your busy schedule?
Here are eight tried tips that will help you nail your to do list, free up time, and leave you feeling energized and ready to accomplish your big goals.
1. SAY NO.
The more you are busy with, the less time you have for what’s truly important to you. Before you spend time on a task, stop and ask yourself: “Will this task get me closer to my goals?” If the answer is “no” and your schedule is full, say NO! Let go of the guilt! When you say yes to one thing you automatically say no to another. Now don’t think I am advising you to never do anything that isn’t goal oriented. Focus on the most important things first, and if you find yourself with extra time you want to fill, you can always add something in.
SUMMARY: Say no to things that won’t get you closer to reaching your goals.
2. CONTROL YOUR DISTRACTIONS.
Psychological scientists at George Mason University conducted a study where 50% of students were interrupted during an exam and 50% were left in a quiet room to take the test. The 50% who were interrupted performed significantly worse than the control group. The scientists proved that interruptions not only take up time, but also degrade the quality of work performance. As much as technology and your team are key ingredients to your success, they can be a distraction to getting tasks done in a timely manner. Hold yourself back from obsessively checking your inbox. Set times throughout the day when you answer emails or check in with your team, otherwise shut the door and direct your focus to the important tasks at hand.
SUMMARY: To make the best use of your time, set designated times to check your email and phone and be sure you won’t be interrupted while working through your to do list.
3. THE TWO MINUTE RULE.
If it can be done in two minutes do it now. The two minute rule is extremely helpful, as there are always a number of things that can be knocked off of your list in 10 minutes. This leaves you feeling energized, motivated, and ready to tackle some of the bigger tasks. Instead of adding those two minute tasks to your mental or physical to-do list, do them on the spot. Do you have to “set a reminder for Thursday’s meeting” or “email a copy of that report to Susan” When you put these tasks on your list to complete later, you end up spending more energy on stressing about it then actually getting it done.
SUMMARY: If it can be done in under two minutes, do it now!
4. DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE.
Many people think, why bother passing this task off to someone else when it will take so much effort to explain the process and nobody will do this as good as I will? But think long term, someone else can master this task just like you did. The more you delegate, the more time and space you have to focus on tasks that only YOU can do. It is impossible to grow in your personal or professional life when your hands are in everything.
5. KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES.
Don’t tackle tasks in the order that they are written on your list, go in order of your priorities. Priority should be a balance between what task is the most urgent and what task is most important. Start each day with noting what NEEDS to get done, what COULD get done, and what will be delegated ;). That way, you spend the bulk of your time and energy on the important things and you’ll get to the other stuff only after your priority tasks are complete. Once you know YOUR priorities, you won’t get upset when you didn’t get to the other things. When the priority checklist is complete, celebrate.
SUMMARY: Knowing your priorities ensures you’ll get the most important stuff done and not set unrealistic expectations of yourself.
6. MULTIPLY YOUR TIME.
The interesting thing about prioritizing is that it doesn’t create more time, it only organizes your to do list. Rory Vaden teaches that you should aim to multiply your time. Do this by asking yourself, “Can I eliminate this task? Is this project even worth my time? How long will this task matter for? What can I do today to free up more time tomorrow?” These questions are important because some things are just not worth your time and should be taken off your plate and delegated to others. If the task needs to be completed and can’t be delegated, think if this needs to be done NOW or it can wait. When deciding if you should take on a task, keep in mind that taking an hour to do something today can possibly free up a few hours of your week or month. Choose your tasks strategically.
SUMMARY: Do things today that will free up more time tomorrow.
7.GET MORE SLEEP.
Get more sleep? I have so much to do! Burning both ends of the candle and not getting enough sleep will not allow you to function at your best. Studies show that a minimum of 7 hours of sleep is necessary for a healthy adult. When you are tired and cloudy, you work slower and less effectively. Get those extra two hours of sleep and you’ll have more energy and motivation to conquer your day.
SUMMARY: Getting enough sleep ensures you are your best self and can accomplish more in less time.
8. TAKE TIME TO DO SOMETHING ENJOYABLE.
I thought this guide was all about managing my time? Setting times to do what is enjoyable to you will actually help you stay focused and energized. Dr. Stuart Brown, psychiatrist and clinical researcher says that “play shapes our brain, fosters empathy and is at the core of creativity and innovation.”
SUMMARY: When you make time for things that are fun and enjoyable, you have added focus and motivation to successfully reach your goals.
I hope you enjoyed these tips! Feel free to drop your questions or comments below.
PS: For more tips and inspiration, come hang out with me on Instagram: @binieklein
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