Time is something I highly value since there never seems to be enough of it. Lately a lot of people have come to me asking about time management, which has gotten me thinking about how to free up some time during the day. How many of us don’t find time for the things we love because our schedules are so full of “have to’s”? If we don’t take the time to care for ourselves, we have little left to give to others. We all have the same 24 hours each day yet we struggle to find balance between our families, careers and friends.
So take some time and make a commitment to really look at your life for the next week and fill in a form with 15 minute time increments on how you spend your days. I can assure you it will be eye opening! Once you have done that, you will be able to easily see your time wasters and can choose to eliminate them from your life.
Learn to say “no” to meetings or lunch requests from friends that you would only go to out of a sense of obligation and is not a priority for you.
Use a calendar: Write all appointments down immediately. This frees your mind from having to remember, but it is essential that you actually check your calendar the night before so you don't forget anything and can effectively plan the next day.
Assign blocks of time in your schedule for the things you really want to do. If you need alone time, don’t feel guilty about disconnecting for awhile.
Baby Steps: Break things down into smaller pieces rather than procrastinating and becoming overwhelmed. Set a timer. Determine your highest energy level time of the day and do the most important task then. When energy is lower, do easier tasks. Remember that the subconscious mind doesn't care what you do as long as you are doing something and making progress.
Batch your errands so you make efficient use of your time.
Create routines so things you need to do on a daily basis become automatic habits. It might be helpful to have a morning, afternoon and evening routine.
Daily to-do list should include your top 3 most important items that you will do no matter what. Don’t over-schedule.
Delegate tasks that you either hate or are not good at.
Eliminate interruptions and distractions like phone calls, e-mails or text messages. Set aside a few times a day to respond to whatever comes up other than emergencies. Don’t let other people determine your priorities. Process your inbox to empty on a daily basis. Concentrate on the task at hand and take scheduled breaks to clear your mind.
Plan ahead: take a few minutes before going to bed and check your calendar for tomorrow. Have a staging area for everything you will need the next day so you don't forget something in the morning rush. Before falling asleep, think about what you are doing tomorrow and ask your sub-conscious to work during the night to make it happen more smoothly and effectively.
Make yourself a priority!