Saving one minute on a project may seem insignificant, but if you ask the person who missed their train, they would most likely say a minute can mean everything.
Our time is one of the most valuable things we have, because it functions as a currency that we cannot get back. Even when we are not consciously making choices of what we are spending our time on, we are still spending by omission. Imagine each minute that passes by as a withdraw coming out of a time bank, but you have no idea how much is inside your account.
This is why it is so important we do what we can to protect and manage our time to the best of our ability. For this month’s blog we wanted to give seven tips that will help you maximize your time so that you can spend it on the things that truly matter most!
1. Make a list
It may seem small, but when you have many things floating around in your head it will seem like there is more to do than there actually is. This overwhelming feeling can paralyze you for hours, making it hard to get started on things you need to do, or making you less productive as you work on a project due to your inability to stop ruminating on all your other tasks. Try taking a sticky note, planner, or word document, and jotting down what you need to accomplish. This visual will help you move past the overwhelming feelings and get things done!
2. Order the list
Prioritizing what needs to get done can help you feel more organized and give you a clear direction for what needs immediate attention and what can wait. When you finish the most important tasks on your list you will find that you feel more successful than accomplishing a few random tasks that could have pushed out a week.
3. Have daily goals
Break down that list and assign yourself a certain amount of tasks for each day, depending on their size. Some days you will give yourself two large projects to complete whereas other days you will give yourself five smaller ones. When you accomplish what you assigned for the day, you then will feel ahead as you get to start early on your tasks allocated for the next day. If you are unable to fulfill your goal because of unforeseen circumstances, no worries! You can adjust your list accordingly.
4. Get quick tasks out of the way
If you get assigned a task or errand that you know will not take you long at all, rather than adding it to your list just do it then. This will keep your list from getting too long and overwhelming, and save you time in the long run.
5. Just get started
In the face of a new or big project, do not get hung up on tiny details. The quickest way to working out the kinks will be to just figure it out along the way. If you spend too much time in the preparation stage, you can easily and unnecessarily keep yourself from getting started by trying to have everything mapped out. There are times when preparation needs to happen, but if you find it being a time waster it may be better to just get started.
6. Stay Organized
If you are disorganized and are having to constantly search for things or spend time backtracking, a task will take you far longer that it probably should. If you take a Saturday to create organization with your files, or in other places in your life that feel chaotic, it will help you decrease the time you spend on tasks while maximizing your free time.
Learn to say no! Maybe the reason you constantly feel short on time is not an efficiency problem, but an over commitment problem. When you say no to things, you are able to give more of yourself to the things you say yes to! Learning boundaries and being able to say no will ultimately make you more satisfied with the things you do spend time on rather than spread thin and exhausted by the totality of your commitments.
We hope that these tips are helpful and give you your time back! Life is short and we must enjoy every moment of it while we can. What are some tools you already use to maximize and manage your time?