I’m an overachiever. I always have been. I don’t tell you this to brag, but instead to help you understand where I’m coming from. I often get asked questions like “is there anything you can’t do?” or “how do you have time to get do everything?” The truth is, I can’t and I don’t do everything. I’m just really good at managing my time. I’m not perfect, but here are a few techniques that I use to help get things done.
1. Be aware of time wasters – Do you spend an hour here and and hour there just looking at social networks? Do you spend a good chunk of time every day over socializing with co-workers? These aren’t things that you need to completely cut out of your day, but you do need to be aware of how much time you are spending on them.
How I personally implement this: I can surf the internet for hours on end if I don’t watch myself. I just lose myself in page after page of nothingness online. So when I’m trying to complete a task online I try to close all other distractions – Facebook, twitter, and likely even my email inbox.
2. Give yourself goals and stick to them – Create long term and short term goals for all aspects of your life. If there is something on your to-do list that doesn’t help contribute to one of these goals then evaluate if you should really be doing it. Once you have a goal STICK TO IT.
How I personally implement this: I personally have long term goals (this year) and short term goals (today and this week). My goals stay pretty consistent but the priorities change. But one thing is for sure, my goals are manageable, obtainable, and very comprehensive.
3. Don’t over commit – It’s hard to say no. But you have to realize that your time is valuable. If someone asks you to do something that you don’t have time for then tell them no. Creating boundaries is key to keeping your sanity.
How I personally implement this: I guard my time with my life. If I’m asked to do something I ask myself a few questions – Does this request help me provide emotionally or financially for my family? Does this request help fulfill a personal or professional goal? Do I actually have time to do the request without pushing something more important off my plate? If the answer is no to two or more of these questions then I likely won’t commit to doing the task.
4. Multi task when it makes sense – When the oven is preheating then you should try unloading the dishwasher. While your computer is starting up in the morning this is a great time to tidy up your desk. If you have idle time you can always likely fill it with some mindless task. That being said, it’s important not to multi task while your working on a project that does take brainpower. If you are trying to write an important document then turn your email off so you aren’t being interrupted. Finding this balance isn’t easy, but when you do find it you will be a production machine!
How I personally implement this: I’m the queen of multi tasking. If I’m warming something up in the microwave I’m also cleaning the kitchen. While I’m letting the dog out in the morning I’m also brushing my teeth. Getting the little stuff done is a lot quicker this way!
5. Delegate whenever possible – If there is someone else willing and able to do a task, let them. This might cost money or it might require you to give up some control. Either way, sometimes you just need to let go.
How I personally implement this: I’m a firm believer in this. I run a successful Etsy shop. But did you know I’ve got an amazing husband and mother-in-law who make all the products for me?! Yes, I pay them to help, but it’s worth it for everyone involved. I couldn’t keep the shop up and running if I didn’t have this help.
6. Stick to a schedule – Try going into work every day at the same time, leaving at the same time, putting your keys in the same place every time you get home, and workout at the same time every day. Allow your schedule to guide you and you will get more done. You will get things done faster every day and you will be more aware of the things that disrupt your schedule and time.
How I implement this: My life is so much of a routine that the dog knows exactly when we are going to wake up, go to bed, and just about everything in between. I thrive on routine. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s what I need to keep my sanity.
7. Know when things are good enough – Everything can always be better and nothing is ever gong to be perfect. You have to know when a project is just good enough. Sometimes your burst of quick effort is enough to complete a project to fulfill the needs.
How I implement this: I’m a photographer and when I first started I would spend on average 20 minutes editing one picture. I would make the pictures flawless. But I couldn’t keep up as it would take me FOREVER to edit every session. I slowly started doing less and less (and made my editing process more efficient) to each image. My clients didn’t care that I didn’t edit out every little thing and I think my pictures are better for this. I’m also able to do more sessions and make an income using photography. If I still took the time to make every picture flawless then I would have burnt out on photography long ago.
I hope these tips help you with your to-do list! I hope that you can see that you have time for whatever you make time for.
Do you have a tip that helps you get things done that I didn’t mention? If so, leave your tip below in the comment section.