How often do you feel too busy? Does it cause stress? Affect your mood? Do you daydream about having more free time to do whatever you feel like doing?
If so, these tips are especially for you!
It's true that we can't always change our whole life's program. Whatever your life is full of, it could be raising kids, working full time or more, going to school, running a business, running a household, or a combination of all of the above.....Most of us have a lot on our plate. While stepping back from the important duties we have in our life isn't always possible or usually not at all what we want to do, there are small changes that we can make to create a great difference in how much we can fit into the hours of our days. Below are a few suggestions.
1. Stop multitasking: The amount of time it takes to get things done increases, the quality of what you are doing decreases, and stress increases. You also do not get the enjoyment of being fully present in the moment with your task.
Switch tasking VS Background tasking from Dave Crenshaw, author of The Myth Of Multitasking:
~Switchtasking = attempting to do multiple attention-requiring tasks at the same time. Each switch in attention incurs switching cost, which includes a loss of time, decrease in performance, and an increase in stress levels. When most people say they are “multitasking,” they are most often referring to switchtasking.
~Background tasking = performing a task while something mindless or mundane occurs in the background. Examples include: delegating tasks to employees while you work on more valuable activities, putting a machine to work on a large job while you answer email, and exercising while you listen to music or listening to an audio book while you clean. Background tasking can improve productivity overall.
2. Plan the night before: Use a planner, or scheduler and plan your day in the evening for the next day, outlining priorities and taking care of the priorities first thing in the day.
3. Keep to-do lists prioritized and in the same place: Prioritize these lists, and keep them in the same place so that you are only referencing one place! One way to prioritize them are to rate them from A-F, A being most important. Having lists scattered everywhere and not prioritized won’t serve you well. Find what works well for you…A notebook or planner that is always with you, notes in your phone, or an app! Just a couple of apps offered for this are ‘todoist’ , ‘Trello’, and ‘Remember The Milk’.
4. Keep errand & shopping lists on your phone, so you can eliminate unnecessary running around. Plan to run errands all at once making them efficient. Keeping the shopping list on your phone ensures you will always have it with you and will eliminate runs to the store for that one thing you really needed.
5.Take breaks: Taking breaks is not wasting time, it allows you to return with better focus. Mental fatigue can set in if you don’t give yourself breaks, just as physical fatigue can.
6. Turn off social media app alerts. You simply don’t need this distraction. Checking in to see who commented on your latest post can wait. Instead, take a couple of brief times in the day to check in, post, and respond to communications on social media rather than checking in all throughout the day.
7. Manage other interruptions. Do you really need to answer your phone every time it rings or answer a text message right away? Do you need to be available to everyone all of the time? The answer to this is NO. Unless it truly is something urgent, this is why you have voicemail. You can stop later when you have finished taking care of what is important to you to return texts & phone calls. The same goes for emails. Sit down once or twice a day, and efficiently respond to what you need to. Stopping for these things constantly is a huge time suck.
8. Declutter & organize. Having less means you have less to take care of, keep organized, & clean. It also creates a feeling of calm, which leads to a more pleasant & productive environment. Organizing your life can happen 1 shelf at a time, 20 minutes at a time!
9. Work in time blocks, especially on bigger projects. Break bigger projects down to smaller steps, and complete those steps in blocks of time, giving yourself a break between blocks.
10. Schedule self care time and protect that time. Feel like you have no time for self care? It’s because you are not making it a priority like other things in your life. Self care IS a priority, so schedule is like it’s one, and protect that time like anything else on your schedule that is important to you in your life!
11. Block things together, rather than scatter them. What am I talking about? Errands - run them all at one time and think about the most efficient way to get them done rather than running all over town. Have 5 friends you want to catch up with? Have them all over for dinner at once. 3 Personal appointments to make this week? Block them into 1 afternoon or morning if you can. return all your emails & messages from the day in one time block. When making plans with others or for appointments, ask yourself, which day & time would be most convenient for me?
Making small tweaks to how you spend your time and conquer life's tasks can make a big difference, and ultimately create more time to enjoy the things that you are really passionate about.
Next week I'm going to dive into part 2 of time management, which will be all about mindset!
Wishing you an enjoyably productive week!