You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce: that should blow your damn mind. That’s right. I’m comparing you to a super celebrity with trainers and assistants and undreamable amounts of money. Not to make you feel like a jerk, but to put time into perspective. The point is this, the difference between the average person and an ultra successful person is not how many hours they have,
it’s how they choose to spend them.
Lesson One: Time is abundant. There is no time famine. If you find yourself “running out of time,” it’s up to you to create more of it.
Lesson Two: Your time is unique to you. Time is a rhythm. What time means to you depends on what your priorities are. Everything you spend your time on is a choice.
Here are some ways to make the best use of your time:
1. Make lists.
To do lists are effective because they help break down the big picture. Tasks seem less overwhelming when isolated as a #4 or #16 rather than clustered together on a heaping plate in front of you.
2. Define your priorities.
Get a grasp on what’s important to you right now. What’s your mission? Knowing this will help put your to do list in order.
3. Buy a planner.
Planners are the holy bible of day planning. Schedules help you stay on track, stay organized and keep things in perspective.
4. Check your phone, email and social media accounts in installments.
Instead of hovering over your phone or computer waiting for something to happen and responding immediately, set them aside. Check your phone every hour. Wait until lunch to check in on social media. Give yourself a benchmark to hit. Finish a small project before allowing yourself to respond to a text.
5. Set boundaries.
Know when to say no. If you’re working on a project and a call comes in, don’t let it distract you. Finish what you were doing before you get lost in something else.
6. Do something that you don’t want to do.
Do something that’s been eating away at you. Take the plunge and get it over with. You’ll feel lighter afterwards.
7. Use milestones as recharge points.
Noon, Monday, 1st of the month, quarterly. All optimal times to hit the reset button.
8. Reexamine your lists, goals and calendar.
If an item that you’ve committed to or scheduled no longer serves you, drop it. Redefine your priorities. Rewrite your lists.
9. Break a big thing into smaller things.
What is one small action you can make towards the master plan?
10. Be decisive.
Don’t get stuck in limbo. When faced with choices, choose. You can always rechart the path later.
The first step to getting organized is to clear clutter. Eliminate appointments, obligations, people, physical things, thoughts and anything else that does not really need to be there.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back. Refer to Sitting Still for Dummies.
13. Be flexible.
Understand that tasks take longer than expected. Things comes up. Disruptions happen. Don’t be hard on yourself if you go off course.
14. Keep a time log.
You know the saying “Where does the time go?” Well, find out. Log your activities for a day. From the moment you awake to the moment your head hits the pillow, write down every major thing you do, and be honest (just because you’re at work 8 hours a day don’t mean you’re working).
15. Keep your environment neat and orderly.
If functioning in chaos is your thing, I get it. Though it may help to get a fresh perspective in fresh surroundings. Clean up, declutter, organize.
16. Be good to your body.
Eat well. Hydrate. Exercise. Sleep. C’mon people.
17. Wake up earlier.
Mornings can be gold mines. Your bonus hours. Use this time to tackle activities that require the most self control. Working out, writing, meditating. Mornings set the tone for the entire day, so choose well.
Take a walk. Go outside. Take a dance break.
Make sure your family, friends and coworkers are following through with their own set of to dos so that you’re not stuck with someone else’s list.
20. Just start.
Don’t wait for the circumstances to be right. There’s no such thing as timing, or perfection.
21. Remember that every minute of your time is a choice.
Looking for more tips on time management?
Download The Art of Getting Sh*t Done, a 25 page e-guide.