Have you ever felt that there’s just not enough time in the day? Most often, when we run out of time for projects or pursuits, it’s not that the time was not available but rather the reason is that we’ve spent a lot of that time lost in ambiguity.
When you’re supremely clear about where you’re going and what you want to do, there’s no time lost. Decisions are easy to make, actions are easy to take, and you can get a lot accomplished in a short period of time.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to eliminate the time-management nightmare.
Here are 5 simple steps to help you do so:
1. Plan your work.
Take a few moments to determine where you’re going and how you plan to get there. What’s my objective today? What has the highest priority? You don’t have to know all the steps or details; just write down the basic outline as you can see it.
2. Gather your resources.
Get your tools in order so you don’t have to stop once you begin because you are missing something important. What do you need to do this job right? Get it and have it available to you.
3. Minimize distractions.
It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do, you probably deal with distractions on a daily basis. Distractions are costly as it reduces the effectiveness of our efforts. Once we’ve allowed a distraction to come in, it can take quite a few minutes to regain the concentration you need to get back on track. If you get distracted 10 times a day, multiply the time lost by 10, and it’s easy to see why we sometimes don’t get much quality work done.
You can see then that minimizing distractions is key to dramatically increase your productivity and effectiveness, as well as reduce your stress. Without distractions, you can create flow , where you produce high-quality work, and achieve much more during the day.
So, close down your Outlook and even your phone if possible. Put away all folders, papers or items that belong to a different goal/objective than the one you will be focusing on now. Minimizing the distractions that could pull you off-track will keep you focused and productive for the time you have allotted to the task/objective at hand.
4. Set a time and work your plan.
Give yourself a timeline. How long will you work on your project? Then follow your outline step-by-step and focus only on the task at hand. Do not check email, answer the phone, or have a conversation with a friend during the time you have allotted for this task. If you get lost or distracted, come back to your outline and see what’s next.
5. Build-in mini-rewards/break.
Most people think that in order to be productive they have to stay focused, nose-to-the grind for the duration of the task or for long periods of time. However, according to a NY Times article “a growing body of evidence shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves productivity and creativity — and that skipping breaks can lead to stress and exhaustion”
It helps to build it little mini-breaks when working on extended tasks. Taking a short 5-minute break after 1 hour or so, helps to recharge your brain. Getting up from your desk and actually walking to the coffee pot is a perfect mini-break that your brain and body will appreciate. Give yourself a small reward when you’ve reached a milestone point of the day.
Follow these simple steps and before long you will have finished your project and have plenty of time to relax or do something else…like dream about what you are going to do next….
To your productivity!
P.S. Do you find yourself wasting time on activities that have nothing to do with your ultimate goals? Is fear or lack of clarity keeping you from being on purpose with your daily activities and goals? Are your goals aligned with the ultimate vision for your life or someone else’s? Do you have a Vision for your life? I’ve heard it said that ‘if you don’t know where you’re going, every road will get you there’. Many times our own fear gets the best of us and keeps us from reflecting on the purpose, meaning and ultimate value of the things we work on day in and day out.
P.S.S. If you struggle with fear, lack of clarity, not sure what you should be working on or what you want in life, I would love to have a chat with you and see if it makes sense to have some outside input into your life. The saddest outcome is to have spent a life ‘doing’ for the sake of ‘doing’ rather then purposely and diligently focusing on the activities that will bring us in alignment with the vision we hold for our life and for our future.
Click HERE to schedule a FREE Life Direction Session with me so we can chat about what’s possible for you!
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