Let’s just have a quick look at some numbers.
168 hours in a week
24 hours in a day
60 minutes in an hour
1440 minutes every day
Take out 440 minutes for sleeping.
You have approximately 1000 minutes every day to get stuff done.
That’s working, exercising, learning, loving, eating, relaxing all the stuff you cram into your day
Time is something that we all have but how we manage it and what we do with it makes all the difference.
A lot of people don’t really plan their day, they just let it unfold without any time management to it.
People normally have a strict time that they start work or a project. But, they don’t have a strict finishing time. There is a phenomenon called Parkinson’s Law. Simply explained it is “Work expands to fill the time allotted to it.”
Without a definite finishing time, we tend to waste time and not concentrate on the task at hand.
The strategy of time blocking is an efficient way of ensuring that we give something out utmost attention. You block time into your diary and have a strict start and finish time. This holds us accountable.
The Rule of 52 and 17
Research has shown that the optimal time for concentration is 52 minutes working followed by a 17 minutes rest period. The 17 minute rest period is just that rest, it’s not checking email or looking through your diary, it’s simply resting and recharging.
We all know successful people manage time, unsuccessful people waste time.
I’m going to dive in on some of the ways we can manage our time better
Go through your common tasks for a week and see how long they actually take. Something that you think only takes 10 to 15 minutes can actually take 30 minutes or more. Once you have an idea of how long each common task takes you can learn to manage them and your time better.
There are some great apps that let you track your time. A couple of the most popular are RescueTime and Toggl
As I said earlier, set a time limit for each task. This helps you concentrate on the task and stops procrastination.
Use a To-Do list
Either a written or a To-Do List on an app, done the night before, will set you up for success the following day. That way you don’t have to think of what needs to be done each day you just get into it.
There are also some fabulous project management tools available like Monday.com and Asana.com. I use Asana.com and it allows me to coordinate with my team who are situated all over the world. By planning ahead we make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Do you Must-Dos or Most Important Tasks in the mornings
Take care of your most important or challenging tasks in the morning. Don’t procrastinate or you will find every excuse not to do them.
People tend to have the most energy in the morning so just get stuck in and get them done.
Don’t get distracted
How many times have you been halfway through an email and then stopped to check your social media or been distracted by something else? Have you ever been on a phone call, and you get distracted by an email alert? The amount of time that it takes to get back into your original task is amazing and will eat up your precious time. Many people turn their phone to silent as well as any message notifications. They then have a preset time when they check them.
Learn to say no.
Many people are people pleasers and will say yes when they know they can’t actually fulfill what is being asked of them. I understand that people don’t want to upset other people but if you really don’t have the time then politely so no.
Don’t suffer from perfectionism, don’t wait to all the ducks are in a row, you have all green lights. Sometimes we just need to take action on a project to get it started. Procrastination robs us of so much success.
Batch similar tasks together. Everything that gets done in my business gets done by batching them all together. There is a set time for everything. When I shoot videos I will shoot many together. Social media is all batched together. Even phone calls and email are batched together.
Not only is it time-efficient but it also allows you to keep your concentration on the tasks at hand and not be constantly reorientating.
Use an online Calendar
Calendars and To-Do Lists are two of the most important tools in time management. The beauty of having an online calendar is that you can set up all your meetings, reminders, appointments, and time blocks across all your devices. You can also schedule recurring events to save time re-entering.
I use Google Calendar but Outlook and Apple Calendar are also popular.
I also use an online scheduler and find many more people using them. You send someone a link that is connected to your online calendar. They then choose a time that you have made available and then you are notified of the meeting/appointment via email.
It stops the constant email to and froing trying to find a mutually suitable time.
Scheduleonce and Callendly are two excellent ones.
Learn to delegate/outsource
Sometimes delegating and outsourcing can be hard to do for many people. But by delegating tasks that can be delegated, you will free up time for you to work on your core responsibilities and projects.
With the world so connected now Virtual Assistants are more and more commonly used in business as well as freelancers available on websites like fiver.com and upwork.com. I have found that they are fantastic and strongly recommend you look into them.
Now I’m not advocating that you free up your time so you can work more, I’m not advocating a workaholic lifestyle. But just think how freeing your time can allow you to concentrate on dollar producing activities at work and how it will free your time to do the things you love, give back to the community and help put you in a position to be able to help charities by leveraging your productive time.
It’s just a matter of math. How much is your time worth, time with your friends and family?
If delegating home tasks costs you one ¼ of per hour but allowed you to concentrate on your work then I think it’s a no-brainer.
Until next time