make more of your time – 7 ways to get things done
One of the challenges I often hear is how to get everything done in the day. Wouldn’t it be great if there was one juicy thing you could do to make it all fit? Sadly, I don’t have one to offer you in this b-mail. Instead, I’ve got 7 ways to get more done in your week.
1. Manage your priorities
Know the story of the rocks, pebbles, gravel and water in a jar? (quick video here) Recognise your biggest priorities (rocks) and schedule them into your day or week, followed by the next most important (pebbles), next most (gravel) and finally the least important (water).
Are you clear on your priorities and do you stick to them? Or do you flex around others’ priorities? Do you skip the gym to meet a work deadline or go to bed late to fit in baking a cake for tomorrow’s outing? Flexing makes you a great person to be around, but you’ll end up with a jar full of water and no pebbles, rocks or gravel in it!
2. Create your combo deal
Some things go well together – strawberries and cream, gin and tonic and more. Where does this apply in your life?
I encourage my physical rehab clients to double up on daily tasks and exercises, like doing their stretches or strength exercises whilst the kettle boils, the shower heats up or the adverts are on. I also combine time with my partner and getting out of the city – we ride our tandem past the lavender farm, up to a hilly lookout with a café and stop off for a chat over coffee (and cake 🙂 ).
3. Value your “me time”
Whether that’s a night out with friends or reading a good book – to be the best you possible, you need to recharge your batteries. It’s easy to skip these re-energising times to do other things. Try time-boxing them (set and diarise a specific time slot). I’d also encourage a spot of focussed breathing or meditation into your day to refresh your mind.
4. Eat your frogs first
Mark Twain once said:
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse
will happen to you the rest of the day.”
If you have something unpleasant, boring or complex to do, get it out the way first. Bookkeeping is my frog – if I don’t tackle it first, I find my motivation drops, I’m easily distracted and it seems to haunt my every move. Identify your frogs and gobble them up first. Yum. (Read Brian Tracy’s book / blog or get the Eat that Frog app to learn more about this one.)
5. Go off-line
You all know I love my tech and gadgets, but from time to time, I have to admit that I do get more done if I turn off the wifi and phone. True, checking my social media feeds or my emails is necessary to running my business (and my social life too at times!). It is false to think that I “must” do it the instant that “ping” goes off.
Switch off notifications or sounds, download a distraction tool or find a signal deadzone.
6. Rack up some cheats
Ever watched Jamie’s 15-minute meals? Follow his lead and keep your cupboards or freezer stocked with your quick, healthy meal essentials. Create a basic shopping list on your online supermarket to quickly order the basics in one click.
You can also do this with work or exercise tasks. Create reusable templates (fill in the blanks ones work well) to help with repeated tasks and mix in online mini workouts to meet your fitness goals (check out HIIT Daily or Pilates On Demand).
Alternatively, split bigger tasks up into little short ones to spread across the week. Need to prepare your guest room for Friday night? Either spend a crazy hour on Friday running around before greeting your guests or split it into 10-15 minute tasks. (e.g. Monday: launder the bed linen, Tuesday: dust, Wednesday: hoover, Thursday: make the bed and put out towels, Friday: add fresh flowers and relax.)
7. Say no nicely
By saying “yes”, we’re often served a big portion of “feel good” – a positive affirmation of how wonderful we are – with a side serving of time hijack – the time we lose to do what we really want or need to do. Combine your “no” with “thank you”, explain the consequences or personal challenge of the request or invite and whenever possible offer an alternative (new time or date, different event or approach). This one definitely takes practice, but do perist. It’s golden.
Right that’s the lot. My final thought: All that said, sometimes we need to be able to breathe and accept that day has gotten away from us. The unexpected twists and turns some days take can bring you new learning, new opportunities and a heap of fun!
7 ways to get more done and 7 days to try them before the next b-mail is out. Shout out your success with them in the comments or tell us how you get more done than the average Joe.
If nothing is working and you are in overwhelm, needing help to identify your priorities, frogs or best you – drop me a line and I’d be delighted to help as these are common coaching issues, which I’ve helped clients to resolve.