You only get 24 hours every day, and while there are plenty of ways to wring more out of the time you have, there isn’t a way to get more of the stuff. But no need to worry—there are plenty of ways to use the time to have better. Here are 7 of them!
#1. Make time to plan
Use 30 minutes a day to plan how you are going to use your time. If you don’t, you will find yourself running around in circles wasting time. I prefer to use 15 minutes in the morning to set my priorities for the day and 15 minutes at night to set my goals for tomorrow and beyond if needed.
#2. Remember there are always 1,440 minutes in each day.
They do not vary from day to day. If you understand that, you can map out a plan for using them wisely. Appreciate and accept that some of these minutes will be used systematically day-in and day-out for essential tasks (work, calls, etc.), others for personal needs (exercise, relaxation, etc.), and yet others to service physical requirements (eating, sleeping, etc.). It is how you use the remaining minutes that make the difference in your emotional and financial well-being.
#3. Include “Energy Management” with your “Time Management.”
According to Olivia Tan, the co-founder of CocoFax, you can be the best planner ever and have every minute of the day packed with essential tasks, but if you don’t have the energy to complete them properly then it’s all for nothing. Prioritize and plan in time segments that you can handle physically. Don’t wear yourself out.
#4. Tackle top priorities first
They may not be the most pleasant, but they are the most important, so engage them when you are the most physically rested and mentally alert.
#5. Stay focused
Don’t get distracted by everything that is shiny around you. Constantly remind yourself of the task you are working on at hand. Carry a short list with you on a “post-it” note as a visual reminder. With everything that is going on in the world around us it is very easy to get distracted.
#6. Try to touch things only once
Trust your intuition when making decisions, especially on those choices that are not top priorities. Negotiate the task you are working on and complete it before moving on.
#7. Learn to say “NO.”
Remember, every time you say “yes” to a request, you are in fact saying “no” to something else. Time is yours to use so don’t let someone else use it up for you.
You will be surprised how easy it is to deflect non-essential requests for your time by others. Simple things like keeping your door shut while working on priority tasks, not answering the phone, and letting people know that you are too busy will help you find more time for yourself.