“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing”– Brian Tracy, Coach & Speaker
Many people are not aware that time is a very precious resource. Our time on this earth is limited. We all know that every day has 24 hours and every year 365 days. However, we often ask ourselves where the time has gone and that we would like to have more of it.
Especially through the Internet, social media, and the smartphone, we let ourselves be distracted very often and ignore the important things in life. Today we want to show you 7 ways how you can create more time throughout the day to dedicate yourself to the important things in your life. Be excited!
1. Structure your day
How can you structure your day? The best way to do that is to regularly maintain a calendar and set slots for the things you want to do that day. The most important thing is that you don’t plan your entire day down to the minute, but that you consciously create free spaces in which you are flexible.
By writing down your activities in your calendar, it becomes clear to you which appointments and tasks you are taking care of and when. At the same time you have the advantage that by using your calendar you deal with time management and you get a better awareness and sense of time.
Small tip: Always plan the day in your calendar the night before!
This way, you already define the purpose for the coming day the day before, which makes it easier for you to get up and begin to work at the important tasks, because you know what to expect that day.
2. Find your time wasters
Check yourself by writing down when you did what for a week. This can give you a lot of insight into what tasks you spend the most hours on. Of course, it’s not good to write down every minute of your life. But it might give you some insight into what activities are taking up too much of your time. Mostly, things like smartphones, watching TV, or social media take up more hours than you actually think.
This can be said up front: you’ll be surprised at some of the points. As mentioned in the first point – it’s not about controlling yourself, it’s just about gaining insights so that you can use your day for the important things.
3. Set priorities
By setting priorities, you can focus on the important things. In both personal and professional life, priorities are a very helpful methodology to create more time for yourself. You’ve probably heard of the Pareto Principle: 80% of the time is spent doing unimportant things, whereas only 20% of the time is needed to complete the important tasks.
So ask yourself: “What is important right now to move forward?”
Because you consciously choose to do the important things, you automatically neglect the things that don’t have much importance to you. A simple method you can implement right away is to categorize your tasks into A, B, and C priorities:
A priorities: All tasks that are very important and absolutely need to be addressed.
B-Priorities: Tasks that should be done, but won’t have much consequence if you don’t tackle them right away
C priorities: These are the tasks that would be nice if you do them, but won’t have any consequences if you don’t do them.
You can adjust this method periodically, moving tasks from one category to the other if necessary. It will seem to you that you have much more time because you neglect the “unimportant things”.
4. Use waiting times
Nobody likes to wait! Be it at the doctors, at the checkout at the supermarket or in the almost infinitely long telephone loop. That we have to wait is unavoidable. But what we can influence is how we use our waiting time.
Below we give you 5 things you can implement when you have to wait again. You will see that this will help you to have more time during your day.
- Go through your priorities – ask yourself what you can do already now and if your priority structure is still right.
- Answer mails – try to answer mails you didn’t have the time for before.
- Maintain good relations – make a phone call or send a text message to a good friend or business partner.
- Take a break – switching off, shutting down and doing nothing is also very important.
- Reflect – you don’t always have to do something. It’s also part of processing the day so far and thinking about other things.
5. The 2 minute rule
Don’t do it later, do it now! This is the core message of the 2 minute rule. Its main purpose is to get many small tasks done without putting them off.
The core message of the 2 minute rule, is:
“Do it, if the action takes less than two minutes”David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done”
A great way of self-management that solves the worldwide problem of “procrastination”. You will be surprised how many 2-minute activities you can master even in stressful, critical situations. By completing the small tasks immediately, you will be able to devote your time to the important things. Besides the freedom, you feel less stress and still accomplish what you set out to do.
It is important that you write down the tasks that take longer than 2 minutes on a to-do list and set priorities for them. Again, you can use the methodology from tip 1 – the ABC method from Brain Tracy.
6. Learn to say NO
Many people have difficulty saying this negatively interpreted word, even though in many cases it would be appropriate. Fear of the consequences, possible rejection from other people, or because the other person will not accept the no.
The word “no” is not only an important word for your time management, but it is also important for your own well-being. If you say “yes” to everything, you fulfill the requests of others, but you also lose sight of your own priorities and feel that you have no time left. That’s why it’s even more important to say “no” more often in order to have more time for yourself.
When making a decision (yes or no), give yourself a minute to think about why and to whom you should say “yes” and to whom you should not.
7. Avoid distractions
Try to keep your focus as high as possible on the important tasks you are tackling and avoid distractions. There are several things you can do to get your tasks done faster and better without distractions.
Here are 3 little tips to get you in a focused state of mind:
- Try to leave as few things on your desk as possible, so you don’t have the chance to get distracted in the first place.
- Put your cell phone on airplane mode and put it far enough away that you can’t get to it right away.
- Use headphones to avoid external noise.
Avoiding distractions is reflected in the quality of your work, in addition to getting the task done faster. Because you approach the work with more concentration and complete more tasks in a shorter way, you in turn have more time for other things.
The quote at the beginning sums it up perfectly: you are the one who decides how to manage your time. There are many good and simple ways to have more time during the day without additional stress. You can immediately implement all these seven tips in your professional or private life and see what works best for you.
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