Need more time?
Here are 7 Quick Ways to Find More Time & Get More Done
1. Brain dump
Dump every ‘to do’ on one master list. Get them all out of your head. Literally anything you can think of that you’re carrying in your head, get it out onto paper. You’ll feel better and that stuff will not be drinking your brain power like a dehydrated house plant.
2. Plan your day
Once you have your brain dump, lift 2-3 things that absolutely MUST be done today. That is all. Not 20, 2-3. And make sure they’re not ‘write a book’ length things.
Break the big tasks down into small tasks of 15-3o minutes each, and pick 2-3 of those.
Once you get those done, you’ll feel amazing that you took down the day’s list, and you’ll not only have more time, but more motivation and momentum, to go back to your brain dump and find 1 more task you can knock out of the park.
3. Eat the darn frog*
Whatever you know you need to do but really don’t want to, do that FIRST. Dreading it is killing your productivity, so get it out of the way and you’ll be golden.
If you don’t eat the frog, you will drag your heels at everything else on your list, because the only thing you have to look forward to is eating the frog. Eat it first and watch your productivity soar.
Plus you’ll feel like a BOSS for doing what you didn’t want to do.
4. Get ruthless
Not everything you think you have to do actually needs done, or needs done by you. And if you’re being a martyr to your ironing, for example (I see you, knicker-ironers), stop. You can’t do everything and you have more important things to achieve.
Every ‘yes’ is a ‘no’ so if you’re saying ‘yes’ to insignificant things (insignificant by YOUR definition), what might you in effect be saying ‘no’ to?
Prioritise what matters most!
5. Log your time
This sounds counter-intuitive, but it works! Hang on through your knee-jerk reaction that I’ve lost the plot on this one, ok?
Take a day and literally take 1 minute every 15 minutes to log every single thing you’ve achieved in the preceding 15 minutes.
This sounds like an insane exercise, but it is actually amazing how much you can get done in 15 minutes. Prepare to be amazed at how much you actually do get done and how good your current productivity actually already is!
…You’ll also see just how much time you spend looking at Facebook and animal videos… 😉
6. Timetable it
This is another cool productivity strategy for feeling like you’re winning the day.
You plan what needs done and if you know you have to e.g. reply to 5 emails that will take you 5 minutes each, you block off 15 minutes for each.
Now when you get them done in 25 minutes (or less!) you will feel like a winner, because you’re over 3/4 hour ahead of schedule- BOOM!
7. Divide and conquer!
Not everything that needs done needs to be done by you. Whether it’s a co-worker who can be given an opportunity to shine (or just do the copying for you), or a child who can learn a new skill by doing their own laundry, look for things that don’t absolutely have to be done by you, and then look for an opportunity to hand them over to someone else so that you can be productive doing what only you can do.
Personal note- pride and playing the martyr can come into play here, as can a lack of skill in asking for help… something I for one am still working on. We can also think that it would take too long to train someone else to do what we do, but seriously? What’s it costing to have you do these tasks? Again, this is something I am still getting the hang of, so as you stick with me, I’ll keep you updated on what I’m learning as I go along!
BONUS: One of my favourite productivity hacks
8. One tab challenge
This is a real brain training exercise. We often end up with a bunch of tabs open on our computer, effectively training our brains to be distracted.
Having multiple tasks on the go at once DOES NOT make you more productive. In fact, it kills productivity, because your brain has to switch back and forth between tasks and doesn’t instantly pick up where it left off, so it costs you time and energy.
Trying to ‘multi-task’ on things that require focus is a sure-fire way to feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere. Close down every tab you don’t need open for the task in hand, and practice focusing on that ONE TASK at a time.
Oh and put your phone out of sight too. It’s distracting you too 😉
Which of these tips are you going to try first? Let me know in the comments- and I’d also love to hear YOUR top tips for getting more done!
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*The expression comes from Mark Twain, who said that if the list of things you had to do included ‘eat a live frog’, you’re best to do that first, and then nothing else on your list would seem so bad.