Getting more done in less time is a skill you can learn. There’s one thing that’s certain in life, there will always be things to do. Whether you’re living in a big city, on a farm or in a remote tribe there are always things that need doing. Managing those things is something we’re never taught, at least not in school or at university.
Google ‘time management’ and you get 159 million results. That’s a scary amount and it means there’s a lot of people who are struggling to manage their time well. We all have the same amount of time in a day and mostly, it’s our choice how we spend it. So how do you make wise choices?
Here are some ways to get more done in less time and to help you work out how you are filling your days.
WHAT DO YOUR DAYS LOOK LIKE?
To begin with, look at how you’re spending your time now. Then look at how you want to spend your time and merge the two. It is possible to get more done in less time. You can’t keep doing things the way you’ve been doing them because if nothing changes nothing will change.
Before you start, the big hairy audacious question is; what’s on your plate and is it too full?
As a new Mum with a part-time business as a health practitioner, I started seeing a ‘life coach’ to help me get more done. I felt that I was juggling all the balls in the air and all I needed was some time management skills to help me organise things better. When my coach sat me down and said ‘Amanda, time management is not your problem, you are trying to fit too much into a 24 hour period and it just isn’t possible’. My first thought was ‘Well, clearly you don’t know what you’re talking about, I’d better find someone who does’. Fortunately for me, I stuck it out and it turns out that my life coach was right.
There was so much on my plate it was overflowing.
When you go to a smorgasbord dinner and start at one end. By the time you finish your plate is so full of so many different things. You sit down and look at your plate saying ‘I can’t eat all that’ and promptly do before you get up for more because it all looks so yummy. How much better would you have felt if you were selective in what you chose, with a small amount on your plate? You could really enjoy your meal without feeling unwell. Your days can be like this too, with space and clarity.
How are you spending your days?
Are they with intent or are you running from one thing to the next and scheduling so many things in one day that you’re always running late and things get chaotic. Crazy even.
If you work full time as an employee, you have even less time to manage but it’s still easy to pile your plate with too many things. Social media and TV (with cable and Netflix) can be torturous time sappers if you let them. How you are spending your time is a choice.
Start by looking at what you are putting on your plate. Are you saying yes to too many things that you’re not enjoying doing? Getting more done in less time starts with looking at what you need to get done and if all those things are really what you want in your life.
When you’re doing the things you enjoy and filling your days with those, getting more done is easy because your plate has space on it.
WRITE A LIST OF ALL THE THINGS YOU DO
Start by writing a list of all the things you do, the negotiable things like meetings, committees, shopping, surfing the net, TV, meals out. Give each thing a fun factor out of ten and assess whether there are some things that you could do without. Ignore all the reasons why you do those things and just ask, am I enjoying having that thing in life? If the answer is no, it’s time to let it go.
You can do more in less time by starting here.
Taking a helicopter view of what you’re filling your days with and then asking yourself what you’d like to be filling your days with.
Doing this alone isn’t easy and I’m giving you permission to ask for help. Share this with a friend if it helps. There are so many time management tips it’s overwhelming. This is the best place to start. Work out what you’re doing and if you’re enjoying what you’re choosing to do? By letting go of what you’re not enjoying you’ll be more energised and have more time to spend on the things you love which is what life’s all about and you’ll be getting more done in less time.
What does your plate look like? Overflowing or neatly placed with space in between. I’d love to know in the comments. You’ve got this!