I think we can all agree that time is our most valuable resource nowadays. It seems like we are all trying to accomplish so much in 24 hours, that we are left wishing we had even more time. I struggled with this too, until one day I realized that the time I spent wishing I had more time, I was wasting it just as much.
What some people don’t recognize, is that getting more time out of your day is a conscious decision. It requires utilizing your time mindfully and for the things that you really want. This was difficult for me to grasp, but once I fixed my mindset, I felt so much more productive.
Multitasking is a double edged sword. It seems productive, but if you take a look at research it’s ultimately counterproductive. We lose time jumping between tasks when compared to completing them one at a time.If you struggle with constant distraction, try identifying the cause of the distraction. Lack of sleep, excess caffeine, or starting your day in a rush can lead to increased distraction.
Now that I’m a recovering multitasker (haha) I’ve narrowed down 5 tips and tricks that have helped me along the way. If they don’t seem to be the perfect fit for you, don’t worry. Everyone’s different, so try everything and find what works for you!
What are the 5 things?
- Know Your Most Productive Time and Use it Wisely
- Prioritize Your Tasks
- Get Comfortable Saying No
- Make Sleep a Priority
- Create a Routine and Stick to It
Know Your Most Productive Time and Use it Wisely
Are you a morning or night person?
There are very successful people in both categories, the real trick is to not fight against your nature, but embrace it. If you’re most creative at 3am, block off late night hours to yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. If you’re most productive in the morning, don’t schedule meetings in the morning and let yourself work. You can meet later in the day when you naturally slow down a bit. When it comes to being productive, I would highly recommend giving The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy a read!
Prioritize Your Tasks
Seems like the oldest rule in the book. But take notice, is your to-do list really organized by priority? The most important things when it comes to-do lists…
- Keep your list to a 5 task minimum
- Order of importance rules the list
We can all come up with a million things to do if we think long enough, but does that really keep you organized? It often leads to daunting anxiety. Keeping your list to a 5 task minimum forces you to cut out the unnecessary. Once your mark off your 5, add 5 more but keep your list prioritized and concise.
Today’s tech world makes it easy to keep your to-do’s with you, a few of my favorite tools are Google Calendar, Asana and Milanote. Check out this post to read more about what tools I use and how I utilize them in my personal life and for my business.
Get Comfortable Saying No
I’ve always been a yes man. Because saying yes opens doors right? Not always, sometimes the best opportunities come from saying no. People are more flexible than you think. Respect your time and know how to decide time well spent. You don’t need to be at every networking event, or jump on every project.
One of the best tips I’ve learned to do is change my Google Calendar default to set an event to 30 minutes. It now think twice if I ever schedule something for an hour and it has taught me that almost every meeting can be cut to 15-30 minutes. Now both myself and others are encouraged to stick to an agenda, come prepared, and finish with action items. f you struggle with saying no, check out my more in depth blog post on this It also includes my favorite books on the topic.
Make Sleep a Priority
We’ve all heard it “get 8 hours of sleep”. But I’m going to say it again it really is important. If you take some time looking into research it’s almost shocking the effects not enough (or even too much) sleep has on our brains and body. You cannot be at your most productive state if your body is fighting inflammation and fatigue. Setting a bedtime reminder on your iPhone settings can be a helpful encouragement or a reminder on a meditation app like Headspace. If you struggle with sleep like me, take a look at a nutritionist and health coach’s natural sleep remedies and allow your sleep to be a priority.
Create a Routine and Stick to it
Routines are about saving time. They’ve been glorified on social media with celebrity morning routines everywhere, but what your routine should really be doing for you is bringing consistency to your goals and time saved in your day. Mornings can be chaotic so here’s what I always prepare the night before:
- Check over tomorrow’s calendar schedule
- Tomorrow’s outfit
- Set out my vitamins and water on my bedside table
- Have an idea of what my breakfast will be
- Meal prep my lunch for tomorrow
I usually go for a smoothie breakfast because they are quick, easy and I can pack all kinds of nutrients in. Here is a link to one of my favorite morning smoothies using Majka’s Nourishing Lactation Protein Powder. At night, I block out time to prep for the morning before. Instead of watching that next episode of Netflix , I take those 30 minutes to prepare for the next day.
Implementing even just one of these tips into your daily routine will help to give you more time in your day. Hopefully this helped you to re-evaluate how you spend your precious time. Let me know if you try any or all of these out in the comments!