Have you said to yourself this week? "I'm so busy", "Where did the time go", "I wish I had more time for....". Your answer is probably yes!
As professionals and executives, we often get caught up with day to day activities and never know where the time has gone at the end of each day. We never seem to get the important things done and we always leave work or end the day feeling unaccomplished. How do you get more done, feel accomplished each day and do what you really want to do? How do you find time to do the things that make you happy and matter? Here are some steps you can take: 1. Go back to your vision, goals and responsibilities. What do you really want? What are your goals and what are your values? What are your roles and responsibilities? Go back and look at them. 2. Discover what you are actually doing with your time. While we're are going about our day, we're usually not truly conscious of what we spend our time on. Most of the things we do are done unconsciously. It's amazing what we can discover when we truly measure and track things. Track your typical day or a few days using an activity log to see what you really spend time on. You can download a template here (this is where many will not take action because it's work and it seems like a time waster). 3. Review the Activity log and see whether 80% of your activities match up with your goals, desires, core values, and responsibilities. If not, therein lies your problem. 4. Work on determining which of your activities are non value added and which ones are. Use the template provided. Usually everything we do on a daily basis falls into Four categories: a. High Importance / High Urgency (Actual project work, performing in your role, things we definitely have to do) b. High Importance / Low Urgency (Spending time with family, reading, training, improvement work, preventive maintenance, etc) c. Low Importance / High Urgency (Fighting fires, dealing with problems that could have been prevented, answering and attending to unimportant calls and walk ins, urgent requests from others, spending too much time on a task you're not skilled at, not using the right tools) d. Low Importance / Low Urgency (surfing the web, non value added long conversations, sitting idle, watching TV, etc) If you're spending 80% of your time with the last two types of activities, then you are not getting tangible results, you will always wonder where all the time went and you will not reach your goals. 5. Begin to schedule activities that line up with your goals, responsibilities and values, and fall into category a and b above, into a planner that is easily accessible and visible. You can do this once a week and tweak as needed during the week. See here to learn how to effectively use a planner. 6. Delegate activities that you can. Empower others to take on some of your responsibilities. 7. Use systems, tools and templates to help you streamline the way you work. Eliminate what doesn't work or add any value. 8. Become more organized. 9. Do the first things first. For example wake up and pray first. At work, do the most appropriate thing first. Do your planning and make your list first. Doing the first thing first may mean not opening your office door or not working in your cubicle till a certain time. 10. Multitask responsibly - For example, listen to Podcasts (category b activity) on your way to any where, or while cooking and folding laundry....and no, I don't mean eating lunch at your desk everyday. 11. Learn to say "NO". Don't make commitments you know you can't keep and that don't align with your values, goals and purpose. When you say yes to everything, you are probably always working on things that don't align with your values, goals or passion. Therefore, you are not really getting things done but spending time on activities based on other people's agenda.
12. Batch similar tasks and activities together. For example, you don't have to travel for 30 minutes to department A today and travel to department B tomorrow if they are in the same area. Make both visits tomorrow and get more stuff done today.
Do you find these tips helpful? If you need more accountability with managing your time and improving your productivity, or need help with systems, let us know. Ask us about our Mission Accomplished: Driving Results as Leader Workshop. Discover what is keeping your team from staying productive. Learn, discuss, and apply the strategies to help you and your team become more productive, get more done so that you can reach your goals and navigate your team to success. Book the Course Now or take the online course, Mission Accomplished
To your Success!
Leadership Success Coach, Trainer, Facilitator
The Growth Studio
John Maxwell Team