We underestimate what we can accomplish in a single day, and overestimate what we can accomplish in a few days.
So many of us are “busy”, but not accomplishing anything. We procrastinate and push things aside thinking we will get to them later, but we never do. Why is that?
When we are unsure of how to accomplish something, it’s due to a lack of information and/or a lack of action and experience. In order to have productive time management, you have to get in control.
10 Steps to Produce Better Time Management Skills:
#1 – A Good Morning Routine
Taking control of your day, starts when you first wake up! Without a good morning routine, you will not have control over your morning. We must take care of ourselves first if we are to be there for other people.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Make your bed
- Drink a full glass of water
- Be grateful
- Write down your thoughts
- Listen to a podcast
#2 – Writing Out Your Day
So many underestimate the power of a calendar. Whether you are old school and like the use of a physical planner, or you are a google calendar person, write out your entire day.
Regularity in your schedule helps remove stress and allows yourself to have expectations throughout your day. Give yourself moments of peace and stillness too!
#3 Eat Healthy
While eating healthy might not seem to be a top priority for productive time management, we think otherwise. Our brain functions the best when we eat a nutritious and balanced diet.
According to Harvard University, poor nutrition will even affect our brain’s ability to process emotions. The bases of time management is self control, and in order to be in control, you must be thinking clearly.
#4 Eliminate Distractions
In order to be productive with your time, you must eliminate the things that are distracting you. Whether you are being distracted by social media apps or constantly checking your phone for the next text message, you have to set boundaries for yourself in order to be efficient.
You know yourself better than anyone else, and therefore you know your weaknesses. Set yourself up for success by muting your phone or having a clean work space. Put yourself in control of your environment.
#5 Read Time Management Books
Knowledge is power. There are so many incredible books that can help further your productivity skills. Most of these books come with years of research and development.
There is an amazing book called “Deep Work” by Cal Newport that describes in detail how to increase focus and get things done.
If you are a busy person it can be hard to push tasks on to other people. This is not because you do not think it will help, but because you might believe that you would do the task more efficiently or that you don’t have time to ask.
Part of being a good leader is empowering others to help. Learn to be the leader of your own life. You can save so much time delegating things like grocery shopping, dry cleaning, dog walkers, house cleaning services, and even hiring a virtual assistant.
Depending on how much you can invest in your delegation, you can start to buy your time back. We know that this must seem a little far fetched for some of you, but some of these services are cheaper than you think.
InstaCart for example has a $150 annual fee for groceries to be delivered to you. This saves you time and you can add things to your list throughout the week so that you don’t forget anything on your list. It also helps you not impulsively buy when you see something random at the store.
#7 Learn to Say No
If you want to be productive with your time, you cannot say yes to everything. Regardless of how much you want to do something, you need to be realistic with yourself.
Sometime you will have to say no. Sometimes you will upset people, but you need to do what is necessary to not put added pressure or stress in your life.
#8 Schedule “Me Time”
Regardless of how busy you are, if you do not schedule time out for yourself, you will not be on your A-game. Everyone unique in their own way, and therefore our core values all differentiate.
It is important to understand yourself enough to know what you personally need in order to stay sane. Maybe you need 30 minutes of quiet time in the morning, perhaps a daily workout, personal growth could be important to you so you read or write daily.
Whatever you personally need, you have to schedule it into your day. If you choose to neglect yourself, your other priorities will not be completed to the best of your abilities.
In an airplane, they tell you to put your mask on first before assisting a child. This same type of scenario applies to your life. If you do not take care of yourself first, how can you be there for everything else?
#9 Develop a Positive Mindset
Sometimes our days can look intimidating, especially when there is a lot to accomplish or when a deadline is near. When approaching your day, you must learn how to remain positive.
This can be easily better said than done, but if you are negative, scatterbrained, or rushed it will only complicate things.
Taking a deep breath before beginning a difficult task, smiling more, and focusing on the outcome of your goal for the day will give you a clearer head space.
#10 It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect
Removing perfectionism can be one of the stress relieving qualities that you can develop.
We are not saying to do a half-ass job on a project or for you to care less about an important task, but maybe you don’t have to spend a full hour getting ready in the morning, maybe you can make a coffee at home instead of grabbing the perfect latte at a cafe, maybe you can skip the full 1.5 hour workout and go on a 30 minute jog.
Everything you do doesn’t have to be “perfect”. You are in charge of your life. You make the rules. Who is to say what is right and what isn’t? It’s up to you to decide.
Taking Control of Your Life
The secret to accomplishing anything is to understand that you are in control of your choices and your actions.
By taking charge of your day, you can focus on the things that are truly important. Set goals for yourself, delegate the unimportant aspects of your day, and keep a positive head space.
You can accomplish anything you put your mind to, but having a plan in place will only make life more efficient.