– How often do you say you don’t have enough time either in your personal life, career or in business?
– How are you using your time now and how will you use it in the future?
– How often do you take time to breathe in life and take in what is actually happening here and now?
– How often do you look to make changes in the way you are doing things?
– How well do you manage the key things that need to be done to make best use of the time you have?
Here are 10 ways to make a real difference in how you spend your time. Try them out, try other things, but most importantly, think about how you are spending your most prized resource and make some changes!!!
1. Drop things! Log how you spend your time closely for a few days. See how you are using it and wasting it. Think about what you are getting back from the activities you are doing and which activities could possibly give you so much more!!
2. Organise. Do you plan and estimate the time it will take for tasks you have to do? Look at your ideal day, week, month and year and see how you are matching up against this ideal. Keep to allotted times for tasks and don’t go over. If it is a task you don’t enjoy, do it in short bursts and try and build this. Remember to plan in rest or play time. As you move forwards, review the estimates you have made and improve your planning in the future! Most importantly, don’t react to things on the spur of the moment. Think about a new requirement that has hit you and decide what to do about it. If you need to change you plans, then change them!!
3. Goals. Stand back and look at the goals you really want to achieve in life for yourself and others. Are you living life in line with these goals and your grander purpose in life? It is vital to have goals in key areas of your life and to move towards them. A life or business coach can really help with this. We all need dreams, but we also need to have some organisation and structure to achieve them and we need to ACT!
4. Be realistic. When you are planning the use of your time, ensure you don’t overload. There is something to be said for parallel tasking, but is a split in focus really going to give you the results you want? It is fine to have background tasks going while you have one main task to focus on, but don’t split your time, focus and quality over two or more foreground tasks. This is where quality goes and stress comes in.
5. Delegate. Wherever you can and wherever it is fair delegate things out to others. They may not do things 100% how you would wish, but you can help that along. The alternative is for you to do things in a way that is nothing like 100% how you would wish and that is more stressful1!
6. Focus on important stuff. This is very often not always what seems to be the most urgent. Plan in time to sit back and reflect on what you are doing. What changes could you make that would really help you ongoing and in the future? Time spent in this area can add great benefit and make your use of time much more productive. A small amount of time in creating a new system or approach can save lots of time elsewhere! Always look for things that will make an impact!!
7. Enjoy the moment! Don’t be thinking of the next task you have lined up or what you should have done differently. Your planning time is when you look back at things and plan forwards (oh and by the way you should totally enjoy your planning time too!!). Give each moment the fullest attention you can.
8. Use tools and training. Lists and diaries (especially some of the more sophisticated ones) are great tools for you to prioritise and organise your time. You can also use spreadsheets and project planning software, but start simple and if it works for you, then fine. Try not to have long term lists though, with tasks that stay on forever. Use daily lists that are realistic. One good way to control your use of time is to use a timer or stopwatch. Make sure you are keeping to allotted times. Set and beat targets for regular tasks.
9. Chill Out, Rest and Play. How much sleep do you really need? Don’t kid yourself you can make do with 4 or 5 hours. Sleep is a vital use of time. Make sure you have time to wind down at night and get a good 7+ hours sleep as frequently as possible. It will catch up with you otherwise! Always make sure you have some rest and play time too and do something for somebody else regularly. It is very good for the soul!
10. Health and Fitness. Set aside time to exercise, eat properly, sleep and holiday. And switch off from all the other things and really enjoy this time. You deserve it!
After you have tracked how you are using your time at the moment, think about the 3 most important things you should be doing, either in your work or personal life (or both). Ditch 3 things that are not the best use of your time and try and delegate 3 other things out. Then plan to use the time you have gained to focus on those important areas!
How much time has this saved you for more important areas?
Where would you be now if you had not wasted time in the past?
Use the time you have to make a real impact on your Life, Career and Business!
Hi, my name is Tony Brooks. After over 20 years in IT, Project Management, Business Management, People Development and Academic Psychology, I establised a Personal and Business Coaching Company 12 months ago in the UK – Building Bridges Life Coaching Services Ltd.
I have a real fascination in relation to what really makes people tick and I love to help people to make much better use of the time they have in their Personal life, Careers and Businesses.
I offer a FREE NO OBLIGATION Coaching session, through my company, as an introduction to the Coaching Services I provide. I would love to hear from anyone who wants to take their Life, Career or Businesses to a higher level with much greater success.
Best Wishes Tony Brooks