A couple of thoughts before we dive in…
Firstly, it’s important that you understand a simple principal about managing your time to really grasp the importance of what I’m about to share with you today.
You see, whenever you say yes to anything that comes your way, what you’re really saying is no to something else in your life.
Think about it: When you say yes to working long hours every day, what you’re really saying is no to spending more time with your loved ones.
Secondly, you have to think about how you spend your time. I’m talking about making a mental note of how you spend your time every day. 8 hours at work? 2 hour round-trip commute to work and home?, 1 hour of watching TV?, etc.
Because I can tell you this: Making the right choice about how you spend your time every day is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.
I like to call it “ruthless time management”.
Like the old saying goes, “Time is money”. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.
So with that being said, let’s take a look at 7 ways for you to get more done in less time.
1.) Schedule Your Work Time
No matter what kind of work you do, I bet I would be on pretty safe ground if I wagered that you use some sort of calendar or organizer to schedule important appointments or events.
So let me ask you a question? Is there a goal that you’re trying to accomplish? If so, is the work that’s needed to accomplish this goal scheduled on this calendar?
If not, then it should be.
Want to know why?
Once you officially schedule your work time, then what you’re saying is nothing else can disturb that block of time. It causes you to be very firm about not letting anything invade your creative time where you can work on your goal.
For example: You won’t get on the phone or answer emails during that time. You’ll turn down your friend’s invitation to come over and watch the game. And you’ll let your friends and family know not to disturb you during this time.
Tell them the more productive you are during the day, the more time you’ll have to spend with them.
2.) Put A Stop To Offline Distractions
If accomplishing your goal requires you to work from home then you’ll likely have all kinds of distractions itching to chip away at your work time. You simply must avoid these as much as possible. Here are 3 ways you can do that…
* Turn your phone off. If you’re not using a business phone during your work time, then turn it off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen 30 minutes of wasted time go by from answering an unexpected phone call or text. It’s just not worth it.
* Shut that TV off. I personally like to work with TV noise in the background. And if you do also, that’s perfectly alright. However, if you’re easily tempted to start watching it when it’s on then I would advise you to just turn it off and keep it off. Try playing a little soft music or classical musical in the background.
* Ask not to be disturbed. If you’re like me and have a family, then you have to let it be known that you are not to be disturbed. Not unless it’s an emergency. You’re not trying to be mean in anyway. You just want them to know how important it is for you to be more productive.
3.) Avoid Online Distractions
You’ll never get anything accomplished if you stop every time to check each email that lands in your inbox throughout the day. You need to set a certain time of the day to check emails and commit to that. Those little time vampires will suck precious minutes out of your work time.
I find that the end of the day works best for me.
4.) Set a Timer
Legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz became a master copywriter by using this simple, yet powerful technique. He would set his small kitchen timer for 33 minutes and then press the start button. During that time he would focus on nothing else but his writing. He couldn’t leave his chair or do anything else.
When the timer went off, he’d stop (even in mid-sentence) and go and do anything he wanted for 10 or 15 minutes. Then he’d go back and do it again.
You can do the same thing. Especially if you have trouble staying on track. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Work as hard and as fast as you can for those 20 minutes. Afterwards, take a break for 5 minutes and then do it all over again.
5.) Be Held Accountable
This is one of my favorite ways to stay focused on being more productive. Simply ask a friend, a spouse or a business colleague to check with you at the end of each day to ask you what you accomplished. It helps you to stay focused and get more done when you know someone will hold you accountable.
I actually asked my wife to help me apply this technique. And trust me, she was a strong motivator. Because I knew how bad I would feel if she asked what I had accomplished at the end of each day and I told her nothing.
6.) Put Your Chores On Auto-Pilot
Chores. If you’re like me, you hate’em. You realize how easily they suck up valuable time. So let’s look at 3 ways to put them on autopilot…
* Automate everything you can. Find a service that allows you to schedule things like online bill-payments and prescription refills.
* Do certain chores in batches. For example: try dedicating a day to laundry and finances instead of doing these separately through the week.
* Multi-task during idle time. Clean the kitchen while waiting for clothes to dry. Fold laundry while waiting on your coffee. You get the idea.
7.) Outsource and Delegate
In our work and in our lives, we all have tasks that are of little value to us that eats up our time and drains the life out of our productivity. So it would be in your best interest to outsource them. For example: if your Saturday mornings would be better spent working on accomplishing your goal, then why would you spend that time doing yard work?
It would be worth outsourcing these energy-sapping tasks even if it doesn’t make much financial sense. However, if you’re money conscious then try this: To figure out your hourly rate, divide your monthly hours by your monthly salary.
So let’s say you’re worth $200 an hour, it makes very little sense for you not to pay someone to do that yard work for a mere $50 while you focus on what really matters.
And there you have it. You now know 7 quick and easy ways to get more done in less time. These are what productive people use to stay on top.
Now you can too.