Too busy? Try these time management tips
I have spoken to so many people recently who tell me they are just too busy! They find juggling work, home and family really difficult and are fed up with feeling that they are constantly rushed off their feet. I hope that these simple time management tips will help to relieve the pressure.
Do you feel that time runs away with you? That you simply don’t have time to do all the tasks that you need to do? Do you put things off, because you simply don’t have time to deal with them? Does your to-do list never seem to end, as every day there are new tasks to complete?
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of tasks that you need to do, it can be incredibly stressful. It affects your mood, and your sleeping. It also affects your ability to be productive, which is then of course, a vicious circle!
I know the feeling. I have been there. However, I have recently implemented a new way of working and I cannot believe the difference.
The biggest time management tips
I read an amazing book recently, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, that talked about Newton time and Einstein time. With Newton time we feel that time is something that is imposed upon us and often when we are busy, we feel that we don’t have enough time. We feel that time is scare, and we are always trying to catch up, because we don’t have enough time. This was totally true for me. I would wake up every morning early, already panicking about all the things I needed to do, and already complaining about how I didn’t have enough time. All that did was make me stressed, cross and totally unproductive. And guess what? I didn’t get everything done!
Hendricks also talked about Einstein time. The theory is that we are the creators of time, and that we can create enough time to do everything that we need to do. The first thing to do with Einstein time, is to train the brain to think that you DO have enough time to do everything. Remembering that has helped me immensely. Everytime I feel that pressure in my chest, and feel my heart racing as I think of all the things that I need to do, I simply remind myself of Einstein time. I have all the time in the world, to do the things that I need to do, to do the things that matter to me, and I will get them done.
How does it work?
I don’t know how it works, but I tell you something – it does!
It seems to free my brain from a place of panic and stress, to a place of peace and calmness, which then allows it to figure out what I need to do, and when. As a result, I am way more productive when I am working, and the tasks get done so much more quickly. Thus I have more time!
This video explains the difference really well.
Alongside Einstein time, I have used these simple time management tips, to really cut through the crap and get my tasks done quickly.
At the start of each day write down, on a separate post-it, all the things that you need to do that day. Also jot down beside them roughly how long each task will take. You are then going to put them into some sort of order.
Delegate! Are there any tasks that could be done effectively (or effectively enough!) by someone else? Could your partner phone the bank? One of the kids post that letter? A colleague book the staff night out this time? Hopefully you will manage to get rid of some of your tasks!
Now, which is the task that you like the look of the least? The one that you have perhaps been avoiding, or it has been preying on your mind, but hasn’t quite made it to your to-do list yet? Put that post-it right at the top of the list! That is the one that you will do first. This is amazingly powerful, because it makes you feel accomplished, frees your mind and motivates you to get on with the rest of the tasks.
Now look at which tasks are going to gain you the most? Which are going to give you the most “bang for your buck” if you like? Put those post-its just below the first one.
Now look at your day and identify any slots of time that are available for tackling your to-do list. Take your post-its and pop them into the available time slots, juggling them about as necessary, until you are happy that every job has an allocated time.
Many of us think we are capable of multi-tasking, but in actual fact we are not multi-tasking, we are simply flitting really quickly between different jobs. It has been proven that this actually reduces productivity, and we are able to work far more effectively if we focus only on one thing at a time. After being distracted from a task, such as by answering the phone, checking emails, or chatting to a colleague, it can take up to 25 minutes to get back to the previous level of focus! If you consider how many times you get distracted in a day, then you can start to consider just how much time you are wasting by trying to multi-task.
You have already estimated how long your task is going to take you, so as you start the task, set a timer to go off in that number of minutes. Then get down to work, focusing on that task only and shutting out all other distractions. Put your phone on silent, shut down all other browser windows, lock your door…whatever it takes to get the peace to focus solely on your task.
As you are setting your timer to complete your tasks, build in a 10 minute break for every hour that you work. If you set a timer for 50 minutes, then have a 10 minute break at the end of that period, to get up, move around, grab a coffee, check social media or whatever you want to do. Make sure that you don’t stay in the same position though – getting up and moving will help you to be more ready to continue after your break.
The more you disrupt your brain, by constantly checking notifications, emails or social media pages, the better it becomes at this. Even when you are working, your brain is still thinking about notifications and is flickering about, rather than focusing on the work at hand. If you can reward your brain for staying focused, then it will reward you by working hard for you. Train your brain to become better at focusing, by catching yourself every time you become distracted, notice it and refocus on your task. The more you do it, the better your brain will become at remaining focused and the more productive you will be. Try it……you will be surprised at how much quicker you will be able to get through things.
Apparently chewing gum it helps to get more oxygen to the brain, which helps the brain to focus and work more effectively. It’s worth a try!
I hope that these ideas help you to be more productive in the time that you have available and help to relieve some of the stress that can be brought on by feeling under pressure constantly.
Don’t let it go on
The pressure of knowing that your finances really need sorted is another thing that can really drain you emotionally, and can result in you being less productive in every day life. This Finance for Freedom course will help you to master your money worries, in a quick and easy way.
You might also enjoy this post with loads of tips from teachers about how to reduce workload in teaching.
My freebie download with 10 time-saving money tricks, might help you to create a few more hours in your life, and help you to more easily live in Einstein time.