Eliminate These 3 Time Suckers
Most people experience these timewasters at some point in their lives. These are three main time sucks you should eliminate from your life as soon as you can.
Whether it’s personal, work-related, or social, these three things waste your time.
Most people are not able to switch quickly from task to task, yet interruptions are common problems people encounter when trying to improve their productivity.
In order to remove disruption from your day, create and stick to a schedule for each thing that you need to do.
Ensure that you inform those around you not to interrupt you during specific times of the day or if you have put up a specific sign.
Even if you work in a cubicle, you can stop most interruptions with some sort of signal to your coworkers.
Lack of Planning
When you don’t plan something out, you are just winging it.
When you sit down and write out a plan, it gives you an opportunity to test the waters and to anticipate roadblocks, bottlenecks, and other issues that cause time management issues throughout your day.
Every day you should save some time from your day to engage in short term, medium-term, and long-term planning.
Whether it’s losing weight, getting your home organized, or starting and running a business, plans made with SMART goals will always perform better than going by the seat of your pants.
Thinking You Have to Do It All Yourself
It doesn’t matter who you are, but you really do not have to do everything yourself.
If you’re raising kids, starting a business, running a business, or running a household, there are people to help.
You can engage your spouse, your kids, other family members, but you can also pay people to do the things you don’t want to do.
Plus, believe it or not, someone else might do the task much better than you can do it.
Don’t forget that you can also use technology to boost your productivity and gain more time in your day.
For example, if you automate your bill paying, savings, and investments that can remove hours of work each month from your schedule.
Once you stop these time wasters, you’ll start seeing a massive difference in your productivity. The benefits will be less stress while also getting more done.
Productivity Boost: 3 Planning Tips
When you want to get more done in a day, the best thing you have going for you is a good plan based on smart goals, but you can do better by removing distractions and setting and sticking to deadlines.
Set Your Daily Goals and Objectives
You should be working with a long-term plan to create your medium-term and short-term plans and actions.
If you plan right, you’ll be able to set daily goals and objectives that allow you to finish any project or task on time and under budget.
The reason this work is that you start with the result you want, a time you want the result, and then work your way backward in your calendar to today planning small actions that will lead to the result you want.
The reason this works is that it breaks the deliverable down to small steps to complete and then compiles the work done into the result you want.
For example, if you have a goal to write a 100,000-word novel in six months, you’d start with the due date, and work your way in your schedule until today, listing chronologically the task that you need to do to constitute being done on the due date you’ve set.
Once you know what will move you toward your desired result, it’s also important to avoid and remove distractions to take you away from the realistic schedule you set for yourself.
For example, if you need to write 100,000 words and be finished with the novel in six months, you’d add writing, editing, cover art, book matter, marketing, and other actions that need to be done.
If you can only work on this project three days a week, 4 hours each day due to other obligations you’ll have to list it in the calendar that way and work on taking away anything that will interrupt you during that time from TV, to email to kids or others walking in and interrupting you.
Do not try to multitask if you really want things done on time.
Stick to Deadlines and Timelines
Using the same 100,000 words, and six months at 3 days a week, 4 hours a day, you can set your timeline and then devote to stick to the timetable.
The way to make a realistic timeline and deadline is to know how long it takes you to do things and what is happening with the rest of your schedule.
If you schedule everything you need to do, including breaks, showering, working, social, personal, and professional (everything you do), it’s going to be much easier to set and stick to realistic timelines and deadlines.
Planning strategically is the most critical part of ensuring that you increase your productivity.
Without a real plan, there is no way to know what has to be done and when, and you’ll suffer from mistakes, roadblocks, and bottlenecks due to not thinking everything out.
Avoid Falling for These 3 Time Management Myths
If you’ve been reading about time management for a while, which you probably, have since everyone is interested in being more productive; you probably have fallen for at least one of these myths.
Multitasking Helps You Get More Done Faster
If you’ve ever read job advertisements, you probably see them asking for “natural multitaskers” or “good multitaskers” as if this is good to be.
The problem is scientifically, you cannot multitask. No one can. As a human, you can only truly focus on one thing at a time.
A person who multitasks might get by and do a good enough job, but if they really focused, they’d do better.
Study after study shows that multitasking reduces productivity, increases stress, and it’s not even actually possible and in some cases, maybe dangerous.
You Can’t Get More Time
This is something that a lot of people will be surprised to read.
While it’s true that you’re all born with the same number of hours in a day, and most of you will live to an average of 78.69 years old, you can buy other people’s time.
Because of this fact, you can get more time if you can find the funds to do it.
You Can Manage Your Time
When we talk about time management, we’re not really talking about managing time as much as we’re talking about managing the schedule you set for yourself, ensuring you have enough time and energy to do what needs to be done in the time given to get it done.
This requires that you understand how long it takes you to accomplish the task, knowing how to do the task right, which technology or equipment you need, and that you have the right resources to get it done.
All of this requires planning.
One of the most liberating things you can do for yourself is to destroy the myths that are in your mind as fact.
It’s hard sometimes to realize that so much of what you think is true isn’t.
We all have enough time to get things done, if only we know and implement the ways that work best for us moving forward.
Why Do You Procrastinate?
If you have accepted that you are a procrastinator, there are many reasons that you do it.
You may do it for entirely different reasons than those listed, but for most people, they fall into one or more of these reasons for procrastination.
- Fear of Failure – Many people don’t want to start something and finish it because they’re afraid they’ll do a lousy job, and they will fail. They often think if they’re not the best that they’ve failed too.
- Fear of Success – Likewise, some people are terrified of being a success. That might seem strange, but being successful in something can cause a lot of pressure on a person.
- You Don’t Like Doing It – This is a widespread reason for avoiding things that you need to do. The idea is if you really don’t like doing it, and someone else can do it for you, stop doing it. If it’s something you still must do, do it first, get it out of the way, and stop agonizing over it.
- You Don’t Know How to Do It – Sometimes a person puts off doing something because they don’t trust that they really know how to do it correctly, so they get stuck. If you don’t know how to do something, instead of putting it off, learn how or find someone who knows to help you.
- Lack of Desire or Motivation – If you put things off due to not having desire or modification, this is just an excuse. It comes from the idea that everything you do needs to be something you’re jazzed about doing. This is where “writer’s block” comes from. For this problem, just start doing the thing for at least five minutes, and you’re likely to overcome it.
- You Don’t Like Authority – For some people, they procrastinate because they simply don’t like anyone telling them when or what to do. Even if you’re not openly defiant, you have to ask yourself if this is one of your issues or not. If you feel resentful when given a deadline and start ignoring it right away, this might be an issue for you. The only way to overcome this is to realize that you’re only hurting yourself when you miss deadlines.
If you notice you’re procrastinating, missing deadlines, pull a lot of overnighters, it’s essential to figure out why you’re doing it to yourself.
Once you do, you can address those issues and overcome procrastination tendencies.
6 Ways to Improve Your Focus
One way to be more productive is to use your time better.
If you can focus on what you’re doing and not everything else going on around you, you’ll find that you tend to work faster and to a higher standard.
- Practice Meditation – Learning to meditate can go far in helping you improve your focus. Even if you don’t know how to meditate, taking a deep breath while clearing your mind before you transition to any new activity will enhance your focus exponentially.
- Well Made To-Do Lists – When you make a to-do list, it should be thought out and planned according to the things you need to do. For example, if you need to do some data entry and you know you are better at that in the morning, schedule it for the morning.
- Get Some Exercise – One way to clear your mind before you start something that requires your focus is to get some exercise. A hard workout before mind work is a great way to improve concentration. Go for a leisurely walk in nature to help you get focused.
- Declutter Your Environment – Studies show that if your environment is cluttered, it will be challenging to focus. Clutter causes stress and anxiety, and having either of those in your life and mind at the time you’re trying to accomplish something will make it difficult for you to focus.
- Declutter Your Mind – If you have a lot of thoughts circling through your mind, it will be hard to focus. Depending on the season you are in life, you may need professional help such as a counselor or life coach to help you move past this issue. Meditation can help with this too.
- Take a Break – If you have trouble focusing, add in planned breaks at least between tasks. This can help you switch your mind and train it to move on from the last thing to the next thing. Try walking outside for ten minutes.
Using these ways to improve your focus will go a long way in helping you do accomplish more and do less of the frustrating stuff.
The thing to remember is that you don’t need motivation; you only need to build better habits doing the things that need to be done in a focused way.