You have the same amount of time in your day as Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg (86 400 seconds to be precise), so why does it seem like they're able to do so much more?
The answer, of course, is Time Management.
Successful people have a knack of organising their time – they know when they’re most productive, they know how to get the most value out of their time, and they understand the importance of organisation.
And now with these tips, you can too…
If you search the internet for info on multitasking and look hard enough, you’ll eventually find that, according to scientists, multitasking doesn’t exist.
Bit of a silly tip then, no?
Well not really. While multitasking in THAT sense of the word might not be possible for our brains to deal with, we certainly CAN make use of time more effectively by doing more than one thing at a time.
Instead of thinking of multitasking as, for instance, checking your phone and email while completing your daily stock sheet, rather look for opportunity to multitask at times when your brain would otherwise be wandering. Consider your transit to work as an opportune time for getting your daily To Do list done, or treat it as time for strategic thinking. If you drive and can’t use your hands for writing etc., rather use the time to expand your knowledge with on-the-go training kits you can listen to while you travel.
2. Speaking of To Do Lists…
To Do lists are such a powerful tool, but only when used correctly. It’s easy to fill a To Do list with every other thought that pops into your head, “Oh, I must do this and I must do that…”
Really getting the most out of your To Do list requires you to put a bit of thought into it. What do you really want to achieve today? What do you NEED to achieve? Learn to prioritise your To Do list according to the 80/20 rule and you’ll immediately stop wasting so much time on that which doesn’t really need doing.
3. Find out what your Time is Worth
It’s quite easy to tell what your time is worth when you’re a consultant and you bill your clients by the hour, but for the rest of us it’s not so simple. Finding out what your time is really worth, however, helps you decide what you should focus on. Is this task going to add enough value to warrant doing it? Are you spending more and more of your time on low-value tasks? The only way to find out is to put a value on your time and tasks and truly weigh them up.
4. Invest in a proper Filing System
I cannot tell you how much time I’ve saved simply by having a good filing system. It may seem like the odd minute here and there that gets wasted (or for some, ten or twenty minutes…), but these always add up.
Not only does a proper filing system save you lots of time in the long-run, but it also spares your frustration. Being able to find whatever it is you’re looking for, because it’s exactly where it should be, helps to reduce your stress levels (and also ensures that your coworkers needn’t feel your wrath).
5. Schedule things Accordingly
If you’re anything like me you’re beast in the morning, able to power through those tricky tasks in no time.
Give those same tasks to me at two o’clock in the afternoon, however, and it’s a different story altogether.
Knowing that the mornings are my best time for productivity helps me schedule all those things I know I’m not going to want to do later, for early in the day. That way I free my afternoons up for the more creative things that require less “brainwork”, but have still gotten through all the nitty gritty that needs doing.