What do Richard Branson, Bill Gates, David Beckham, Barack Obama, David Cameron, Alan Sugar, me and you all have in common?
All of them have exactly the same amount of time to get things done, 24 hours. Realizing that you’ve got the same amount of time as the people who get the biggest and most things done will help put into perspective that everyone has the same 24 hours, they just use their time well.
Like a lot of people wanting to take the next step in their life and wanting to go from good to great I used to find myself saying ‘I could do it, but I don’t have enough time’.
I would start my day with a list, get to the end of the day and I had done nothing I had hoped I would have added numerous additional tasks to it, that I won’t get the chance to do the next day either, sound familiar?
Thankfully I was able to overcome that excuse. Quite simply by putting back into perspective that we all have 24 hours I looked at ways of maximising my day. I want to share the ones I found most effective.
With just a few simple steps you can find the time and make it happen.
1. Become a morning person.
Morning hours are the most productive hours. We are programmed biologically to be morning people so don’t go against the grain. Becoming a morning person allows you to get more done earlier in the day, giving you a more leisurely and less hectic afternoon and evening when fatigue naturally sets in.
2. Don’t overbook your diary.
It’s easy to fill a daily dairy with work activities, household jobs, and running errands. Having a full diary doesn’t allow for unexpected challenges without disrupting the entire day. Allowing some additional time after each event, allows the unexpected to happen and keeps everything running smoothly.
3. Make a must do list.
Just by having a ‘to do list’ is starting you off on the wrong foot. A ‘to do list’ is an affirmation to yourself that’s ‘to do’ but you’re not making it a must do so you put it off. Next time you write a list at the top write ‘Must Do List’ and underline it twice. Also by knowing our priorities makes it easy to identify and eliminate those activities that aren’t a ‘Must Do’.
4. Say no more often.
Finding more time might come down to saying no to things that don’t lend value. It’s up to you to stop the automatic yes and start being more protective of your time.
5. Set a timer for meetings.
While not possible for everyone, minimizing meeting times or at the very least making them more efficient will add valuable time to the day. Just by simply saying I only have X time and making the person you are meeting conscious of that fact will prevent meetings over running when you don’t want them to.
6. Change your routine.
Habits keep us going most of the time, but it’s possible to grow out of a routine. Create a more efficient one. Something as simple as going to the gym in the morning rather than mid-day will save you time as you are only having to get ready for the day once. Depending on your getting ready routine could save you anywhere from 15 minutes a day to a few hours!
7. Pick Up the phone.
Email and texting have become the norm for communication, but so much gets lost in translation. A 2 minute phone conversation is more efficient than a chain of ten emails trying to clarify a problem.
8. Delegate or Outsource.
For some reason, we get it into our minds that we have to do everything ourselves. The reality is, we should be spending time on the things we enjoy, and that are in our area of expertise. Delegate or outsource everything else when possible. I use peopleperhour.com for a lot of things, it’s brilliant (and cheap!).
9. Shut the door.
You can eliminate distractions by simply shutting the door and focusing on the task at hand. It takes much longer to complete a task when we are constantly being interrupted by visitors, the phone, email notifications and open browser tabs. Close them all down and do the work.
10. Keep things tidy and organised.
Spending time finding a file and locating notes make it hard to be efficient. Create a place for everything and put everything in its place.
The Golden Rule: Have less sleep.
This rule has been a game changer for me. Having 2 hours less sleep a night gains you a whole extra month in your year! A whole month! There is a bit of preparation that is involved and that’s to do with diet. If you put petrol in a diesel car then you’re not shocked when it doesn’t work properly yet many of us moan that we are always tired. A good diet and regular exercise is a game changer. I use formidable food, it’s great healthy food and its already cooked too so I gain even more time by not having to cook.
A challenge for you: Implement these 11 rules for just one week and see the difference it makes.
Until next time… make it happen.
p.s. Have you downloaded my free ebook Staying Positive: 10 Simple Tips to Staying Positive? Click here to download it now!