Have you ever wondered how you can have more time in each day to do what actually matters to you?
Over the past several years, I've worked on being intentional about how I spend my time. Here are some of the things I've found helpful.
1. Take inventory
If you're trying to manage your money better, the first thing you do is take inventory of how you're currently spending money. You'll record all the money you spend during a given month so you know where it's currently going. Why?
In order to get your budget under control, you need to know your starting point. Once you know your starting point, you can make a plan and "tell your money where to go."
It's the same concept with time. Unless you know how you're currently spending your time, it's impossible to improve how you're managing it.
Here's why writing down how you're currently spending your time helps you:
- It gives you an objective measurment of your current situation.
- It helps you to be honest with yourself. It can be very eye-opening to realize how much time you actually waste on things that aren't important to you.
Write down how you spend your time for two different days: one work day and one weekend day. It will amaze you how many little unimportant things you do add up to be total time-suckers.
2. Start decluttering your schedule
Although our time here is limited, we all have the potential to make a lasting impact on the world. It's up to us to spend our time here wisely.
If you really want to spend your time doing what you love, it's important to start dumping unimportant, time-sucking activities from your schedule, and delegating certain tasks. As John C. Maxwell says,
"If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make big impact, learn to delegate."
Can you hire your neighbor kids to do your yard work so you have an extra couple hours each week to work on the business you long to start? Can you order groceries online and save yourself the time of actually walking the aisles? Not every task you do requires you, and when you're willing to let go of some control and have someone else do some of your tasks, you can spend your time on what matters to you.
3. Set a schedule for each day
Writing out your schedule each evening for the following day is incredibly helpful. It helps you make sure you're spending time focusing on your priorities each day and helps you maximize your hours. Setting a schedule for the day will help you avoid wasting a lot of time on mind-numbing, time-sucking activities.
4. Give yourself deadlines and batch your tasks
As you're working on your schedule for the day, take advantage of one of my favorite productivity hacks: Parkinson's Law. Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Therefore, you'll likely increase your effort if you have less time to do a task. Here's an example of Parkinson's Law: How amazingly clean you can make your house when someone calls and says they'll be stopping by in 15 minutes. When time is limited, your effort skyrockets.
Use Parkinson's Law to your advantage in your daily life by using time blocks. Give yourself a set amount of minutes to accomplish a goal, and then take a planned, timed break. Knowing you have limited time to accomplish the goal will maximize your productivity during the timed work session. Batching your tasks (devoting a set amount time to a group of similar tasks before moving on to the next group of tasks) can be a very helpful way to organize your schedule and maximize productivity.
I'm on a mission to help you spend your time doing what matters to you.
I can help you spend your time doing what you love, and live your life focused on your purpose, priorities, and passions. Click here for a free workbook to help you find your passion.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/Alexander Boden/Time For...?