Not enough hours in the day…?
How often do we hear people say this? How often do YOU say this..?! I know I do, regularly.
Time is a precious commodity which we realise at certain times in our lives more than others. So we have a choice as to how we manage this ‘thing’ called time, and believe it or not, we are completely in control of our time and our productivity.
Time is relevant in business and life. How do we decide how we use it? what gets done first? and what should we do to make progress and feel good? Time wasted can make us feel rubbish, but time well spent, and productively used, can make us feel on top of the world..!
Here are just five questions for you to consider when planning your time every day.
What is priority?
How can I make things simple?
What will happen if I don’t do something?
How can I use time to help my progress?
How does planning make me feel?
The first tip – Stop….and whatever you do take some of this time to make a plan. The format can be whatever you like, but if you do nothing else use these five questions to ensure you have some direction.
So why these five questions? There may be others just as good, but I wanted to pick 5 as a framework.
What is a priority? By understanding every day what the priority is for that day, we can guarantee one thing – we will get one thing done that will have an impact, and make us feel good – fact.
How can I make things simple? It is common for many of us to over complicate and over think things. We overwhelm ourselves with how much we have to do and then realise/believe how little time we have. Actually, we can really maximise time if we break things down into manageable, bite-size pieces.
A 5-mile run can feel like a marathon to some people, but break down each mile and it becomes achievable – before you know it you’ve done 3 miles and you’re over half way.
So take your tasks and break them down, and if one job has 5 elements to it then make it 5 tasks so that it feels achievable. You will be amazed at how much easier the task is, and as each step is completed the motivation grows. It’s all about belief!
What will happen if I don’t do something? Great question – it helps you to put things into perspective. What are the consequences if something doesn’t get done today? Is it life threatening – always my favourite first question! but relevant. But honestly when you ask this question of any task or job you will understand that actually some things can wait and everything will be ok if it happens tomorrow, rather than today. Equally, this question will really help you to prioritise too. You always have the power to negotiate deadlines.
How can I use time to help my progress? Most of us have heard of that lovely word ‘procrastination’. The ability to just not make a decision !! So this question is a must. If you decide what to do based on achieving something, you will stop procrastinating. Your plan of what you are going to do today will lead to progress. Progress looks different to everyone, and that’s ok. It’s about feeling good about not having wasted your time…and that’s what we’re talking about here – best use of time.
How does planning make me feel? We all have a choice about how we feel. Many of us don’t realise that, but I promise you that you can choose how you feel about something. Of course, certain things are terribly sad and we can’t help that, but we can still choose how we deal with that and how we feel. So without writing a whole blog in itself about that – which I could, let’s think about how this last question relates to our time.
If a planned day of achieving things makes us feel good, why wouldn’t we make a conscious effort to do this? Why wouldn’t we plan to feel good?
The fact is we can’t do everything at once. Life is busy for most of us, so ask these five questions every day. You will see quite quickly that these very simple steps and will give you freedom to choose what you do today, how you feel about today and actually how many hours there really are in the day.
Have a great productive day!