Never ending to-do list? Wish you had more hours in the day? Here are some tips on how to streamline your time to become more productive and efficient.
There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by without me hearing someone say ‘there is never enough time’ or ‘I have no time’. Not just extra hours for work, or chores, but also time to spend with family or friends, or even to have time for yourself/have a hobby. So many of us say we don’t have time to relax or wind down from what is generally a full on day. It’s important to remember that productivity isn’t all about keeping up with demands, it’s about choosing tasks to achieve and then accomplishing them. By choosing meaningful and important tasks and finishing them, we become more productive, we are faster and have more energy, as well as becoming more thorough. This is because you feel more purpose behind what you are doing and you are more focused on each task. I think everyone can agree we generally have more jobs to do than time to do them in. So try out the ideas below to see if they can help you get those extra hours you desperately need;
- Firstly choose a chore day – Collect together all those mundane household chores such as cleaning, laundry, shopping, and try do them all in one go on a specific day set just for these tasks each week. Compile a list of what needs doing ready to tick off once done, and make sure you put on your favourite radio station or playlist to make the tasks are not completely mundane! Of course sometimes these tasks have to be done at an alternative time due to how life can throw things at us but really try to stick to just doing them on your chore day.
- Cut out the unimportant – it’s a fact we can be easily distracted especially with all the technology, social media sites etc these days so what I suggest you do initially is make a list keeping track of what you do on an average day, such as how many times you check Facebook, stop for coffee, etc. After you have done this look at the list and try figure out what is eating up your time daily? How important is that task? Can you reduce the time you spend on it or wipe it out altogether some days? Once you have figured this out it’s time to implement your new list and create new habits to wipe out the old ones.
- Doing something that doesn’t take focus – when we do something repeatedly and it becomes a habit, for example knitting, our minds get chance to ‘unfocus’ and this is when some of our best ideas can emerge because we are allowing our minds to wander. So ride a bike, crochet, knit, whatever it is that you can do that doesn’t need focus and gives your mind chance to connect ideas do it.
- Remove distractions – anything that takes your attention away from your task needs removing whether it’s out of sight, or into another room, or just out of reach. Take it away to remove temptation until you have finished. In regards to technology disconnect from it, put it on do not disturb so you aren’t getting notifications etc when you are trying to focus on the task at hand.
- Finally, the rule of three – our brains can hold 3 unique things in our minds, so at the start of the day think to yourself what would you have wanted/need to have achieved by the end of the day? Write them down and then this is your to-do list for the day, whether its work tasks or something of a personal matter doesn’t matter as long as they are the three most important things you want to have accomplished. If we finish tasks we set we feel a sense of achievement and productivity which results in us feeling happier and more satisfied with life.