A Tap on the Glass...
My "Checkup from the Neck up" or "Weekly Thought" had run its course....and at the recent CVTA conference, Cindy Atwood suggested that I adopt the mantra I often preach; If you want to make a point, you can't be afraid to "tap on the glass" from time to time to remind them you're "out there."
Well said...and now, done. I'll attempt to get one of these out periodically. I won't promise weekly, but as often as I can...
Here we go:
10 Tips for Getting It Done When You NEVER Have Enough Time
Do you never seem to have enough time - just can't find enough hours in the day to get it all done?
Well, you're not alone!
Most professionals occasionally feel overwhelmed with the hectic lives they lead and with today's constant influx of information from everything like emails to smart phones, it can be very frustrating.
But if you find yourself continually stressed out because you're swamped at work and snowed under at home, it's time to take stock of what's going wrong, otherwise it bodes ill will for both physical and mental health.
A recent study showed that 1 in 4 managers having some sort of mental disability. Think of 3 of your contemporaries.
If they're normal, you may want to consider the words below verrrrrry carefully!
So, what are the typical Reasons Things Don't Get Done?
1. We procrastinate.
2. We get distracted.
3. We can't say no.
4. We don't delegate.
5. We're perfectionists.
6. We take on too many commitments at once.
Regardless of why you aren't getting things done, you can't let circumstances dictate what happens to your precious time. There are literally THOUSANDS of these tips if you do a quick Google search, so I hit about 2 dozen of them and filtered out what seems to be 10 proven ways to regain control of your time and get things done, both at work and at home.
10 Proven Ways to Get It Done
1. Just say no.
The word "no" is a powerful time-saver! Saying "yes" all the time doesn't guarantee career advancement or popularity. It may, in fact, get you labeled as a doormat. Practice saying "no" in a friendly but matter-of-fact fashion, without over-explaining. Remember, you can always say "no" to assuming total responsibility while still offering to help in a smaller, specific way.
2. Learn to delegate.
When you delegate, you instantly increase time you have available - and you help others learn new skills. First, determine who is most capable of the task. Then thoroughly explain the job, your expectations, deadlines and how you'll monitor progress. Put these points in writing for the person. Then ask him or her to summarize the assignment, so you'll know you've clearly communicated what's been delegated.
3. Schedule major projects.
If you have a number of major projects gathering dust because you're going to do them when you "find time," stop waiting and start scheduling. Most busy professionals never find spare time, so if you really want to get a project done, set a start date and a deadline. Then map out the steps you'll need to do to complete the project and stick to your timetable.
4. Do first the thing you like least.
This is an excellent timesaving habit to get into. It's also one of the hardest to do, for obvious reasons. Most of us waste far too much time and energy thinking about dreaded tasks rather than actually doing them. Get the most disliked jobs out of the way first, and you'll get a great sense of accomplishment. Plus, you'll be able to enjoy the rest of the day, knowing your worst task is out of the way.
5. Avoid procrastination.
Procrastination is Enemy No. 1 if you're serious about getting things done. When you delay doing what needs to be done, you end up working "under the gun," which means the project won't get your best effort. Procrastination is a bad habit that can sabotage your career success and damage your personal relationships. If you frequently procrastinate, take a hard look at why you're choosing this negative behavior. There was a lot more to this string of information, but I'll try to get to it later...
6. Maintain a master calendar.
Keep track of plans for the entire family on a master calendar, and be sure to include any overtime or business travel you're scheduled for. Make sure the kids alert you whenever they add something to it. The minute you arrive at work, transfer into your planner the dates and times of personal commitments such as school conferences, a child's doctor appointment or transportation needs that will occur during your work day or right after work.
7. Use lists.
Most people who manage their time effectively rely on lists as organizational tools, research shows. List every step of a project, and you won't have to redo it because you forgot a crucial step. Make a grocery list, and you won't have run to the store a second time for forgotten items. Use daily, weekly and monthly lists, rather than making a huge list you'll never finish.
8. Recognize distractions and eliminate them.
Distractions come in a zillion forms - from chatty coworkers to a TV at home that's never turned off. But all distractions keep you from the task at hand. Understand the real issue: You're allowing yourself to avoid a task by giving in to distractions. Identify major distractions and eliminate those you can. Then the next time you're tempted by a distraction, STOP and focus on your priorities.
9. Don't over-commit yourself.
Getting overcommitted is a huge time trap. If this is a frequent problem, either you haven't learned to say "No," or you aren't accurately estimating how long it will take you to complete certain tasks. Over-scheduling yourself and your family adds unwanted stress to your life, so always check your master calendar before you agree to do ANYTHING more.
10. Avoid perfectionism.
Perfectionism saps your energy and wastes your time. If you hear yourself saying, "Well, I can't start this project now because I don't have time to do it right," or find yourself redoing something because "it's not perfect," then recognize you're allowing your perfectionism to steal your time. Many tasks we do are noncritical, so let "good enough" be good enough and move on.
When you're overwhelmed, stressed out and frustrated because you've ALWAYS got too much to do, stop and figure out why. Then devise a plan to change the situation, and take charge of your time - and your life!
Thanks for taking the time to read this!