"I don't have enough time to...
...finish my work,
...get in shape,
...start a hobby,
...spend with my family."
Well, realize this: While we all have the same amount of time in the day, why do you suppose that some people seem to accomplish a ton more than you? From the President to the postman, people all have the same time frame but accomplish loads more than in a single day that you seem to accomplish in a week. Why is that?
Why do some struggle and drown in their obligations, while others make the impossible seem effortless? Why are some people time poor while others are rich? Which are you?
The only difference is how you choose to spend your time. Here are some things to consider so that your days are loaded with accomplishments.
1. You Don't Say No
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to take on burdens that do not belong to them. I am VERY guilty of this one. When you don't say no, you find yourself doing other people's work. This happens both in the workplace and in day-to-day life. Ever find yourself doing someone else's job simply because you couldn't say no?
2. You Don't Know Your Obligations
How can you tell if you are going to overflow your bucket if you don't know how full it is? It's common to over commit your time if you are not aware of all your obligations. You need to make a commitment list. List out and budget all of your commitments from work, life, and community. Only then can you know your remaining time balance.
3. You Have Too Much Life Friction
Life Friction is self-inflicted time management. (Ahhhh...I saw an eyebrow go up!) In other words, you create your own crises by your own actions and disorganization. Life friction means extra re-work, increased stress, and wasted time. Ever get back from running errands and realize you have to go back out because you forgot something? It's like that.
4. You Lolly-gag
I love that word. It was my Grandma's favorite word to say. It is amazing that some of the same people that complain they don't have enough time are the same ones that lolly-gag and waste it. Ever see that person who arrives late to work and then spends the next hour and 15 minutes getting ready to start working? You don't need to spend every second of the day under a stopwatch, but be aware of when you waste time whether it is gossiping, surfing the internet, or recapping the weekend for the third time.
5. You Don't Put Your Priorities First
Ever finish a busy workday only to think to yourself that you didn't get anything important done? If you don't put your priorities first, it won't matter how fast you work, you may never get to what is important.
You have to be able to say, "I am not going to do this, because something else is more important."
6. You Try to Do Everything Yourself
We all have the same number of seconds in the day. At a certain point, the only way to get more done is to have someone help. But, some people have trouble letting others do work because they feel that no one can do it as well as they can. Maybe you're right to think that. Maybe not.
This can be particularly troublesome when a leader will not let their team do their duties and instead tries to take on everything themselves.
7. You Don't Finish Things
When you don't finish tasks, you are only creating more work for yourself. Tasks undone actually create more work for you. They take more time to pick back up when you return to them. They create unnecessary complications when you leave them to the last minute. Ever leave an report undone for a long period of time? It ends up taking 5X's as long to complete compared to if you had done it right away.
I'd be willing to bet a lunch that most of you have several of your own ways to measure your time and efficiency. It's hard to identify them and even more of a challenge to apply them. But imagine the possibilities you might have if you did?
Thanks for taking the time to read this!