These days, most of us are busier than ever as we juggle more and more responsibilities, commitments, work, and social obligations.
If you’re constantly wishing you had more hours in every day, consider these tips for getting more done when you already feel pressed for time.
Improve Your Time Management
The first thing you need to do in order to fit more into your already busy day is to learn better time management. Managing your time is actually quite similar to managing your budget.
Track your time – just like you would your spending – to determine where your time is currently going. Are there any obvious time-drains, like how you seem to spend 30 minutes on Facebook when you only meant to pop in for 5 minutes? Eliminate these immediately.
And in the same way you prioritize your spending to make sure what you are using your money in a way that aligns with your values, make sure you are prioritizing your time so the tasks that are most important to you are the ones that take precedence over others.
Find and Maintain Your Focus
Once you understand where your time is going and you know what tasks you want to prioritize, make yourself a schedule and fill it with items from your to-do list. Allocate set amounts of time to each task you need to complete, and work on one at a time (rather than trying to multitask). Setting what needs to get done and when it needs to be completed by will help keep you focused.
Additionally, keep that focus by eliminating distractions. If you need to, close down your email, turn your phone on silent, and avoid your favorite social media sites.
Be Okay with Saying “No”
It’s hard to squeeze more tasks into an already busy day. Evaluate what your current schedule looks like and be honest with yourself: are there any projects you could drop? Is there something you’re currently spending time on that is not providing the kind of value you want to see out of it?
Sometimes, we simply need to say no. No to taking on additional work, no to a shopping date with girlfriends, no to doing a favor for someone we know.
Plan for Breaks
You won’t be able to do even more if you never allow yourself a chance to slow down and catch your breath. Trying to go full-speed ahead 100% of the time will lead to exhaustion, stress, and burnout – and that means you won’t be getting anything done.
Even if it’s just a 5 to 10 minute break, plan for several throughout your day. Take time to stretch or simply sit quietly and empty your mind. If you’ve been stationary for a while, get up and walk around for a few minutes.
It may seem counterintuitive, but when you give yourself planned breaks you can actually return to your work and tasks feeling a little more relaxed and a bit refreshed – which means you can get more done even when you’re pressed for time.