Each one of us might be experiencing periodically or constantly lack of time. Unfortunately, there’s only 24 hours in a day and we cannot increase that. However, what we can do and what’s in our power is to use our time productively.
This does not mean that all 24 hours we need to fill with errands. This means that these 24 hours will be enough to have a productive day, where there will be time for work, run errands, rest, etc.
Therefore, if you feel like you are on a hamster-wheel, then it’s time to stop and change something about it.
For start, we need to imagine our perfect day (or even two, a weekday and a day off). In what mode would you like to conduct it? Lets think about it for a second and write down your ideal schedule for the day. For example, 7:00am – rise, 7:30am – breakfast, etc. By the way, in order to make this ideal schedule more realistic, we can use a stopwatch to record how long it takes us to do certain things.
On a separate list, write all the errands that you need to do for the day (do not forget about our daily chores: wash dishes, fold clean laundry, fix the bed, etc.).
Working hours and work related issues are planned separately. We are just creating a base, sort of a template for the day. It should be a guide, to show us where to start.
Now, a very important point – correlate the number of errands and house chores with the amount of time. Is it realistic to do it all. We should also include unforeseen circumstances.
We often put a lot on our plate. No wonder we get frustrated and say “we don’t have time and we can’t complete all tasks”. Having no time – isn’t the issue here. The problem is – we plan to do way too many things in one day.
Think about what errands or chores are superfluous, and which ones can be delegated to someone. Thus, you can save both time and effort.
Now that we have an idea of our perfect day and a list of things that must be done, we can start implementing. For each of us this process will be different, because everyone has their own issues with time.
I would single out 2 main reasons for lack of time.
- First – incorrect way of organizing our time. There is a huge number of methods and systems of time management. Test and choose the optimal set of tools for yourself. Seldom, who finds already made, ready-to-use system for them. Let’s not be too attached to the first one we will find. We need to choose what suits us best at the moment.We can start with the simplest ways. Or start working with Eisenhower’s matrix, according to which, all errands are divided into urgent important, not urgent important, urgent not important, not important not urgent.On this matrix that you can sort things out for the day and you will immediately understand what matters are superfluous. Also, it will help you correctly prioritize, which will allow you to be more productive.
By the way, this is the matrix we can use for our daily tasks, and we should right away know which chores for us are not so important. This will help us prioritize our day and be more productive.Let’s sum up a little – the first step should be time management and its optimization. To begin, do not spend a lot of time studying the techniques. Simple planning of the day and the Eisenhower matrix will already give our first results.
- The second reason is concentration (or should we say, its absence). Who would think that a few years ago, we were less distracted. Now, there is Wi-Fi available almost everywhere. Our smartphones, tablets regularly distract us with messages and notifications. There is constantly someone in social media updated or posting new photo, then we get a message, or we get a spam email. It seems that we only spend a second on this, but in the end of the day, it’s minutes. What about the time needed to focus in order to return to what we were doing… it ends up being several hours.
Out of curiosity, we can conduct an experiment – by how much will our productivity increase, if we for at least half a day, or better yet whole day will not be distracted by calls, emails, notifications and messages.
Ideally, we need to have specific allocated time for responses to such notifications. That means No More “It will only take two minutes in Facebook, Instagram”, etc.
If you have an important job or task ahead of you, it’s better to turn off all alerts (notifications) altogether and focus on the job as much as possible. We will be pleasantly surprised by our productivity level and we may even have a few “extra hours”.
A competent planning, reasonable time management and maximum concentration will allow us to significantly increase the hours in our day. Nevertheless, we will do more in less time and feel better about it.
Almost always the most simplest things are the most effective. The purpose of this article is to remind us of them and suggest a way to solve the problem with lack of time.
Please share your findings or experiences on time management and optimization in the comments section below.