Do you struggle to get organized?
Does it ever feel like the day flew by without accomplishing much?
Do you wish you could knock more items off your to-do list?
Get more done in less time. Finish the day with more room in your calendar for the things you actually want to do. Here are my best time tips to master your schedule effectively.
1 – check your email no more than once a day
I know what you’re thinking.
What if I have a work emergency or something that needs my attention right away.
Believe me when I say, if there’s some kind of fire that you don’t address immediately, there are only 2 possible outcomes:
- It gets resolved by some alternate method at which point you’re in luck. There was really no need for the disturbance since it could have been resolved otherwise.
- It does not get resolved and escalates. All though this is a probable scenario, if the problem cannot get resolved without you, then I can pretty well guarantee that you will be contacted by some other way. Chances are, someone will give you a call.
In either of the cases above, there’s really no reason to be interrupting your day to check each and every email that comes in through your inbox.
Let someone else put out the fire and get to more important and meaningful tasks. You’ll finish the day feeling far more accomplished than had you wasted time being interrupted by emails.
2- stop multitasking, it’s not more efficient
Doing several things at once sounds very productive, but trust me, it is NOT.
If you’re trying to do multiple tasks at once, you’re doing all them at a slower pace. Studies have show that multitasking is a waste of time.
Give it a try.
Focus your energy on one task. Don’t get distracted trying to do too much at once. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you can get each individual task done. Not to mention that you’ll do them all WAY BETTER!
Goodbye starting over because of a mistake!
3- don’t memorize; write reminders down
Being productive requires brain power. Don’t take up precious brain real estate with mindless reminders.
If you think of something you need to do later, write it down on a stickie note or put it in your calendar.
Think of your brain like a computer processor. If you’ve got 20 programs and windows open, chances are, you’re going to slow down your computer. Everything will get done a little slower. If you now close those programs in the background and all the windows you’re not using, you’re going to notice much faster processing speeds.
Just like a computer, your brain is far more efficient if it doesn’t have reminders idling in the background.
I find it useful to put things in my calendar. For example, if I need to pick up eggs on the way home from work, I’ll set a reminder in my calendar right around the time I leave the office. I can close that program/reminder working in the background and increase my processing speed.
Moral of the story is, don’t try to remember mindless things or to-dos. Technology is your friend. Use it! Alternatively, use a post it. Either way, no need to take up brain power.
4- fill up your calendar
There is such a thing as too much time on your hands. During my articling years, I had some unreal work hours. My weeks averaged at about 60-70 hours for about 5 months out of the year. At my busiest, I’d work 100 hours a week.
Yup. That’s right, I said 100/week. Unfortunately, it’s not a typo.
The point I’m getting at is that during those busy months because I had so little time to myself or basic chores like laundry, I was incredibly efficient. I got so much done with so little.
On the other end of the spectrum, when I was a jobless college student, I had more free time than I could ever hope for. Yet, I hardly did anything with that time.
If you want to be efficient, then plan to be busy. Fill up your calendar with whatever it is you have to do. If you feel that pressure of not having enough time, you’ll be more likely to get it all done.
Try scheduling all your errands as close as possible instead of smoothing them out over the weekend.
5- have a to-do list ready for the day ahead
If you’re waking up in the morning and have nothing planned for the day, chances are you’re not going to accomplish much.
A productive day is a planned-out day.
If you want to get stuff done, make sure you have it in your calendar.
I will generally take a look at my schedule before I go to bed. I’ll see what I already have in there and add in other tasks I want to check off.
I find it helpful to set times for when I’m going to do things (even if I could do them at any point throughout the day). For example, I’ll block off 2 hours at a specific time to do groceries. I’ll block off 1 hour to go for a drink with a friend. Everything else in between is usable time for other reminders.
Setting times for chores helps me keep my schedule structured and operating efficiently.
6 – restrict social media to specific times
This is still a tough one for me. I try my best to only check social media once a day at the end of the day.
It’s so easy to get distracted on Facebook or Instagram. While we all need a brain break every so often, you’re better to get up and have a coffee. At least you’ll have disconnected and given yourself a real break.
I’m no super human but I acknowledge that checking my Instagram just because is inefficient. It breaks my focus, my train of thought and slows me down. Not to mention it takes time to get back into a groove afterwards.
If you want efficiency and productivity, avoid social media as best you can.
Start applying these time tips to master your schedule like a boss! Do more in less time and have more room in your schedule for the things you actually want to do!
Here are my top recommended tools for optimal time management:
iCalendar – this FREE app comes on all Apple products. I love that my calendar automatically syncs to all my devices. Always have your updated schedule on your phone, computer or tablet!
Evernote – this FREE app allows you to record meetings, interviews, create lists, upload attachments, share files, save screenshots (via voice, notes or images). Just like you iCalendar, Evernote syncs to all your devices. The FREE version is awesome and great for optimizing your time. The paid version is mind blowing amazing! I personally use the paid version because that $4/month is totally worth the time savings I get out of it.
SIGN UP HERE FOR EVERNOTE (FREE)
Want more time tips to master your schedule like a boss? Check out this post on how to save both time and money with 3 simple tricks.
Do you have any other time tips to master your schedule?