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Time is our most valuable resource and also the only non-renewable one. We all have the exact same time in a day to get everything done. If this is true, why do some people manage to get more accomplished each day than others?
The truth: some people unknowingly sabotage their own productivity.
They waste time without even realizing it, then wonder how they can get things done with the “limited” time they have. Their time isn’t limited though. They just need to figure out what’s causing them to lose time and then manage it.
This series is being posted to do just that. We’re going to identify the common time suckers, figure out how to halt them, then check out attitudes about them.
Week 1: Discovering Common Time Suckers & Identifying Our Own
Week 2: Looking at Our Own Timetables to See What’s Actually Getting Done
Week 3: Checking Our Attitude & Our Schedule, Becoming More Mindful of our Time
Welcome to week 2
Last week, I mentioned we were going to dive into some questions to ask yourself so you can find out which tasks are worth your time and which are time-wasters.
What IS Getting Done?
Truth: some of the things that you’re doing don’t really need to be done and are just getting in the way of things that actually need to be done.
It’s also completely possible that you’re doing things correctly because you’ve designed the process in a way that works for you.
What is NOT getting done?
Make a list of things and tasks that are not getting done at all (by you or anyone else) due to being overlooked or whatever the reason may be.
Put these in order of importance.
If you really want them to get done, put them near the top of the list.
If they really don’t matter in the broad scheme of things: put them at the bottom and then eliminate them.
THERE IS NO TRY
Are you losing track of time? Why?
Sometimes, you lose track of time. It happens.
Example: the internets. One minute, you’re looking for a quick recipe. Two hours later, you’re down a rabbit hole. Instead of finding a recipe, you’ve found three new crock-pots and a toaster oven.
Sound familiar? Yeah, we’ve all been there.
Other things might be less noticeable.
You might think something takes 30 minutes to do.. buuuut it really ends up taking an hour or more to do.
Did you lose track of time or did you not take some factors into consideration and didn’t allot enough time in your schedule to get this project done?
Why are you doing this task?
- What is the point of doing this task?
- What is the reason you’re doing it?
- What would happen if you just did not do it?
Go back to your list to you can remind yourself what you’re thinking of.
- How does this task relate to your goal?
- Does it help you succeed, or does it block your success?
It HAS to be you.. or does it?
Can someone else do this task?
Assess every task on your to-do list.
- Do you need to do it yourself?
- Can/should you let someone else do it?
Example: at home. Unless you’re crazy, it doesn’t really matter which capable person folds the towels, as long as the task gets done.
Any project or task that doesn’t specifically need you to do it should be delegated.
Underline any task that can be transferred, even if you don’t know who will do it or how. Just note the ones that CAN be delegated.
Does this task align with your goals?
That is the one thing that will help you determine which tasks MUST be done by you.
Example: you want to post on social media 5x a day.
- Why are you doing it yourself?
- Does the data show that it’s moving you closer to your goal?
Do you ever feel resentment with helping:
- Your spouse?
- Your kid(s)?
- At church?
- An organization?
It’s important to ask that important question about your goals and how the task helps or does not help.
there's gotta be a point..
What deliverable will result from doing this task?
When you do this task, what is the result of doing it?
Example: if you want to lose weight, one of your tasks might to walk for 45 minutes a day. You can track that this is really working and delivering the results you desire.
Note: it might be harder to gauge this on different things you do because sometimes, the benefit is in the eye of the beholder.
Helping or hindering
Does doing this task move you closer to your goals? How?
All of us can be guilty of doing busy work in life.
Most busy work can be eliminated by asking how the task really helps you.
If it’s not moving you towards your goal and you can do it another way, you should examine that other way to figure out if it’ll work for you.
Example: meetings. So many meetings are useless and can be eliminated.
“This could’ve been an email.”
ID your outside distractions
Can you identify an outside source that’s distracting you?
Some timewasters almost seem as if they’re totally uncontrollable because they come from outside sources.
Identify these issues for yourself. Once you realize what’s happening, start setting boundaries, or find a way to work around the person or thing that’s distracting you.
Example: some people cannot multitask at all, they just think they can.
If you have set aside time to journal each night, you may be wasting time by keeping the television on while doing it.
On the other side, knitting a birthday sweater while you watch TV might work out great.
The only way to know whether you’re more productive without multitasking or not is to try doing things without multitasking and time yourself.
how to increase time in your day
Have you identified your time suckers?
Awesome! Now you can work on finding more time in your day.
Once you let go of time wasters and focus on being productive without over scheduling, you’re going to meet your life goals faster than you think!
Next week, we will discuss our attitudes, schedules and being mindful.
Get your ideas/ thoughts down on paper during this post series.
- Lined Pages: Notes, Thoughts & Ideas
- Circles: Notes, Thoughts & Ideas
- Squares: Notes, Thoughts & Ideas
- Graph Paper: Notes and Doodles (2)
Organizing (Online & Offline)
Trello is my go-to organizer. I use it for EVERYTHING business-related or personal. For business, I use it to map out my social media and blog content. I add relevant links and lists. Check it out to see how it can help you!
My go-to Paper Planner. There is a ton of space to map out your goals, reflect on the month and plan, plan, plan. I prefer the large planner (8.5×11), but they come in half-size now too. Check them out at the link above. You will LOVE them!