To organize life and manage time we have to aim to manage self. How we spend time that produces results (or lack of) is about choices, habits, and actions. Here are a few tips to get the most of your day and the results you want.
1- Make Deliberate Choices
Intentionally choose how to use time. Time can be used pouring out your strengths, passions, skills, and values, and not be wasted. Our choices can make it such so choose wisely.
2- Know Your Priorities- For least resistance align priorities based on who you are. What is really important to you? List 3-5 top priorities in order. Look at them daily. What goals are most important right now for long-term fulfillment?
3- Be Aware of Time Bandits- Monitor how you spend time for 24-72 hours. Notice where time is wasted or how it can be put to better use. e.g: Run errands once a week versus daily trips. Notice distracters, those things that steal your focus such as phone calls, e-mail, things breaking down, etc.
4- Set your Mind on the Ultimate Result- Thoughts guide behavior. Focus negatively, and you may get discouraged and quit. Choose your line of thought or your brain will take a shortcut and choose the thought pattern/ habit that is in place, whether or not it serves you. It is a choice! You can accept or reject a thought. Choose a positive, results-aimed mind set always!
5- Develop Great Habits and a Structure to Support Your Actions
Many people are busy, but without the structure and habits in place to get the results they crave. Know that great habits with structure support you to complete primary tasks. You then get results which lead to more freedom to do what you want (without the fear or guilt).
6- Have an Efficient Scheduling System- Whether using a smart phone, pc, ipad or a simple paper diary, it is critical to have a structure that supports your planningstyle. I love google calendar, it syncs with my mac, pc and my phone so I have my schedule wherever I go. If you’re not a fan of google there are other simple online scheduling programmes such as zoho.com , and a little more sophisticated is Liquid Planner
7- Schedule Priorities First, Block Time, and Take Action- Block time for priorities first, then follow through. Focus on how great you will feel after doing it. Block time for various roles and avoid multi-tasking to maintain focus. Do not do housework during business hours. Set yourself up for success by scheduling high energy tasks when you have energy and low energy tasks later. Stay fully focused to complete priorities with excellence. Give full attention to one activity at a time.
8- Set Time Limits- Set a time limit when you begin a task then stay focused. This takes practice. Most tasks take longer than we anticipate, but it will save time. Most of us could waste plenty of time on e-mail, but can save a lot when we set a limit.
9- Plan a Day Ahead- For most, each day is different. It helps to plan your schedule the day/evening before. Then you can jump out of bed in the morning with a smile on because you know exactly what to do. It’s easy to get overwhelemed by what you have to do, and even more so if you’re not organised.
10- Create Daily Habits that Serve You- What daily action would make the greatest positive difference? Examples: meditation, go to bed or wake up earlier, watch less tv, read, make three new contacts, drink more water, do something you love, limit time for e-mail, write, organize, plan, create, help others, etc. Make it specific. Ask which daily habits uplift you and which hold you back then make a shift.
11- Be in Action on What is Most Important
Reaching goals means taking the steps that get you there… no matter what. You are either interested or committed. Life will get in the way. Fear will want to hold you back. It is a choice to continue in action on the important stuff, and rewardscome when you do.
12- Do It, Delegate It, or Dump It- It is easier to stay in action on priorities when you leverage your strengths, passions, values, and skills. Learn in action and gain experience. Delegate what is not your cup of tea. Dump what is not that important right now. Block time to handle tolerations that drain your energy such as clutter, repairs, etc.
13- Simplify and Systematize- Put systems in place to make things easier. Consistently seek the more efficient way e.g delegate tasks to the experts and people who actually enjoy the things you don’t, run errands weekly, when you buy something get rid of something to avoid clutter, organize the office at the end of each day, give everything a home so nothing is ever lost. Strive for efficiency. Write a to-d0-list the night before, and it’s already there for when you begin your next day.
To organize life and manage yourself for peak performance you have to feel your best. This means scheduling rejuvenation time regularly to enjoy what you love and what life has to offer right now. Implement these tips and raise your quality of life… StartingNow!