Louder for the folks in the back. 🗣
I will take a productive day over a busy one any damn day. In fact, I have designed my lifestyle and trained myself on how to be more intentional with my time and energy. I have always found it interesting to watch people that can’t get their work or personal tasks done in the allotted time. Some even wear it like a badge of honor when they are working nights and weekends just to keep up, but it’s not a badge of honor and it’s definitely not a status symbol to be busy. It is our responsibility to stop this before we have another generation of stressed out, anxious, tired, overwhelmed “busy” kids.
In fact, I have found that being busy is more likely to uncover 3 things going on. The first and biggest is an inefficient use of time. Next is overthinking and lacking the ability to quickly make a decision and move on to the next task at hand. Finally, it can also uncover a perfectionist who is more focused on everything being perfect than everything getting done. So much time wasted on the above.
Obviously there are cases where the amount of work expected and the time provided to complete are off balanced, but I can promise this is a rarity. If you are one of those people that’s not managing your time, not able to make a decision quickly, and trying to make everything perfect, there are options to help you grow and get better with your time. Whether in work or your personal life, here are my 5 secrets to maximizing your energy while minimizing your output.
- Create a focused list first thing in the morning of 2-3 items that will serve as your goals or focus that day. If you are spending more than a few minutes on something not on your list, then just stop. It’s that simple.
- Time block either 30 mins or 1 hour and spend that time only doing what aligns with those 2-3 items. Don’t check your phone or emails during this time and it is best to start first on your biggest and scariest task. This not only gets it off your plate, but it also gives you a sense of accomplishment and energy to complete the next task. Then take a 5-10 minute break to get up, walk around, grab a snack or whatever before you start the next time block. This may be one of the best kept secrets! It really helps focus on one thing vs multi-tasking, which has been proven to not be effective.
- If other items do come up, and they will, just block them out until your time block is up. You do have to plan for these unexpected tasks in your day though. Make sure you are keeping an hour or so a day set aside to handle new tasks that need completed quickly. Follow the time blocking tip to handle, along with OHIO mentioned below. Lastly, it is perfectly OK to say no. Try it once and see how good it feels and how easy it is may surprise you! No explanation needed. Also, I think a lot of people feel like they are doing the right thing by saying “yes” to everything, when in fact you are likely hurting yourself, your other priorities, and whatever you decide to take on if it’s not within your areas of focus or you don’t have capacity for it.
- OHIO-Only handle it once is another one of my favorites. If it’s something that you know could possibly come back onto your plate at some point, try and anticipate what could cause that to come back and go ahead and address it. This is especially effective if you have an email that has several questions. Sometimes it is easier to just call the person and answer all questions, along with asking them if they have other questions. This cuts down on the back & forth emails that require you to think about it and focus on it for several rounds of back and forths. Put yourself in the other persons shoes and think what questions you may have and just answer all of them.
- Delegate!!! My best example of this is house cleaning. I know my weakness is cleaning and it takes up a large portion of my weekend. I started delegating this to a professional about two years ago, and have never looked back. I am now able to focus my time and energy on my family, my health and growing my business. All of these items make it worth every penny spent and it gives me the opportunity to bring in more money through growing my business that easily covers this expense. Delegating work to the right person gives you more time and energy to focus on the items you are good at.
Since time is a non renewable resource, time management skills are something that more people should be focused on improving instead of continuing to work “harder”. I also honestly have zero patience for those that believe they have to “hustle and grind” from sun up to sun down and are spreading that nasty rumor to the rest of us. Those that fall for the hustle and grind are setting themselves up for a lifetime of inefficiency IMO. Y’all go ahead..I’m going to focus my energy on the two or three tasks that are most aligned with my goals and then I’m going to take a nap. 🤷♀️
Anyone else on the work smarter not harder team?!