A common phrase you might hear from someone facing an ever-growing list of things they need to get done is, “I need to make time for that.” While that might sound like a good plan, the time available is the time available.
I have conducted a global survey and can confirm with 100% certainty that no matter where you live, there are only 24 hours in a day. Someone living in Singapore does not have more time than someone living in Seattle. With that in mind, consider these five ideas to increase your productivity.
How to Make the Most of the Time Available To You
CHANGE YOUR VOCABULARY FROM “USE” OR “SPEND” TIME TO “INVEST.”
This mindset change can make a big difference in your perspective on time. It’s been said that time is money; well, with money, you can spend or invest. You expect a return on that investment (ROI) when you invest. The same is true for spending or investing time. If you spend time, there is no ROI. Begin asking yourself, “What is the ROI on this next investment of time, and is it significant enough for me to continue with this activity?”
BECOME INTENTIONAL ABOUT HOW YOU ALLOCATE YOUR TIME.
Start with a 24-hour view of your day. What hours will be dedicated to work, family, and rest? Perhaps work will be 8 am–6 pm, and family will consume 6 pm–10 pm. How many hours will you sleep? If you want 8 hours of sleep, that would be from 10 pm–6 am. That leaves a gap from 6 am–8 am for you. You can do the same allocation technique for the work and the family allocation. You could take the 8 am–6 pm segment and determine how much will be think-time, project-time, people-time, etc. Be intentional.
IMPROVE YOUR TIME-BLOCKING TECHNIQUE.
Do you leave your calendar open for people to make appointments and use what’s left over for yourself? Try reversing your approach. Instead, block your calendar for your most important work activities and allow others to have what is left over.
GAIN CLARITY ON YOUR PRIORITIES.
If everything is important, nothing is important. You won’t be able to make sound investment decisions if you are not clear on your most important actions. Decide what your “A” priorities are. Then decide what your “B” priorities are. Never work on a “B” if there is an “A” that is not complete.
STOP REACTING TO EVERYTHING COMING AT YOU.
This will require stopping the constant checking of email and voicemails. It will require you to stop constantly checking for text messages and other social media. These micro-interruptions can eat away at the minutes and distract you from the investment of time you are making.
You vote for what is important in your life by how you invest your time. Author and speaker Jim Rohn said, “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” We are all busy. The question you need to be asking is, “Busy doing what?”While it’s true that you can’t make more time, the good news is that you don’t need to. You already have all there is and all you need; you just need to become more intentional in how you invest what you have to enjoy a greater return.
About Perry Holley
Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with Maxwell Leadership, as well as a published author. As co-host of the Maxwell Leadership Executive Leadership Podcast, he has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.
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