No matter where you are in life, a student, an entrepreneur, or in some other career field, in one way your day is no different than mine or anyone else’s. We all have the same amount of time at our disposal. However, there are some who accomplish so much more than others. Many blame the misuse of their time on children, their family life, the demands of their school or job, but the truth is that those who accomplish more, plan well and find ways to maximize their time.
I am often asked how I get so much done and to be honest, I have a couple of advantages. Rarely do I turn my television on ( I just don’t find it interesting) and I also require very little sleep. But actually the things that have helped me the most are the tips listed below. Some of them I learned from my accountability coach and others I decided to us to help improve my own personal productivity.
1. Map out a plan BEFORE I begin my week. On Sunday I am often traveling and when not I am in worship and spending the rest of day with family. So each Saturday night I sit and make a list of the things I want to accomplish the following week, assign then a level of priority and then break it down to days. Afterwards, I review my calendar for clients, meetings and phone calls and determine where the other tasks will fit in. Do I sometimes get off track? Of course I do, but planning ahead makes for much smoother days.
2. Eliminate multitasking. I was once an avid “multi-tasker,” especially during meetings and conference calls. But what I found when I started focusing on time management was that I was actually causing myself a lot more time and sometimes headaches. While trying to do more than one thing, it was inevitable that I would miss something and have to backtrack. Often it resulted in me listening to a recording, which was not time saving at all.
3. Focus on how to benefit from down time. Most of my down time is when I travel. Just driving to the airport takes a huge chunk out of my day. To help me leverage this, I schedule calls and coaching sessions while sitting at the airport and do a lot of my scheduling, writing and planning on the plane.
4. Make time for the things that I love. Besides the day-to-day requirements of running two businesses, I have other things that I love. Hobbies like cooking for others, writing, and shopping breathe life into me and I try my very best to do at least one of them each day. What I find is the happier and more fulfilled I am, the more productive I am when I return to my tasks.
5. Give to others. Although I do make time to nurture myself, my fullest joy in life is not living it for myself. My greatest joy and fulfillment is investing my time in someone else. Most of the time it is nothing major, but it is fulfilling none-the-less.
Unfortunately, for much of my life, there was very little intentionality in my days. To be blatantly honest, most of them were wasted. But over the past several years, many things have changed for me. I have learned to look at each day individually and to embrace the potential that every single one of them holds.
If you are struggling to make the best of your days, try some of the tips above. It may seem a little overwhelming, but these are actually things that are very achievable. Give them a try and you too will learn that no matter how difficult you try to make it, it really doesn’t take much to make the most of your time.