Time often holds us hostage. We wrestle with to-do lists, deadlines and spiraling guilt (from failing to get it all done). There is a way out: Good habits – planning, organization and focus.
Instead of going full-throttle at every task, invest time in identifying your core values. Then, schedule selectively. Take a look at your life and determine which activities are vital: high-payoff, crucial, life- or business-sustaining.
Set aside an hour on a Sunday to ask yourself what’s really important. Make a list and grab your calendar. If you love art, schedule museum trips as you would a dental appointment. If family time is key, designate one day per month as a family outing day. Think creatively.
Prioritizing is the key to greater efficiency as well as accomplishing what really matters. Assess each activity or task and ask yourself: What results will this gain?
Taking a call at random or chatting with an unexpected visitor can eat away your day. Manage distractions by asking upfront how much time is required. Be proactive in deciding whether to proceed or postpone. If you’re in the middle of something, offer to meet later.
Imagine your time is like a closet. See your day as a limited space that accommodates only so much and benefits from organization. Group common tasks together. Hit the grocery store, cleaners and health food store all in one outing.
Procrastination is a time guzzler. Set up a rewards system to stay motivated. Say a deadline out loud to someone else to commit yourself to it. If you are consistently late, set an early deadline and write reminders in your planner, calendar or on post-its. Don’t let fear of failure – or success – paralyze you.