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12 Real Reasons Some People Never Seem to Have Enough Time

12 Real Reasons Some People Never Seem to Have Enough Time

Many people today complain that they constantly don’t have enough time. They are so busy that they don’t have time for their families, work tasks, kids, friends, etc. At the same time, there are lots of people who have the same number of responsibilities or even more, but they manage to do everything in time and still find a couple of hours to relax and do what they like. People who always lack time are probably do something wrong. Here’s why.

1. They don’t sleep right

Sleeping is one of the most important things for a healthy and successful life. If your sleeping hours are chaotic and irregular, you probably find yourself not having enough time for some things during the day. Scheduling your sleep can be the perfect solution here. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and you may see the difference soon.  The earlier you wake up, the more time you have before work to get ready, eat and spend some time on yourself.

2. They don’t say “no”

People who agree to help everyone don’t usually have much time left for themselves. If someone asks you for a favor, think if you have time for this and whether it will be good for you. I’m not saying you should turn everyone down and be selfish. However, your personal goals, plans, and desires should be a priority.

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3. They don’t work out

Many people don’t work out because they think they don’t have time for that. However, it is proven that physical activities make our brains work faster and better. Thus, after a good workout, you will be able to finish your tasks much quicker and maybe even better. Plus, you’ll be in good shape.

4. They don’t make to-do-lists

Planning is the key to success. If your days are not organized, you lose a lot of time on deciding what to do next, choosing which task to start with, procrastinating, etc. Make a to-do-list every day and before going to sleep, check if you managed to do everything. If you can, plan your day by hours. Then you won’t forget anything; you’ll do everything in time and procrastinate less.

5. They don’t eat right

Healthy eating can actually help you with the lack of time. If you eat on schedule and the products are healthy yet nutritious, you won’t spend time on numerous snacks between meals and your body won’t spend too much energy on digesting difficult food. So you will be more energized and productive.

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6. They don’t get themselves in the right mood

Tons of researches have proved that optimists do better at work, tests, contests, etc. If you don’t put yourself in the right mood, you’ll procrastinate more and do less with your time. Try to start your working day calm and focus on the important tasks. You can use pleasant morning habits to improve your spirit such as drinking your favorite coffee or listening to positive music.

7. They don’t eliminate distractions

Have you ever noticed how much time you spend on social networks, reading news, chatting with colleagues, answering calls, helping new colleagues understand the work, etc. Distractions are what stop you from getting things done fast and right. If you were sitting in a closed room with nothing but your task, you’d probably deal with it quite quickly. But you cannot create such a room, so create a system. Choose at least two hours per day when you cannot be disturbed at all. Turn off your phone, close all the entertainment sites, put on your headphones and ask your colleagues not to disturb you. You will do more in these two hours than you do in a day with all those distractions.

8. They don’t have specific goals

If you don’t know where you are going to, you make a lot of detours and stops. Having a clear goal in your head can help you move faster towards it. The important thing is not to make this goal too abstract. Instead of having a goal of becoming rich, have a goal to finish your big project by the end of the year. A good idea is to have smaller goals along with that big one, such as to lose a couple of pounds by the end of the month or to start riding a bike to work instead of a car. Start small, but think big.

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9. They take too many tasks

Multitasking can be great sometimes. But if you have many tasks and you want to do all of them right, don’t try to do them all at once. You’ll miss something, you’ll make mistakes, and you won’t do the best you can and as a result, you will have to correct mistakes and redo some things. That will take much more time than you can spend doing everything right from the first try. Take 1-2 tasks at a time and do your best with them.

10. They check their e-mails way too often

If you’re waiting for a very important letter and check your e-mail every hour, it is one thing. However, doing it first thing in the morning is definitely not right. It distracts you from your plans, goals and intentions. Don’t check your personal e-mails more than three times a day and definitely try not to do it for at least a couple of hours after you wake up.

11. They are not organized

Good preparations and planning is the key to saving time. Some people spend too much time in the morning getting ready, cooking breakfast, and collecting their things. However, you can do half of those things in the evening and save yourself a lot of time. You can decide what you’ll wear and iron some clothes; you can put all the things you’ll need in your bag, you can pre-cook an easy meal for the morning, etc.

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12. They don’t use their free time productively

All of us have some things that we love to do no matter if they don’t bring us much use. This time can still be used with some benefit. If you cannot but watch a TV show in the evening, do some exercising while watching it; thus, you can skip the gym and do what you really want to do not wasting time. If you love drawing, for example, turn on some educational podcasts or foreign language audio-courses; even if you don’t listen to that very attentively, you still hear and learn something. Try to combine such things and you’ll have some more time.

Featured photo credit: Time flies/Hartwig HKD via flickr.com

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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