If you are the type of person who grumbles about how you never have enough of time in a day to do things, you’re not alone. Nevermind doing the things you love; completing things you have to do is difficult, and 24 hours just isn’t enough time to get it all done. I know, I’ve been there.
One day, just like that, a bell might go off in your head telling you that the first 10 minutes of those 24 hours are the most important ones of the day, and those ten minutes decide whether your day will flow smoothly or not.
Let’s take this step-by-step.
Decide what’s important and what isn’t
Make a list. Write down everything you have to do for the day and make sure you include everything. Add in office-related jobs, house chores, shopping lists, errands, replying to mail, visiting friends and family, lunches, dinners. Include everything.
Now, just mark out those that absolutely have to be done today. These are the only things you will do today. Period. The rest you will schedule for tomorrow or the day after depending on their urgency and importance.
Decide during which part of the day you will do a certain job
Now that you’ve selected the jobs you will do today, you have to schedule them into your day’s plan. You can do this in two ways: One, you can schedule them according to importance or two, you schedule them according to which time of the day you work better. For example, If you are a morning person, do all your thinking jobs during this time—you’ll be alert and things will flow more quickly and smoothly. Keep the routine jobs to a time when you are not functioning at 100%.
Attach a time limit to each task
This is important. Often, we get too engrossed in a job and end up spending way too much time on it, so set a time limit. Keep an alarm around or set reminders on your phone, and you’ll train your brain to stay focused, work faster, and finish work on time.
Do I really need to spend so much time on this?
Ask yourself whether this job deserves significant importance. If not, lessen the time you’ve planned to spend on it.
Can I delegate?
This is something most people hate to do. Most people think that they’ll end up spending so much time telling a person what to do that they’d rather do it themselves, and this is where they stumble. Doing this means you have more work to do yourself. Now imagine, if you had told someone else to do it, you’d have some more time for yourself.
One way of dealing with delegation is to break down the job into smaller parts, and explain them thoroughly. This simplifies things for the other person, and it’s also easier to keep things in check and correct along the way instead of seeing it at the end.
To whom can I delegate?
While delegating, remember to pick the right person for the right job. Don’t try mixing things up, especially if you don’t have the luxury of time.
When do I stop?
Come on, I’m sure you have somewhere else to go. To do something fun, or just hang out with friends. To do this you need to know when to stop working, so set a firm deadline, and decide that you won’t work beyond this point. What’s pending will be scheduled for a later date.
Relax—the world will not come to a stop if you leave your office on time.
Is this enough?
This is something you need to decide every morning. Bosses love dumping work on people, so it’s up to you to tell them when you have all you can handle. This doesn’t reflect badly on you; in fact, it’s good to be honest. Don’t try to over-promise; instead, under-promise, and over-deliver.
Do this every morning for ten minutes, and the rest of your day will flow much more smoothly.