How to Fit More Hours Into Your Day
We are all busy people and sometimes we feel as if the only thing stopping us from achieving fame and fortune, is that there just aren’t enough hours in our day. Or you may just wish that you had more time to play golf or spend time with your family. If we didn’t need to sleep or eat, then we could get a lot more done, but I have a less drastic solution for you.
An excellent way to save time is to plan ahead so that you’re not making constant small trips. Save non-essential errands and do them all in one outing. Try and arrange all of your meetings in one day to save time, so that you can have the rest of the week in the office to do some focused work.
Divide and Conquer
Organise your day into chunks of time. This is the only way to fit in all the different tasks you may need to accomplish. Jobs tend to stretch to fit the time available, so make sure you schedule periods for checking emails and post, social media, phone calls, planning, administration, etc. It’s vital to also allocate time for food breaks, exercise and socialising. A realistic timetable should mean you get much more done and aren’t tempted to focus only on the tasks you enjoy.
Use Dead Time
Busy people don’t like hanging around doing nothing, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Don’t waste time when you’re hanging about waiting for a plane, a train or doctor. Always have a notebook and something to write with, or a smart phone to use for making notes or accessing the internet. This way you can be making a to-do list, writing an article, tweeting, or answering emails in otherwise dead time.
Even if you’re driving there’s no excuse for wasting time. Get hold of some books on CD and listen to them in the car. Hearing tips from a business guru like Jim Rohn, or an empowering audio by Susan Jeffers is a smart way to use time when you’re driving. Traffic jams and delays will be much less frustrating for you if they mean you get to hear another chapter from a fascinating source of enlightenment!
Multi-Tasking is For Everyone
If you’re really in a rush then you can do more than one thing at a time. I don’t recommend shaving whilst driving, or doing your nail varnish whilst chatting to your doctor, but there are times when multi-tasking will get more done. For example dry the dishes or make a shopping list whilst the kettle is boiling; each time you go upstairs take an item with you that belongs up there; check your emails whilst on hold on the phone. You will amazed at how much difference this can make.
Brief is Best
Don’t allow phone calls and meetings to meander on indefinitely. Some people like to chat, can be very slow to get to the point and are easily distracted. As tactfully as possible, keep calls and meetings focused. If you state upfront that you can only allow 30 minutes or one hour for the meeting and that you have to be somewhere else immediately afterwards, this can help to keep everyone focused on the job in hand.
Don’t live out in the sticks unless you’re prepared to spend lots of time travelling. If you’re able to live centrally to where you work and socialise then you’ll have more time at your disposal. The country may be pretty but country roads don’t tend to be fast. In addition, your mobile phone will probably have a better signal and your broadband is likely to be faster if you live centrally. If rural living is essential to you, then at least live near a fast road or a railway station.
Stay Up To Date
Make sure your computer equipment is up-to date. A computer with not enough memory, a slow processor, or out of date software will slow you down immensely. Your computer will also run more slowly if it is chock-full of viruses, so make sure your spy ware and anti-virus software is up to date and run it daily.
If a face to face meeting isn’t essential then how about using Skype or some other kind of conference software? With a web cam you can see your business associates as well as speak to them. It’s a fantastic way to connect with people and will save you a huge amount of travelling time.
Squeeze More Out of Your Day
It takes a bit of planning, but when you control time instead of allowing time to control you, you will be amazed at how many productive hours you can find. If you multiply that by the 365 days in a year, then you can begin to see how much more you will achieve by following my tips to maximize your time. Squeeze more hours out of your day and enjoy the immediate benefits to your career and life.