Tips for Accomplishing More in a Day
Take a look online, and you’ll no doubt find a gazillion methods for staying on task and getting things done. Many methodologies are available but accompanied by a price tag. From affordable e-books to costly professional help, there are a lot of options for getting more done.
Beyond the obvious problem of not getting things done, wasting time goes hand in hand with wasting money. If you are not making the most of your time, you are likely in a rush. Being in a hurry generally translates to making financial mistakes. If you are not planning out a chunk of time to take care of bills and balance the checkbook, your finances can go downhill fast.
For consumers who are busy, there is a tendency to look for the "easy button," no matter what the price. However, there is no need to spend a small fortune to get yourself in gear and actually accomplish what you set out to do in a day. Here is some free advice for getting more done without forking over the cash. (See also: 10 Ways to Save Time by Spending Time)
Preplan in the Evenings
A written visual of all you need to do is the core of getting things done. Commit to sitting down for at least 20-30 minutes each evening with a blank sheet of paper and list all of the things you need to get done the following day. Transfer tasks to a daily planner sheet, allocating times for each task. This will allow you to clearly see what you can expect to complete during the hours you are awake.
Break It Down
For the big jobs you face, create an outline that breaks down tasks involved in getting the job done. For instance, cleaning out the garage involves many tasks that can be done over time and still result in one larger, accomplished goal.
Stop the Distractions
During those blocks of time you have scheduled for certain tasks that need your undivided attention, including those at work, stop the distractions in their tracks by turning off your cell phone, avoiding email, and asking unexpected visitors to your home or your desk to come back at a more convenient time for you. If your goal is to accomplish more in a day, you have to stick to your guns about interruptions and your desire to stay focused.
Use a Timer
You can use your cell phone, set the timer on the microwave, or buy a portable timer and literally set time limitations on the tasks you need to do. The time may serve as a strong motivator to get moving and not sit down for "just a minute" while you are in the middle of a job. Timers are also a great introduction for teaching children time management skills.
Get Others Involved
When you take on more than is necessary, it is no surprise you can’t handle the load. Learn to ask for help on the job. At home, hash out responsibilities to family members by creating a visual chart of responsibilities you can no longer handle on your own. For everything else, learn to say no when you are short on time.
Expect the Unexpected
Realize from the get-go that no matter how well you plan, things will not always go as envisioned. Don’t let that ruin your day or your motivation. Remember to stay flexible but focused and find ways to work around the unexpected.
Time management does not come naturally to many people and efforts need to be made to ensure you stay organized and acknowledge just how much you can actually accomplish in a period of one day. Having too many unrealistic expectations of yourself gets old fast and probably won’t produce the desired results.