It’s safe to say that most people these days are trying to accomplish more in a 24 hour period than ever before. Amongst burgeoning work commitments, family responsibilities, relationships, studies, chores (…and the rest!) getting through our “to-do” lists can at times seem impossible.
So, how do you make every minute count, without burning out? Read on…
Adapted from http://www.strangecharmed.com/
1. Follow the “one-minute rule”. Do any task that can be finished in less than 60 seconds as soon as it arises. Knocking over small tasks immediately not only clears your to-do list, it has a huge mental payoff as well. You’ll feel more in control, you’ll have less to remember to do, and generally feel less overwhelmed.
2. Focus on one thing at a time. Highly productive people focus on doing one thing at a time to their utmost capacity, not switching back and forth between numerous things at once. Single-focus work is also the best way to gain momentum and celebrate small successes.
3. Make a game out of it. If you have a task that you are dreading, set yourself a time limit and try to make as much progress as you can. Not only can this make a chore more palatable, you’ll not waste time procrastinating and feel great for the achievement.
4. Say “no” to requests that drain you. Unfortunately women have been trained to think that many tasks – both in the workplace and at home, start and end with them. Practice politely saying no. If a request, invite or task is distracting you from your real priorities – say so. (And do not over apologise!)
5. Exit bed as soon as you wake. Simple but effective. It’s natural to try and squeeze out those extra few minutes in the morning, but in reality you’re not gaining much of snoozing in terms of meaningful rest. Practice getting up as soon as your alarm goes off. This extra time could add up to more than an hour over the course of a week!
6. Dedicate time to some genuine rest and relaxation. If you work late on weekdays, treat yourself to an early night or a sleep in on your days off. Book in time with friends or family, go technology-free for a while, or take a walk. Meaningful down-time (even if for a short while) works wonders for getting more done in the long run.
7. Break for a good laugh. Humour helps you manage stress, and a laugh will keep you feeling elevated and optimistic. Don’t worry about laughing to yourself if you have to (!!). Take a moment to look at a funny YouTube clip or humourous blog. You’ll be ready to get on with the next task once you’ve let your seriousness go – even momentarily.
8. Manage perfectionism. Whilst we all strive for perfectionism in all facets of our lives, this can be a problem when it gets out of hand. Practice realising what needs to be perfect, and what doesn’t. Do enough to get the job done well, then move onto something else.
9. Do not let nagging problems hang over you. If you’re brooding over a difficult email or conversation to have, it’s going to distract you from more important tasks at hand. Instead, handle difficulties ASAP – you’ll have a clearer head and feel less stressed.