You know that old joke about success, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, man. Practice?”
To practice, you need time. And tragically, there never seems to be enough of it in the day. But believe me, every successful person you can think of utilizes their time with peak efficiency. That’s how they seem to get more done in a day than most people get done in a month!
Of course, the trick is learning how to be more efficient with your time, and that’s trickier than you might think. Without key strategies in place, it becomes so easy to lose track of it. Five minutes on Twitter can become a full hour. One YouTube video can lead you down a rabbit hole that could take you all afternoon to climb out of.
That’s why, if you want to be a success, you need to learn effective time management skills that will not only keep you on task but also free up extra time for you to spend on the things that matter to you, both personally and professionally.
Level up your to-do list
When most people make a to-do list, they jot down everything they need to do in a day. Unfortunately, they usually aren’t organized in a way that gives property to the most critical items.
To help keep yourself on task, I would recommend trying a digital to-do list. There are a ton of free ones out there, like Microsoft To-Do or Apple Reminders. Using these apps, you can write down all of your daily tasks and prioritize them to make sure the most important things get done first.
build some structure into your day
If there is one thing that working from home gives you, it’s an appreciation for the structure of a dedicated workplace.
This year, many people who started working from home found it almost impossible to keep track of their time and get their work finished at the end of the day. The office can provide a sense of structure. It’s a place where you go specifically to WORK. When you’re sitting at your desk at home, you’re likely in a completely different mindset.
That’s why giving your day some additional structure can help you make better use of your time. Some people use time-management strategies like the Pomodoro Technique. This method provides you dedicated chunks of time to work, with small breaks at the end. If this strategy doesn’t work for you, don’t worry, other techniques will (and if you want to talk about some, give me a call)!
The bottom line is that it’s almost impossible to get everything done that you want every day. We might think that it’s all a matter of willpower, but the reality is that we have a limited amount of fuel in the tank, so to speak. When that runs out, that’s it for the day, and everything else we do feels sluggish and unmotivated.
That’s one of the reasons why prioritizing your time is so important. If you don’t finish your to-do list at the end of the day, don’t beat yourself up over it. That does nothing but make you feel guilty and puts you in a poor mindset for the next day. What matters is the effort that you put into it. As you continue to work on your time-management skills, you will start to become more efficient in how you spend it.
Time tracking is something that many incredibly successful people do, but it’s not for everyone.
By tracking the amount of time you spend doing your daily tasks, you can start to make better habits and become more aware of how you use your days. It might be shocking just how many hours you spend working on email daily or returning phone messages. By tracking your time, you can start to build a record, learning to minimize “wasted” time while maximizing the time spent doing the important things.
You do not need to take time tracking to obsessive levels for it to be useful. While some people literally track every minute of the day, both in their personal and professional lives, I would recommend instead using a more passive method, like your phone/computer’s ScreenTime functions. It will tell you exactly what programs you are spending the most time in, maybe pointing out areas where you could cut back.
I believe that becoming more efficient with your time is a crucial part of success and is often a focus for coaches. In my work, I’ve helped hundreds of people become more efficient with their time, allowing them to advance their goals, build their businesses, find new careers, and excel in their personal lives. That’s what Transformative Coaching is all about!
If you want to learn how to better spend your time and energy through coaching, fill out this form, and we can start working together! Or if you’d like to learn more about how I can help, please feel free to reach out for a free 20-minute introductory session!