Have you ever thought that if only I could have more than 24 hours in a day? Freaking out just by looking at the task list and you realise there are so many unfinished business and wondering how to complete them? You can’t get more than 24 hours for sure but you can create time in a day by following these 5 easy tips.
1. Create Time by Batching Task
According to research, when we move from one task to another, it takes us approximately 20 minutes to realign focus just to complete the task. This means we are wasting a few hours just to get into the mood to do a task.
Best way to utilize the focus is by batching similar tasks together. For example, corresponding to emails one at a time as it arrives will waste your time and focus. However, if you setup a specific time, let’s say 11am to check email and assessing the email using the 2 minutes rule by David Allen from Getting Things Done will save you time and also manage your inbox.
2. Create Time by Having a Place for Everything
Have you found yourself looking for something, unable to find it, you mess up your entire table just looking for it. You didn’t find it but your desk is in mess right now. Sounds familiar?
Well, I’ve been in the situation as well. Sometimes, I forget what I was looking for. Many hours are wasted just because we fail to put everything back in its place. So, please ensure that your belongings has its own place. Eg: Stationary drawer, Electronic drawer, Tools shelf and etc.
Every time you are done using your desk, spend time to clear your desk for tomorow. Marie Kondo keeps her house clean because she spends as little as 10 minutes everyday to cleanup before going to bed. When everything is in its own place, you create more time in your day to other important tasks.
TIPS FOR MOMMIES : I know it’s difficult to do when you have kids. I have a 6 year old who tends to put her toys everywhere too. I delegate the task of cleaning the toys to her and she does it. I’ve been practicing this with her since she was young. It is not perfect but it will improve and create responsibility on her side.
3. Create Time by Having a Routine
Routine ensures that we do things on autopilot mode. Did you watch the movie ‘Click’ starring Adam Sandler? In the movie, when Adam Sandler skips a few years, the other Adam will be running on autopilot which means he does things based on his habits, so practically Adam doesn’t think much and just do what he used to do.
We do run in autopilot mode too. A great example is when you drive from work to home, you just drive on the road without putting much thought on it and suddenly when you are off the pilot mode, you would be thinking ‘Where am I?’ ‘Why this place looks new?’ How come I didn’t realise this thing was there before?’
So, what tasks can you create routine? You need to think about it. For example, after dinner, I always put the dishes in the dishwasher, food in the fridge, clear up table, make milk for my daughter and bring water for the night. This is my routine and I don’t even think when I do it. It just happens automatically (hence, why called autopilot 😂).
4. Done is better than perfect
Perfect is the ultimate productivity killer. So many of us tend to stall on completing a task because we want to perfect it. This particular habit of perfecting our work is one of the main culprit that takes away our precious time.
Many do argue that perfection is important because it denotes quality work. I don’t deny it but perfecting things that are least important is a loss. So, how do we know the perfection level that is needed for the work? Well, personally, I would think about how much I would pay per hour for the work. If the work deserve $10/hour than I would put in effort equal to that amount. If you will pay for $100/hour for the work, then I would put effort equal to that value.
Some may still argue with me, this is not good work ethics. Let me be frank with you, time is precious. We can’t buy time. So, how do we treat it? By giving importance to tasks that really matters. And in today’s world too many tasks come in to our task list that we fail to concentrate on what really matters to us that will lead to our life goal.
5. Schedule less
This was my biggest pet peeves. I tend to slot in too many things in my schedule because I always under estimate the amount of time needed to a task. This is called planning fallacy, a term used by psychologists to describe our tendency to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task.
So, schedule less and have an optional tasks that you can complete if you have more time on the day.
These 5 tips can be a starting point for you to create more time in your day and use it wisely on things that matters to you.
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