Today, I’m going to let you all in on a secret about time management and productivity. You see, time management isn’t about squeezing the most you possibly can out of every single second. And what’s more is that productivity isn’t about spending the most amount of time working.
Both words are quite inaccurate, but lead people to overwhelm themselves by trying to live up to the misguided expectations. Really, time management is all about spending the time you do have effectively. So, when you spend your time more effectively in ways that invest in your goals, you’ll feel much more productive. In the same amount of time, you’ll accomplish so much more than you did before.
To properly manage your time, you’ll have to manage all areas of your life so they work together in harmony. Keep reading to find out more about how to get the “most” out of the time you have.
I think it’s time to stop believing that you’re not doing enough with your time. Sure, everyone lives in a 24 hour day, but people do not have the same 24 hours. If you’ve fallen victim to the popular meme “Everyone has the same 24 hours as Beyoncé,” take heart in the fact that it is technically true, but not really. It’s not true in real life applications.
Most people don’t have an army of support workers at their disposal, so you’ve probably got A LOT going on each and every day. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to prioritize! Seriously, it’s life changing to sort them all out. And don’t beat yourself up too much if you don’t have tons of free time to dedicate to work every day. We all have a life, and the reality is many people have non-negotiable priorities that they have to work around, like kids. But then, it’s important to think about what you actually want to be doing. It’s such a simple question, and yet so many of us don’t take the time to ask ourselves about it.
So, decide on what you want to spend your time doing. Think about what makes you happy, what you want to achieve, and anything else that’s relevant for your life. Make sure that you think about it holistically. Too often people view their lives in separate little snapshots, but it’s the big picture that’s going to make a difference. It’s important to check in with yourself regularly about your priorities as well. Over time they will change, and that’s okay! Continue to evolve and grow, and adjust your priorities accordingly.
It would be great if we all had endless amounts of energy, but that’s not real life. Energy is finite for each day, and if you regularly push yourself too hard you’re going to hit a wall. Burnout is real, you guys. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to use every last ounce and have nothing left when I have time with friends and family. Burnout in the name of productivity is not worth it, I promise. And if you’re always feeling rundown, it’s time to take a harder look at how you’re spending your energy.
How do you do this? Well, I’ve got a little exercise for you to do. I want you to do a personal energy audit. I know it may sound trivial, but it’s very important. Completing the audit will give you a better look into how you’re spending your time, where most of your energy is going, and which activities energize or drain you. You can also mark down the priority level of each activity and then it’s time to reflect. Are you prioritizing the activities that give you energy or the ones that bring you down? Are you spending time giving energy to areas of your life outside of work? And if there are imbalances, how are you going to correct them moving forward?
It’s a lot to think about, but once you sort out where you’re spending your energy, you’ll be much better equipped to manage your day to day.
Okay, this might be the most challenging one of all. Managing where your attention goes throughout the day is no easy task. Even if you’ve taken the time to create a plan, you might still struggle with implementation. That’s totally understandable! There are a million distractions out there, and it’s so easy to slip up and let your mind go elsewhere. Some people might struggle with their attention span more than others, so being aware of it is step one. Do you find yourself getting easily distracted throughout the day? Do your tasks take you longer than they should? Do you have to refocus regularly? Just remember, it’s normal to get distracted but there are ways to improve.
The first thing you can do is stop trying to multitask all the time. It’s basically setting yourself up for distraction. Giving a task your full attention will make it go by more quickly and will make your effort much more effective. If you know that certain things distract you more than others, eliminate them! For example, if you work on the couch and get distracted by the TV, start working from a different location. If social media grabs your attention, leave your phone in another room. Little things make a big difference, and eliminating distractions will eventually train your brain to focus better. Then, you won’t need to remove things because you’ll be better able to concentrate no matter what.
Taking these steps is a great way to feel more accomplished, less drained, and have more time outside of work. Don’t fall victim to the idea that if you just spend more time, you’ll be more productive. It’s all about making the most out of the time you do have for specific tasks. And don’t be afraid to do what works for you! Everyone is different, so it might take some time to sort out the best formula for your life. Be intentional. Your business will thank you.