You know the feeling: things to be done at home, things to be done at work, rushing between the two and a sense of never quite being on top of it all. So how can you free up some time in your hectic days?
1. Do less. Simplify your life by doing fewer things and focusing fully on the important stuff; you’ll find you actually increase the impact and effectiveness of the time you spend working. If a task can be done by someone else, whether at home or at work, delegate it.
2. Limit your working hours. If you’re in charge of your own time, set yourself a certain number of hours in which to work on business-related issues in a day – and stick to that limit. You’ll force yourself to focus on getting the truly important tasks done during that time.
3. Get the essential things done early. Choose the top two or three things that you want to accomplish, and do them at the start of the day. If you don’t have full control over your to-do list, ask your boss to prioritise tasks for you.
4. Carry out tasks in batches. Both at home and at work, try to group similar tasks and do them all at once. Instead of responding to emails throughout the day, attend to all of them once or twice a day at set times. Do all your paperwork at once. Write all your errands on a list throughout the week and do them all on one day, planning your route so that you get it all done as quickly as possible. Set aside time to cook big batches of food all at once and put some in the freezer.
5. Make use of online banking. Have all your bills ready to pay and do it online once a week or once every two weeks. Reconcile your bank statement and check your accounts. Where possible, set up automatic payment of regular bills.
6. Focus on one thing at a time. Rather than juggling a large number of tasks or projects, set aside a block of time to concentrate on just one. Try to complete it in that time if at all possible, but even if you can only do part of it you’ll still have made progress.
7. Disconnect. When you really need to focus on a task, disconnect from the internet and switch your cellphone to silent.
8. Manage your environment. Both at home and at work, keep things clutter-free. You’ll be able to concentrate better on what you’re doing, and it makes it easier to clean, easier to navigate, and quicker to find what you need. Have a place for everything, and put things back in their place when you’re not using them. Teach your children to do the same.
Most importantly, learn to say no. Every request is a demand on your time. It’s often not easy to say no, but whenever you say no to something that isn’t in line with your priorities, you’re saying yes to the things that are really important to you.
http://www.emergingstars.com Author : Fiona Rom