“We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.” ~ Herb Kelleher
I know I needed something from my bedroom but don’t remember what it was. Yes, I remember putting my keys in my cupboard but couldn’t find the keys now. My boss asked me for the presentation that I gave last week, but I was unable to find the file on my laptop. Ouch! These are just everyday things that take a lot of our valuable time to figure out and place things in order.
Multitasking is a myth. For everyone who says they can multitask, ignore them. If you want to succeed in this knowledge-based economy, you need to focus on one thing at a time.
We start meeting without having a clear idea of when to end the meeting. Not taking out time to limit the meeting duration will not only cause your time but the time of others too.
We complain about things when someone criticizes our productivity. We shift from productive to defensive mode. Instead of acting confidently, we try to cover it with lame excuses. However, being productive doesn’t work that way. The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.
Everyone is gifted with 24 hours and the way we do things create the future that people will talk about. There will never be enough hours to complete that book, to design that logo, or even to make that perfect cup of Coffee. What you need is to make the most of the time that is gifted to you, and for that, you need some help. I am not an expert on time management, but what I do have the experience to fail massively at things. Moreover, because of that, I can share some tips that helped me and can help you too.
Learn to take control of your commute time: I always carry books while traveling on the train. Not because I love books (Well, I do, but that is not the point here) but because I don’t want to spend time wandering on the train. Books, empower my imagination. They help me understand the world a little better every day. If you’re going to have more time than others, find ways to use your commute time in doing something productive. Read a book, write in your journal, or go for a walk in the forest.
Eliminate distractions: While some people prefer doing work while listening to music, I am not a fan of that. As mentioned earlier multitasking is not a good way to do things efficiently. You need to train your brain to eliminate all the distractions while you work on one thing. Switch off your mobile, open just one tab to do the research, and complete the idea that you started.
Focus on urgent things, instead of important things: There is a massive difference between doing the things that are important vs. the critical stuff. My friend, who runs a digital marketing agency in Australia, shares his experience on the expiry of his SSL certificate. When Google knows that your website is not secure, he puts you on the blacklist and temporary shutdown your website. Now, this thing is urgent and needs more attention than an angry customer. Every day you need to make decisions that bring you closer to your goal.
Take regular breaks: The most successful people don’t necessarily work 12 straight hours. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is the number of breaks they take while doing the work. When you are busy with work, it is often difficult to think straight, because after some time your ability to feel degrades. At that moment what you need is your mind to relax. Moreover, for your mind to rest you need to take regular breaks while you are doing the work.
Find your peaks hours: Normal people avoid the most difficult tasks. However, successful people do the most difficult tasks first. Find out what are your peak hours. What time of the day, your brain functions best and uses that time to do the most challenging task.
Start your day with a blast: Are you a member of the 5 am a club? If not, you can start right now. Their magic that happens only in the morning, and you can be the part of that magic. Give your morning the gift of gratitude. Thank God for everything you are blessed with. Write out the things that make your life beautiful. Read something right before you jump into your emails.
To conclude it all
Everyone is gifted with the same 24 hours every day, but not everyone turns out to be successful. Why? Because not everyone knows what it takes to use the best of your time. I have been using the above tips for more than a few years now, and they are working for me. Try them out and bless me later.
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