You've got a lot of things you want and need to get done, and maybe you're frustrated there's a lack of time to fit it all in. I hear you!
So here are 3 simple ways to save time now. These may seem like small adjustments, but once implemented the moments of time you save add up to greater freedom and productivity!
1. One-Touch Policy
People who get a lot done typically have a ‘one-touch’ policy. That is, they never double handle anything that needs to be done.
When a ‘to do' presents itself, instantly:
- See it
- Do it OR schedule it (using technology with automated reminders, not your memory!)
- Tick it off, delete it and/or file it
For all the minutes spent on shuffling, procrastinating, list making, rewriting lists, thinking about what needs to be done, worrying about how to get it done – you could probably have had it done and move on! The “one touch policy” is a great way to challenge and train yourself to be more effective and productive.
2. Eliminate Noisy Nothingness
Noisy nothingness is all the stuff that goes on day to day that you are not interested in and adds no value to you, yet all the same it can suck you in and tie you up!
- Television advertisements – they hold you in a trance in between watching interesting, valuable shows that you do enjoy. Mute the television and do something useful in the ad breaks! Read another snippet of your book, make a call, fold the washing, give yourself a foot bath, make a snack, write in your journal, plot your next holiday!
- Your thoughts – shock horror! Yes, your own automatic conveyor belt of thoughts are a form of white noise. Getting lost in your thoughts could either be a form of escape, a part of creativity/inspiration (useful!), or it just a total time waster. The latter is your opportunity to take back valuable minutes. Notice how much time you spend worrying, plotting, debating and stressing inside your head. Then interrupt it and immediately DO something, get on with the business of living!
- Gossip and complaining – it dresses itself up as conversation but in fact it’s not. It is instead negative, adding no value and thieving time and joy from life. Replace it with talking about things that matter or doing things that matter.
3. Challenge Your Schedule & Priorities
Too often people believe their commitments are non-negotiable and things that are in fact optional become habit and start to look like priorities.
Make a rough list of how you spend an average 24 hour period. Mark off what is definitely immovable and where in fact you could make different choices that would save you time. Such as:
- Do you have to go to that event/catch up?
- Are you spending your time with people and at places that you are interested in and which add value, or are you doing it out of obligation?
- Does you really need to clean/vacuum the house and car so often? Are you overdoing things that don't matter?
- Do you need to physically go to the store to buy that gift for your friend or can you order it online? Don't work harder, think smarter!
- Do you have to work through your lunch break every single day? Perhaps you might need to on occasion, in order to make sure something important happens. But notice if you’re in the habit of never taking a break.
- Do you really need to watch/read the news/latest events in the morning, during the day and at night? If you enjoy it then great! If you’re just soaking it up mindlessly, choose one slot a day to get your fix and free yourself up for other valuable activities.