There are never enough hours in the day – but with these three time-saving tips, you can maximize your hours and get more done.
Picture this: You’re in the middle of writing an email to a client when the doorbell rings. You rush downstairs and open the door – it’s a package you’ve been expecting! You take the package into the kitchen to begin cutting the tape and can’t find your cutting knife. As you’re rummaging through your drawer of tools, you realize you’ve run out of packing tape too. You pick up your phone, find the Amazon app, and begin searching for top-rated packing tape. After ten minutes of trying to decide which tape to order, you put your phone down and continue looking for your cutting knife, to no avail. You decide to just tear open the package with your bare hands instead. Upon finally getting it open, you immediately see that they got your order wrong, so you head back upstairs to your computer to print off a return shipping label (and so on and so on and so on)…
Does a scenario like the above ever happen in your life? Me too. It happens to all of us. The reality is, life is filled with distractions from morning to night each and every day. It’s simply a fact of life.
So what can we do? Are we powerless, destined to react to every single that comes our way?
Absolutely not. While it may be finite in nature, our time is ours and ours alone. With a little guidance, a little structure, and a little discipline, we can take our power back over time and get more done in a day than we ever thought was possible. Try the following three time-saving tips and just see where it gets you!
1) Use the Pomodoro Technique to maximize productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique was developed by the Italian Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s. The technique is named after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer which Cirillo used as a college student (“Pomodoro” is the Italian word for tomato). In short, the Pomodor Technique consists of a series of 25-minute long focus session with breaks in between. The time in a focus session is sacred – that is, no interruptions allowed! Learn more at the Pomodoro Technique Wikipedia page or at the official Francesco Circillo website here.
2) Schedule your day from start to finish.
Remember when you were in school and your entire schedule was planned down to the minute each and every day? Many human beings do well with structure – the struggle lies in creating it for ourselves. Try this: at the beginning of your day (or the night before if you prefer) write down your schedule hour by hour for the day ahead. Include start and finish times for each activity. Put this schedule somewhere you’ll see it all day. Then, come hell or high water, stick to that schedule. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you have “expirations” on the time you’re allotted for each task. PS: Don’t forget to schedule time for emailing as well.
3) Ask yourself when you’re most productive/motivated/creative/etc.
At what time of day do you do your best work? For some it’s 6 am and for others it’s 10 at night. Getting clear on what your mood and mental capacity is like at differnet times of day allows you to be more intentional about what types of work you do when. For example, I’ve finally figured out that I’m highly creative in the morning. So for me, it makes the most sense to spend my morning hours working on website designs and then leaving my more mundane admin or development work for the afternoon when my brain isn’t as fired up. Do your most important work at the time of day when you’re most equipped to do it!