10 Things You Must Do to Have More Time
by Marcia Francois
One of the most common goals my clients tell me about is that they want more time.
If you can relate, I have good news for you -- if you put just one of these tips into practice, you will save hours every week:
1. Learn to say no Saying no helps you set strong boundaries. What do you have to say no to so that you can say yes to your goals this year?
2. Play to your strengths With everything in life, I believe you should play to your strengths. If you're terrible at cleaning your house, hire a cleaning lady. If you're not great at organising, hire a professional organiser.
3. Learn to prioritise When you know how to prioritise, even if you only get one or two things done daily, they will always be the right things and not just busy work.
4. Set up systems Systems save you space, time, energy, money and stress.
Meal planning is a system for organising and preparing meals. Regular computer back-up is another system to keep your computer running smoothly.
What kinds of systems can you put in place?
5. Work smarter Group tasks so that you only do preparation ONCE. Make your client calls all at the same time. You'll be on a roll, get through them a lot faster and save energy because you don't have to get into phone mode more than once.
Make your work do double duty. If you type a certain type of email often, make an auto text entry and save the template. If you write a comment on a blog, expand that same comment and write a blog post of your own.
6. Stop multi-tasking Yes, you read that correctly ;) When you try and do multiple tasks, your attention is split and you lose focus. The lack of focus means that you end up spending a lot longer completing your task because you're not fully engaged.
What happens when you're driving and you get lost? You switch off the radio so you can focus. Next time you have to work on a project, close Outlook so you're not distracted by incoming email.
7. Write it down Write down things to buy, things to talk to X about, errands to run, upcoming birthdays, etc.
You won't find yourself returning from running errands only to find you forgot to return your library books. You will start being that organised person who actually has a birthday present wrapped days before the person's birthday.
8. Declutter and simplify Did you know that decluttering cuts your cleaning time by 32%? If that isn't inspiration to declutter, then I don't know what is!
Living a simplified life means you no longer spend hours looking for things. It also means your schedule isn't jam-packed with activities and you actually have time to enjoy your life.
9. Plan your time When you plan your time, leave enough time to complete the task plus some buffer time. Work expands to fill the available time so don't allow 3 hours for a 1-hour activity because you will use the full 3 hours if you do so.
If you're not sure how long things take to do, keep a time log for a week or two and see for yourself.
10. Organise your paper and email Every time I run an organising workshop, I get participants to complete a Time Wasters Assessment. The results differ slightly depending on the type of group but since 2003, email has crept up the ranks and is now the top time waster! And paper is a close second.
Learning to correctly organise your paper and email will save you HOURS every day. Most business owners spend approximately 2 -- 3 hours just attending to email; I spend 15 -- 20 minutes Don't get overwhelmed -- work on just one of these tips consistently until it becomes a habit and keep adding another until you have it all mastered. But remember, even by doing just one tip, you will save hours every week:
© 2008 Marcia Francois
Marcia Francois may be contacted at http://takechargesolutions.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcia Francois is a personal life coach and professional organiser who teaches small business owners and other busy people how to have more time, less stress and a more organised and fulfilled life. Visit http://organiseyourbusiness.com for your free Organise your Life e-book and other helpful tips.