Are You Really That Busy?
Sometimes…it’s not that we are so busy as much as we just don’t manage time and choices as well as we should.
Every year around the holidays I start to hear the same complaints… “there is too much to do before the end of the year and I just don’t have enough time to get it all done.”
We all seem to overcommit around the holidays and especially in the office and in our businesses.
Bosses want projects wrapped up before the first of the year, business owners want to roll out new programs in January…leaving much to be done to prepare and looming deadlines that seem almost impossible to meet.
In most cases…we started too late to even achieve realistic deadlines…but we push forward anyway…exhausting ourselves and those that work with us or for us. Some things won’t change, but here are four ways to help you make better choices and manage your time better:
Start off each day with a clear priority list.
Listen…I know stuff comes up, clients call with emergencies, things don’t go as planned. However, writing down your priorities every day helps keep you on track as much as possible. It allows you to focus on those important tasks or projects that need your attention.
Suggestion: My day starts with a list of priorities in my daily planner. I normally know how much time I have during the day (between calls and managing my business) to work on projects and tasks. I only schedule what I know can be done during that time frame. I fill in the week with other tasks to ensure that everything that has to be done gets done by deadline!
Shut down disruptions.
In most cases you have the ability to manage your interruptions. Working on your computer? Turn off your email and shut down social media…those notifications that pop up on your screen disrupt your thought process. We all feel like we can manage everything at once. But guess what? You can’t. You brain does not have the ability to multi-task! No matter how well you think you do it – you’re doing 100 things with no quality or accuracy!
Suggestion: When I am writing blog content, like I am right now…my email is turned off and so are my social media sites. My phone is turned over and silenced. I know that disruptions cause me to lose focus and they can totally pull me in a different direction than where I need to be. So, I make sure I remove any distractions that might interrupt my focus. I’ll be honest, it’s painful! But I know from years of practice that when I remove the distractions, the task is completed in half the time…freeing me up to take on more of the day’s priorities.
Learn to say NO!
That’s right…learn to say NO to those things that don’t align with your goals. We are all guilty of saying yes to things because we worry that people will think less of us. We want people to think that we can do it all! You can’t! So, stop pretending that you can!
Suggestion: FOMO is the fear of missing out. Some people have it really bad and others…maybe a little bit. But we all feel it once in a while. Always keep that top of mind when deciding on saying yes or no. Are you saying yes because you just don’t want to miss out on something? Or are you saying yes because it aligns with your goals. If what you’re saying yes to will cause you to stress, put you behind, or throw you out of your lane…think about saying no.
Always make time to regroup!
Working on big projects and putting in long hours is exhausting, and your brain needs time to regroup and refresh. Working harder and longer hours is not always the answer. Everyone needs time to recharge…and come back feeling energized and more refreshed!
Suggestion: When I am working on a project with a client, I find that my focus will tend to diminish after spending a long time working on it. I’ve found that even a quick trip to Starbucks to treat yourself to a coffee, a walk or bike ride outside, or even taking your full lunch hour helps your brain take a break. I know when I come back, I am refreshed, and my focus is back on point.
Finishing up a big project that’s taken months? Take a few days away from your desk and computer. You will be surprised how much you’ll get done when you get back at it!