Supercharge your life: Get more done, waste less time
-Feb 20, Hannah Hargrave , Living -
It often feels like there’s simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done, but there are some easy ways to power up your productivity and make you feel superhuman.
Whether procrastination is hindering your daily mission to tick off your to-do list or you’re quite simply overwhelmed with your life or workload, there are things you can do to make the most of that all important resource called time.
Good time management can reduce stress, boost your mood, up your energy levels and make you a much happier person and yet many of us are crumbling under the pressures of a ticking clock when we really don’t need to be.
To lead a smoother, calmer, more manageable existence, try incorporating these things into your life.
Make a plan
Before you go to bed, make a plan for the following day. Some of the most organised and productive people schedule their days to the most minute detail. You don’t have to write in every single second of the day, but having a timetable to follow does give you a focus. It can be incredibly satisfying too, to mentally tick off the productive hours on your daily calendar.
Wake up and get up
Start your day the right way and you’ll be amazed at how much smoother the rest of it runs. That dreaded snooze button is a no-go if you want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed. Because while you think an extra few minutes of sleep will work in your favour it can lead to sleep inertia and you’ll feel groggy and unproductive for hours afterwards.
You may have to be a bit ruthless but if you’re overwhelmed with things you feel you HAVE to get done, then prioritisation is imperative.
Often a lot of time is spent on tasks which don’t have much of an impact. So to prioritise try using this Eisenhower Matrix method to divide up your tasks and filter them into one of these four categories.
1. Important and urgent – clearly these are the top objectives. They really count and they are time critical.
2. Not urgent and important – it can be easy to leave these because of the lack of urgency. However if you don’t address them they’ll become important and urgent. The things in this list are often more about maintenance and can be a little mundane, but stay on top of them and they may just become habitual.
3. Not important and urgent – this could be a friend asking you to come and meet them You want to drop everything and go but perhaps find out why they need to meet first and decipher if it’s an emergency or actually just a favour that can wait.
4. Not important and not urgent – these are essentially time wasters. Binging on box sets should be saved for downtime.
It might be impressive that you can type, talk and drink your coffee all at the same time, but switching between too many tasks can make you inefficient.
When you spread yourself too thinly you end up doing all your jobs in a mediocre manner. It’s way more effective to focus on one activity at a time and get it done properly before moving onto the next. Swapping between them just slows you down.
Save your multi-tasking skills for when you’re at the gym, on a treadmill listening to a podcast!
Write a NOT-to-do list
This will help you to weed out your weaknesses. If you know you’re forever checking social media when you shouldn’t be or you sneak in lunch at 11am to avoid something important, then a not-to-do list can help you out.
This list can include things like:
– not having lunch until midday
– not switching on social media until you’ve completed X amount of tasks
– not eating lunch at your desk – a break can make you more productive
– not reading the news until the end of the day
Don’t take everything on, especially if you’re not skilled in it. It’s ok to have a quick look at your boiler to see if the fault is an easy fix, but if it’s clearly something you have no idea about, you should call in a professional. It’ll ultimately save you precious time.
If it’s your home life that’s overwhelming then give the kids chores, treat yourself to a cleaner or ask your partner to take on an extra role.
The same goes for when you’re in the workplace. You cannot do it all! Believe it or not there are perfectly capable people out there who can take work off your hands and do it well.
Make delegation your best buddy and you won’t regret it.
If you’re a people pleaser then saying ‘no’ is near impossible. But if doing things for others is taking over your life and stopping you from being able to live your own properly then you need to learn to say ’no’ – and not feel bad about it either. When you say yes too often you get taken advantage of and while there’s nothing wrong with being kind and thoughtful introducing a little ‘no’ into your life can leave you with a surprising amount more time.
Turn off notifications
Distractions are everywhere and if you let your phone chirp every time someone sends you a message, ‘likes’ your photo or chimes in on a WhatsApp group you aren’t going to be able to resist checking it.
Switch off notifications on your phone and only check social media and messages when you’re not-to-do list allows.
If someone needs to get hold of you urgently they can call your phone!
Go to bed on time
The odd late night staying up to get things done won’t affect you, but if you regularly roll into bed in the early hours of the morning having stayed up trying complete more tasks, it’s eventually going to catch up with you.
Quality sleep is a must for your health and for your productivity levels. You have to learn to switch off so that your body and your mind can rest and recuperate.
Look at your lifestyle
Self-care can go to the wayside with everything else going on in your life, but when you’re feeling fit and healthy life always looks more rosy.
You don’t have to dedicate hours of the day to eating well and exercising. In fact it takes less time – and money – to make yourself a hearty packed lunch before you leave the house, than it does to queue up somewhere at lunchtime for an overpriced, calorie laden sandwich.
Look at your lifestyle and where you can make small changes for a big difference.
Add a little more movement to your day with a 15 minute power walk, Make a healthy meal plan so you don’t have to think about what to make at the end of every long day and you’ll soon see an upward curve on the healthy lifestyle, productivity graph!