By AJ Agrawal of INC. via Huff Post Small Business
You may feel like there’s never enough time in the day. Jumping from task to task, you work from dawn to dusk only to be disappointed by your progress. When you try to relax, you’re subconsciously focusing on the tasks you have to do afterward. Because of your hyperpacked schedule, you end up doing 50 things all at 50 percent. Over time, this leads to a crash and subpar work. You start to become overwhelmed, and soon you neglect things like email and staff meetings. The question of why effort doesn’t equal results keeps popping up in your mind. You are trying so hard to be productive, but every step forward is bringing you two steps back.
What’s worse is that you see others in your organization who are always able to get everything done. They rarely seem stressed, and yet they always get their tasks completed. These are the people in your company regarded as superhuman. Below, I’ve listed three ways that these people manage their time. Try incorporating this advice in your daily schedule and your co-workers will begin to think you never sleep.
1. Home in on major tasks
When we’re growing up, people always tell us we can do anything. More so, when we watch inspirational videos, they always seem to highlight a ridiculous work ethic. This gives us the feeling that by not working 24/7 we are somehow not going to be successful as entrepreneurs.
In reality, people who are the most effective just focus on taking care of the top tasks. Some people give the advice to say yes to everything, when in fact the most efficient say no to most things. This clears their schedule so they can just concentrate on what’s crucial for them to do. When you wake up in the morning, write down the most important objectives for the day. If other things come up, say no or delegate them. Your success for the day should be based on what you wrote down. Doing a few things well is much better than being average at everything.
2. Realize that discipline runs out
Studies have shown that you only have so much discipline to give out. If you overuse it, eventually you lose it. Because of this, it’s important to take time to relax and reenergize. A perfect example is people who eat healthy. When you ask most of them, they’ll tell you that they incorporate some kind of cheat meal or cheat day in their diet. This is so they can give into their craving, and recharge their discipline for the week ahead.
To do this in business, consider taking a complete day in which you don’t answer your email. Another idea is to set out time blocks during the workday to spend with your family or friends. Small breaks will go a long way in saving your discipline and avoiding burnout.
3. Drop time wasters
Take a hard look at your schedule. Do you have any meetings that seem to run on too long or phone calls that have no purpose? These are perfect examples of time wasters. One way to get rid of these is to have a clear agenda for every meeting you go into. Another way is to try and push unnecessary meetings and phone calls to emails.
Finally, eliminating time wasters goes for your personal life as well. We all have those friends who want to do nothing but gossip. These are exactly the type of people who suck your time out of you. Instead, try surrounding yourself with people who are as determined as you are. They’ll keep your energy up, and will make spending time with them worthwhile.