Thursday, May 23, 2019

Productivity Tips - How To: Make More Time in Your Day

"There are not enough hours in the day" is something that you probably hear constantly or maybe you even say it yourself! The truth is that we all have the exact same amount of hours in the day and yet some of us are able to achieve so much more than others (think: Beyonce). 

It's a hard pillow to swallow but the tough truth of this dilemma is that it all comes down to how you organise your day, how well you prioritise and your productivity levels. Let's break this down a bit into bite-sized life hacks that can see you soon becoming the master of your own time and getting those to-do's crossed off at a rapid speed.

1. Evaluate Your Productivity 
Have you ever gotten to the end of the day and felt like you hadn't stopped moving since you got up in the morning? Yet instead you realise that you have literally have not crossed ONE thing off your to-do list for that day?! How could that be?! You're busy but not making progress - it's like running backwards! So by definition, you were filling your time with low priority tasks that were taking place instead of focussing on those things you had to do. Your schedule will get filled up with useless tasks - but only if you let it! There is a way to overcome this all too common challenge of filling your time with productive activity as opposed to feeling busy and overwhelmed constantly. The answer is - prioritisation!

2. Prioritise 
You must prioritise the things that are important to you otherwise they will either go undone or be put on the backburner for absolutely anything that pops up. It's about identifying the key tasks on your to-do list that are most important and will have the most impact if completed. Each day, sit down and do a complete brain-dump of every single thing you can think of that you have to do. I love doing this to clear my mind because you always feel much lighter after getting everything down on paper. Once you have done this, start to prioritise all these tasks in order of importance. What are the things you HAVE to get done? Do you have an assignment due that has a deadline you need to meet? Because this will likely take top priority over something like 'clean the garage'. The mess in the garage isn't going anywhere - you can definitely divert your attention to finishing your assignment and have it there waiting for you when you're finished.

3. Plan Your Day / Time Batch 
Now that you have your list of tasks, in order of priority, now it's time to plan out what is achievable for you to complete that day. Take the top 3 priorities you have and add them to a separate list. Then cherry-pick some lower priority tasks that seem feasible to complete that particular day. This is called BATCHING tasks to save time. So if you have a meeting in the city that day you might want to choose the tasks that are on your way into the city and would avoid you taking a separate trip at another time.

If you're already heading into the city for the day you might want to drop off some clothes to be dry cleaned at your favourite place in the city, make a return to that store you purchased from there, visit your bank to sort out an accounts issue you're having etc. If you're going into Uni for the day you might want also to have an appointment with a supervisor, set up lunch with a friend who will be on campus, pick up your new student ID and of course, go to the class you are there for. Batching similar activities into chunks of time means you get more done is a shorter period because there are less thought and travelling involved than if you were to try to attack each task at different times. It sounds simple, but it does take some conscious effort to organise yourself to this point of prioritising and batching tasks.

You will soon become the organised, on top of your to-do list, queen once you start implementing these tactics of; realistically evaluating your use of time and subsequent productivity, identifying then prioritising your tasks, planning your daily tasks accordingly and time batching to get them done. There are enough hours in the day - it's just up to you to better utilise your days to make maximum use of all the time you do have.


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