Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent
not enough time on what is important.
Stephen R. Covey
It is very easy to get stuck in a rut. I know. Most of us live the same day over and over.
We get up, we go to work, we come home, we eat dinner, we watch a little television, and then, we go to bed. The next day is a re-run of the same routine. We all have other things we know we would like to accomplish, but it always seems that we run out of day before we can find the time to work on the more meaningful parts of our lives.
How much time do you spend on the most important aspects of your life? You know. Those activities that fulfill your life purpose. Has your life changed considerably over the course of the last year? The last 10 years? At your current rate of progress, where will you be 10 years from today, and what will you be doing?
Suggestions for freeing up part of your day to get to the more important matters:
1. Create a to-do list every day.
- Spend a few minutes each evening, not morning, and make a list for the following day.
- Decide how you’re going to spend your time each day.
- See: Setting Your Day and Yourself up for Success
- Include tasks that address both short-term needs and long-term objectives.
2. List your focus for the next year.
- It is early in the year. Where do you want to go?
- It might be getting a promotion, increasing your skill on the piano, or becoming a more effective parent.
- It is not possible to reliably create a fantastic life or accomplish amazing things without being aware of them beforehand.
- Know your purpose for the next 12 months! This will help prevent you from wasting your time on less important tasks.
3. Focus on progress and drop the need for perfection!
- Perfection, if it is possible, takes too long.
- It is also not a great deal better than doing the job well.
- Perfection is often used as an excuse to spend way too much time on a task.
- Do the task at the appropriate level and move on.
- See: Choosing Achievement Over Perfection
4. Stop a few times each day to evaluate your progress and activity.
- Ask yourself, “Am I spending my time wisely?”
- Is there a better action you could be taking?
- It is all too easy to get caught up in meaningless tasks.
- Just because you are busy does not mean that you are accomplishing anything meaningful.
- Most people cannot multitask. It is time for people to give up the notion that multitasking is in some way more efficient.
- Studies repeatedly show that multitasking is less efficient.
- Just because you may be better at multitasking than someone else does not mean that is the optimal solution.
- Do one thing, do it well, and then move on.
6. Look at the ways you waste time.
- When you are feeling bored, how do you amuse yourself?
- What do you do when you procrastinate?
- Social media, television, web surfing, texting, and eating are some of the more common activities.
- Notice how you waste your time and recognize when it happens.
- The quicker you are able to stop yourself, the better the odds of success.
7. Just say “No.”
- This simple word can be challenging to utter.
- None of us like to disappoint others.
- Once you have a reputation for saying “Yes,” to everything, the requests never stop.
- Refusing requests is a way of respecting our personal space, time and goals.
- Avoid biting off more than you can chew.
- Be helpful, but not at the expense of your own life.
- Don’t know where to begin? See: Saying “No” in 6 easy steps
8. Make an appointment with yourself.
- Outside of work, meals, and sleep, most of us fail to schedule adequately.
- If your dream is to author a novel, spend quality time with your family, get more reading done, work out more often, build time into your daily schedule to do it!
9. Kick the clutter out of your life.
- Certainly, getting rid of the extra junk on the shelves helps, but there is more to a full decluttering.
- Drop the activities, people, thoughts, and ideas that take up time or energy without providing an acceptable level of return. Remove the things that drain, and never replenish you.
- Let go of the things that prevent you from focusing on your life and its purpose.
Time is an easy thing to squander.
With much of our days filled with work and sleep, it can seem difficult to find the time for other activities.
Define your purpose and make it your priority!
Your life will be enhanced immeasurably.