One of the most common struggles of professionals is managing their time. The electronic distractions with consistent notifications, home office interruptions including pets, and endless opportunities can make efficiencies challenging to achieve.
If you get creative and look at some of the less obvious means to increase proficiency, you will be able to lower your stress and be a more dynamic leader.
- Have a Strong Level of Commitment – When you are not fully committed you will be distracted and procrastinate. If your commitment level is low your capability for action will be low. You will try to convince yourself to be motivated, but it is not possible if you are not committed. If you are finding yourself unfocused or unproductive you need to look at the strength of your commitment.
- Set Your Clothes Out the Night Before– It will take you less time the night before because you will be tired, and you will not want to spend as much time debating what you will wear. Your time in the morning won’t be spent on outfit hunting and can be used for other things. In addition, the brain power you will use to make the numerous tiny decisions to get the right clothes for the day with be reserved for other more meaningful things. It seems like a little thing but if you practice this on a regular basis you won’t be surprised by wrinkles, stains or pants that may not fit and you will enjoy the process of getting ready for your day more than you have in the past.
- Meditation – When you can calm your mind you can reduce the flight and flight response. It will allow you to think with more clarity. You will also find when you can discover more creative solutions to small and large issues you may face during the day and your answer will come to you faster. You will also be a better listener and avoid communication issue that can thwart your productivity. Meditation doesn’t have to be long or happen on the top of a mountain. It can be as short as two minutes of stillness and deep breathing. That is enough to quickly recharge your mind and body.
- Get a Timer – This is one of my favorite tactics. Tell yourself you will finish your project in 15 or 30 minutes and start the timer. As the time ticks down, you will be able to increase your adrenaline and desire to complete your goals or at least make good progress before your time is up. If you don’t have a timer get one or use one on your phone, but I recommend a timer because when your phone is in your line of sight it is a distraction.
- Decide Quickly – Spending time humming and hawing over insignificant decisions is one of the bigger time wasters in business. Should the blog post be posted today or tomorrow? In the long run, no one will remember when the blog was posted, and you will be lucky if people remember a specific blog post anyway. It is more important you save your brain’s energy on something that matters more and your time on something with a great return on investment for you.
- Perform Routine Maintenance – people typically forget to add routine maintenance into their weekly schedule. The tires on your car will need to be rotated and your heating and cooling units will be to be inspected. These periodic actions rarely get a place on the calendar and can throw your whole week off or worse when the time comes to make them happen. Sit down once a month and add these tasks to your calendar.
- Schedule Regular Back-ups – I have known far too many business people who have lost hours of productivity and tons of money because things weren’t backed-up. Add items labeled backup files to your monthly to-do list, even if it is scheduled automatically because you can at least assess if the back up happened. Avoid the stress and keep your business moving forward with a little preparation and follow-up.
- Have Grace – has someone ever irritated you and you struggled to focus on tasks at hand. Carrying the burden of their mistake is detrimental to your business and your health. Give them grace and the ability to be human. Let go of the repercussions of the event and use your energy on something more beneficial to you and your business.
- Be Coachable – Mentors, influencers, and coaches can challenge your thought process and your ideas. Holding back and discounting their ideas don’t help you grow. Sometimes experts will be eccentric, but I tell you, their ideas and concepts will likely be exactly what you need.
- Be Prepared – If you are human you have done your share of forgetting and misplacing items. However, if you prepare for your day and set-up regular routines you will spend less time retracing your steps. The time you spend prepping is a good investment for you and you will present as a stronger more reliable brand. You will also be an effective leader.
Time management is so much more than managing your task and your appointments. It is about managing you, your commitment, your leadership capabilities and your attitude. Do this and you will be less busy and more effective.
I am a best-selling author, a keynote speaker, award-winning coach, and the founder of The Academy of Entrepreneurial Excellence. I coach leadership high-performance habits to health and fitness professionals that get results for you and your clients.