Is the way you’re spending your time making you unhappy or unfulfilled?
Is your to-do list expanding despite feeling as though you’re no closer to achieving your goals?
If so, you’re not alone.
Many of us are so busy being busy that we constantly feel as though there are not enough hours in the day.
Add to that that we are bombarded with messages of the life others think we should be living (#goals) that we can be easily distracted and waste a lot of time chasing goals that are not actually our own.
This way of living leaves you feeling unfulfilled and no closer to achieving your dreams.
It means that you often have no time for things that actually matter like health, relationships and self-care.
The good news is that with a few small changes, you can become more productive and more able to manage your time effectively.
Here are 3 effective ways to manage your time:
Write everything down
This is something that is recommended by almost every coach or personal development professional yet the power of writing things down is still hugely overlooked.
Whether you use an app on your smartphone or the old-fashioned method of a diary, writing down your daily, weekly and monthly tasks increases your chances of completing them.
It means you don’t forget important tasks and or spread yourself too thin.
Writing things down also frees up your sub-conscious mind as you are not trying to remember all the things you said you would do or all the places you said you would be.
This frees up brain power to get creative and come up with new ideas or solutions to problems; which of course you should also write down as and when they come to you!
Make a list of tasks that need completing either before you go to bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Arrange them in order importance and urgency.
Next, highlight “one big thing” that you commit to completing. This should be something that makes the biggest contribution to your most important goal.
Then throughout the day work through your list in order of priority.
This method avoids the common habit of doing easier tasks first, even if they’re not important and do not actually add to your progress or achievement.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule known as Pareto’s law. If not, it’s definitely worth looking up.
Learn to say no
This one I struggled with for years and I still often feel guilty when I say no.
A big mistake a lot of us make is that we put other people’s problems or needs in front of our own.
Of course, we want to help the people we care about, especially in their apparent time of need.
Nevertheless, by prioritising the needs of others over our own, we give rise to frustration and stress when we find ourselves short of time to complete our own tasks and responsibilities.
Many people feel guilty saying no to friends, loved ones, bosses and colleagues.
However, the downside to always saying yes to people when they are faced with a problem or challenge is that you never give them the chance to build their own resilience or problem-solving skills.
It also means that while they move closer to achieving their goals or getting their life together, your dreams may be getting further away.
Remember, saying ‘no’ to someone else is also saying ‘yes’ to what matters to you.
Ultimately, to manage your time effectively, you have to have to get clear about what exactly you want to achieve.
You then need a huge dose of commitment and self-discipline.
Journal prompt: What changes can I make to manage my time more effectively?
Affirmation: I find it easy to manage my time effectively and achieve my goals.
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