As an Eating Psychology Coach who takes a holistic mind-body approach to health, I work with my clients to help them make the most out of their day so they have time to do what will get them where they want to go.
The tips I’m sharing below have worked wonders for myself and for my clients to help in creating more time in the day. I hope they help you too!
Here are my top 5 strategies for creating more time in your day:
Change your TO-DO list into a GET-TO-DO list.
Let’s face it. The idea of going through your “To-Do” list doesn’t sound very sexy, does it? When you look at the items on it, suddenly you need to check your email, or Facebook, or phone a friend, or put in some laundry. And time slips away.
But if instead, you review the things you “Get-To-Do,” can you feel the excitement! You will feel a sense of privilege! Aren’t I lucky that I get to work on this spreadsheet? Or write this article? I mean, not everyone gets to do these things, right?
Procrastination goes away, and excitement and energy fuels you. It’s a subtle, but very powerful shift that can be a big game changer.
Now it’s time to plan out when you get to do all those things. I’ve tried fancy planners and task tracking apps. But what works best for me is a good old-fashioned At-A-Glance planner, with either 15- or 30-minute intervals.
You see I have this tendency, even with my GET-TO-DO list, to look at it and think “Boy, that’s long. How will I ever get to all those things?” What to do? Map those items onto your planner, paying special attention to the time-sensitive, high priority ones, because those are the ones you want to make time for first.
I notice when I allocate specific time blocks to my GET-TO-DO’s, I see that yes, I can get to all of them, and here’s how. It helps me both relax and focus. It also removes the “what should I do next?” question, a question that can create a little space for indecisiveness, allowing overwhelm and procrastination to creep in. I just look at my planner; it tells me what I should focus on next.
Focus on one task at a time
Humans are not very good multitaskers. As I like to say, multitasking is a great way to get less done in more time. Having to constantly switch attention from one task to another drains your energy, and takes time.
To focus on the task at hand, shut down email and Facebook, put your phone on Do Not Disturb, and eliminate distractions. Then set a timer – I like to set one for 25 minutes – and work on one task for those 25 minutes. If at the end of the 25 minutes the task is not complete, decide whether you want to continue working on it during the next time block or move on to something else.
Optionally take a 5-minute break to breathe, meditate, stretch, and recharge. And repeat.
Acknowledge your accomplishments
An important part of getting more out of your 24 is to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished! We so often get to the end of the day thinking we haven’t done anything because our TO-DO list (which we haven’t changed to a GET-TO-DO list yet) is still full.
To this end, at the end of your day, write out a list of your accomplishments. Include items related to your work, your health, your home, and your life.
Ask for help
One of the best ways to get more out of your 24 hours is to enlist the help of others! This could be asking your kids to help around the house or delegating some of your GET-TO-DO’s to someone else.
We often don’t ask for help because we don’t want to burden others. Ask yourself, how do you feel when someone asks you for help and you are able to provide it? Does it make you feel good to be of service, to make a difference in someone else’s life?
Gift others the opportunity to feel that way by asking them to help you. It’s a win-win.
Now it’s up to you to put these strategies into place. If you need support, stretch, and accountability, or if you need guidance as to what to do with the extra time you’ll be creating, I invite you to schedule a free Breakthrough Session with me. I’d love to help you create clarity around what it is you really want and outline a plan to get you there. One simple phone call really can change your life!