Everyone wants more free time in their day to get the things done that really matter to them. The problem is that many times we end up getting caught up in things that are not important or even “productive”. Take a few minutes to see how you can apply some of these things to your own life that have the power to free up more time in your days and allow you to live a more fulfilling life.
1. Outsource-Make sure you are using your creative mind and doing the “bigger picture” things in life. Don’t get tied down doing all of the little tasks that take a lot of your time. Consider outsourcing things that use up a lot of your time and do more productive things like setting a vision and generating new ideas. Two great resources are Elance.com and Guru.com. Find out how much your time is worth per hour and consider outsourcing things that don’t “pay well” according to what your time is worth. If you work for a company, consider running the numbers on how much time and money could be saved if you had an assistant. If these numbers seemed beneficial, consider putting in a proposal to your boss to hire an assistant.
2. Reduce checking email-Set certain times during the day to check and respond to email so that you are not checking it all the time and getting distracted. You might just be surprised how much time you are taking to check email and what its doing to your productivity. Once you stop what you are doing, check your email, and get back to what you were doing, you have lost valuable concentrated time and thoughts.
3. Get off the internet and Facebook-Similar to above, set times as to when you check the news, Facebook, blogs, YouTube videos, and everything else online. Perhaps you want to schedule a time after you have been productive for several hours. The way you start your day is what will determine how the rest of your day goes. This means that if you start by being unproductive (checking the news, Facebook, etc.), it will be much harder to get going and be productive. There are however some things that might need to be done for work that may include using Facebook or the News, but the point here is to schedule times when you will check these things that may not be as “productive”.
4. Use NET Time-This means “No Extra Time”. Find times during your day that you can multitask and get two things done at once. Great examples of this includes listening to an audio course on your drive to work or listening to an audiobook as you workout. Perhaps you want to listen to the news or that audio program as you make dinner. NET time allows you do “be productive” and get more things done while you typically would not be doing anything else. See my post about NET time in more detail here.
5. Be healthy-Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you feel better during the day and be able to get more things done. Make sure you are getting proper nutrition and exercising. Simply put, you will feel more alive and be able to get more things done in your day if you manage you stay healthy.
6. Track your time-Carry a list around for several days and write down EVERYTHING you do on it. This includes sleeping, eating, driving, exercising, taking a 10 minute break, checking Facebook, and everything else in between. If your honest, you will be surprised just how much time you waste every single day. Take this list and go over it to see what you can cut back and where you can free up more time for the things that really matter in your life. (EDIT: See new post here about Tracking Your Time to Be More Productive)
Go out and apply at least 1 or 2 of these tips in your life. If you are a real go-getter, apply all of them and see what impact they have. Knowing these things are not going to help you if you don’t take any action. Go out there and make them fun!
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