Since time seems to be the top offender when it comes to following your interests outside work (could be anything from really weird stuff to very serious matters), I am constantly searching for ways to manage my share and achieve more.
In one of my wanderings over the web, I came across Michael Hyatt and that was a lucky day. He is a very successful speaker, author, and coach with pieces of advice around personal development, leadership and productivity to apply in your personal and professional life.
His most recent eBook “Shave 10 Hours Off Your Workweek” is exploring 4 strategies to make the most of your time. The overall approach is to concentrate on the activities that matter and declutter your days from any items that do not bring value. All the tactics he shares in this 50 page eBook are listed below, along with my short personal notes as extra guidelines so you won’t have any excuse for not using them!
Boost your energy
- Get enough sleep: this is mandatory for a clear mind and good focus during the day
- Take a nap: keep it short, just 10 to 30 minutes, between noon and 4 pm
- Stay healthy: exercise and eat non-processed foods like vegetables and fruits
- Be positive: it is ultimately your choice to keep a good spirit however the day unfolds
Guard your time
- Plan your day the night before: think of the most important things you want to accomplish the next day and make a to-do list
- Plan your week: check the progress from the past week and schedule next steps, together with reviewing your annual goals and upcoming projects
- Schedule everything that matters: consider also the time for rest and exercise (in line with strategy no 1) along with the time spent with family and friends
- Triage your calendar: eliminate nonessentials and reschedule the rest by using the priority matrix built by Stephen Covey in his book “First Things First” – the main idea is to shift your time and energy more and more in quadrant 2
Sharpen your focus
- Get offline: no distractions, turn off your app notifications and close all social media sessions (yes, even facebook); music can also help to keep you on the task at hand
- Use batch processing: treat similar activities together so that you don’t fall into the risk of having to shift your focus, this is the reason for which multitasking cannot work
- Touch emails only once: you read it, you decide what to do with it! if you ponder about it, it’s called procrastination 😉
Stretch your “no” muscle
- Practice the art of quitting: it can be hard but some things might prove not to be worthwhile, hence better to quit before investing more time without results to justify it
- Weigh the pros and cons: review what are the benefits considering the efforts involved
- Automate your “no”: as soon as recurring requests are identified, you can build a template to use whenever needed
- Fix or quit useless meetings: cancel useless meetings or propose shorter times when not possible
If you’d like to dig in deeper which I recommend, you can get the eBook for free by subscribing to his email newsletter (usually 3 posts a week). Also, you can access many other helpful resources on his website.
Have a productive day and please share in the comments if you learned any other tips & tricks for time management!