7 Ways to Free Up Time and Get More Things Done

Time management

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Manage your time

Do you feel that you lack time to complete some things that you want to do? Do you have trouble finishing your tasks at work? You are not alone. Thousands of people around the world feel the same. It is one of the reasons why so many people are trying to learn more about proper time management. Proper time management can free up time you did not even know was available. You can use this extra time to do whatever you want. The big question is, how exactly can we achieve this?

1. Prepare Yourself

It is a good idea to write a to-do list. You can make these lists on a daily or weekly basis. Without any doubt, you will be able to save some time just by writing down and reading the tasks you need to finish the next day. This is a great way to get organized, and make sure you complete more tasks. Notice I said complete, and not start? Because with a list, you can not cross anything off until you have finished the previous one!

2. Be Organized

It is inefficient to spend much time looking for things that you need. Put everything in its place and store everything where you will remember you put it. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you have any dilemmas and don’t forget that you will need some time to get used to a new office.

Another wonderfully useful tip, is to have a “desk book”. This book will remain on your desk forever. You will use it to write notes when you are on the phone with people; or when someone knocks on the door and needs something that you can’t deal with immediately. It is also useful for making notes about emails, or sudden memory spurts that generate another to-do-list. I use my desk book as a reference tool, I can look back to see when I spoke to someone, or when I asked someone to complete a task for me. The book never leaves my desk, so I can never lose it.

3. Prioritize

It is not difficult to get stuck in tasks that are not important and tasks that don’t affect your overall success. Think about these things in your free time and focus on your plan and goals. Prioritize by asking yourself, if I don’t complete that task today, what will happen? If there are no catastrophic events associated with the incomplete task, it is not your highest priority.

4. Make sound decisions quickly

If you are spending too much time thinking about certain things, you will block your progress. Of course, it is crucial to learn the facts before you make a decision, but if you already know the facts, it is time to make a decision. If you are still struggling, then you can call on someone to confirm your decision. But do not delay making a decision because there was no one to talk to.

When I am struggling I look at both sides of the argument. Then I toss a coin, heads equals yes, tails equals no. If I am happy with the face showing on the coin after the toss I go with that decision. If I am not happy, then I go with the other. It works every time.

5. Eliminate the distractions

Think about all the distractions as junk – this is something that you must throw away. So, instead of spending time reading junk emails, set up your email program to automatically forward them to the spam folder. Try to identify junk and eliminate it right away.

Unsubscribe from email newsletters that you do not need, ask your friends and family not to call you while you are working (unless it is something essential), tell the telemarketers to skip your phone number and do whatever you can to eliminate some other everyday distractions. If you are not sure what is junk, ask yourself, can I manage without it? If the answer is yes, it is a distraction.

6. Use the help of your family and friends

There are situations when people close to us can help us not only with household chores but with our work too. If you think that some of the people close to you can help you out, ask them for a favor. This is an excellent way to stay in touch with them too. I have called upon my friends to help me out many times. I always turn it into a social event, so that we can have fun while completing the task.

7. Reduce Internet use

We can all agree that the internet is a beneficial tool, but you should stay away from websites that are not helping you achieve your goals. In case you enjoy random surfing merely limit the time for this activity and everything will be fine. If you find yourself clicking through Facebook, or the newspaper, or even worse, getting stuck in a YouTube loop; you are wasting precious time. As a rule, I limit my internet use to work specific activities only when I am in the office. I leave my desk at lunch time, so that I can surf, play and check my FB news feed.

There are many ways you can learn to make better use of your time. These are just seven ideas to get you started.

Look out for my upcoming book on time management “5 days to Effective Time Management” book two in the Take Control of Your Life series.