Sadly, we cannot add more hours to the day. This means that the hours that we do have, we need to make sure we are getting the most out of those days. Here are seven ways that you can stop wasting time to be more productive and get the most out of your day.
Create a Schedule For Yourself
For years I never used a schedule, I would just do things as they came, but that really ended up not working in my favor. Once I realized that creating a schedule would help me stop wasting time, I have honestly never looked back. Someone a few days ago asked if I could share my schedule, or how I create it while working from home, and I thought that was a great idea!
- For me, I know that I have the most energy in the morning. I put my most important tasks at the top of my list. By doing this, I can be more focused while working on them. This means that any freelance work that I have to do gets first call. I will work on important projects until lunchtime.
- I am someone who prospers off a break. This break allows me to decide what to do with the second half of my day, and I can also look at the work I have remaining. Lunch usually rolls around 30 minutes for me, then I will once again choose the most important task that I have to do.
- I typically create a bulleted list in the morning with three or four tasks that are the most important to me. As I mark those off, I can head to less vital tasks such as working on my blog, working on social media, or even doing tasks around my house.
- The rest of the day is left to either spending time with my family, doing tasks that I find enjoyable, or even just playing a game or taking a bubble bath.
Organize Your Priorities
The best way to stop wasting your time is to make sure that your priorities are in order! Most of us have not reviewed our priorities in a while, and with the state of the world being what it is, it may be time to take a quick look. Take the time to get out a pen and a piece of paper, or even the note section on your phone.
Write down three non-negotiables that you have every day. These can be personal or professional. These are your priorities. By finishing these first it is going to greatly reduce stress, and it will make you feel like you are getting more done in your day. If you find yourself having trouble finding your priorities, break it down to what is most important for you to do or feel each day.
Understand Your Energy
Our energy does not stay the same throughout the day. In order to stop wasting your time in the mornings, make sure you have the mindset that you need to get going! You energy and your focus is at the highest point in the mornings. Similar to my schedule, make sure you are putting your most important tasks first. Whatever needs your attention the most, that is what you should be working on first. This way, you are ensuring that you are maximizing your most valuable and efficient time.
If you are not sure about your energy, then you should do an energy exercise! For one week, or even a few days, create a chart showing your energy levels. You can create your own chart by writing down a few hours in the day. Create a line showing your energy levels around those times, and be sure to write down what you are doing during those periods as well. Here is a look a chart that I did for myself!
Take Away Any Distractions
If you have seen my post about how to create a productive work schedule from home, then you may be familiar with the importance of removing distractions as a way to stop wasting time. There are so many people who are working from home right now, and it is so easy to get distracted by everything around us from television to even our children.
Choose one room that works best for you. This may be a spare room, or even just your dining table. Tell yourself that this is your office and not your home. Take away YouTube videos, turn off the TV, and try to stay off of your phone as much as you possibly can. Our lives are full of distractions, so by removing them as much as we can, we are teaching ourself to stop wasting time.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use Apps to Help
I know that I said to stop looking at your phone, but apps can really help you cut down on wasted time! They can even be on your computer. A productivity or organization app can help you make sure you are getting everything done that you need to do. I have personally been using Notion over the past couple of weeks. I love that I can create my own pages and really organize my entire life from one area. Notion is still new to me, but I highly encourage you to check it out!
Not Everything is a Big Deal
Honestly, I really wish that I had been told this years ago. NOT EVERYTHING IS A BIG DEAL. It seems like so many of us are trying to do everything at once because we think even the smallest thing is a life or death situation, and it is not. You need to realize that while you may think something is essential to your life, in the grand scheme of things is not. Stop wasting your time worrying about small things, or things you have no control of. It is eating up the time that you have in the day for more productive and positive tasks.
Leave Time For You
This is going to come across as odd, but you need to make sure that you are leaving space in your day for you. Even though you want to stop wasting time, realize that if you are burning your candle at both ends, then you are only hurting you. We cannot stay focused 24/7, it is a fact. Figure out a time in your day when you can just step back and take care of yourself. This may be something as simple as reading a book, taking a bath, or even working on inner work as well!