- Before you learn how to manage your time better, you first have to understand how you manage your time as of now, so that you can know exactly where you are going wrong. In order to track your time daily so as to figure out where your time goes.
- Every minute spent in planning saves you 10 minutes in execution. It is therefore important to plan your days ahead of time e.g. the night before or before the start of your day.
- To do lists are a powerful tool if used correctly. Use the rule of three by writing down three things you want to accomplish during the week, followed by three things you want to accomplish during the day.
- Set priorities on your list so that you can know what to tackle first and how much time to allocate to each task. Use the 80/20 rule to guide you i.e. if you have ten things on your list, 2 will be more valuable than the other 8.
- Use the single handling technique by beginning with the most important task and staying with it to its completion.
- If your mind is trying to remember all the things you need to do, you will have a hard time focusing and you will end up forgetting to do things or taking longer to complete tasks. To curb that just brain dump so that you can free up your mind and give yourself a chance to concentrate on the tasks at hand.
- Incorporate batch which basically means consolidating tasks to save time and avoid constant task switching.
Productivity is not about doing more, it’s about making more use of your time. Below are a few tips that will help you be more productive.
Urgent vs Important (Eisenhower Matrix)
Most of the time we prioritize the urgent things as opposed to the important ones. When deciding on what to do first, focus on the things that have a higher positive effect in your life. Another tip is to look at the outcome as opposed to the time that it will take to complete a particular task.
Re-think your to do list
When writing down your to do list use a futuristic approach. What task will give you the most satisfaction at the end of the day if completed. Once you identify it prioritize it as the most important one and use the same approach when assigning priority to the rest of your tasks.
Planner vs Doer
We all have a reflective and action taking side and it’s important to create a balance with both sides. Reflective activities include reflecting on your life, setting goals and dreaming about all the things you want to achieve. Doer activities on the other hand include putting your goals and dreams into action. Curve out time to plan and organize things so that the same energy can trickle down to the implementation of your goals and ideas.
Avoid Context switching
This means switching from one task to another. It leads to loss of effectiveness because our brains take time to re-calibrate and mentally prepare to do another task. Take advantage of batching similar things or tasks that take a short amount of time to complete together. This will help you avoid the temptation of switching between tasks.
Change the way you spend your breaks
When taking a break in between work try to engage in things that are outside of work or conversations that are all about work so that you can feel more reinvigorated when you get back to work.
This has to be the toughest time anyone of us has ever experienced. Nobody could have ever seen this coming because 2020 seemed like the magical year. The dawn of a new era, a new decade, any word that you can think of to symbolize a new start. 2020 carried with it a sense of renewed hope and don’t get me wrong I still believe that great things are yet to come but we still have to overcome this storm.
COV 19 has hit the whole world but in different ways. Who would have thought that we would be connected by pain. There are so many ways to look at this whole situation and as tragic as it may be, the optimist in me chooses to look at all the lessons that we can learn. We have all been forced to slow down and it is a chance to look within.
One of the lessons that I have learnt from this is non-attachment. Previous to this whole debacle there are so many things that we’ve had in our lives that we thought we couldn’t survive without. We’ve gotten so attached to materialistic things, always on the move and chasing the next that we forgot what really mattered. It’s time to sit back and look at our lives thus far. It might feel like the tower is collapsing but the beauty about it is that we still have the blocks to rebuild.
We need to detach ourselves from everything that we have believed to be true so far and start fresh and by choosing the things that serve us.The life that you’ve built over the years might come crumbling down. Some people have lost jobs and as insane as it might sound, wallow over the loss but maybe this might be pressure being applied to you so that you can move out of your comfort zone.
The secret to it all is non-attachment. Be comfortable with the fact that things will change. Be willing to accept the change and let go. This is the best time to learn not to hold on to things for too long that we no longer want in our lives. Release whatever it is that you have to release so that you can create room for the blessings that are yet to come. You might have been forced to let go of somethings but it’s high time you learn that nothing lasts forever.
My scars tell a story,
A story of the pain I’ve dealt with,
A story of struggles and persistence,
One that reminds me of the battles I had to face.
My scars show what I’ve been through,
They speak of pain, survival and triumph,
They are proof of where I have come from,
My scars are beauty marks; they made me who I am.
Some of us bear scars; some old, some new,
Constantly reminding us of our pain, fuck ups and victory,
Some we want to remember, others we want to forget,
Evidence that we’ve overcome life’s most difficult obstacles.
My scars are evident that there is a loving God,
Who is always there to fight my battles,
Helping me overcome my adversities,
And I am not ashamed or afraid to show who I am.
A while back I was having a chat with my aunt and she said that there are three things that are important in life; your family, being part of your community and fulfilling your purpose in life through your work. Other than her marriage advice this happens to be one of the deepest conversations we have ever had. Then as I was reading Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, I came across something that sounded familiar and I’d like to share an excerpt from the book.
So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to create something that gives you purpose and meaning.
In one way or the other those words drive the same point home. I have been at odds for the better part of the year (I know it’s barely two months in but I feel like it’s been longer) with showing up for the people in my life and diving deep into work. 2019 I was hell bent on showing up for people because I was losing friends as they were the ones doing the heavy lifting in our relationships. I showed up for events that I would normally turn down and picked up calls even though I prefer calling. However this year I wanted to spend time doing the things that I loved. In short I wanted to spend more time worrying about my stuff because truth be told pile on your issues and someone else’s issues and it can get a little bit too much.
The problem is that the idea has been unsettling to me. The idea of death is something that lingers in my mind. If you have ever lost someone really close it makes it more real. For me death is not a bad thing but a necessity. It is necessary so that you can move on to the next phase. It’s like primary school, if you want to move on to high school no matter how much you love your friends or that stage it has to end.
What I am saying is that I am one of those people who think about their funeral. Like it or winter is coming the only thing that you don’t know is when, where & how. Truth be told I don’t want to have a lot of accolades but empty pews because I was too busy chasing money and the wrong notion of success.
Looking back to last year I’ve never had more fun than I did. I laughed so hard, I learnt to be vulnerable, I tried out new things, I observed who I was with different people and tried to decipher the real me, I learnt to appreciate the diversity that lies with each and every person. You are drawn to different people because they have something you don’t have or are there to teach you something that you’ve been struggling to learn. In summary I learnt how to LOVE.
In hindsight I would say that as much as I’d want to concentrate on my other goals Bishop T.D Jakes has helped me put things into perspective. Winter is Coming and we will all wither at some point but I would hold dear the bonds that I formed more with people than any other thing. Don’t be caught up in all the pettiness.
Goals…. I think I’ll just get straight to it. Some of the reasons why we fail to sick to them are that we set unrealistic goals, we overwhelm ourselves with too many goals, we get busy that some other things take priority. We heavily focus on the what and forget to put emphasis on the WHY.
Here are some tips on how you can stick to the goals that you set so that you can make progress in life.
- Build trust with yourself
You are only as good as the word you keep to yourself. To build trust make sure your are consistent with following through with the goals/tasks that you set to achieve.
- Prioritize and focus down
Sustainable change comes from being realistic as opposed to being idealistic with how much you can take on. Don’t take on too much too fast as you will be setting yourself up for potential failure.
- Make it extremely easy to take action
Instead of saying you will work out daily be honest with yourself and realistic with how much you can do e.g. Twice a week
- Be specific and breakdown your goals
Your goals should not be too vague in that you are left wondering how on earth you’ll achieve them. Break them down to the nitty-gritties so that you are clear on the direction you’ll take and on how you’ll get there.
- Take action
Sounds easier said than done but the point is not to have well written down goals but to actually implement them.
The law of diminishing intent states that The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you’ll never actually do it.
- Identify your points of resistance
Ask yourself what might be blocking you from taking action on the goal and find ways on how to work on it.
- Mindset shift
You have to be resilient and keep picking yourself up once you hit a stumbling block.
Reevaluate and let go of what goals no longer realign.