Have you ever found yourself looking back over your day wondering where the time went? Heck, I sometimes look back over the last hour and wonder what happened to the time. Geez Louise!
However, once I found a way to be more productive (by using the steps below), the more time I seemed to have throughout the day!
And I want the same for you. So listen up…
How to Capture More Time in Your Day
Here’s a simple process (don’t make it complicated) I use to accomplish tasks that gives me more time in my day:
- Write down (or use your fave electronic method) all the things you want to get done for the day, everything from writing, creating content, or planning your next project to answering your email and balancing your checkbook. Don’t add too many items though as you’ll start to feel overwhelmed. Let’s use 7 as the limit (although I personally aim for only 5).
- Assign a specific time frame to each task or group of tasks. Anything from 15 minutes to 1 hour. Chunks of 30 minutes or less work best. You’ll start to notice how much time it takes you to get things done and can better estimate your tasks in the future. Genius move!
- Select a task, start a timer (try e.ggtimer), and focus on nothing but accomplishing that task. This means you refrain from answering the phone, getting up for a drink, and logging onto social networks. You remain focused on the task at hand! Note: It may also help to turn off phone/web notifications so you won’t feel the urge to check email or see who just sent you a message!
Why Does It Work So Well?
I’m no psychologist but I can share with you what effect using it has on the brain in order to almost force it to want to take action on a consistent basis.
It uses these three key elements:
- An end-result or goal (each of your daily tasks) – Our brains love goals, big or small, because they’re built to be goal-seeking machines. Give your brain a goal and it immediately goes to work finding ways to achieve it.
- A specific timeframe or deadline (the time you assign each task) – Once your brain has a goal, a deadline is the fuel that motivates it to act! The shorter the deadline, the more revved up your brain gets.
- The breakdown (the order and structure of the system) – Instead of surrendering yourself to lackluster results because you see your day as an overwhelming, uncontrollable mess, this system breaks your day down into small, manageable pieces that you actually see yourself getting done with ease.
(okay that was a little cliche-ish but it’s oh so true!)
So set your timer and get to work on task number one on your to-do list. Sit down, focus and do your best to get the work done in the time allotted. Once it’s finished, cross the item off your list (trust me, it feels good to cross items off your list).
Then get up, take a health break, stretch, and then move on to task number two and repeat. Once you have this system down, feel free to add more tasks, but don’t go over about 7 items or your list may start to feel overwhelming. Just work through the items on your list and then add more as needed.
If you practice these three simple steps regularly, I promise you will totally revolutionize the way you get things done in your life and, as a result, you’ll automagically free up more time to do other things you want to do but never thought you had time for.
What do you think about time chunking and this method of “freeing up time?” Are you gonna give it a try?