We’ve all heard the adage time flies when you’re having fun. Well, here’s something even truer than that — time flies whether you’re having fun or not. And once it flew off to wherever time goes, it’ll never come back.
Time is the one thing in life you can’t stockpile, save for a rainy day, hide under your mattress, or give to someone to hold for you. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Adios, bye-bye, outta here.
The best you can do is make the most of the time you have on any given day. And if you’re like most people, you often wish you had more of it.
There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day to get everything done you’d like (plus throw some fun in there, too). But there are ways to find those valuable nuggets of time hidden throughout your day.
As difficult as it may be to hear, you and I are masters at letting valuable moments slip through our fingers and disappearing forever.
How many times have you heard yourself say I’ll get to it in a minute”? Or don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of time?
How about when you’re at work and you’ve got a project to get done by the end of the day? By the time you’ve gotten your coffee, said good morning to your co-workers, checked your email, refilled your coffee, and finally settled down to business – it’s really too close to lunch to start anything serious.
Sound at all familiar?
We’re all guilty of wasting time. But if you’d like to get more accomplished in your day and still find time to relax and have fun, here are some simple tricks you can use starting right now:
1. Picture your day.
Spend some time before your day or workday begins to list the things you’d like to accomplish.
2. Decide to eliminate.
Write down every single task you think you have to do during your day. Then, one by one, decide if those things are truly necessary or simply distractions. Scratch the distractions off your list.
3. Prioritize your tasks.
Next, decide which task on your list is most important, then, the next important, and so on.
4. Don’t take the easy way out.
It’s tempting to do the easy tasks first. Don’t. By tackling the more difficult, urgent, or time-consuming tasks first, you’ll be surprised just how easy the others will seem and how quickly you’ll get them done.
5. One thing at a time.
One of the greatest ways to lose time is trying to do everything at once. Stay focused on one task at a time until it’s completed. Then go on to the next. You’ll be shocked at what you can accomplish.
6. It’s ok to say no.
It’s easy to get sidetracked when someone asks for a favor. You want to be a good friend or coworker, so you drop what you’re doing to lend a hand.
Chances are great you’ll never get back to what you were doing. Simply tell them you’ll be happy to help when you’re finished with what you’re doing.
There are still going to be plenty of days where you just don’t know what went wrong. You seemed extremely busy and yet you got very little accomplished.
On days like that, you might want to review all the things you remember that might have stolen your time. Were you on the phone a lot? Did you get caught up in a conversation with a friend? Surf the Internet? Read all the funny emails you got during the day?
A million things can take you away from getting things done during your day. Just notice them, then find ways to keep them from happening again. They’ll become easier to recognize as time goes on.
If you practice the simple techniques suggested here, you won’t believe how much you can get accomplished in a day — and how much time you’ll have left for all the other things that bring you joy in life.