The words ‘I don’t have enough time’ are a common excuse uttered on a regular basis, but did you know that you have the same amount of hours in a day as Albert Einstein, Elon Musk, even LeBron James.
It just comes down to how productive you are willing to be to become a master of your own time.
LeBron James has a mandatory eight to nine hours of sleep each night, but it doesn’t stop there. The life of a professional NBA player might just be one of the busiest, just think; hours of basketball training, gym, NBA games, meetings, interviews, and parenthood! Yet, James still swears by taking a two to three-hour nap each day.
Now you may be thinking, ‘how does he do it?’...
Managing your time is essential to productivity, you can’t hope to achieve everything you have planned in your day if you don’t dedicate time to carry out specific tasks. If you can manage your time well, you can go above and beyond what you need to achieve and still have spare time to do the things you want!
So, here are our top 3 time management hacks:
1. Stop Multitasking
This is something that has become popularised as a sign of intelligence, but if you want to be a master of your own time — stop! Focus only on a single task at a time. Multitasking is actually a waste of your time, you’ll find yourself jumping from task to task and actually take longer to complete them. You will be able to achieve more if you go ‘tunnel vision’ and focus on one task at a time.
2. Brain Dump: Non-negotiables vs Negotiables
The first thing you should do before diving into your tasks for the day is brain dumping. This is where you jot down everything you need to accomplish for the day and sort them into non-negotiables and negotiables. Learn to prioritise what is most important and let go of the rest. Non-negotiables are tasks that need to be completed within a certain timeframe, these are your most important tasks and you need to be clear when this task has to be completed by. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into the things you want to do!
Negotiables are tasks that are flexible and aren’t pressed for time. These are tasks that you will usually complete last. This allows you to focus on one key task at a time and is fundamental to manage your daily schedule.
Coffee is a non-negotiable obviously.
3. Block Out Distractions
Figure out what is distracting you while you work, is it social media? Text messages? Phone ringing? Colleagues?
Blocking out distractions is essential when it comes to being productive. Did you know that office workers’ are only able to focus on a single task for roughly three minutes before they become distracted? It is important to identify what your biggest distractions are, so you are able to limit these distractions and let those around you know you're busy.
Make technology work for you. Whilst it may appear as your main distraction, technology could actually be your best friend. Turn off your mobile phone, and if this is just something that can’t be done, turn off all notifications. Limiting the number of distractions on your phone can be your biggest saviour. Turning your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ allows you to block out chunks of time to focus on your non-negotiables. Everyone will manage for a few hours when you go off the grid.
By becoming the master of your own time, not only will you be more productive, but you will also find that you have more time for the things you love.