Life is not slowing down. If anything it feels like it’s speeding up. We are all perpetually busy people with our work, families, hobbies and duties. Often it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish what you’d really like to do. So, how do you combat this feeling and maximize every moment of your day?
Wake up Early: There’s a lot of truth to the saying, “the early bird gets the worm.” Although waking up early may be bad news for the non-morning people let’s face it, the wee hours of the morning are precious. It’s quiet, the world is still and most people you know are still sleeping. That means you’ll have 2-3 hours (depending what time you wake up) of dedicated time to get a lot done. Imagine if you could workout, study a new language and prep your dinner all before you even start the workday? Guess what? You can!
Make the Most of Commuting Time: whether you drive to work in an hour of traffic, coast along on the subway, ride the bus or walk, there is still always a way to utilize this precious time. If you’re driving or walking, consider listening to an informative podcast or listen to an audio book. If you’re taking the bus or subway, catch up on your reading, study to grow in your career or practice a new language on an app. Commuting time is precious time that you’ll never get back again so make the most of it. It’s better than road rage or subway sadness.
Make a List: The benefit of making a list is to outline everything you need to do, manage your progress and set realistic goals. Try making a brief list on a notecard and posting it to your desktop, dashboard or wherever you’ll be sure to see it throughout the day.
Know When to Say No and When to Say Yes (even to your boss): As hard as it may be, sometimes you have to say no. Even if it is something you can do or enjoy doing, you have to make smart decisions for yourself in order to be able to give your best to each task. Saying no includes saying no to your boss. From experience I’ve found that when I’ve been asked to do several things by my boss, and it seems like they keep piling more work on my desk, I tell them, “I’d be glad to work on this. Right now I’m working on the employee schedule, does this item you’re requesting take priority?” Letting your boss know what your working on, that you’re willing to take on more work, but asking for the priority level of the assigned tasks sets you up to win. In some cases your boss may have forgot what you were originally working on and they may ask someone else to do the new task. But unless you’re honest and diligent about prioritizing your tasks, you might find yourself drowning in stacks of unecessary papers.
Balance: The cold hard truth could be that you’re working too much. If you have no energy or desire to do anything before or after work, you should assess your work life/balance. Is it just like that for a few weeks for a busy time of year or do you find yourself going into the office early and coming home late every day of the year. Take the time to assess whether or not a healthy balance exists for you.
At the end of the day, time is the one commodity that you can never earn back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Is it time for you to do a self check and ask yourself, “am I really making the most of and maximizing my time?“