Ever wish time travel was a real thing, just so you could get through your never ending to-do list each day?
I have a bit of an obsession with time. How fast it goes, how key it is to invest it into relationships, and how I can find more ways to use it more productively.
Why? Because time is the most precious commodity we all have.
As Rick Warren puts it, ‘You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.’
Because time is so precious, but so easily slips away from us, it can often feel from day to day like we are always trying to save time that we don’t have.
Here’s three tips I’ve learned (through many years of time-management mistakes!) about maximising my time and making the most of my days.
What?? Hold on. You’ve just told me to make good use of time! I don’t have time to sleep!
Actually, adequate sleep is crucial for productivity. But so many of us are chronically sleep-deprived. Take it from me; a bleary eyed mum with young children who is still definitely not getting as much sleep as I should be. Very few people thrive on 4-6 hours a night. When you and I are physically tired, our productivity plummets. Full stop.
In fact, it may or may not surprise you to learn that studies of large corporations have shown workers who have insufficient sleep spend nearly three times as much of their day on the same tasks as those who sleep well. I know it to be true as well; the days I go to bed early and get up at six to work, I achieve so much more than when I struggle with a screen late into the evening.
Seems that early night is worth sacrificing an extra episode of Netflix for 🤔
Are there so many to-dos whirling round inside your head that it feels like a perfect storm and you’re too overwhelmed to do anything? Often we feel like this because we are spending our days multitasking, rather than prioritising.
I don’t know whether others struggle with this, but I have a really hard time sorting out in my head sometimes which tasks are the most urgent for me to tackle. I also struggle with over-estimating what I can achieve in one day.
But recently someone told me about the 1-3-5 rule, and I’ve found it so helpful for this!
1. Pick 1 big task you need to achieve that just can’t wait – and accomplish it first
2. Then choose 3 medium tasks that are important, but not as time consuming or urgent as the big one, and tackle them one after another.
3. Finally, dot your day with 5 small tasks that are easily achievable.
You’ll end the day with peace of mind that you accomplished what you needed to, started what you wanted to, and covered some of the little jobs that are always hanging over your head.
When I was a kid, I used to pay my far-too-kind friend to clean my gerbil cages. 10p a cage. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? 😂
But maybe I realised the principle early on in life that time is money! And if money can buy you more time, seriously weigh up if it’s not worth it to delegate out some things.
During my teens, my neighbour used to pay me and a friend to mind her toddlers for one hour, just so she could walk around the block to clear her head. Her husband worked away and she didn’t have family living nearby. That £5 was well worth it for her. She came back refreshed and ready to parent again.
If paying someone else to wash your car on a Saturday morning allows you to go and visit your gran, why not?
If one hour of paid work will pay for three of cleaning, then it may be a no-brainer for you to get some help with the house!
Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to ask yourself, ‘What is preventing me from investing in what matters to me most? And can I delegate some of those tasks to buy some of that time back?’
So there you have it:
… Sleep 💤
… prioritise 📅
… and delegate 🖐 your way to a more productive day!