There is a sentence I hear people repeat over and over again: “I don’t have enough time in the day to complete everything.” Especially for those like us hustling at a 9 to 5 job, available time can often seem elusive.
But, if we take a second to evaluate our habits, our to-do lists, and even our mindsets, maybe we can better manage the time we have each day and even beat procrastination.
Here are some tips I’ve found to be most helpful for me when I want to be productive and get s#!@ done.
1. Visualize Your Available Time
In order to manage your time efficiently, you’ve got to know how much time you have.
A little trick I’ve used goes like this:
Grab a sticky note or note card and make two columns.
On the left column, wright down the hours in your day, from when you wake up to when you go to sleep
With that timeline, color in the times you already have things scheduled- i.e. your fitness class, lunch with your friend, your work commute etc. These will be the times of your day that you know you will not be able to complete the tasks on your to-do list.
In the second column, write down your to do list and add a star next to the tasks you really need to get done.
Now when you’re looking at the blank spaces in your timeline, you can write down a task you want to do at that time. As the day goes by, I lightly color in the time that has passed, showing how much time I still have left. Looking back on your timeline throughout the day should help you gauge what you should work on.
2. Make a To-Be List
Another way to be proactive about your time is by starting the day with a goal in mind. Instead of just listing out what you want to do, think about what you want to be. I want to be healthy, I want to be grateful, I want to be intentional, I want to be productive. These statements add purpose to your tasks.
Author and motivation speaker Mel Robbins explains this mindset switch perfectly in her recent Instagram post:
View this post on Instagram
If you are a chronic “to do” list maker, this is for you. Instead of bogging yourself down in endless lists of all the things you need to “get done,” try this method instead – keep a ‘to be’ list. – Ask yourself, “who do I need to BE in order to achieve the big things that is different than the person I am right now?” It’s extremely powerful, and something you’ll have to do to get to the next level. – Who do you need to be to have better relationships? Who do you need to be to grow your business? Who do you need to be to be healthier? Put who you need TO BE on your to do list, and act as that person to go get things done. – Who do you need TO BE in one area of your life?
Throughout the day, look back on your to do list, acknowledge how you’re spending your time and ask yourself
Is what I’m doing right now serving the person I want to be today?
It’s about priorities, people.
3. Maintain Your Motivation
With an endless list of tasks to do, it’s easy to give into procrastination if you don’t have anything keeping you focused and inspired. This is where those cliched motivational quotes come along. Find a quote or an image that inspires you and put it wherever you know you’ll see it. You can even set it as the background on your phone. That way wherever procrastination comes knocking and you’re considering blowing off your work assignment for some Friends re-runs, look at your chosen inspiration and remember what your goal was in the first place.
BONUS: FREE PRINTABLE
I’ve created a to-do list/day planner template that incorporates these first three tips- A timeline of your day, your to do list, your to be list, and a place to write down your daily motivation. Just a simple freebie to help you stay on top of your day.
Clink HERE to download your freebie.
4. Be Conscience of Your Phone Use
Hate to break it to you, but there’s a good chance you’re not aware of how often you scroll through your phone. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of this. Ever notice how much time flies by when you’re scrolling through Instagram?
Thankfully there are apps like Forest that literally keep you off social media for a certain amount of time. You get the reward of your own digital tree if you succeed in staying off your phone (and the guilt of a dead digital tree if you don’t). This app was a saving grace when I was cramming for finals in college.
I hope these tips and the printable template help! Do you have any productivity hacks that have worked for you? Comment them below!