7 Ways to Make More Time

Time is probably our greatest resource and we never seem to have enough of it.

As busy entrepreneurs, leaders and CIO’s, time is valuable and so we need to make sure we are doing all we can to use it effectively.

Here are 7 ways to make more time in your day.

1. Plan your day the night before

We know we should do this but we very often forget or get distracted. Set a daily task in your calendar as a reminder. 10 minutes is all you need – make sure those 10 minutes are spent ONLY on planning the next day. Write out all the things you need to do for the following day to achieve your goals. Make notes next to each items of anything you might need to accomplish that goal such as phone numbers and relevant paperwork.  

Planning the next day will also free up some mind space and make time for you to switch off in the evening knowing that tomorrow will be ready for you.

2. Prioritise

Lists are great – but having a list with 50 items on it is just overwhelming. And even as Tech Leaders or CIOs there is always the temptation to pick out the easier or more enjoyable tasks first! That will leave you with no time (and no motivation) to do the less enjoyable tasks.

Highlight the items that must be done that day. Then if you think you have time left, highlight some tasks that you enjoy, as well as some you don’t Once you’ve done the HAVE to dos, work your way through the other highlighted items and alternative between the tasks.  Reward yourself with an enjoyable task by getting a task you dislike done first. 

3. Don’t deviate from the list!

Make sure you check off each item as you go. And if you do happen to complete a task that isn’t on there, add it and tick it off. Ticking off a task is rewarding and improves your productivity and mood. It’s also good to look back on what you’ve achieved at the end of the day. Ever said to yourself ‘I don’t feel like I’ve got anywhere today!’?  Well now you can see exactly what you have done. 

Distractions can stop you from working through your list. You can check out our guide on productivity for more tips and tools on how to avoid distractions.

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4. Heard of the three D’s?

The three D’s are a tool for prioritising work and improving productivity. Often we feel that we can’t let go of things and want to do everything ourselves. Micro-managing can be damaging to both you and the people you work with.

The three D’s are:

  • Do it 
  • Delegate it
  • Dump it.

Handle each task only one. On your list write whether you can do it, delegate it, or actually dump it. This goes for paperwork that comes into your hands too. Taking responsibility is great, but doing ALL the things when you have a capable team around you isn’t going to serve anyone. This is a great way to make more time.

5. Procrastination is a Time Thief

We all procrastinate from time to time. It’s completely natural. But if you find yourself drifting off into other things more often that not, when you REALLY must get that report finished for the deadline next week, then you’ve got a problem. There are many procrastinating tools out there that you can use to help work in small chunks of time. Work in chunks of say 50 minutes, and then give yourself a short breather for 10 to stretch your legs, make a drink, or talk to a work colleague. This is proven to be far more productive than working for say 3 hours straight. You’ll actually find yourself making more time.

6. Build in time for you

You’ve heard the term “work hard play hard”? Well it’s a proven fact that making time for your wellbeing is the key to happiness and good health. Improved wellbeing improves stress and anxiety, which in turn has a positive effect on your body. Working all the hours, and eating unhealthily because you ‘don’t have time’ is a sure fire way to reach burnout.

Exercise, time with friends and family, good food and rest, are all key ingredients to ensure that when you do go into the workplace you are energised and switched on, ready for action.

 

7. Don’t go down the rabbit hole

Just like Alice, curiosity can get the better of us. Ever found yourself working on something for an hour, only to realise that actually it had no benefit to the task at hand? Keep checking in with yourself, and ask ‘Is this getting me closer to my goal?’ It will help you to re-focus and keep you away from all the new distracting and ‘shiny’ things.

Hopefully as a busy Tech Leader or aspiring CIO you’ll find some of these tips useful in making time back for you to concentrate on your wellbeing or work projects.

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