Feel like you don’t have time to get everything done? You’re probably right. Here are 3 tips for optimizing your time.
1) Designate Your Priorities
I don’t know about you, but everyday it feels like I have way more on my plate than I can get accomplished. New ideas and opportunities constantly arise, and the list of operational tasks just seem to keep piling up. How are you supposed to decide what to do and when?
One way to help filter your tasks is to create a succinct priority list in both your professional and personal lives. Create no more than 3 priorities for each at a time, and make sure they are priorities you are truly committed to. This isn’t the place for “idealistic” stretch goals that you never accomplish. Each priority should be realistic and meaningful. Then, everytime a new task comes up, check to see if it aligns with your priorities first. Want to dive deeper? Check out our article on: Organizing Your Mental Workspace
2) Get A Good Calendar and Todo List
Once you have your prioritized todo list, it’s time to plan out when you’re going to accomplish each task. I’ve used my fair share of calendars from outlook, iCal, Google Calendar, Asana, Basecamp, Monday, and a dozen more.
The newest app that I actually LOVE and have stuck to is Sunsama. It overlays your existing calendar with a Kanban style to-do list, where you can specifically list out tasks to accomplish by day, and you can even assign a time on your calendar when you’re going to work each. This is SUPER helpful to see, because if you have 10 tasks schedule for a day, but realistically only time for 5, you can move those tasks to another day. How cool is that! I set my Google Chrome browser to automatically open my Sunsama todo list, so it’s the first thing I see everyday.
Main idea is to find a process that works for you, and stick with it.
3) Structure Your Day Around Your Peaks and Valleys
Might seem odd, but I’m a morning person AND a late-night worker. I schedule any creative time first thing in the morning when my mind is pumping full speed. The middle of the day is reserved for routine work and follow-ups. Then late at night I’ll crank through any e-mails or repetitive tasks that I didn’t get to earlier.
When are your peaks and valleys? Everyone works differently, so it’s important to identify your personal times that work best for you and schedule your day accordingly. Do you constantly feel sleepy around 2pm? Maybe you need to schedule an hour rest time to recover, or eat some TeaSquares. Work with your natural rhythms to perform at your best!