Decide what won’t get done today
Many of us start each day assuming we can tick off everything on our to-do list. As a result, we don’t decide early enough what to put off and by the end of the day the choice has been made for us. Accept the limits of your day and make conscious choices what ot prioritise.
Off with the digital alerts
It’s hard to make progress when a beep, buzz or notification interrupts you every 30 seconds. This digital chain-jerking can be a drag on productivity. Turn off one or more alerts to regain time and focus.
Prep one thing for tomorrow
Lay out your clothes, prepare your lunch or jump-start your breakfast. This prep work will allow you to sleep that big longer and begin your day with less stress.
Set aside a maintenance day
Ever feel that what should be free time is taken up with chores and to-do tasks? Combat this with a “maintenance day”. This means saving those tasks that take up your precious evenings – clearing your in-box and paying the bills – and chunking them all together on, say, a Sunday morning. Dull perhaps, but you’ll feel wonderful once they’re done and have more breathing space for fun.
Schedule “choice time”
Just as you would scribble a hair appointment in your diary, “choice time”, or down time, needs to be entered into your schedule. Tell a friend so you’re accountable and actually stick to it.
Rid yourself of guilt
Give yourself permission to enjoy time for you. Know that no one is keeping score but you – no one else can see that the kitchen isn’t spotless, nor will they know (or probably care) if you had a takeaway pizza last night because you didn’t fancy cooking.
Ask: How are you spending your time?
Use your diary to look back at what you’ve done in the last week. Map work, evenings, early mornings, the people you saw, the tasks you tackled. Now look at it as a whole. What gave you the highest return, professionally and personally? What was missing that you wish you’d done? What things did you do that you wished you’d said no to?
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