Life is busy. I work full-time at a job I love and that occupies me for 9 hours every day. Then, home time. Work out, dinner, some freelance work, blog time, school work… and before you know it, time to do it all over again. What about me time? What about reading? What about time to learn a new recipe, write a poem, play my piano, etc? What about just a few minutes to breathe?
In today’s world, we are conditioned to be busy. Not necessarily productive — I’ve learned that the two are actually mutually exclusive. But busy. We all text while walking while talking while emailing while driving while wondering… where HAS the time gone. Our ability to do a million things at once is rivaled only by our inability to accomplish anything on our ever-growing to-do list.
How do we combat this? I think the key is to spend less time doing and more time accomplishing. Some things aren’t negotiable – we all have to pay the bills. But have you ever noticed how much longer it takes you to get something done when you are actually doing 3 things at once? Or how you find yourself re-doing something that you thought you had previously finished? Try these simple experiments and see how much more/less productive you are:
-Only check your email 3 times a day at work – 1st thing in the morning, at lunch, and before you leave. Email is a time sink: simply checking your email can eat up 2 to 3 hours of your day, every day. Consider what else you could accomplish with those 3 hours!
-Do not spend your evening ‘surfing’ Facebook or Twitter. Treat it like email: check it once or twice a day (if necessary), and then close the site. Don’t simply to go another tab on your computer screen- close the window and sign-out completely. That will remove the temptation to cheat and continue checking back. Out of sight… out of mind!
-Do one thing, well; one thing at a time. Do it right the first time and then move on to the next thing. By only doing tasks once, you will save 1/2 the time you waste doing something over again.
Stop making ‘busy’ work for yourself and get busy doing. You might be surprised how much time you find to actually start doing things you enjoy!