You don’t need more time—you just need to manage it better. Here are the easiest ways to start doing that right now.
No 1: Schedule Interruptions
Yes, that’s right: schedule them. It’s true you never know when they’ll happen but that they will happen is as certain as the sunrise.
Add at least 15 minutes worth of buffers between tasks on your day’s schedule so that when an important, unexpected phone call comes (from someone who loves to talk!) it won’t throw the rest of your day off course. And neither will that meeting that went 10 minutes long or the five minutes you wasted in the bathroom mirror hopelessly scrubbing a mustard stain on your shirt.
If the rare day does happen upon you that’s free of interruption, you are blessed. Spend the extra time on your top priority, be it a business proposal or going home a little early to see your family.
No 2: Limit Distractions and Lasso Ideas
Email clutters your inbox, notifications flash on your phone, and ideas pop into your head all day long.
That email from a client is important, and so is that breaking news from The New York Times. But there’s a better way to manage it. Turn off the notifications on your phone, and only check your email during times you’ve scheduled during the day.
And those ideas you keep having? Never let them slip away. Write them down immediately and move on. It only takes a few seconds and then you can refocus on the task at hand. Those great ideas will be waiting for you later.
￼No. 3: Schedule Apples with Apples and Oranges with Oranges
Different activities require different types of thinking so batch similar tasks together when you’re planning each day. This allows your mind to stay “in the zone” instead of taking so many sharp turns.
Do you need to make a bunch of calls? Or respond to a lot of email that’s been lingering in your inbox for days? Schedule those calls during the same block of time, and respond to all that email during another. This will help you further reduce the distractions you face.
The more you practice this, the more you’ll find additional little hacks to blow through those related tasks faster than you’ve ever done before.
Do you want to dig even deeper into some of our best thoughts and practical tips on time management and how to get better control over your calendar? Grab a copy of our Maintain Your Balance Whitepaper to read more.