Are you guilty of binge watching Netflix for hours in the evenings or weekends? Do you spend every extra minute you get mindlessly scrolling through social media? It isn’t completely your fault. Today’s world makes it so easy and convenient to get lost in information overwhelm. It is a lot easier to turn on the television or open up Facebook than it is to be productive and make progress towards your goals.
But I have one question for you. If you keep doing what you are currently doing, will you be satisfied with your life ten years from now? If you silently cringed at the question, I think we both know the answer. Something needs to change.
Here are 3 tips that FreeeUp CMO Connor Gillivan, shared with me that you can start to use in your life right now to be more productive:
1. Plan Your Weeks
When you close your eyes and think of your ideal self, do you see yourself hunched over a planner endlessly planning every minute of your day? Probably not. The very idea that you have to invest time each week to plan may come across as boring and unappealing, but I assure you it is necessary if you want to make the most out of your time.
While spontaneity may sound “sexy,” it is actually a quality of people who fail to ever achieve their life goals. In order to be truly successful, you have to be a planner.
But I have good news for you. Planning doesn’t have to be difficult or take up much of your time. If you can take twenty minutes each Sunday to plan your week, I guarantee you will triple your investment. By planning out your week, you will save hours and hours of time that would otherwise be lost.
Here is how to do it:
- Determine your most important 3-5 tasks that you want to accomplish for the week.
- Outline the steps required to complete those tasks.
- Schedule time in your calendar to complete the tasks.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer
2. Prepare Each Day for Success
Each day is a new beginning … therefore each day needs a new plan. The good news is that if you follow step #1 and plan your weeks, planning your days should only take about 5-10 minutes at most. Because you spent a little bit of time mapping out your week, mapping out your day should be easy.
I suggest that you plan your next day the night before. While some people like to plan their days in the mornings (and I encourage you to use what works best for you), I like to plan the night before because honestly I sleep better knowing that my day is already planned. Call me a nerd if you must.
Here is what I do. Each evening, I spend a few minutes pondering:
- What are my priorities for the day?
- How can I support my weekly goals by how I perform and what I complete tomorrow?
- How can I make the most out of each hour?
We all have different priorities and commitments. Your daily plan will look drastically different than mine, and that is okay. That is the reason I cannot plan your days for you. You must do it for yourself.
3. Delegate, Automate, Eliminate
Time is precious. We all know that. The clock is ticking right now, and we will never get those seconds back. While that is a scary thought, there isn’t much we can do about it. We must only change our mindsets going forward and embrace the future for what it is: a chance to streamline our lives. Any task that you can either delegate, automate, or even better eliminate, the easier your life will be.
If there are things you are doing in your life or business today that do not directly impact your bottom line or happiness, figure out a way to automate, delegate, or eliminate. You may have to get creative, but you can ultimately change your destiny by taking tasks off of your to-do list.
- Are there tasks that you perform each day that can be delegated to another person? Is there something more valuable you can be doing to grow your business or enhance your life? If so, then perhaps it is time to evaluate adding help. Free up your time so that you can focus on the tasks that bring the most value.
- Are there tasks that you can automate? We live in a world full of automation. Are there tasks that you perform that can be outsourced to a computer program? Why not free up more of your time?
- Sometimes we focus on things that simply are not necessary. The tasks that we can eliminate from our lives not only free up our time but also free us from unnecessary burdens. If you find yourself doing something that you question the reason for, ask yourself if you actually need to keep doing it. Is that task bringing enough value to your life to justify continuing to perform it?
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. The difference between the successful people and the people who merely exist is the way they manage their time. If you want to make the most of the time you have here on earth (because it is most definitely limited), then you must take the time to plan. In less than ten minutes a day, you can take control of what you accomplish each week, each month, and each year. You can take control of your life.
Have you tried any version of these tips before? How’d it work out for you? Leave your thoughts below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com