We have all heard or even said:
“So much to do, so little time.”
“There are just not enough hours in the day or enough days in the week.”
“Time just got away from me.”
“I lost track of time.”
“I don’t have time to do the things I want to do.”
“Sorry I’m late.”
The excuses flow fast and we don’t even realize it. The answer lies not in trying to do things faster, but better use our time.
Set priorities. Spend some time to determine who you are, where you are going and where you want to be. Factor in all the elements of life-the professional, the family, the social, the intellectual, the spiritual, the emotional and the physical. The goal is to understand what’s important in your life and to make those things a priority. Focus on those areas you can control and don’t waste time worrying about elements beyond your control.
Plan your time. Begin each week by building a schedule, in writing, that includes each of your key priorities. Honor those commitments. At the end of each day, reflect on what you accomplished for the day and give yourself the appropriate “pat on the back.” Then take a look at what needs to be accomplished in the days ahead and make any adjustments to your schedule. If you fail to plan or if you don’t honor commitments, you will find yourself responding to all the people, events and things that happen daily but that may not be important. Look before you leap. Think about what you are doing; don’t just do it. Remain in control of your schedule.
Think small. Start your day with some small challenges that you can quickly cross off your to-do list and build some momentum. Motion creates motion and small victories add up to large ones. Some people start their day with exercise. Others by reading the paper. Still others with a short team meeting. Whatever works and falls within your priorities, just do it and move on with a winning attitude. If you start the day with a major project with no end in sight, your strength, spirit and results will evaporate.