Do you ever find yourself feeling like you “just can’t find time to do X”? Or maybe you say to yourself, “How do the successful entrepreneurs find the time to accomplish all that?”
The response to both is simple, you don’t find time. We have been around for hundreds of years and, to my knowledge, no one has found that 25th hour…
Well, that’s disappointing. I’m sure you were kinda hoping you’d come to this article and find, there’s that word again, a simple life hack to finding more time. After all, having more time means you’ll finally be able to accomplish all those things you have on that never-ending to-do list.
So how can we accomplish more if there’s no way to find more time?
How to Get More Time When You Can’t Find it
Let me start with the simple solution you were looking for. This is the same advice that is given to almost everyone who wants to get more time. It’s simple really, ‘Wake up earlier’ and ‘Go to bed later’.
There is nothing wrong with this advice AND its good advice, for short term projects.
Waking up earlier every morning and going to bed late every night will begin to take a toll on you, especially for longer projects. You will experience burnout and trying to recover from burnout is a rough process in itself (and a topic for another time).
This leaves the question, how can we accomplish more without experiencing burnout?
Making time is all about time management, delegation, and prioritization.
The following are 5 simple ways you can get more time today.
1. Create a To-do List
I’m not a big user of the term to-do list and prefer to use the term ‘Task List’ but you get the idea. You can read more about that in our article, Is it Finally Time to Ditch the To-Do List?
A properly constructed Task list will boost productivity and help manage your time when you can’t find the time. A simple way to construct a great task list is to keep it short and keep it important. And remember to list specific actions. It’s not an idea list, it’s a TASK.
Break complex projects or tasks down into bite-sized chunks.
The RV Trip
My husband and I recently decided to take an RV trip as a test run to see if we wanted to build our vacations around an RV lifestyle. The first step was to plan the itinerary. Unlike cruise ships, where you can show up and have all the details already worked out, RVing requires detailed planning.
When I first started to do this, it felt completely overwhelming. So I broke it down. What did I need to do first? That was easy, get some guidance. Fortunately, a close family member RVs about 6 months out of the year and I was able to ask her how to get going.
From there, rather than writing down to Plan RV Trip, I wrote down, plan trip from point A to point B.
Focus on keeping things as simple as possible so you don’t get overwhelmed.
And then focus on what is truly important. I probably don’t need to worry about where we will be eating on the trip but it is necessary to plan where we will be staying since RV slots fill up fast!
You can ask yourself a question to find out if the task is important or not...
“What task(s) that I can complete will make the other tasks easier or irrelevant?”
2. Limit Time Wasters
Television, surfing the internet and social media. Unless you’re doing social media marketing, for the duration of the important tasks you’ve set yourself above, turn it off.
This advice is given out a lot and for good reason. You’d be surprised how quickly a task can actually be completed if you don’t have distractions.
It happens often, you do 15 minutes of work. Something catches your eye and you start browsing the web or scrolling through your feed and next thing you know 20 minutes has passed.
You panic and try to get yourself back into the groove, but spend the next 10 minutes struggling to get that focus back and struggle to complete the work.
A simple job that would have only taken 25 minutes to complete has taken 45. With 20 of those minutes being wasted.
You can get more time by eliminating the things that are wasting your time.
Use the timer on your phone to alert you every 20 minutes to stay on task.
There are some great hacks for helping to keep you away from some of the common time sucks.
For example, the News Feed Eradicator removes the news feed from your Facebook. It works on Chrome and helps to ensure that you are only engaging in what you need to be engaged in while on Facebook.
However, it is really important to get to the root of why you are allowing these things to waste your time. Is this a healthy diversion or are you procrastinating something important? Until you figure that out, you’ll continue to fall into the YouTube rabbit hole.
3. Set Up Systems
Ugg, not THAT! Anything but that!
WAIT! Don’t skip this section just yet.
You see, there’s so much more to systems than just the highly technical applications you may be thinking of.
Think of a recipe book as a system. By documenting your favorite recipes in one place, you save time having to rediscover favorite dishes and figure out what you will eat for dinner.
Think of social media scheduling tools as systems. These tools help you batch your scheduling so you avoid the distractions of social media throughout the day.
Bill pay is a system that allows you to expedite your bookkeeping and accounting.
You see, there are all kinds of systems, both simple and complex.
When you begin to implement simple systems into your life, you’ll get more time you didn’t have before.
A few simple systems we love to get started with include:
Remember, systems can be simple. Start with the basics and move up as you free up more time.
4. Eat, Drink & Be Merry
OK, I’m not actually suggesting we go out and party here.
But one of the key things we need to focus on is overcoming our chronic exhaustion.
When you are always exhausted, it takes longer to do things right. You slow down. A LOT.
So this is a simple suggestion but also one that is often passed up for hacks.
It’s time to eat clean, drink plenty of water, get some good exercise and the right amount of sleep!
Eating clean doesn’t mean dieting. Simply that eliminating processed foods and eating smaller meals throughout the day will help increase your overall energy levels.
Coffee, teas, and soda are not a replacement for water. Water cleanses our bodies of the toxins we take in on a daily basis. Our bodies are so busy fighting these toxins that it has to take energy away from other tasks, like concentrating on that video script.
Exercise has been proven to provide us with more energy. In fact, the amount of time we spend exercising gains us that much time AND MORE in increased energy levels and focus.
And sleep. Notice I didn’t say plenty of sleep. Some people actually get too much sleep. Every person is different in how much sleep they need. It’s important to discover what your body needs and stick to that. I highly recommend the book, The Power of When, by Michael Breus for more on this topic.
5. Get Someone Else to Do It
Referring back to the task list you’ve created. How many of those things are small tasks that are actually less important?
They should be lower on the list, right? But they still need to get done.
I know what you’re going to say, “You told me to focus on the important tasks and now you want me to focus on the unimportant ones?”
Yes and No… mainly no but still a yes.
Small tasks that may take you 20-30 minutes to finish, you should be able to delegate to a virtual assistant.
Send over 2 – 4 small tasks to a VA and you’ve made 2 hours to focus on other things.
But it gets better. If you have a large project such as launching an online or group coaching program, you can get even more help!
When you work with a virtual business manager, they will help you organize every detail.
They’ll keep you focused and on task and take much of the work off your plate.
One of the biggest time wasters is taking time to figure out how to do the things that you don’t already know how to do.
You could spend time learning how to create an online course. And then even more time figuring out how to market that course. Oh, and don’t forget all the tech, you’ll need to take time to learn that too.
Or, you can work with someone who already knows how to do all that! Whew, now you are saving hours and hours of time!
We can get more time to do those important things by using these five strategies:
- Use Task Lists strategically
- Limit time wasters
- Set up better systems
- Eat, sleep and exercise
- Get someone else to do it
With just these 5 strategies, you can make time to accomplish more and elevate your business to the next level. With all the time you’ve made, you can spend it on growing your business, relaxing or spending quality time with your loved ones. Now who doesn’t want that?
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