People always ask me, how do you find time to make lunch, go to the gym, learn new things? Don’t you ever get lazy? I’ll let you in a little secret. Before you begin any new routine, you need to understand the concept of productivity. We all seem to be fighting against time and using it as an excuse.
Time management is the most important skill to grasp. Take 10 minutes out of your day and reflect on where you’ve allotted your time. Were you scrolling through social media? Watching TV? Trying to find the perfect picture to post on Instagram? When you become aware of how many functional hours you have in a day, you are able to recognize what you can be doing in these hours.
How to Effectively Manage Time
1. Write a list of small things to do
Everyone says it. Write down a list of what you want to accomplish today. The problem with this statement is that people often write down unrealistic goals. I say SMALL things because a list can easily become overwhelming and discouraging. On a typical day, my list may look like this:
- Download an interesting podcast
- Marinate meats/chicken
- 10 minute journal reflection
- Fix blue-tooth in car
You can already see that this list is not exhaustive or impossible to complete. That’s the point. Many of these tasks only take a matter of a couple minutes, but they have compounding effects that will prepare you for your next day. Okay, so you have marinated meat and an interesting podcast? This means you have accessibility. You have access to your next meal when you’re hungry. You also have access to a podcast when you’re heading to work in the morning (and you’re most probably rushed). The first step to productivity is ensuring accessibility.
2. Stop wasting your time on Social Media
I’m not here to tell you social media is bad or a complete waste of time. But, I think it’s fair to say we are all guilty of spending a little too much time on it. Social media is addicting and distracting. We’ve all seen 10 minutes on the phone turn into 45 minutes. Before I left on my two month Backpacking adventure to Europe, I removed all social media apps on my phone and replaced them with eBooks. In the span of two months, I got through three books… something I had been struggling to do for years. What was responsible for the change? I took interest in what I was reading and I started using my time more efficiently.
3. Don’t overthink
I am still learning how to think, but not overthink. As prepared as you want to be, you need to realize there are things that you cannot control. Overthinking can be very counter-productive. While you’re too busy thinking about everything that can go wrong and waiting for the “perfect time” to execute your plan, you start to lose your most valuable asset… TIME. Please do not take this the wrong way. You need to think before you do things, especially if you want to be productive. But don’t be afraid to fail – if there is something you want to do, just give it a try!