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I Just Don’t Have Time To...

Last updated February 25, 2014

I've heard this so many times but strangely enough there are exactly the same number of minutes in every hour of every day. But it seems we're just not productive or good enough at managing time during those minutes to get everything done. My mother has saying, "if you want something done, give it to a busy person", and in my experience it always works.

Busy and productive people have a momentum about their work they find a rhythm that helps them in managing their time. They concentrate on one thing at a time. They know when they are productive, which parts of the day and then they make the most of those productive minutes.

A client of mine has found a great way to get things done. She works to her energy levels. They are high in the morning and naturally dip early afternoon. They pop up again late afternoon and again need the evening. My energy levels are similar, perhaps it's a girl thing?

Working out if you are a night bird or in the early bird is a good place to start. But what then? I'm guessing most of you have a to-do list of varying lengths with many of those tasks continually  making it to the new list you write without ever being finished; a demoralising feeling.

My husband talks about having a "difficult case" day. It's a focused day, usually a Saturday, to actually complete the jobs he's been putting off.

Here are some tips for you to find some more productive time.

1. Discover your productive time periods and then choose a productive time slot for you.

2. Turn off your e-mail alerts and your social media too

3. Turn off your phone, after all you do have voicemail.

4. Turn off the radio, shut the door, and get some peace and quiet for just an hour.

5. Put everything to one side except the important task that you need to deal with.

6. Now do it, in an hour you'll have finished it or at least made major progress. You've also probably built up a rhythm which carries you through the next hour should you need it.

7. Now go back to that to-do list. Go through it and be ruthless. What can you delegate, automate or terminate?  Keep the important tasks for yourself, but only those important ones that will make a positive difference to your business.

8. Now look at the meetings in your diary. Which ones can you cancel, delegate to others, shorten, combine with another meeting, avoid travelling to or have a virtual rather than face-to-face meeting?

Whatever you do, make sure that you take a break – recognise that we can’t be productive 100% of the time and don't multitask! Just think, your accountant probably uses 6 or 10 minute charging segments – what can you do in 6 or 10 minutes? Try it out and let me know how you get on.

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Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

When you’re ready here are four ways I can help you build your business:

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