My Favorite 5 Time-Saving Habits for Busy Professionals

We are all given 24 hours a day.  It’s how we organize and use those 24 hours that makes the difference.  Each week, it is my goal to try and send you something useful that you can put into action immediately.  This week, as the holiday season is right around the corner, I want to send you some of my favorite tips and habits to get lots done.  Check out my favorite 5 time-saving habits for busy professionals below.

 

Start maximizing your time…

 

PLAN:

If you don’t have control over your day, your day will control you!  I dare you to enter into a day without a plan or schedule and just conquer anything that comes your way.  By the end of the day, I guarantee you will be exhausted, frazzled, and feel like you got nothing of importance completed!  Why? Because you didn’t have a plan or a focus for your day and you allowed other people’s priorities become yours.

 

Here’s how I make sure I stay focused every day:

  • Each day I write out on a sticky note, 3-4 non-negotiables that must get done
  • My 3-4 non-negotiables are my focus for the day and take precedence over everything else
  • Once those 3-4 items are completed, I tear up the sticky note (it feels SO good to do that) and move on to more pressing items
  • By the end of the day, I feel like I had a productive day, moving the needle closer to where I want it to be in my business

 

BOUNDARIES:

Set boundaries for everything!  If social media is a time-suck for you, own it!  Now that you own it, do something about it. Schedule time into your day where you allow yourself to scroll through the socials.  That goes for other things that suck away your time. Set up boundaries and adhere to them. The same thing is true for those things that are important to you, like family and friends.  Set aside time that you are focusing on them, and only them. Don’t let other distractions interfere with this sacred time you have set aside to be with your loved ones.

 

BATCH LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT:

Seriously!  This one strategy is a game-changer.  Why? Because it maximizes your productivity and brain capacity.  If you are constantly bouncing back and forth between tasks, your brain is bouncing too.  Fun fact, did you know it takes your brain 15 minutes to gain focus after each time it is distracted?  It’s true! Think of your brain as a car accelerating after a red light has turned green. You step on the gas, the car begins to go, gaining momentum until it gets to cruising speed.  Once at cruising speed, you and your car are efficient at clocking miles…until you hit another red light. Then you have to stop, accelerate, and push until you get to cruising speed again.  Wouldn’t it have been a lot faster to get to your destination if you could have continued cruising without a red light? That’s what is happening to your brain when you bounce from task to task without batching like tasks together.

If you batch like tasks together in categories, you and your brain will hit a sweet spot where you are able to work even faster and complete all that you wish to get done in that one category.  For example, as I write this blog, I am in a blog batching mode or working in my “blog category”. More than likely, while working in this category block, I will create 3-5 blog posts in less time than if I were to stagger this task over a couple of days.  

 

Try this concept and let me know if it helped you as much as it helps me.

 

USE DO NOT DISTURB:

This is a favorite of mine!  When working in batches, I like to set my phone, email, and social media to the “DO NOT DISTURB” setting for a period of 45 minutes to an hour.  This uninterrupted time allows me to stay focused and work through my batch work. At the end of my batched time, I check messages and notifications, responding to any urgent matters before I start another interval of batch work.

 

FIND YOUR BEST TIME:

When are you at your best?  Truth bomb: For me, I am NOT at my best in the morning, no matter HOW much coffee I drink.  For me, I tend to get my creative flow between the hours of 2 pm and 4 pm. For many, mornings are when you are the most alert, creative, and can get a lot done.  Pay attention to what time of day is best for you and work it to your advantage.

 

Final Thoughts:

Time is the only thing in this world we cannot get more of, no matter who you are or how much money you have.  Because of this fact, it’s important we take our time seriously and use it wisely. If you are procrastinating or wasting time, find out why.  Is it fear? Laziness? Confusion? Once you identify why you are wasting time, face it head on and do something about it. Your future self will thank you.  For more information on procrastination and why we do it, list to this my podcast on procrastination found HERE.