Carving out extra time isn’t that hard once you start paying attention to how you already spend most of your day. I challenge you to keep track of one 24-hour period. You’ll be surprised at the excess amount of time you spend on unimportant tasks (including work tasks) and how the hours get away from you. Do you REALLY need to spend 2 hours sorting through emails every day? Are the things you are stressing about today even necessary for you to have a successful workday?
This post is not about making you a more productive superhuman. It’s about carving out time for family, enjoyment, and personal development.
- Get rid of Facebook
In most cases, Facebook is a huge timesuck although it can depend on the quality of your own network. If you’ve been using it professionally and have a feed that builds on your intelligence rather than sucking away your time on nonsense, more power to you. But, chances are most of you are still keeping up with people from your past and you don’t even know why.
Facebook is addictive intentionally and the sooner you break the habit, the sooner you can stash away those lost hours for more important things that will actually get you where you want to be.
If you use Facebook for a business page or ads and feel like there is no way around it, we encourage you to install something like this Chrome plugin, which is a news feed eradicator. You can log in and do what you need to do without getting distracted by the addictive, and often toxic, newsfeed.
2. Learn how to say “no”
We talk about this a lot here at Eazl and, honestly, I’m the leader of the say “no” mentality here. It’s something I’ve never really had an issue with as a hyper-logical person and I think I always took it for granted until I realized that most people feel unwarranted guilt and anxiety about saying “no”.
We don’t want to upset or disappoint others. We don’t want to feel regret about lost opportunities.
Sometimes, your ambition can get the worst of you and you can actually take yourself completely off track if you take every opportunity placed in front of you. If we did everything, we wouldn’t be good at anything. Focus and stay set to your path. That’s the key here: YOUR path.
Everyone around you –even those who love you– are going to want you to do what they think is best for you. Often, it’s based on their own desires or ethics or preconceived notions of who you should be. Don’t fall for that. You are the only one in the world who will care about you first.
- Spend your time and energy on (and with) good people
Something I have realized as I’ve gotten older is how much of our (limited) free time is spent putting energy into relationships that are not positive if we allow it to happen. In order to be a high functioning person who can stay motivated in both life and work, you have to put good things into your brain.
If you have friends or family members or even co-workers who are passive aggressive, dependent, or do and say things to intentionally bring you down, you might want to take some steps to limit interactions with them or break ties with them completely.
Imagine a life where you are surrounded by supportive and kind individuals who want you to succeed. That should make your decision much easier.
4. Prioritize….like, actually do it
Not everything on your to do list needs to be done. Every day, select 4 tasks to accomplish that will have the biggest impact on your business or your day. This is something that Paul Klipp taught us and we are so thankful. Don’t get caught up in the weeds or feel like you have to get everything done!
- Eliminate non-positive behaviors
We all have habits that need to be checked every now and then. Maybe you find yourself on social media during work hours (when you could be wrapping up earlier instead) or maybe you don’t need to watch a third episode so you can finish up that book that’s been on your nightstand all year. We make choices every day about how we spend our time.
This doesn’t mean you have to ALWAYS be productive but you should always be thinking about what will feed you and help you prosper. Sometimes, it’s allowing yourself to take a break to watch an episode of Westworld; sometimes, it’s making yourself get off the couch so you don’t spend another night at home parked in front of the TV.
We don’t have to be perfect but, the more we remember to check ourselves, the more we’ll naturally make better choices and look back on time as well spent.
- Follow your intuition
This might seem cheesy, but your gut will often guide you in the right direction. If someone asks you for a favor and you know you’re strapped for time or you end a first meeting with a client and they seemed kind of difficult, you should follow that feeling and eliminate.
When you eliminate, you make room for other amazing people and opportunities that are right for you and those who really value you won’t be offended to hear “no”.
Do you have any strategies that aren’t included in this list? I’d love to hear about it. Just send me a Tweet!