How to Run out of To-Dos Before You Run out of Time by Sheila Hawkins
If you’re struggling to get things done, you’re running out of time before you run out of things to do. So your days are long and you add the weekend to the mix. You’re caught up. Caught up in the everyday to-dos and everything that goes along with it, trying to manage family, work and to have a life and time for yourself.
Being caught up and fed up, your focus shifts to how to make it better, how to get it all done and overall looking for a way to “manage time”. There are a number of challenges with this since time doesn’t even exist, so can’t be managed. You’re in survival mode and that has you resort to adding hours to your days.
So how do you run out of to-dos before you run out of day? First, get your priorities straight! What’s important? Now, you might think you know the important stuff when it comes into view, but that’s not the point where you want to identify your priorities. You want to identify them long before that. Think about what’s important to you in an overall sense, then move into thinking about what’s important as far as your business or work goes. A great way to do this is to go a step backward and look at your values. What do you value? For example, if you value your health, then things like eating well and exercise are priorities. Things show up in your days in some way to reflect that value.
Make your list of values and keep it handy so you can see it when you’re planning your days. The rule here is if something is not directly related to a value, it doesn’t deserve your time. If it’s not related to your values, it won’t be related to your goals or what you’re up to inside of your business or work. The tasks you take on really have to line up and if they don’t, you’ve got some work to do before you take on your next task.
Next, set boundaries for yourself and for others. Don’t allow people to interrupt your work day with things that take you on a detour. Create ways to discourage interruptions like turning off email notifications the ringer on the phone and instead, set times to check email and return calls so you can focus on what needs to be done. Create the boundaries you need to support you getting through your days.
Now you have two things you can do to shift into a different gear. Putting them in play helps you create the space for cutting down the long hours and still knocking out your to do list. You’ll also gain freedom and your sanity in the process.
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