Elevate Your Efficiency: 6 Steps to Optimize Your Daily Schedule
Frequently, I noticed that tasks I intended to complete “today” were postponed to tomorrow, then the following day, and subsequently to the day after. It’s a sentiment many can relate to when personal projects and assignments start to pile up, neglected and incomplete. We can all concur – it’s far from a pleasant experience.
Effective time management skills may seem challenging, but they are attainable. By making a few smart adjustments to our routine, we can improve our productivity and overall satisfaction. I’m sure you already have acquired several strategies for managing your time, whether you picked up advice from your boss, pals, books, courses or through personal investigation.
No matter how, the goal is to “get things done” ! Here’s some ideas to revamp your time scheduling routine to up level your time management.
1. Allow Some Flexibility with Buffer Time
Small breaks between your commitments can significantly enhance your efficiency as you recalibrate, process what you’ve just completed, and prepare for what’s next. A smooth transition from task to task without feeling overwhelmed.
Allocate buffer time in your schedule by intentionally leaving gaps between tasks or appointments. This allows you to accommodate unexpected events or delays without disrupting your entire schedule, therefore reducing stress.
Its real value is revealed when unforeseen events occur. Instead of causing a domino effect of delays, the buffer absorbs the shock, allowing you to adjust with minimal disruption. It’s like having an emergency fund, but for your time. A great way to maintaining momentum and avoiding burnout especially that making and keeping promises does enhance productivity.
A proactive step towards a more manageable professional life!
2. Organize Yourself
This is a big life change for some people because organization habits don’t always come easily. At first, I felt that I was spending more time trying to stay organized than working, but rest assured, the payoff is worth it.
On average, stats reports that Americans waste about 2.5 days a year looking for misplaced objects. I’m Canadian and could have been part of that statistic!
Identify a specific location for each of your items and consistently return them to their designated spots. This applies to digital files as well. By simply having a straightforward filing system for our digital files, we reclaim more lost time.
In other words, organization is the silent engine that propels you towards efficiency.
3. Unlock Efficiency by Making Use of the 80-20 Rule
Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? Otherwise known as the 80-20 rule, this principle says that you can get 80% of the work done in 20% of the time. Similarly, 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions.
It can be applied to many things in life, so it’s a great concept to apply to your usage of time. Get in the habit of noticing what tasks get the most results. Spend more time on those actions and cut out some of the responsibilities that take up time but don’t produce the outcomes you are looking for.
The Pareto Principle, is a revelation in time management. Apply this rule to your life. It’s about working smarter, not harder, and focusing your energy where it counts the most.
‘The unspoken corollary to the 80/20 principle is that little of what we spend our time on actually counts. But by concentrating on those things that do, we can unlock the enormous potential of the magic 20 percent, and transform our effectiveness in our jobs, our careers, our businesses, and our lives’ ~ Richard Koch [ https://amzn.to/473LVIa ]
4. Transform Waiting into Winning
Every once and a while, you’ll inevitably have to wait for something: at the grocery store, in the doctor’s office, at the post office. Instead of actually waiting, or deferring to your phone for entertainment, do something productive with your time.
Stuck in traffic during your daily commute? Typically, this would be a time of frustration and perceived wasted time.Keep a selection of audiobooks, podcasts, or language learning CDs in your car. Alternatively, if you use public transportation, ensure your smartphone or device is loaded with similar resources.
By transforming waiting time into an opportunity for learning or relaxation, you effectively convert what could be a negative experience into a positive and productive one. This approach not only improves your mood but also contributes to your personal growth, making every moment count.
5. Organize Your Tasks in Blocks
“Every part of my business should have its alloted time” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Online articles and videos on YouTube reports that Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Cal Newport deploy variations of time blocking, aka time boxing, to help fuel their “freakish” levels of accomplishments.
Let’s define time boxing; It is the practice of setting a fix amount of time for each task and integrating the result time blocks into your schedule.
Batch all your similar tasks together. For example, don’t check your email every time someone pings you. If it’s urgent, go right ahead, but otherwise, set a time block every two hours or so to plow through all your emails at one time. This keeps you focused and workflow uninterrupted, which is a more efficient way to work. Imagine the boost in efficiency you could achieve!
“Since bestselling author Cal Newport introduced The Time-Block Planner in 2020, time-blocking has taken the world by storm. From Tik-Tok to The Today Show, time-blocking has been touted as “near miraculous,” helping people get significantly more done with their limited time. Now, Cal Newport has redesigned his renowned planner based on your feedback.” [https://amzn.to/3MJnQyb]
6. Try to Do Less
This may sound like a slacker approach, but it’s not. We take on way more than we need to, meaning we take on more than is beneficial to our work, and thus spread ourselves too thin. By doing that, you’re not helping yourself or your peers. In the end, you could wind up letting down people because you overpromise and under-deliver.
In our eagerness to excel, we often take on more than necessary, diluting our effectiveness. It’s crucial to recognize that saying ‘yes’ to everything isn’t always beneficial. By carefully choosing your commitments and focusing on what truly matters, you can deliver better results. This isn’t slacking; it’s strategic simplification.
As an entrepreneur, I’m faced each day with a myriad of decisions to make and found that applying these tips in my planning eliminated the dilemma of making too many choices, freeing up mental capacity for more concentrated work.
It alleviates the overwhelming feeling that comes from having to pick from an extensive array of tasks on an ever-growing to-do list. Now, I have a clear understanding of what needs to be done and at what time.
I trust that these techniques will assist you in mastering your time management like an expert!
Wishing you light and prosperity on your entrepreneurial journey,
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I’m Janice Dugas, online marketing strategist and entrepreneur helping local businesses and entrepreneurs reach a larger audience, refine their message and grow their revenue.
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