Have you ever decided to take the next 30 minutes before you have to go to get something done, and then mysteriously failed to accomplish anything? Do you sometimes have the feeling that you can not accomplish things if you have not planned your time accordingly? Don’t worry, you are not alone in this.
I often underestimate what I can accomplish in a short period of time. You see, I love having my week days well structured. And I usually tend to block out my days in different chunks: writing my blogs, working with clients, studying new courses, gym, family, etc. However, as we all know, between a task and the next one endsup being loose ends. –Five minutes here, 10 minutes there, 20 minutes over there that are left over… The question is: what can we do with those short periods of time? Waste them or make them productive?
My tendency has often been to blow them off and check social media, grab a coffee, or make a phone call to a friend. Certainly there are times when we need to take a break. And this is ok! But learning to be productive during these unexpected short time slots will help you accomplish much more. I’ve discovered that I can do far more in those short periods than I think. So when it comes to my productivity in the short period of times, here is my approach:
1) Take short blocks of time seriously.
I’ve started experimenting just to see how much I can get done in 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Can I finish reading a book chapter while the plane rolls up to the gate? Walk my dog, before my next session with a client will start and be ready for this person? or prepare the dinner? Push it, and see how much you can actually accomplish. I’m sure you’ll be surprised.
2) Make a list.
Make a list of short actions that you need to finish. And have it available when a short amount of time becomes available. An update phone call, checking a calendar issue, responding to an email – even a short meditation time – are all things than can be done in a short period if you’re aware and ready.
3) Schedule your time back to back
This might increase your productivity and avoid that feeling of “falling behind”
Break big tasks down into smaller ones, so that you can reach a goal even in a shorter period of time. People tend to like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing something. And if you’re afraid you won’t be able to complete it, you might not start at all.
Would you like to know more about how tobe more productive and manage your time better? I know it is difficult to take the first step, procrastination is a habit. But if/when you can bypass it drop me a line! I’d be happy to tell you more on how i work on time management and productivity with my clients.