As strange as it may sound, being busy doesn't necessarily mean being productive. While we all want to get the most of our day, both at work and at home, trying to pack too many things in can be counter-productive. Taking a few minutes time out each day to consider how we can better spend our time can vastly improve the quality and quantity of what we achieve.
Sometimes we get so busy that we miss opportunities to make things easier for ourselves. For example, it is a common mistake when using a new piece of computer software to dive in and start using it, even though you know you are not getting the most out of it. The fact that you are not using it well could be costing you valuable time each day which soon adds up. However, if you took a little time at the outset to learn how to use the software well, this time will be saved.
This is a perfect example of effective time management. Having learned how to use the software well you will be achieving the same results, or possibly better results, but you will not be so busy.
When the clock is ticking and work is piling up it can be hard to take the time out to consider how you can better use your time, but it is essential for effective time management. Look at all the tasks you do and the actions you take in any given day and ask yourself if these are the right actions?
We all have our vices. Perhaps you spend hours in front of the TV each evening or aimlessly surfing the internet. This is not effective use of your time.
However, it can be hard to break these habits even though we know deep down that there are many better ways to use this time. It requires motivation to break these habits. The good news is that you can find this motivation within yourself quite easily.
You need to consider what you really want from your life and how you really want to use your time. This will take some thought and consideration but should reveal what is really important to you in your professional and personal life. These are the goals you will work towards.
Now, consider how you are really spending your time and the actions you take every day. Ask yourself how what your doing now is helping you achieve your goals. You will probably find that there are major gaps.
For example, if one of your goals is to get fit, those hours in front of the TV are clearly not effective use of your time. You can still watch TV, but maybe for an hour less each day so you can achieve your goal of getting fit.
There is certainly no need to sacrifice the things you enjoy, indeed they are to be encouraged if they fit in with your overall plan to spend your time effectively towards achieving your goals.
However you will have to make changes, and some of them may be quite difficult. However, start out small and only choose goals that you think are attainable. Taking on too much too soon will only dent your confidence. However, if you take it step by step you can weed out the needless tasks and spend your time more effectively. The secret is to spend your time on the things that are important to you. If you do this you will find yourself less busy while achieving more.
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Wendy Hearn works with business owners to be more effective and successful, achieving a more profitable business in less time.