Can you believe it's almost Christmas? During the holiday season especially, it always seems there's never enough time to do all the things that need to get done. Yet, December has been my most productive month of the year. What made the difference? I gave up on the idea of managing my time and figured out how to maximize it.
Are you ready to go from doing to done? Follow these three tips to learn the key to creating an abundance of time in your life.
Get Real With Yourself
It's easy to think there's never enough time to do all that you have to do. But in truth, you may be wasting more time than you realize. In a culture replete with distractions, it's not hard to get sucked down a rabbit hole of perpetual time-wasters. From social media to reality TV to that great abyss otherwise known as the internet, there's always something vying for your attention. It's amazing how much time you can reclaim when you set parameters around those things that can quickly devolve into distractions.
If you must watch TV, pick one or two shows that you enjoy and watch only those shows all season. Set a timer when you decide to check your Facebook page. And if you're really ready for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, download an app like RescueTime to receive an "attention audit." That little dose of reality will show you how much time you aimlessly relinquish by doing things like checking your e-mails repetitively, zoning out on social media, or habitually searching the net. Believe me, it's nothing like a good dose of reality to snap you into shape, and get you focused on those things that truly deserve to be the center of your attention. When you get important things done in less time, you'll free up more time for the rest of your life.
Focus on What REALLY Matters
Steven Covey once said, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." And trust me, no wiser words have ever been spoken. Be intentional about what deserves your focus. And then focus like a laser specifically on those things. Now, of course, this time of year, you'll have additional demands on your time that aren't typically there. That just means you'll need to make space in your life for those additional tasks. This will require you to be much more discerning about what you allow and don't allow on your list of things to do. Get intimately familiar with the word "no" and release the guilt associated with using it liberally. When you embrace this practice habitually, you'll create more time and space in your life for those things you know matter most.
Prioritize Completion Over Perfection
Full disclosure-I'm a recovering perfectionist. But I have to admit, when I fully embraced the mantra that done is better than perfection, I started to close the loop on projects in a fraction of the time than had been my norm. Stop spinning your wheels and wasting time in pursuit of the "perfection" illusion. Instead, focus your energy only on those areas that represent the best and highest use of your skills, your gifts, and your expertise. Surround yourself with a team you trust to help reach high standards and then, get out of the way and let them do just that! You don't have to have your finger in everything to make it "perfect." With the right people on your side, you can get more done faster than you ever could alone, and still end up with an end product that makes you proud.
Questions for Reflection: If you had to prioritize all that you're responsible for right now, what two or three things would you say deserve your highest level of focus? Conversely, what could be off-loaded to someone else? Do you have any time-wasters in your life? What actions can you take now to minimize distractions, and in the process, get more done in less time? And finally, do you ever find yourself paralyzed by perfection? Who can serve as your second pair of eyes and hands so that you can bring things to completion faster without sacrificing quality?
Dr. Avis is a Career Reinvention Strategist, International Speaker and Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women. Find out more by logging on to: www.avisjonesdeweever.com