1. We live in a very different time now than we did 25 or even 10 years ago. No other generation has enjoyed such an impressive shift in technology and lifestyle changes.
2. Time is running out. I know that is cruel to say, but it's true. As baby boomers, we need to realize that our time is now limited, so we need to make the very best of it.
3. Time is a tool. It can be manipulated, shared, divided, and saved. There are surefire ways to make the most of your time.
4. Time is our most valuable resource. If we learn how to control and use it wisely, we will maximize our output both spiritually and financially.
I pick up this book constantly looking for ways to increase my productivity and use my time wisely. I always take the time to read blogs, articles, and "how-to's" on time-management. I devour any and all "life hacks" that I run across in my research. I task myself to try new ideas if it means I will be more productive and save time.
So, what's worked for me?
Let me share my top 10 tips with you on how I squeeze every second of time out of my day.
1. Make time to plan. Use 30 minutes a day to plan how you are going to use your time. If you don't, you will find yourself running around in circles wasting time. I prefer to use 15 minutes in the morning to set my priorities for the day and 15 minutes at night to set my goals for tomorrow and beyond if needed.
2. Remember there are always 1,440 minutes in each day. They do not vary from day to day. If you understand that, you can map out a plan for using them wisely. Appreciate and accept that some of these minutes will be used systematically day-in and day-out for essential tasks (work, calls, etc.), others for personal needs (exercise, relaxation, etc.), and yet others to service physical requirements (eating, sleeping, etc.). It is how you use the remaining minutes that make the difference in your emotional and financial well-being.
3. Include "Energy Management" with your "Time Management." You can be the best planner ever and have every minute of the day packed with essential tasks, but if you don't have the energy to complete them properly then it's all for nothing. Prioritize and plan in time segments that you can handle physically. Don't wear yourself out.
4. Tackle top priorities first. They may not be the most pleasant, but they are the most important, so engage them when you are the most physically rested and mentally alert.
5. Stay focused. Don't get distracted by everything that is shiny around you. Constantly remind yourself of the task you are working on at hand. Carry a short list with you on a "post-it" note as a visual reminder. With everything that is going on in the world around us it is very easy to get distracted.
6. Try to touch things only once. Trust your intuition when making decisions, especially on those choices that are not top priorities. Negotiate the task you are working on and complete it before moving on.
7. Learn to say "NO." Remember, every time you say "yes" to a request, you are in fact saying "no" to something else. Time is yours to use so don't let someone else use it up for you. You will be surprised how easy it is to deflect non-essential requests for your time by others. Simple things like keeping your door shut while working on priority tasks, not answering the phone, and letting people know that you are too busy will help you find more time for yourself.
8. Slow down and think. I know this sounds counterintuitive to what I am asking you to do in tip #6, but many times it is important to catch your breath before making a decision. Don't make rash or emotionally-charged decisions. A few minutes clearing your mind, analyzing the situation, and weighing your options will lead to better decisions and less wasted time.
9. Visualize your outcome. Before making a decision or choosing a course of action, start with the ending in mind.
10. Delegate and outsource. Don't be afraid to let others do things for you. Look at your "to do" list and rather than asking yourself "How do I get this task completed?" ask instead, "How can this task be completed?" It's a simple change of semantics, but it takes the burden off your shoulders of having to complete every task yourself. Look for help -- it's out there.
I know this is not rocket science, but if you feel like I do, then you understand the importance of using your remaining time on this planet wisely.
Hopefully, my tips help you.
Please feel free to share any tips you might have as well in the comments section with our fellow baby boomers.
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The more baby boomers we help, the better place we make this world!