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Strategies to Get More Done in Less Time

Posted Jan 18 2012 4:12pm

When I say the number 1,440, does that mean anything to you?

Do you know what this number represents?

It is the number of minutes in one day.

If you had 1,440 apples; that would seem like a lot of apples. If you had to drive 1,440 miles, that would seem like a lot of miles.

However, no one ever seems to think 1,440 minutes in one day is a lot. In fact, people tend to complain that there is just not enough time in one day.

And unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to increase this number. Every person, no matter where they live or what they do, has 1,440 minutes in a day to do the things they need do.

If you had an extra 45 minutes each day, what would you do with those 45 minutes? Take a zumba class? Read a book? Spend time with your significant other?

Christy Tryhus of Simply Balanced Coaching says if you do these three steps, you will find that your day will become more productive and efficient leaving you with an extra 45 minutes a day to do whatever it is you want! Here are her 3 recommended strategies for getting more done in less time.

#1 Develop a Plan

Brain Tracy, who is one of America's leading authorities on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness, says, "the number one reason why some people get more work done faster is because they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives and they don't deviate from them."

Therefore, developing a plan for each week and each day with clear goals and objectives is necessary in getting more done in less time, leading us with leftover time at the end of the day.

What does developing a plan look like? At the beginning of each week, take 10 minutes to map out your week. This would be a good time to get either a calendar, day planner or some sort of phone that has an easy to use calendar and to-do organizer. I personally prefer to use a day planner. As you look at the week, take note of appointments or things that must be done on specific days and go ahead and write them in your calendar, phone or planner.

Let's say you plan your week on Sunday. After looking at your week, take an additional 10 minutes to plan out your Monday. At the end of the day on Monday, take 10 minutes to plan out your day on Tuesday, etc. As Christy says, "One minute of planning is equal to 10 minutes of productivity. Ten minutes a day equals up to 100 extra minutes per day of productivity."

How much more could you get done with an extra 100 minutes in a day?

The key is consistency. It takes 30 days to commit something to habit. Commit to developing your plan for each day for 30 days and it will become second nature, like brushing your teeth, and lead to more productive days.

#2 Time Blocking

Time blocking is committing to working a single project or task for a certain length of time. For years I used to pride myself on being an excellent multi-tasker. I can talk on the phone, cook and pick up things around the house all at the same time!!! Wow, that's impressive!

Actually no, because the person I was talking to wasn't really getting listened to, dinner would be over-cooked or slightly burnt and the house was still a bit messy.

Time blocking allows you to provide focus to a single item so you can get it done in less time because it is the only thing you are focused on. For example, if you have a sales proposal to work on, block a certain amount of time on your calendar to just focus on the proposal. Let's say you block two hours, from 8 am to 10 am. This means this is the only thing you do for those two hours; no phone calls (unless it is an emergency), no emails, no facebook. You do not need to answer every phone call or respond to every text, or check email every 20 minutes. Time block for those activities like returning and making phone calls and checking and responding to email to a different time of day.

Time blocking will help you to minimize distractions and will keep you focused on the task at hand. Trust me, multi-tasking and jumping from task to task is not as productive as we once thought it was.

To help me time block, I color-code my time blocks for my activities. Blue is my quiet time, green is my project and writing time, orange is for when I make or return phone calls, yellow is for study time, pink is for time with my husband and purple is for exercise.

After you time block and color-code your activities, any leftover white space is time you get to do whatever you want!!!!!! How exciting!

#3 Eat That Frog

"You should never be distracted by a tadpole when a big frog is sitting there waiting to be eaten" ~ Brian Tracy

The third recommendation to getting more done in less time is to identify your frog each day and do that task first.

What the heck do you mean, "my frog?" As Brian Tracy states in his book, "Eat that Frog," if the first thing you had to do each morning was eat a live frog, it is pretty safe to say that is probably the worst thing that you would have happen to you all day long. So instead of staring at it and stressing about having to do it, just get over it and eat it already and then the rest of the day will seem pretty easy.

If you have two frogs you have to eat, eat the ugliest one first.

The bottom-line, identify the thing you hate doing and want to do the least, this is your frog, and do this first thing in the day. This will keep you from procrastinating on something that could potentially have the greatest impact on your life and your results.

If exercise is your frog, do it in the morning and get it over with! Imagine how much better you will feel for the rest of your day knowing that the hardest thing for you to accomplish has already been done! What a relief!

What is your frog today? Have you completed it? It's time to get to work! 

I want to personally thank Christy for sharing these 3 action steps. I will continue commit to doing them in my life. Will you join me?

To learn more about Christy and her services, you can find her at www.simplybalancedcoaching.com .

I would love to have your comments below or visit me on Facebook .
 
If you liked this article please click the Facebook "like" button at the top of the page. This helps share the message with others!
 
Health and blessings,
 
Randi
 

Randi's passion is to teach people about natural alternative's to conventional medicine through healthy eating, lifestyle changes and essential oils. She also loves teaching people the importance of getting into the kitchen to cook! She uses fresh ingredients and traditional foods in her cooking. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, exercise enthusiast and a consultant for an international marketing company.

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