We’re all busy. Every single one of us is running to or from somewhere, trying to keep up with our to-do list and still make time for family, friends and a home-cooked meal here or there. Sure, there’s a discussion to be had about putting too much on your plate, wanting to conquer the world in a day, but what about simple time management skills? There’s a better way to do this whole busy thing, I’m sure.
I’m hardly claiming to be an expert on time management: I’m in the same boat–running a growing business which sends travelers to far corners of the world leaves me all sorts of time-strapped, between delighting my dear customers and collaborating with virtual assistants, local experts and the like.
But take it from one time-strapped, phone-addicted, perpetually busy millennial to the next: here are my tips from how to get more out of every hour and use your time effectively so you can stop being so busy.
Use your tools
I know that every yoga teacher in town is talking about the demise of humanity due to our screen addition, and I would tend to agree, but technology also provides some wonderful tools–so use them!
The main ones in my arsenal are Wunderlist, a really slick and easy-to-use online list-making and managing tool. You can make lists by category (for example, I have separate lists going for each client, and separate ones for groceries and errands), set deadlines and reminders, and you can even share lists. There’s a great web browser version, but the app is just as easy to use. It’s free, and it has been a game changer for me. As has the tried but true Evernote, a great place to “clip” everything- articles, recipes, notes, you name it. Add an Evernote plugin to your web browser and you can clip directly from your screen, no need to copy and paste into Evernote. It’s free and has saved me countless hours of searching for that one article I read a few weeks ago because of its amazing search and keyword feature.
There are clearly tasks that are more important than others, for me, those tasks are client-related, so start the day with them. Literally, place them at the top of the pecking order, and move on to other, less important things when you have time. This way, even if you don’t get all the way to the bottom of the list by the end of the day, you won’t feel like a panicky loser who’s incapable of getting anything done.
Cross one thing off the to-do list
I mean cross off as in get rid of! Just don’t do it. Our lists are full of things that we could do without, every day, pick one thing that really actually does not need to be done- not yet, or not at all, and get rid of it.
Especially (but definitely not exclusively) applicable to business owners or independents, learning to outsource is a wondrous skill that will actually change the way you live. It’s a basic economic fact- everyone needs to do what they specialize in, what they’re good at, and the rest must be outsourced (purchased), otherwise we’re being inefficient. The best resource I have found for this is Upwork , but outsource.com is pretty good, too. You can have someone re-write your Linked In profile for you, make a list of potential employers or clients and even make your wedding invitation labels. Sure, it costs money, but think about all the time you’ll be saving. And you know what they say: time is money.
If you have any tips of your own, please share! I’m more of a student than a teacher in this realm. Together, let’s keep the words “I’ve been very busy” out of our vocab for the year; now that’s a goal worth keeping.
Also by Irina: 4 Reasons a Trip to Southeast Asia is Good for the Soul
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