It can be easy to get in the traps of a time suck. These traps can be Facebook, LinkedIn, strategy planning, or watching TV. All of these make you wonder how you can make better use of your time.
After participating in a time trap, you will feel out of place. You will feel like you wasted your valuable time. Many times, you will have. You will have chosen to give your time to something that doesn’t matter.
Noticing this is the key to changing. It’s also the key to making better use of your time.
5 Ways To Make Better Use Of Your Time
Leaders, as everyone else, have a limited number of hours in their day. You’re not different than Bill down the street. You and Bill both have 24 hours to your day. What you do with them matters.
Today, we’re going to look at the 5 ways to make better use of your time.
1. Create a priority list:
At Bold, we work off of Action Item Lists. The Action Item Lists consist of a line number, Start Date, Due Date, Priority, Action Item, Status, Owner, and Percentage Complete.
Using an action item list helps us to focus on what is important rather than what is urgent. We can refer to the list and see where we are on completing a task, when it is due, how close we are to meeting the due date, and much more.
This is my priority list. Your list may be different but creating a list of your priorities and their urgency can help you focus and make better use of your time.
2. Use a calendar:
For years I resisted the pull of using a calendar. I believed it would take away my ability to be spontaneous and free-flowing. I was wrong.
I found freedom in using my phone’s calendar to lay out my day and what was important. I could pull up the activities happening today, tomorrow, and in the future. This allowed me to see where I was putting my time and energy.
Using the calendar on my phone also allowed me to go back in time and see what fills my day. I can examine the list and see if the activities on the calendar were important or filler.
Make use of your calendar to make better use of your time. You will speed up your response times to meeting requests and future activity planning.
3. Learn to say no:
We often fail to make good use of our time because we’re willing to say yes to everything. We don’t want to be the downers who say no to the next big thing.
Instead of saying yes to every opportunity presented to you, take the time to see if the opportunity is something you really need or want to do. Saying no to an opportunity is okay.
When you begin to say no, you begin to value your time. You’re also able to make more of your time.
4. Work smarter not harder:
I’ve seen people who grind and hustle like no one else. You would think they would be further ahead than they were. They’re not. They’re stuck in a rut.
Why? Because they’re working harder, not smarter. They’re not looking for ways to improve their processes.
I recently read a book called 2 Second Lean by Paul A. Akers. He shares his strategies in building and growing his company, FastCap. One of the strategies he used was a process called 2 Second Lean.
He encourages his team members to improve their efficiencies by looking for 2-second improvements. There is so much waste in our processes that we can remove if we only look for 2-second improvements.
This is an example of working smarter, not harder. Paul and his team have seen some processes reduced by more than 50%. This is how you make better use of your time!
5. Rekindle your passion:
This isn’t as strange a suggestion as you may think. When you lose your passion, you begin to find yourself muddled in activities you don’t like. These activities become time wasters rather than productivity boosters.
If you find yourself losing your passion, find a way to rekindle the love you had for leadership, your team, or your family. When you rediscover your passion for what you do, you will not want to waste time anymore. You will want to make sure you’re working towards the goal.