How to Get More Done in 7 Easy Steps
You want to get more done while adding value to your life…ahem, without SUBTRACTING value from your life.
And you want to do this all in a timely manner. You can spend a lot of time doing things that add no value to your life, to other people’s lives, and are just busy makers. Or you can thoughtfully plan your week to be more productive and useful than you ever thought. Here’s how:
1. You get more done when you have a plan –
Taking time each week (30 minutes at most, even less than that as you get better at this) and base your to-do list and calendared items on your goals and objectives for the week. Remember to plan out individual actions (not big goals that have 37 million steps to them) that need to be taken for the final result so that you don’t get caught up in a bottleneck or roadblock. This step clearly requires knowing in advance what your goals and objectives are for the week.
To know this, consider setting aside time once per month to figure out your monthly goals and break them down into weekly objectives (this is also known as your to-do list). This step doesn’t have to take more than 30 minutes or so but is part of having a solid plan in place that will help you on your journey to getting more done. If you need help with getting started, check out my free ebook “Make Every Minute Count”.
2. Fill in your schedule with thought –
As you look at your plans, goals, and objectives (to-do list) now, you need to translate them into a chronological schedule that helps you break down tasks into small chunks. Having a guesstimate of how long each item will take you included on your objectives/to-do list can help you here. Also, having steps written out in chronological/logical order can also be helpful.
Then be sure to schedule everything realistically and efficiently. For example, if you need to go to the doctor’s at 10 am, it’s unlikely it’s really going to take only an hour. Plan for travel time to and from, and consider taking some gap-filling activities for you to do while waiting.
3. You will get more done if you check your schedule before saying yes –
Whenever someone comes to you with new things to add to your schedule, don’t say yes automatically. You may even need to practice saying no. I know it sounds silly, but don’t skip this part. Ask your spouse, friends, and kids to ask you for favors and to do things for them, and then on purpose tell them no. Or at the very least practice saying, “Let me check my calendar.” The more you practice saying and hearing these words come out of your mouth, the easier it will be to say no on the fly.
Remember that just because you instinctually say no does not mean you won’t ever be helping anyone or adding unexpected things to your calendar. Saying no initially buys you time to check your calendar and make thoughtful decisions about what fits and what doesn’t. First, tell them you’ll check your calendar. Then check your schedule but also check your mind to find out if you really want to do it or not.
Only say yes if you can fit it in even if you think you want to do it. Other things to consider here are whether or not the added task fits into or clashes with your values or if it will throw your life balance wheel out of balance. You want to consider what you will be saying no to if you say yes to this new task.
4. Batch like tasks together –
To get more done, consider how your tasks relate to eachother. When you check out your task list for the week, determine if you can schedule some tasks together. For example, if you have a doctor’s appointment and you need to grocery stop too, why not do those together (better yet, put in your grocery order for pick up immediately following your doctor appointment). Another example is to batch simple and shorter computer tasks together. Let’s say you have a blog post to write and you have social media engagement planned every day.
Since there are multiple steps to planning, researching, writing, and posting a good blog article, you can plan for one of each of those steps each day to be paired with social media networking. This keeps your mind engaged and thinking with two shorter tasks while making good use of your time on the computer.
5. You can get more done when you know how to delegate and outsource –
Sometimes getting more done actually means not doing them at all. When you look at your task list, note the things that someone else can do. Turn those tasks over to the other people who can do them. If you want to pay someone to do things, that’s also an option. Just find someone else who is good at the job and let them do it.
For example, if you find yourself micromanaging your kids before or after school activities, instead make them a to-do list of their own and then give them the opportunity to complete the lists on their own. This frees you up to do other things and in the end, may give you more fun time together as a family.
6. Start your week with a full tank of gas (and other often forgotten necessities) –
One thing that really helps you avoid time wasters is to anticipate them. Instead of waiting for your vehicle to get empty to fill it up, get gas on a regular schedule (maybe every Sunday and Wednesday) so that you always have a full tank of gas to start your week. This makes each gas stop quicker too.
If you have other issues like that, such as you need money on your bus card, and so forth, take care of it before the week starts. If you pack lunches for your kids, why not make extra for yourself. This makes grabbing your lunch more efficient.
Another timesaver is to pack the week’s worth of lunches for everyone and store them in one spot in the fridge for a quick grab and go.
What tasks do you find yourself feeling surprised by regularly? What time savers do you practice?
7. You get more done when you remember to take care of yourself –
In order to be productive, you need to eat right, stay hydrated, sleep enough, and take care of yourself (feel refreshed, not stressed). When you are healthy, mentally and physically, it’s a lot easier to get more done without stress. Find that you’re not getting enough sleep or forgetting to eat? Then these things need to be added to your calendar and set up as priorities.
Getting more done is so much easier when you know why, when, and how you’re doing it. Download your free planning guide today!