Get More Done In Less Time

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For many of us, there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all the tasks and duties that lay ahead. Overwhelmed, stressed, and overworked, we fall behind and feel like we are failing. 

In such conditions, how could we even think about cooking healthy meals, hitting the gym or the trails, or even sleeping the recommended 8 hours per night! Forget it, it seems impossible! And yet, such self-care is absolutely critical if we want to enjoy a good quality of life for decades to come.

In order to find time for exercising, eating healthy, and resting as much as we need to, working more or harder is not the answer! Instead, we need to learn how to prioritize and become more efficient.

This requires looking at the time we have available and maximizing its full potential. 

Working more or harder is not the answer!

In this article, I am going to walk you through a detailed step-by-step process to help you learn how to manage time better for improved efficiency and productivity.

If you are ready to accomplish more without working harder or sacrificing your precious time, read on! Allon-Z... Let's go!

Step 1: Stop Wasting Time

We often have the feeling that every minute of our day is accounted for. 

Yet applying a few simple time management techniques will show us that we are actually wasting precious time throughout the day.

We could be using that time to get more done without having to work more hours.

TIP 1: Try time-boxing to manage your time and tasks.

This time management technique helps us:

  • Break large projects down into shorter, pre-defined intervals of work.
  • Stay focused and be more productive. 

To use time-boxing in your daily life, simply allocate a certain amount of time for each task you must perform.

Watch how much easier it is to get everything done in a timely manner! 

TRY THIS!

  • Define how long it will take for a task to be performed.
  • Set a timer. Stop working on the task when the timer goes off.
  • Take a break. Move on to the next task and do the same.
  •  At the end of the day, reflect and adjust your time boxes as needed.

If you feel overwhelmed already, remember that you don't have to do this alone. I offer a FREE 20-minute Discovery Consultation to anyone who is truly committed to implementing healthier habits into their daily life for the long term. Feel free to request an appointment, no strings attached.

TIP 2: Resist the urge to multi-task

When we multitask, our brain has to constantly switch from one activity to another. But this is not efficient because we:

  • Waste precious energy going back and forth between several tasks.
  • Lose our focus.
  • Are more likely to make mistakes – which means spending more time on a task because we have to go back and fix those mistakes. 

To be more efficient, focus on one task at a time without distraction. 

When you are done, move on to the next task.

TRY THIS!

Here are some ways you can stay focused on one task:

  • Only check email at certain times of the day.
  • Turn off notifications to avoid being distracted.
  • Wear noise-canceling headsets or isolate yourself if you can.
  • Resist the urge to quickly check something on the internet… It can wait!

TIP 3: Clarify expectations

It is key to clarify expectations whenver your get started on a project or task, to make sure you won' be wasting your time on useless work.

  1. Clearly define what you are expected to deliver. 
  2. Don’t waste time trying to overdeliver - avoid including anything that won’t be useful to anyone.

Work smarter, not harder – and save yourself time and energy in the process! 

TRY THIS!

  1. Scenario: Someone requests from you a report, an audit, or a presentation. 
  2. Best response: Ask them precisely what they need and how they will use your work. 
  3. Your goal: Figure out what is truly necessary and what would be superfluous.

If for some reason you think it’s in your best interest to overdeliver, inquire about what could make their life easier or improve their performance.

The key is: don't guess; ask!

When we set time limits, stop multitasking, and avoid working on unnecessary tasks, we become more efficient without increasing the amount of work we put in.

In other words, by not wasting time, we get more done in less time.

Step 2: Find Ways to Save Time 

With a little forethought, we can find creative ways to speed up recurring tasks – and even perfect how we execute those tasks!  

Improved performance and less effort extended? A win-win for sure! 

TIP 4: Avoid Reinventing the Wheel with Each New project

Recycling your work will save you time and effort.

It will also provide opportunities to revise and perfect work you have done in the past – and ensure your work moving forward is better than ever! 

Rather than start from scratch each time, think of your regular projects – presentations, reports, etc. - as drafts you will edit and hone each time you work on them. 

TRY THIS!

Have a new assignment, something you’ve never worked on before?

You might still be able to reuse an old project – or at least pieces of it.  

Dig into your past work and copy and paste anything that could be relevant to the new assignment you’re working on. 

Any time you can save from recycling will move you closer to completing your new project.

TIP 5: Use Lists to get Things Done Faster

Lists can help you: 

  • Manage your time so you can get more done with the hours available. 
  • Reduce your mental load, alleviating the stress that comes with “what next?!?” 
  • Keep you focused, organized, and productive.

TRY THIS!

Lists are especially helpful when you create them in real-time. Say, for example, you travel regularly for work:  

  1. Create a list of all things you need to pack as you are packing.
  2. When done packing, review the contents of your suitcase, see what’s missing, then add those items to your list.
  3. While away, if you see you have forgotten something, add it to your list.

The next time you travel, you’ll know exactly what to pack and won’t even have to think about it.  

TIP 6: use Templates to Expedite Communication

Do you regularly create emails, presentations, reports, or agendas that – more or less – communicate the same ideas each time?

To speed up recurring written communication tasks, create fill-in-the-blank templates that you can use each time. 

They may require some modification, but the basic skeleton of what you need to write will already be there! 

TRY THIS!

To save additional time and energy, create a system to store and quickly find your templates whenever you need them:

  • Create a cloud folder where you can upload your templates. 
  • Copy and paste template links into a word document for quick access.
  • When you need a template, click the link, make a copy of the template to avoid editing it, and work from the copy.

Want to save time AND improve how you execute projects? 

Then remember to recycle – everything! 

Recycling old projects, previous communication, even how you’ve performed tasks in the past, will have a big impact on your efficiency and your performance. 

If you feel that every minute of your day is already accounted for and there is no way you can make a healthy lifestyle fit into your daily routine, don't get discouraged. The key is to take it in strides and create small successes for yourself. Look at what Lisa had to say about the work we've been doing together:

5-Star review for the services of Stella Loichot as a Health Coach in Seattle

Step 3: Make the Most of Your Time

The final step to getting more done without working more hours? 

We need to use the time we have effectively.

This requires bringing our best, most productive version of ourselves to each task we perform. 

The following tips can help. 

TIP 7: Start Each Day with Your Most Challenging Projects

Avoid the temptation to check off lots of small tasks on your to-do list. 

You’ll probably just end up procrastinating bigger projects. 

Instead, begin with tasks that require more energy and focus. 

Save easier tasks for later in the day when you have less energy and concentration. 

TRY THIS!

  • Write out a to-do list. 
  • Highlight the most important tasks.
  • Block time in your calendar and commit to working on these tasks first.

Once those are done, move on to smaller items on your list.

If you find yourself in a challenging stage of your life and need additional ideas on how to navigate change to come out stronger and happier on the other side, check out my blog post How to Navigate Stressful Life Transitions.

TIP 8: Get outside and move - regularly!

Moving your body and getting fresh air throughout the day helps deliver more oxygen to your cells. 

You feel refreshed, energized, and more focused. 

Even if you end up working less because you’re taking breaks, you will ultimately get more done. You are boosting your productivity and execution.

TRY THIS!

Feeling sleepy at work?

Rather than grab a coffee, go outside for 10-minutes and get some fresh air. 

Your heart rate will go up, bringing more blood and oxygen to your brain. 

When you return to your desk, you’ll find yourself more alert and awake than you were when you left it!

TIP 9: Sleep More to Improve Your Daily Performance

Sleep can sometimes seem like a waste of time, but research shows lack of it can lead to a loss in productivity. 

This means that if we want to improve our efficiency and maximize our performance, we need to get our rest.  

Aim for 7 to 9 hours of good-quality sleep each night and commit to prioritizing those hours.

TRY THIS!

Not sure how to prioritize and get the most out of your sleep? 

Find the resources you need in my blog post Optimize your Sleep for Improved Focus and Productivity

No need to work longer hours to get more done! 

By prioritizing rest, taking breaks, and prioritizing tasks, you can perform at peak levels without sacrificing more of your time. 

So, what's the takeaway?

Most of us think working harder is the solution to getting more done in less time. 

But it really isn’t.

By using time more efficiently, finding ways to minimize effort, and taking care of our body and mind, we can perform optimally.

If you feel overwhelmed and would like help to get unstuck and find clarity around ways to reach your goals, keep in mind that sometimes, just an hour of professional coaching can get you on your way.

For those of you who don't want to work with a coach on a regular basis but need some extra support to find their way out of a rut, I offer a 60-minute Laser Coaching Session over Zoom, where we discuss tools and strategies and create a plan to get you moving toward success. Reach out if you are interested, or check out all my services and fees.

NOTE: Please, do not rely on this article as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making decisions that pertain to your health or diet.


Tags

health coach seattle, healthy habits, healthy lifestyle, productivity, time management


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Disclaimer

None of my services or recommendations are intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. The information I provide should not take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietitian or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices. I cannot guarantee the outcome of my services or suggestions. My comments are expressions of my personal opinion only. 

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