Jason is one enthusiastic digital marketing player on our brand product team. Not only is he agile but he’s probably the guy we look forward to when we want to get tasks done. One of the good qualities of Jason is he’s as nimble as a mouse but even then he can’t find enough time to hang out with his colleagues. I realized it on the day we all planned to attend the super bowl and poor Jason said,
“Hey, guys! You go ahead, I won’t be able to join because I have tasks piling up.”
For poor Jason, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there but somehow we have all managed to cope up with this issue. There are tons of emails lying in our mailbox, possibly a number of messages to which we haven’t responded yet, and even if we somehow worked with complete focus and no distraction, we are still left with a very little time. Even though we get the weekends off, just like Jason, we are unable to completely relax because half the time we just keep wondering whether we have missed a task or so.
And here I haven’t even listed the other tasks which are mostly non-work related. There is cooking, taking a shower, taking the dog for a walk, eating, drinking, sleeping, commuting, and the list goes on.
We all feel as if there isn’t enough time and it simply freaks the hell out of us.
So why does this happen? Where is all our time going? And what actually can be done?
In this article, I am going to help you and Jason to find their way around managing time.
So without further ado, let’s begin.
Why Are We Always Running Out of Time?
Just like any other fundamental commodity, time is also a fixed commodity and is mapped on the number of hours in a day (for now it is 24). There is no such thing as “enough” or “not enough” time. We create those notions by ourselves based on the number of tasks we have to perform in a day.
We often compel ourselves to complete several of these tasks in a limited number of hours per day. In fact, we actually feel responsible for completing them. As a result, we fall short on accomplishing.
We expect ourselves to do more than our body and mind are designed to achieve in a day!
As a result, we feel anxious about these expectations.
It makes us feel that we are always running out of time.
Ask yourself! Where are these expectations coming from? Was it our managers, society, our parents, our colleagues, ourselves? In most cases, the answer I have got is the person himself/herself.
So first of all, if you want to change, you should first come into disagreement with yourself. If there is a boss or a leader pushing you to achieve more, you’ve to explain to them that you are not of the cut.
One way or the other, YOU have to LET GO of the FLAWED AGREEMENTS of how much to GET DONE.
But Who’s Going to Get it All Done?
For starters, to get everything done is not your responsibility.
If you feel overwhelmed with the piling amount of tasks, here’s what you can do. Take a journal or set up a calendar app on your laptop. Now list down all the important tasks that you believe are necessary to be performed in a day. Take your time and assign each task the number of hours you might’ve to spend on them. For example, if you have to respond to email, assign a half-hour in the morning to get it done. Similarly, if you want to host a meeting to brief the team on Wednesday, assign one hour to it.
Once, you’ve assigned time to all of your tasks, now prioritize them. Move the important tasks up the list as a high priority and the non-working activities like eating, shopping or sleeping an as low priority.
The first week might feel like a hassle, the second won’t feel quite the much. You will eventually have a better idea of what tasks are important and how much of these tasks you can really complete in a day.
We are very optimistic about how much we can do in a day, or in a week.
This method will give us a more realistic outlook on how much we can simply achieve.
How Should a Person Get Things Done?
One we have analyzed and found the realistic time we can allot to our important tasks, it is now time to get things done.
Negotiate the Time on Each of Your Tasks
When you listed down all the tasks which you believe are necessary to be done, you will find certain tasks that are non-negotiable like office hours, sleep hours, commuting hours, etc. You can’t negotiate on them as they are essential to complete. But, then there are some tasks on which you can negotiate your time such as responding back to emails, replying back messages, checking messages, etc. You can negotiate your time on these tasks just to save up some extra hours so you can take a breather.
Check the Amount of Time You Now Have
For example, if you’ve cut down your sleeping hours from 8 to 6, check how much time you are saving in a week. Sleeping is a necessary task and you need to sleep every day to stay healthy but nobody ever said that you can’t shorten your sleeping time. That’s what saves you up a good number of 14 hours every week. All you have to do is find that number which can help you get by every day and you don’t have to feel lethargic.
Analyze How You Can Best Utilize that Time
Saving up time isn’t the only thing unless you aren’t clear on how you are going to use those hours. Now, if you ask me, I can’t give you a proper answer because everyone has their own preferences. It’s completely up to you how to choose to segment your hours all in a day’s work. You can partially invest some of your hours in responding back to emails, spend some reading messages, and some writing. Do what makes you feel comfortable. Do what makes you feel more cheerful and excited. In short, do what motivates you.
Time to Pick Tasks Which You Can Block Off
Lastly, there will be a few tasks that you can block off. These are the tasks that you don’t want to pay much attention to and you may feel they are extra on your priority list. For example, if you like to visit the pub on the weekdays, you can simply take the time off from pubs and leave it for the weekends. This will, more importantly, save your time from doing unnecessary tasks and accomplish a lot more.
Time is a precious gift. The secret to saving time starts within yourself. It is to appreciate and focus on the tasks you can get done in a day cheerfully instead of adding unnecessary workload and doing things half-heartedly. Life is full of problems, but that certainly doesn’t mean that you should take everything on your plate!
Until next time. Cheers.