Saving time is about more than just the amount time it takes to complete part A and start on part B. It’s also about the energy it takes to complete each task and how much energy that leaves you for the rest of your to-do list. You can’t be productive if you’re wasting precious time on redundant tasks that could have been automated, fast-tracked, or even scheduled for a less-hectic day.
Think of productivity and time management as the fast lane to relaxation and me-time. You won’t be able to relax if you’re still thinking about that never-ending to-do list. It’s time to rearrange how you think about your schedule so you can experience more reward for all your hard work.
The 2 Minute and 5 Minute Rules
Anything that can done in 2-5 minutes should never be scheduled for any time but now. Just do it right now. Drop whatever you’re doing and respond to those emails, write that grocery list, or edit that picture for your next Instagram post. Those quick, easy 5 minutes won’t feel like anything now but when you’re at the end of your day and you’re ready to take a break, you’re more likely to leave those tiny tasks until tomorrow, continuing that counterproductive cycle.
Alarms Are You Friends, Lean On Them
If you’re a pocket calendar lover, keep doing what works for you but consider the added benefits of a digital calendar. Your pocket calendar relies on you remembering to check it at the perfect moment so you don’t miss any appointments or deadlines. A digital calendar, such as Google Calendar, gives you the freedom to set alarms as far out and precise as you need them. You can set 5 alarms for one task, if needed, but your phone will ding every single time. That notification 1 hour early may be just what you need to end lunch and make it across town for your next meeting. A digital calendar will also save you time finding addresses since you can save them right in the event. GPS is your best friend and you won’t want to leave home without her.
Automate Your Daily Tasks
Does your business post on social media every Tuesday at 4pm? Create those posts ahead of time and automate them in an app like Hootsuite or Plann. Do you usually respond to email inquiries with a similar message? Go to your email settings and put that response template into your auto-responder. That will give you a few extra hours to finish what you’re currently doing before you respond. If you can only schedule a few days or weeks out, that’s not a problem either. With the automation, you can now schedule to recreate the next set out automated lists once a week or every other Tuesday, instead of every single day. Choose automation whenever possible. You’ll thank yourself with about 1 week of redundant tasks you won’t have to do until that alarm pops up on your phone.
Being productive today means getting your life back tomorrow. You’ll be free for spontaneous happy hours, walks with your cute pup, or to binge watch the latest season of your favorite show. The possibilities really are endless. Now, you can enjoy them!