These tips will ensure nothing gets in the way of succeeding with your workout goals.
By Kris Gethin
In this day and age, there are countless distractions attempting to steal precious time from our day. Cell phones have made us more reachable and accountable than ever before and social media has the ability to suck us in for hours at a time. My daily mission is to eradicate any unnecessary communication or distraction with the outside world. To become as successful as possible, I need to make optimal use of every available minute of the day. In order to do this, I have very strict criteria to keep distractions at bay.
The average individual is said to spend four hours a day on social media, needlessly scrolling through other people’s personal lives. It’s one big reality TV show and something you cannot afford to partake in if you’re aiming to increase your productivity.
The first step to successfully managing your time is to analyze where you are spending it. This is exactly the same as keeping a food diary to assess where you’re overeating. Once you discover where your time is being spent, you have useful information about your day: Either your time is being well spent or it isn't. From there, you can opt to remove certain tasks in order to focus on more productive items.
Because my weeks are constantly changing, I’m always analyzing where my time is being spent. Even if I deem a task as being worthwhile, I’ll reassess if it is still worthy of the amount of time I’m spending on it.
Having analyzed where my time is being spent, the next step is to delegate my time appropriately, according to my current goals. Anything that isn't a priority is instantly removed from my daily life.
There's no room in my life for fluff. Everything must have a purpose to ensure that I’m able to get value out of every minute. It can be hard to successfully prioritize my “to do list,” so I’ll choose three to five things every day that absolutely have to be done and complete them before everything else.
In order to check things off my list, I’ll focus purely on one task at a time. Trying to juggle various tasks at the same time usually leads to lower productivity due to distractions or a scattered train of thought. The mind needs to be completely immersed in the task at hand, so my rule is to do one thing at a time. Anything that doesn't serve me in achieving this task will be removed. For example, my phone will be set to silent if it’s not needed for the job I’m doing. I always suggest people turn off their social media notifications. These can easily distract you into opening the app and draw you into the dark hole of mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeeds.
Years ago I’d repair my own car, but now I delegate this task to my mechanic. My time needs to be spent doing things I’ve got expertise in. This way I’m producing more from each minute spent. That's why I’m always looking to delegate tasks that don’t fall within my expertise, or directly impact my personal and business goals. This doesn't just free up time for me, it also affords me added focus.
I'll bring my laptop with me when my car is being serviced, allowing me to create content while I wait. Delegating allows me to do this, which over the course of a year makes an enormous difference. Imagine if I created three extra pieces of content per week because of having more time. In a year that’s over 150 more blogs, articles, columns and newsletters to educate my audience! The compounding effect is enormous.
All of my days have strict structure and I don’t allow anything to disrupt it. Hours of time can be lost when there’s no specific agenda or timeline put in place for a given task. Having no structure encourages procrastination because there’s no feeling of time sensitivity.
If I’m working on a large project, I'll break it down into smaller segments that can be quantified and assign timelines as I go. It’s critical that I’m able to monitor my efficiency of each hour spent because it tells me whether or not I’m on track.
Structure also gives me the perfect excuse to avoid excessively long phone calls or meetings that are unnecessary. Being able to say “I’ve got to be off the call in 10 minutes because I’ve got a deadline” makes it far easier to keep focused on the goal and remove other people’s distractions from my life. Very rarely will I meet anyone in person, as the time spent traveling isn’t overly productive.
If you’re not careful, time can quickly be drained from your day, so you need to be prepared to control your day as you see fit. If this requires being forceful with sticking to your agenda and timelines, so be it. While you don’t want to go into full social lockdown, you may need to limit the number of outings you attend. If you agree to attend all dinner and drink outings, trips, gossip sessions or birthday celebrations, you could be left with no time to reach your goal. The next thing you know, it's 2018 and you haven’t gotten any closer to your goal because you agreed to attend everyone’s social event.
5. Limit Contact
My personal email and cell phone number are only given to those who really need it. This isn't because I’m being arrogant; this is purely to limit distractions. It can be too easy to get pulled into time-consuming conversations with back and forth emails or text messages. As such, I choose to avoid this unless it's absolutely critical for a goal I’m currently working on.
Having a personal, or virtual, assistant to tackle the smaller details that pop up from people can be a very helpful tool. It's another way of delegating tasks, too. Any takers? I need one (kidding)!
While life is the most important and valuable commodity we will ever own, time is the only commodity we cannot get back. Make the most of it, be productive, be successful and work hard to live life on your terms with adventure, travel and helpful structure. I've always said I would prefer to be stressed working towards my goal of financial freedom than stressed because I'm broke. Therefore, it is essential to maximize every minute for what it’s worth. This means being very particular in how it is spent. Try these strategies of mine and see if they help free up some extra time in your day, then keep refining your approach to make the absolute most out of your time. You’ll soon be well on your way to reaching your goals.
[EDITOR NOTE: PLEASE ADD THE BIO INFO THAT WE RAN AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE LAST TIME]