Remember when you sat down and mapped out your goals and objectives with a target deadline that lie in the seemingly distant future? You had great plans. You bolted out of the gate with gusto. Full steam ahead! Things were going to be spectacular. Then life sort of happened. You got delayed here. You were tripped up over there. Things didn’t move so swiftly.
Or maybe they did. Maybe you’ve been gunning along just fine but as you get closer to your finish line, the stress started to mount. You forgot to factor in year-end business obligations and holiday social engagements. No matter how many cups of caffeine you drink, your demands seem to outlast your energy and the clock appears to be moving faster than it should. You’re wishing a 36-hour day was a reasonable thing to add to your holiday wish list. Alas, it’s not. So, now what? Take a deep breath and try these 6 “Better than Coffee” time management hacks to reclaim a few extra minutes in your day.
Don’t skimp on sleep.
When you’re crunched for time, burning the midnight oil seems like your only solution. Sure, you’re claiming a few extra hours in the day to get stuff done, but it comes at a cost. Most of us need a solid 7-8 hours a night for our body and mind to function at 100%. Getting less means when you are you awake and working you’re not at your best, and that’s negatively impacting your productivity.
Mind your space.
Having to search a cluttered desk for that scrap of paper you scribbled down an important note on is going to eat away more time than you can spare. Do yourself a favor and get organized before you get busy. Clean your work space. Organize your stuff. Being able to quickly access what you need is going to recoup minutes (maybe, hours!) you didn’t even know you were losing. (If you need some help getting organized, try reading this: Tame the Chaos: Boost Your Productivity by Getting Organized.)
You’re standing on line at your favorite coffee shop and the best idea you ever had hits you. Now the trick is remembering it. Keep a small pad of paper and pen on you at all times. If you’re more digitally inclined, find yourself an app that lets you take notes in a way that works best with your style. As ideas hit you, jot it down. Now you won’t lose precious time later having to rack your brain to put a finger on what it was you wanted to remember.
From time to time, we need to step back and evaluate what we’re doing with our day. Are we really optimizing our time? Are we creating an unnecessary sense of urgency? Sure, you needed that break earlier today, but were all 5 cat videos required or did you simply lose track of time in the internet vortex?
Go on an unsub spree.
When you signed up for that industry newsletter it seemed like a great idea; so did that weekly update from your favorite author. Every time your email refreshes, you’ve got a slew of new messages. The notifications are popping up on the lower corner of your screen and you find yourself pausing to scan the contents lest you miss something of value. Yes, you could just turn off notifications. That doesn’t, however, do a thing to reclaim the time you’re going to lose later deleting each incoming missive. Many of them probably get deleted without even more than a passing glance. Take a little time to unsubscribe from the glut of newsletters and updates. It’s going to save you more time than you realize in the long run.
Sweat it out.
When we’re looking to cut corners and find more time to get stuff done, our workout routines can be among the first things we nix. Don’t. The benefits of exercise far outweigh any benefit you get from reclaiming those 30-60 minutes. Exercise gives us energy, reduces stress and increases our focus. Sounds like just what you need, right?
Need a few more ideas? We’ve got a few more over here: 9 Lifehacks to Tame Your Work Day.