101 things you can do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time [part one]

June 27, 2012

by Terry Monaghan on June 27, 2012

There is a lot of talk about work-life balance. How do we get the best performance and productivity out of ourselves and our teams?

Many of us are looking for those magic pills – that one perfect idea that will instantly transform our lives. Well, good luck with that.

While you are looking, here is the beginning of my list of 101 things you can do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time!

And who doesn’t want more time? After all – if you can free up even a little bit of your precious time, you might be able to use that time for something really important (to you). Here goes…

  1. Deal with your email in batches, 2-3 times a day
  2. Create a template for your week – what would a perfect week look like?
  3. Give up multi-tasking – really – it doesn’t work OR save time
  4. Schedule focused blocks of time for different activities (even just 15 minutes will make a difference)
  5. Schedule regular time to goof off, rest, relax
  6. Focus on what you do brilliantly – spend most of your time on that
  7. Find out what you can automate – and automate it
  8. Schedule all regular medical appointments at once (for the whole year)
  9. Schedule all personal care appointments at once (for the whole year) – hair, nails, massages, facials – why not make a day of it?
  10. Make a map of your whole year (once a year) – it gives a very different perspective
  11. Stop doing everyone else’s job
  12. Don’t have your email push through to your smart phone (pull it in when you want to deal with it)
  13. Turn off all noise makers and pop up alerts for email
  14. Turn off the phone when you need to concentrate
  15. Determine your work hours, and stick to them
  16. Plan your work, then work your plan
  17. Manage your interruptions, as much as possible (which is more than you think)
  18. Focus on what is important
  19. Respond, instead of reacting
  20. Don’t set alerts for everything
  21. Take regular breaks – at least one every 90 minutes or so
  22. Schedule at least one full day off every week
  23. Take your vacation
  24. Set up email rules to automatically sort incoming mail
  25. Unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer read

More in the next post…

Now, what are your favorites?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.

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Has your exercise equipment ever attacked you?

June 21, 2012

Lessons From A Bruised Foot

Have you ever been attacked by a piece of exercise equipment? Or is that just me?

I was setting up one of the only pieces of equipment I own (something like a dancer’s barre), when the legs dropped quicker than I anticipated and a cross brace came down HARD on the top of my foot!

It was a heavy cross brace, and it really hurt! My foot immediately began swelling – so I hobbled in to the kitchen to get ice.

While sitting there with the ice pack on my foot I began wondering what could this teach me? I have had a few days to be off my feet and think, and I have come up with the following lessons:

Pay attention to what you are doing

I know, this is a real DUH! But, I let my attention wander for a moment and got thumped immediately. How often do we con ourselves – thinking we can successfully multi-task, not noticing what is about to drop on our foot?

Sometimes low tech is the best tech

Did I really need to set up that equipment? What’s wrong with swimming or walking – where they only equipment required is my own body? How often are we wasting precious time fiddling with some piece of equipment that isn’t working properly (but isn’t really necessary to getting the job done)?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

After Googling “how to tell if you broke your foot” and reading some great info by WebMD, I decided to take myself to the emergency room for an x-ray. I asked a neighbor if she would give me a lift. She not only did that, she brought a book and read while I was being taken care of, so that I would also be able to get back home easily.

How much time do you think you waste trying to do something on your own, rather than asking for help?

Make the most of every circumstance

I had already scheduled a fair bit of focused time this week, for thinking, writing, designing. So, having to be off my feet for a few days wasn’t a huge inconvenience. Rather than moan about what I am not getting done, I have propped up my foot, and accomplished more reading, studying, planning and writing than I had originally intended.

Instead of looking at what I was not going to be able to do, I focused on what I could get done. The result? See above! Plus, a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. I am ahead of schedule on some writing projects and workshop projects.

Now, what lessons might you be missing?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


3 things you can do to get (back) on track…

June 13, 2012

Have you ever set a goal, developed your plan, worked towards the goal and still found yourself way off course?

Yes, me too.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just stay on plan, stay on course, and follow a very straight line from point A to point B?

There is a poster on my wall as I write this that has five different routes we each take to get where we are going:

  • two steps forward, one step back
  • stop, start, go, wait – now what?
  • the long (complicated, confusing) and winding road
  • the tornado with a life all its own
  • smooth sailing

We all hope for smooth sailing, but how often does that happen, really?

Isn’t it more like a dance with each of the steps playing their part?

So, what can we do when we are off course?

Step 1: Remember there is nothing wrong with being off course. Staying off course is another matter, but being off course is part of the journey. Since I have done a bit of flying recently, I was reminded that the plane is off course for much of the trip, but the autopilot is continually correcting and adjusting so that we land where we were supposed to. So, give yourself a break when you find yourself off course. Stop for a moment, get your bearings, and proceed.

Step 2: Keep your eyes on the goal! You always go in the direction you are focusing on. Are you focusing on your goal? Or, are you focusing on the obstacles? Your choice, of course, but which one will get you where you want to go?

Step 3: Don’t give up. Can you imagine where we would be if we gave up at the first sign (or the second or third) of adversity? We would have never learned to walk, and would be creeping around on our bellies. Heaven knows where we would be living – explorers would have not gone out exploring. We have all heard tales of those who gave up inches away from ultimate success – and I don’t know about you, but that isn’t the way I am going to be playing.

Because, really, don’t you want to get to those goals?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


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