5 Practical Ways to Accomplish More in Less Time
Our modern world stresses heavily on improving productivity, better management of time and resources, and producing results, to the point that countless books and articles that discuss such topics in detail have been written and published. This post is about practical ways to accomplish more in less time.
Ways to Accomplish More in Less Time
Apply These Fool-Proof Techniques to Manage Your Time
Write down your goals and to-do lists.
It has once been said that “the palest ink is better than the most retentive memory,” and for good reason. Writing down your goals creates clarity, which paves the way for direction.
Let’s say you’ve been thinking of monetizing one of your hobbies (e.g. quilting, knitting baby bonnets, and beanies, or repurposing old jeans to denim tote bags). One of the first few things you should do is to jot down the costs of materials needed and other overhead expenses.
You might also factor in whether you’d like to sell your handmade creations in a bazaar or craft show, offer them to a gift or souvenir shop and collect a commission, or offer them online. You need to set up different ways of accepting payment, so handling your cash flow will be as convenient as possible.
Master/discipline your moods.
I’ve been a freelance writer and proofreader for roughly 15 years. I’m aware that a common dilemma faced by freelancers, when faced with a particularly tough task, is to seek a distraction. I might turn on the TV, hoping to catch something interesting “for just an hour,” until that one hour extends to an entire afternoon of mindlessly watching sitcoms or soap operas.
Mastering one’s moods simply means not giving in to sudden jolts of laziness, excitement, irritability, or impatience.
Curb your whims and desires.
Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom who works part-time doing data entry and writing blog articles. You know you can’t just accept a spur-of-the-moment invitation to have lunch with your friends when you have looming deadlines.
Do a bit of planning and preparation.
In recent years, different kinds of planners, diaries, journals, and even time management apps have sprung up to suit nearly every type of person who wants to manage their time better.
When using a planner or diary, fill out your weekly schedule on Sunday night or early Monday morning, leaving half an hour here and there free to adjust to interruptions or disruptions.
There are also busy people who attempt to eat more healthfully or lose weight who are recommended to do a five- or seven-day “meal prep,” just to get the right balance of nutrients, and to promote making the right choices most of the time.
Weekly meal preps don’t just reduce the time a person spends thinking about what to eat and when, they also allow the dieter to look forward to a “cheat meal” or “cheat day,” making weight loss more pleasant.
Stop Wasting Time by Remaining True to Your Natural Tendencies
If you enjoy talking and interacting with people, a career in sales, mentoring, public speaking or tutoring might suit you.
On the other hand, a person who’s naturally introverted and prefers a quiet environment will do better in careers that involve administrative tasks, accounting, computer programming, or web design.
Instead of wasting time making up for a lack of skills due to one’s personality or natural tendencies, he can focus on excelling in all areas covered by his strengths. Yes, he will accomplish more in less time.
Create Time by Setting Priorities Through Omission
Get a piece of paper and write down 15-20 life aspects and activities that occupy your time. Use a red pen and put a check next to five items on your list that you consider to be “non-negotiables,” such as career, family obligations, finances, volunteer work, or participation in a certain group or organization.
Next would be putting a plus sign beside five items that can be classified as secondary activities. This could be hobbies or anything you do for fun or recreation. They may or may not bring you additional income, but if they help relieve stress or provide ways for you to relax, then it’s reasonable to make time for them.
And then, narrow down your list by eliminating 3-4 activities you only do occasionally or randomly. Cross off 2-3 more items that you realize are mere “time wasters,” like spending hours scrolling through social media accounts, looking through online stores with no intent to purchase an item, or keeping tabs on celebrity gossip.
If the issue concerns binge-watching Netflix shows or playing video games, simply set a goal to cut back — probably 15 minutes at first, and then half an hour, until you’ve cut back by a full hour.
Instead of Multitasking, Accomplish more in Less Time by Dovetailing
Unlike multitasking, which tends to be detrimental in the long run because one ends up compromising the quality of one’s work, dovetailing is the habit of fitting together two tasks that can easily go well together.
A good example of dovetailing is asking your kids to set the table while you heat dinner inside the microwave. So is coming up with a grocery list while waiting at the doctor’s or dentist’s clinic.
You can also keep yourself fit by lifting a pair of dumbbells or a kettlebell while listening to audiobooks, or doing a series of squats, steps, lunges, sit-ups, and push-ups while tuning in to podcasts or your favorite music.
Have More Time by Delegating
All of us are highly skilled in a few areas but hopelessly inept at others. If you wish to continually improve or grow in those areas, carve out more time for them by delegating the tasks you’re not good at to others who are better equipped to handle them.
To illustrate, if you manage an online business, you can focus on improving your products while outsourcing tasks to an experienced SEO copywriter. You can also pay a bookkeeper to handle invoicing and receipts.
If you’re a busy working mom, consider hiring a babysitter or pet-sitter at least twice a month so you can have dates with your spouse, or have a few hours to yourself to read, do needlework, or enjoy a home-made facial. You can also pay a couple of college guys hoping to make some extra cash to clean your yard or vehicle.
About the Author
Ronali dela Cruz is a freelance writer and proofreader who enjoys playing the piano as a hobby. She also manages her greeting card business. She’s passionate about topics like self-improvement, boosting one’s self-confidence, goal setting, and time management.