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.
4 Practical Ways to Accomplish More in Less Time
This post is about practical ways to accomplish more in less time. Apply These Fool-Proof Techniques.
Write Down Your Goals and To-Do Lists
Let's say you've been thinking of monetizing one of your hobbies, like 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, a gift or souvenir shop, or 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.
He turns 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 mean 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.
Figure out your “why” (motive for doing things) so you can find out “how.”
You may be active in your church and looking to go on mission trips, but because of limited funds, you haven't gone anywhere.
However, you know that all you care about is the opportunity to reach out to people. So you decide to join another ministry in your church, which is handwriting encouraging letters and notes on blank cards and mailing them to the elderly in seniors' homes, deployed troops, and prisoners.
Set 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 next to 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. Next, cross off 2-3 more items that you realize are mere “time wasters,” like spending hours on social media, binge-watching Netflix shows, or keeping a tab on celebrity gossip.
This is not to say that you must abstain totally from such activities. But if you normally spend an hour or more on most days of the week on social media, simply cut back by scheduling time during weekends (e.g. two hours each on Saturdays and Sundays).
Use Dovetailing in Order to Accomplish More
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 jotting down your grocery list while waiting at the doctor's or dentist's clinic.
You can also keep yourself fit by lifting a pair of dumbbells while enjoying your Netflix shows, or doing a series of squats, steps, lunges, sit-ups, and push-ups while listening 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 a freelance 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.