And stop time from flying by.

My girlfriend’s mother used to tell us that once we hit 18 the years would fly by. At the time we were 14 and couldn’t wait to be adults. The funny thing is I can vividly remember standing in her kitchen as she said those words.

She was right. Time does fly once you hit 18.

Have you ever been working, looked at the clock and wondered; “It’s that late already?” You thought you were doing a good job of managing your time but not according to the clock!

That’s why everyone needs to set up systems, checklists and templates that help them work smarter not harder.

We all know that in order to be successful, we must take action. It’s simple, right? Then why is it so hard to do? Often it’s because the tasks are boring or difficult, or something we just don’t want to do. So, how do we overcome this? The problem is that denial won’t cause the task to go away. Procrastination won’t make it any easier; in fact, it will make it harder. So what do we do?

Here are a few ideas that can help:

Take a look at your thinking

If your mind is full of negative thoughts, you will start to believe that the task is impossible and that it’s okay to give up, put it off, or leave it unfinished. Instead of thinking, “I can’t do this,” tell yourself, “I will get this done now.”

Peak Performance

Get to know when you’re peak performance time is. Regardless of how you feel about the task, choose that time to do it if it’s urgent or important.

Make the main thing the main thing

Decide what your most important tasks are and do them first. It’s all about learning to prioritize and organize. Many times I have discussions with peole who use the excuse of working on email as a way to put off more important tasks. It isn’t being rude to ignore your email; it’s prioritizing and taking responsibility for what you need to do.

Over extending yourself

Are you overextending yourself? If so it’s time to learn how to say no. Many times it’s hard to say no either because we don’t want to let somebody down or because we’re afraid to turn jobs away. But the truth is that if we overextend ourselves, we might not finish any of our jobs or we might finish them late. Either way, your clients or family will be unhappy. Most people will respect an honest “no” if you are too busy, and will either opt for a later time or find someone else for the job, but they will remember and appreciate your honesty.

Be careful about distractions

People may come to you and say, “I just have a quick question,” and that might be true. But if 20 people come to you with a quick question, your day is used up with other people’s work. Either tell them you will get back to them at another time, or, better yet, don’t answer the request in the first place. When you’re important tasks are completed, you will find time to answer the questions you really want to answer.

Learn to make decisions decisively

Some people train themselves to do this by setting a stopwatch. They give themselves 1 minute to make a decision and then move on. If you spend too long deciding, you might not make a decision at all.

Treat Yourself

Don’t forget to treat yourself. No matter how hard we work on our mindset, there will always be some tasks we just don’t like. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself for completing the things we don’t like to do.

Time Stealers

What do you do when you’re shopping, driving, or standing in lines? Is the real estate between your ears going to waste? Do you fill that time with worrying or negative thoughts? Instead, train your mind to be thinking about new things you can do for your business. Take a notebook with you and write down any ideas you have that might improve your business. I have an iPhone and I place notes in it all the time. Jotting down ideas whether it’s on your phone or notebook is a very popular technique because frequently people have great ideas but can’t remember them by the time they get to a place where they can write them down.

Don’t overwhelm yourself

Just as you don’t want to be overwhelmed by people or things outside yourself, you don’t want to set unreasonable goals for yourself. Come to understand what you can reasonably accomplish in any certain period of time and make that your goal. Then, break it down into steps so that you won’t be overwhelmed in the process of completing it. Remember the old adage,” By the yard it’s hard, by the inch it’s a cinch.”

For tasks that you find especially daunting or unpleasant, you could make use of some tools that many people find helpful. One is a simple kitchen timer. Set it for 10, 20 or 30 minutes and work as intensely as you can on the project. Then take a break and work on something else for a while and come back to it.

Looking for tips to help with work life balance? Click Here: Work Life Balance

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