Do you ever tell a friend or coworker that you're “so busy” when they ask how you're doing? Or that you “have a lot on your plate and almost no time for yourself”?
These are common responses to the question, “How are you?” Perhaps you see it as a simple answer that doesn't require much explanation. Or maybe you're still in disbelief at the end of the week, wondering where all the time went.
This post may contain some affiliate links to products that I use and love. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
The reality is that time is valuable and does not wait for anyone. However, many of us unconsciously squander time; however, by the time that realization dawns, it is often too late, or you have little time left to spare. And the end result of what you were going to accomplish either falls short or fails entirely.
Consider a time when you needed to get up early for an important work meeting but stayed up late the night before binge watching a TV show. You awoke late the next morning and had to rush to work, leaving you flustered and unprepared for the meeting. Did you really have to stay up late watching those TV shows? Or could you have used that time to catch some zzz's?
Or how about the time you had a deadline to meet and spent every night that week working late to finish the project? Did you really have to work late every night at the office? Could you have prioritized your time better and completed the project during your normal working hours?
I'm sure we've all been guilty of wasting our time at some point in our lives.
But instead of focusing on the time that has already been spent, consider how we can prioritize and leverage the time that we still have!
How to Make the Most of Your Time
Returning to the age-old debate of Quantity vs. Quality, which do you believe is more important? What if I told you that you don't need to be concerned about how much time you have left–instead, concentrate on how you're spending the time you do have so that it's worth many more valuable moments in the future?
That's correct. You can easily multiply or invest the time you have right now. Instead of merely spending time now, you will reap many more benefits in the future. Prioritizing is a simple way to invest in time now so that it becomes quality time.
I'm sure you've heard something like this before. It is not a new concept. But how many of us take the time to sit down and intentionally prioritize our daily tasks and responsibilities? Even less likely, how many of us are familiar with a method that can assist us in deciding what is important enough to take up an hour of our time and what can be skipped?
Here's an important skill I'd like to share with you:
Determine the worth of any task or action
Before you can decide what to prioritize, you must first determine the importance of the action.
The value of an action is what you gain from it. It is the benefit you receive in exchange for your time. Sometimes the value is immediate or short-term, while other times it is only realized over time.
So, when you invest in time, you are creating future value for the time you put in now. Typically, the advantages are not immediate and will take time to manifest. However, once realized, they can be enjoyed for a long time.
Reduce Your Time Expenditure
Time investment, on the other hand, produces short-term benefits at the expense of your current time. Typically, the benefits are immediate, but they are one-time only. So once it's finished, it's gone.
Your brain prioritizes your tasks automatically, whether you are aware of it or not. Some tasks can help you get closer to your goals, while others don't help you at all. Outside of work, most people rarely plan out their tasks intentionally, allowing them to be driven automatically.
This is where you end up feeling ‘busy' all the time because some of your actions don't always align with what you want in the future. As a result, we spend far too much of our valuable time on wasteful time expenditures and far too little on time investments.
This keeps a lot of people in a rut, day after day, month after month, year after year.
Simply determining the worth of your daily actions or tasks will have you intentionally prioritizing at a much faster rate. This will not only reduce time spent, but will also increase time investments that you will be able to use in the near future for much more important aspects of your life.
Let me paint you a picture. Assume you're going to Australia for a week. It's your first trip to Australia, and there are so many things you want to do, sights you want to see, and restaurants and eateries you want to try.
All of this research can be very overwhelming, and you may not even know where to begin! Do I make a hotel reservation first? Or should I book my flights? But what if I choose a hotel only to discover that it is located far from all of the major attractions? Should I then research which attractions I want to see first? This list could go on and on!
To avoid becoming overwhelmed or over-planning your trip itinerary, Determining the Value of each action or task can assist you in effortlessly prioritizing.
Begin with Your Intention
What exactly is the point of this vacation? Once you've determined the purpose of your vacation, you'll be able to create a list of tasks or actions, such as booking a hotel, booking flights and land transportation, purchasing tickets to specific attractions, making restaurant reservations, and so on.
Once you've compiled your list, the next step is to categorize it into three categories:
Must-haves, should-haves, and nice-to-haves
Must-have tasks are those that are absolutely necessary to achieve the goal and should be prioritized in terms of resources and time.
Should haves are important but not critical; omitting them may reduce the impact of your outcome.
And the nice-to-haves are only optional. It will not affect the outcome of your goal if you do not have them.
Once you've sorted your list according to these three criteria, you're already one step closer to effectively prioritizing and devoting quality time to those must-do tasks. And this is going to be a game changer. You'll be able to easily communicate what you're spending your time on, and you'll discover that you have more time to spare because it's obvious what's worth skipping!
This can be applied to any aspect of your life, regardless of whether you are a full-time working professional, a stay-at-home parent, or a working parent. If you've ever used the phrase “I've been so busy” when talking to someone, I recommend you try this.
Make use of this free resource. Make More Time in a Busy Schedule to assist you in prioritizing your daily demands and aligning them with your life intention. This guidebook will help you identify your must-haves, should-haves, and nice-to-haves. Get your free guide by clicking here.
Make a List of Your Tasks
Now that you know how to calculate the value of your actions, the next step toward effective prioritizing is to quantify your tasks so that you can decide which is more important objectively. This is especially useful if you have multiple items that meet the Must have, Should have, and Good to have criteria.
By assigning a value to your tasks, you will be able to objectively see their importance, making it easier for you to decide which task to work on first. This way, you can be certain that the time and effort you've put in is of high quality.
Time management is just one piece of a larger puzzle of change that you can go through to change your life and find more fulfillment. Often, when you face an obstacle or limitation in life, it is not due to a single flaw or a single decision you made.
It is frequently a process and the result of many actions that have led you to where you are now, so you should go deeper to reflect and see how things can be done differently.
How to Make a Life Changing Decision: Have you ever wondered what you want out of life? Or how much you should value your family and friends? Or what you want to do with your life? While nobody can tell you what your life should be like and how you should live, you should always take the time to explore. You may find that you change your mind or decide that you don't want to do whatever it is that made you decide whatever it was that you were going to do. But it's refreshing to explore and make new decisions. So if you're having trouble making a decision, give this article a read and you'll be on your way! Read more.
What Is a Broken Family: A broken family is one that has lost its unity. When family members grow apart, stop communicating with each other, make decisions without the input of the rest of the family, it's a broken family. A broken family can have long lasting effects on children. They are more likely to have behavioral issues, struggle in school, and have higher rates of teen pregnancy. This is why it's important to keep your family together and prevent further damage by talking about your issues with one another. Read more.
Compassion for Animals: In the world today, humans have a duty to make sure all living creatures are treated fairly. In this duty, we must make sure they are able to live healthy, natural lives and that they are not treated as a meal. Society has come a long way from where it was a hundred years ago. Now, we have laws to protect animals from various acts of cruelty. We no longer eat cats and dogs, and killing a rare animal is a crime. We also have a duty to preserve the habitats of various animals, make sure they are healthy, and to make sure they are not endangered. All the while, all living creatures have to be treated with compassion and respect. Read more.
Can't Make Up My Mind: Making decisions can be tough. Deciding what to eat for dinner. Deciding between two job offers. Deciding which pair of shoes to wear. Deciding what movie to watch. Deciding whether to eat healthy or splurge and eat dessert. There are so many decisions we have to make every day. But we shouldn't fear making decisions, because we can learn and improve and become better and better at making decisions. The more we make decisions and the more we remember the decisions we made, the better we'll be at making those decisions. Remember, decisions can be tough, but making those decisions can be tough as well. Read more.
First Loves: It's funny how first loves never seem to go away. The unique bond between first loves can last throughout your whole life through memories and stories that you tell during family reunions. When your first love first appears it's like lightning, it's quick and unexpected. It's lighting up all of your senses and you can't think straight. When your first love first appears it's like lightning, it's quick and unexpected. Some people are meant to be together. Some people are not meant to be together. It's difficult to tell if you are one of those people. It's difficult to find the right person. The right person is someone who will love you no matter what. You can leave them or cheat on them, but they will still love you. They will always love you. They will still be your first love. Read more.
You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.
No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.