In the last four months, have you been mastering these 9 essential skills for busy people? If so, you’re now able to . . .
- Sketch out a plan for every day.
- Automate components of your life.
- Estimate the amount of time you need to accomplish a task.
- Delete, diminish, delegate, and delay non-urgent and non-essential items on your list.
- Motivate yourself by matching activities to goals.
- Optimize your time by double-dipping in your goals.
- Batch like tasks.
- Work with your energy levels.
- Adapt to intrusions.
If you still feel too busy, focus on this critical skill for seizing control of your time:
Categorize every task you have on your plate.
If your day (or your life!) is mired in chaos, then you might feel as though you’re constantly playing defense.
Switch over to offense mode by pausing to determine which of your tasks are . . .
What really matters in life can sometimes be a deep philosophical consideration, but often it’s easy to sort out what’s truly important:
- Your kid’s graduation is next week. (Plan to attend.)
- A close friend is sick at home alone. (Head over with chicken soup.)
- You’ve always wanted to start your own business. (Start sketching out a business plan.)
At the same time, flag the tasks on your to-do list that can’t even compare in importance:
- The PTA wants you to sit on yet another committee.
- Your friend just posted 300 photos of her vacation on Facebook.
- You think how nice it would be to have a freshly cleaned bathroom every day like in a hotel.
Some to-do list items really do need to be done right now:
- The final deadline for your report is this afternoon. (Start typing!)
- Your kid is screaming in pain from an ear infection. (Call the pediatrician pronto.)
- Your car is running on fumes. (Fuel up.)
Others can clearly wait:
- You’re tempted to start shopping for Christmas . . . when it’s 11 months away.
- You need to schedule a physical for yourself sometime before June.
- The lawn needs to be mowed periodically, but you just did it.
Face it. Sometimes the thing that gets your immediate attention is the thing that’s screaming at you the loudest.
That might be a literal scream. (My toddler does not like to wait for his milk.) Or it could be something else that’s just in your face:
- A pop-up ad tells you that there’s an awesome sale happening. (You weren’t even thinking about shopping.)
- A clueless coworker perpetually pokes her head into your office “just to chat.” (You can’t remember her name.)
- A telemarketer lovingly calls you just as you’re sitting down for dinner.
So whenever some new task presents itself to you, stop for a beat and size it up.
Is it truly important? Is it truly urgent? Or is just loud?
From what loud but ultimately unimportant or non-urgent task did you free yourself today?