Want to get stuff done and gain more time? Here are six ways to gain more time without actual time travel or cloning your self.
1. Take a deep breath. It really is the first step in calming yourself down when your mind is swirling about. Perhaps you're saying, But I don't have time to take a deep breath! Yes, you are busy but sparing just 3 minutes will oxygenate your body and mind and allow you to approach things more calmly. No matter where you are, pause and take a deep breath or a few deep, big breaths. Trust me!
2. Make a list and get out of your head. Rather than letting all the things you have to do swirl about in your head uncontrollably and continuously, make a list. You have heard it before but you may not be doing it. The beauty of the list is that it frees your brain from becoming overwhelmed and puts all the things you need to do in front of you where you can see them, approach them and deal with them. Put your list on paper or on your phone or wherever it will be most helpful. As you check things off, you'll feel the stress lighten and realize that most of the things you were worried about only took a couple of minutes to get through.
3. Let something go. You remember that Coco Chanel quote "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off?" Well, this is kind of the same principle. There must be one thing on your list that doesn't really NEED to get done? Maybe it's an event that you aren't required to attend. Or perhaps it's an activity that you realize you don't really need to do (organizing your closet can wait). Whatever it is, on everyone's list, there are a couple of things that can be deleted. Or at least delayed until another day when you have more time.
4. Group things together. Try to schedule things so that all of your related activities fall on the same day â€” making for a busy day, yes, but also leaving other days of the week open for you to feel more spacious. If you'e finding that you are arranging 30-minute coffees throughout the week pick a day when you'll meet everyone with a 15-minute window in between just for yourself to take notes or make a quick call. If you're volunteering at school or elsewhere in the community, schedule it so that another errand or task is done immediately beforehand or afterward (pick up that dry cleaning on the way?).
5. Drop the guilt. If you're doing something because you feel guilty, you're probably not bringing your best self to the task. So what's the point? If you've signed up for something that you are now scrambling to get done, enlist some help and be upfront as soon as possible. Botto line, get over it and look to the next step. Guilt doesn't serve you.
6. Delegate. We carry around fantasies of getting things done like some kind of modern superhero but let's get real: surely you don' have to do everything yourself. If you've got the funds, hire some help (A cleaning lady? A virtual assistant?). Think of yourself as a job creator helping your local economy. Would rather spend your money elsewhere? Why not trade, barter, and bargain with family, friends or neighbors? Rotate babysitting within a group so you can get out and run errands. Create freezable meals with a small group so you can all have a stocked freezer to solve weeknight dinners in a pinch!
Do you hear that sound? That is the sound of time expanding. Take a big deep breath, you did it!