On Monday, we released the best time hacks for moms. It's gotten a ton of shares. I'm even more excited about today's post. Do not ask me why, but I LOVE this stuff! Seriously! It's like I've got the secret to find the time that gets stolen from us. Really, you will see that most of the tips have to do with protecting your time.Without further adieu, here are my favorite time hacks for working moms. I think they work for most everyone!
1) Figure out your 3 MIT's (Most Important Things) that you need to get done that day. Start every day knowing those three things and commit 100% to getting them done first.
2) Block your time. Use these amazing google calendars (or whatever tool you use) to block time for those MIT's. Do not let anyone interrupt you. Bonus hack - If you work in an office - wear headphones so people won't disturb you.
3) Block your environment. Turn off your phone. Turn off social media. Close your browsers. Do not let anything distract you from whatever is your task at hand. There are even some apps to help you block out distractions. Check out https://heyfocus.com/ and http://www.getconcentrating.com/. I have not tried these but know that some people need some extra help to stay off Facebook!
4) Batch your work. I know you think you can multi task but you cannot. Research proves it time and time again. People who smoke pot are more efficient than you are at multi tasking. Work in batches. Set a time for email, a time for meetings, a time for projects. Stay true to the task. Same goes for your family. When it's family time, be true to it!
5) Use the GTD (Getting Things Done) System. This system has been proven time and time again. My top take away's: If it can be done in two minutes, do it. Have one inbox where everything goes. Make your to do list with tags for type of to do. For instance OUT for errands that have to be done while you are out vs OFFICE for errands that can only be done in your office. That should totally count as three hacks but I'll give it as once since it's all part of the GTD system.
6) Get up! Sitting has been proven to be bad for your brain and your health. Go for a walk during phone calls. Use a timer to remind you to get up every half hour. Even better, get a standing desk.
7) Utilize your commute if you have one. Listen to podcasts (by the way, I know a great one for Motivating Moms) or audio books.
8) Don't answer the phone. Let all calls go to voicemail. Handle all calls during your blocked out time.
10) Skip meetings. Well, I mean meeting in person. Meet in person only when you have to. It takes far too much travel time and the meetings always go longer. Use Skype or Google Hangout. Set meeting end times for short periods so it doesn't drag on.
11) Turn off alerts. Change the notifications on your phone so you do not get alerted about social media, games or anything else which will distract you.
12) Schedule in margin. Make sure you have breaks and some down time on your schedule. Use a program like Pomodoro technique to maximize productivity. Work and take breaks. You will actually get more done when you sharpen the saw.
13) Get out of your space. Our brain craves stimulation. Get out of your traditional office space regularly. Work at a cafe, a park...anywhere that inspires you. Most work can be done anywhere. Realize when you need a change. I do all of my best writing and creative work at home. Office time is for meetings only.
That's 13 already?!?! But I have so many more. Want more? Let me know and I'll keep them coming! My big a ha moment recently is that we have to stop saying yes to every opportunity. Protect your time. I am by far not perfect with any of these. But the more I use these tools, the more productive I become. They work!
Time is going to pass no matter what. So make sure to spend it on what matters most to you! "Don't wait. Life goes by faster than you think!"