If there’s any post that comes a truly, deeply from my heart then this is it! I have decided to work on this post idea that just fell on my head out of nowhere on the busiest day of this week and maybe even the whole month. It’s all devoted to a very simple but truly complicated question: how to get things done when you have no time?
How to get things done when you have no time?
Let’s just start with the fact that I feel your pain.
Everyone is saying that you can just rearrange your daily schedule, take an hour off your hobbies, half an hour off your friends and lovers, be more careful with the planning and basically JUST DO IT.
But hey, we’re all just human beings and can’t always deal with everything right away. Not all of these decisions are that easy and there are people who really can’t find that time because they’re already working 12+ hours per day and there’s no time for anything else…
This post will not be all about “I have a secret formula” kind of thing. No. This post is written by keeping in mind any real kind of situations you might be facing and offering you some options how to deal with them (if you haven’t tried that already or are willing to try one last time).
STEP #1: Get clear about your goals
A clear vision of your goals is very important. If you have many ideas and no time, you’ll experience some hardcore burnout real’ fast.
Make sure to set your goals straight and be truly confident and passionate about them otherway you’ll just feel like you’re wasting your time.
Follow these steps to embrace your true vision:
- Write down all of your goals and ideas, things you’re already working on or you’d like to work on in the nearest future. Try to keep this list work-related and with action-kind-of-goals. For example, instead of writing down “I want to provide for my family”, be more precise and write down ways you can do that, like “I want to write a bestseller” or “I have a vision of my own online course”;
- Prioritize. Don’t think about time or your ability to do that. Think about the bigger picture here – where you want to get with your life. List it all according to your priorities. If you really want to write that book, put it down first. Listen to your true self that has no restrictions related to money or time.
- Last half of the list has to go. Whether these are 5 or 30 elements, now they have to leave this list. They’re not worth your time and you’re not going for them 100%. You can still keep them written down but make sure to use a separate sheet for it. They’ll just mess with your plans if you’ll leave them hanging there.
- Check out what’s in the first three places. That’s the script of your current plan! Whether those are three huge or small goals, this is what you’ll be working on in the nearest future.
- Leave the rest of this list for later. These are the goals you’ll still get to in a year or few but there shouldn’t be a rush to complete these things now.
What to do if any of these goals seem unreachable?
Here’s the deal. Any big, life-changing goal will seem like a mission impossible. Especially, if you’re not used to challenging yourself and everything you’ve written down basically just looks like you’re going to become a hero in a year or five. It’s important to truly believe these goals. Like really, truly believe the fact that you’ll get there.
If there’s anything that makes you doubtful because of money, make sure to add this money getting as a part of your bigger goal. You’ll have to start anyway!
I suggest reading a book called Finish: Give yourself the gift of done. It’s a really inspirational piece to have on your bookshelf!
STEP #2: Understand what you’re willing to sacrifice
If you have no time and you’re willing to sacrifice nothing to get things done, there’s no reason to continue reading this post.
If you’re truly dedicated to your goals, you’ll be ready to find something to sacrifice for the sake of it.
Let’s not look at this like something scary or impossible. Search for options instead of excuses! Here are some tips on how to deal with this:
- Is there anything you do in your life that’s bringing harm or really is no use? For example, spending too much time with the TV or video games, drinking coffee with your friends each day etc. If there is, consider sacrificing this. Start small and create reachable goals! For example, from 2 hours watching TV each day, be there for only one. Change 5 coffees with friends per week to 3. This way, any of these goals won’t scare you that much and everything will be way more possible.
- There’s no need to make this process painful. If you’re not willing to give up that extra hour with your kids on a Sunday morning and if you do, you’re still thinking about them for most of the time, then don’t give this up. Understand what’s truly important and what’s really not.
- Let go of control. Many of us are total control freaks. Not in a bad way! Just willing to keep everything up and running, clean and shiny, nice and comfy ALL-THE-TIME. Here’s the deal: let it go. There are many things you might be used to that can be done 4 times a week instead of 7.
- Understand what’s important & what’s just a habit. 8-10 hour sleep is a great thing! But 6 hours can work as well if you’re up and about, reaching your goals. There are many things that are our habits and we just can’t let go. Morning hour by the phone. Lunch espresso pause. Weekend movie marathon. Don’t let it all go because it keeps you sane! But definitely, consider whether it’s really that important or it actually can go (at least for now…).
STEP #3: Finally: find some additional time
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it won’t be a magical formula for getting more than 24 hours per day. Truth is simple:
If you want to get things done and have more time, you’ll have to find it.
Here’s some practical advice on how to find more time:
- Understand when you’re most productive and use this time for the hardest tasks. This way, your time spent working will be most optimized since you’ll be able to do the hardest tasks in the smallest amount of time.
- Write down no more than 10 tasks for a day. It’s always better to do less but keep the quality high than work on everything at once and forget about creating the best.
- Don’t waste your time waiting. Waiting in line, waiting in traffic… Even the shortest time of waiting can be used in a very productive way! You can listen to a helpful podcast, read an inspiring blog post or even sketch your own ideas.
- Consider hiring help. Professional housekeeper or nanny might be a dream for many! But I’m talking about way simpler. Do you know that there are TONS of high-school students who’d love to help you out with your housekeeping? They’d be happy to earn some extra bucks and, believe me, you won’t feel like all of your money is just slipping away.
- Keep a to-do list on a paper where you can cross-out whatever is done. Paper and pen this time are crucial components of this idea. The process of crossing things out will make you feel more accomplished and motivate you for further tasks.
- Find the right motivation. If money is your only motivation, you’ll get stuck real’ fast. Fight for the cause! Whether it’s more time with your family, more often travels or option to do more of what you love – don’t forget about it!
- Be dedicated to what you’re doing. Don’t let Fridays’ night out (and wasted Saturday) keep you from reaching your goals. You might sleep less, spend less time with your friends or forget about your hobbies. But if you’re dedicated to what you’re doing, you’ll find some time and will accomplish it without feeling guilty about what’s left behind!