Time - 80:20 to get the most of your day

Time is the resource that everyone wants to have but cannot buy. Simply put, time only flows one way and that is forward. Often times, we find ourselves wishing we had more time during the day to get things done. We often leave our offices and businesses with the feeling that we have accomplished very little or nothing at all during the day.

It takes time to get things done

If you are familiar with the 80/20 rule (The Pareto Principle), it states that only 20 percent of your time yields 80 percent of the results. So where does the other 80 percent of your time go? It goes into all the other activities to get to where you have majority of the results. You can call it warming up or getting into the zone.

The 80 percent of your time could have been devoted to checking emails, reading documents, returning calls or dealing with unwanted distractions. We can call these things “chores” or routine office activities. Once you get these activities out of the way, only then can you focus on the tasks that yield majority of the results.

Being in the zone

After all the routine activities are done, you shift your focus to the things that really matter. Once you hunker down and devote all your attention into a single meaningful task, you will often see that you can finish these tasks with relative ease. You accomplish more with just 20 percent of your time than the entire workday.

Why is this so? While the human brain is said to be capable of doing 7 mental tasks at once, studies have shown that focusing on a single task gets it done faster. If you imagine yourself reading the paper, having coffee, eating breakfast, listening to the news on tv, watching over your kids, and being on the phone at the same time as a common sight during the mornings then you will be surprised to know that you can actually finish your breakfast faster if you focus on this single task. If you just eat breakfast and have coffee then you will probably get to the office earlier. If you just read the newspaper or listen to the radio, then you'll find that you can actually retain more information than when multitasking.

Our brains have evolved to multitask, but we still function better when we focus on one thing at a time.

Taking Control of your time

To make the most out of your day, there are a few things that you can do to improve time management. Firstly, get rid of distractions. Being distracted gets you out of the zone or disrupts your train of thought. Once a distraction comes, you have to spend more time to get back into the zone.

So, set aside a portion of your day that you will free yourself from all distractions. Disconnect yourself from the internet, switch your mobile phone to silent, lock your doors and drown out whatever destroys your focus. Think about working in a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of your office.

Secondly, get all the routine tasks out of the way. You cannot just dive into the things that matter when you know that you haven’t done the routine tasks. These tasks, though routine will creep up into your mind and destroy your focus while you are working on the important tasks. You will worry about not having replied to an email or not having returned a call which would disrupt your train of thought. I say finish all these things then go into your zone; this way there are no lingering thoughts to distract you.

You can also use these routine tasks to get you into the mood to do the work that gets the most results. If you find that your brain hasn’t woken up fully yet, then do your routine tasks or simple tasks just to get the creative juices flowing. Once you are in the mood, lock the doors and hammer away at those important tasks.

Time is a finite resource and being in control is the only thing you can do with time. So make the most out of your workday by focusing on the tasks that really matter to you. If you have questions or want to seek guidance on how to make the most out of your day, contact Coach Brad and he will help you in getting more results.

Have a nice day!

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