Nobody ever really has enough time in their day. Trying to fit anything new into an already-overbooked schedule can sometimes prove to be more challenging than what it's worth. I know a lot of people with to-do lists that date back years that they're still chipping a way at. So how do you find time to keep up with your daily routine, make progress on lingering projects, and still find time to add more enjoyment and meaningful accomplishments to your life?
Check out these three easy steps to get you on your way to achieve everything and more using my three Ps: Prioritize, Plan and Push Yourself!
Step 1: Prioritize!
You have a million things to do, and you have to start somewhere. Make a list of all of the things you want to accomplish between now and the next five years. Consider long-term goals (buying a house, finishing school, etc.), projects (baking for school fundraiser, cleaning out garage, etc.), short-term goals or tasks (attend regular yoga classes, return phone calls, etc.), and any other random tasks that come to mind. You might also find that some of the long-term goals or bigger projects require additional steps, so list clear sequential action items associated with reaching those goals.
To prioritize that list, you'll rank each item in a way that works for you -- high/medium/low priority, most/very/least important, scale of 1-100, etc. You now have a master list to work from and keep you on track!
Step 2: Plan!
Planning can be very personalized depending on what works for you. I recommend creating a weekly "goals" checklist at the beginning of each week that includes short-term to-dos, deadline items, high priority projects, and at least one action item that contributes toward each of your long-term goals. From there, you can work these things into your daily agenda.
Here are some tips to help you find more time each day:
• Adjust your current schedule. For example, wake up earlier and use the extra time effectively.
• Replace lazy habits with productivity. Watch less TV, spend less time on the Internet, etc.
• Consolidate tasks. Block out time in your schedule to make phone calls, pay bills online, run errands, etc.
• Find natural downtime in your current schedule. For example, reading textbooks on the bus ride home from class, pick up dry cleaning on your way home from work, etc.
• Delegate. Consider taking advantage of conveniences once in a while, such as food delivery, dog walker, etc.
Step 3: Push Yourself!
This is the most important step for making authentic, consistent and sustainable progress toward your aspirations. There is no reason that you can't have it all as long as you're putting in the work and staying focused, motivated and committed.
Try downloading apps if you need help staying organized and on track. IQTELL, Things and Evernote are great. GoalSponsors pairs you up with a live person who will provide you with motivation and accountability.
Tap into your inner drive and ambition. There are countless articles and blogs about top CEOs, millionaires, billionaires and more who start their days at 5 a.m. reading through newspapers, answering emails, and carrying out more business in the early morning hours than most people finish in a 16-hour day. Lena Dunham was once quoted as saying she "would go to work from 9 to 6, go home, nap for two hours, then write from 8 to 2 a.m." And lastly, a bit of coffee-mug-motivation to send you on your way: You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce. So go for it!