Many people talking to me or reading this blog are impressed with the number of things I do on a daily basis. While some of us find it impossible to do anything at all outside of working hours, I have found the hours of my commute or my time at home to be the almost as productive parts of my day as the time I spend working.
Nothing special about my approach
I have no amazing sources of spare time or incredible ways to boost my energy levels. I’m as human as everyone else, and trust me, I’m very conscious about me being just at the very beginning of becoming a productive person. There are thousands of people I admire for being much more productive in their lives. So I think it’s not that I’m special or my standards are high. It’s just that the average expectations and standards of all of us are too low.
Because most of us rarely find and take time to organize the way of doing things in our everyday life, we’re constantly overwhelmed with tasks and things to keep track of. This gives us the impression of being so impossibly busy all the time, that we can’t imagine doing something else on top of our daily routine. We feel lucky if we get to enjoy a weekend with our family, yet we never stop worrying about all these things waiting for us back at work.
My basic time management principle
Every time when I tell my friends about a new project of mine, I always see how surprised they are to see me not only doing what I already have on my plate, but taking on something extra. And the immediate question I always hear is this: Where do you get all the spare time to do this?
Well, the short answer is that I don’t. I really don’t have spare time. I don’t have these 3 hours at home which I always know I’ll be doing nothing – so they’re always ready for some of my new projects… No! It doesn’t work like this. As you, as your friends, and just as anyone else – I don’t feel like I have enough time. But the difference between us is that I don’t stop here. If I don’t have spare time, it doesn’t mean I have no time at all. It simply means I have to prioritize things. I have time, I have plenty of it. It’s just I’m already doing or thinking of doing something during all the time I have.
Review and prioritize things
When you review your plans for the week or month to come, you should always see when there’s a good opportunity to try some of your new ideas. And if prioritizing doesn’t solve all the time questions, it’s time for optimizing, because there is always something to improve in just about anything you do. For instance, you can group things together or change the order of doing them, and a tweak as small as this may have a surprisingly strong positive effect on your productivity.
Having time to do things DOES NOT mean having spare time. It simply means having the clear purpose of why you need to find more time to do something, and having the courage to make it happen.