3 ways to free up time for busy leaders
‘I just haven’t got the time.’
A sentence that I probably hear every single week…and maybe it’s something you can relate to?
When you know you’re going to be going non stop from the moment you open your eyes until you hit the pillow again that night.
You might have even got to the point when even then you struggle to turn off, and as you lay in bed your brain is working in over drive as it goes over and over all the things you must get done tomorrow, which makes sleeping that bit more of a challenge.
If this is you, it’s time to take a step back. I know only too well that just the thought of stopping or even pausing for a minute is enough to make you think…’I can’t. There’s just too much to do’ or even a … ‘how do I do that?’ But here’s the thing. We’re just not designed to keep going and going without stopping. Have you ever had loads of apps open at once on your phone? Sooner or later it starts to run much slower, and the same happens to us. Our brains need a break. It’s good for your health, your well being, your team and ultimately it will be great for your productivity.
But this post isn’t about the effects of keeping going no matter what, instead it’s about how to make sure that what you’re busy doing is actually adding value, worthwhile and deserves your time and a space on your to do list in the first place.
So, how do you go about analysing whether you’re spending your time being busy on the right things?
1.Take a look at your to do list
Just because somethings on your list doesn’t give it an automatic right to being completed. It’s not set in stone. So, have a look down your list and ask yourself…’what’s the value to me doing this?’ if there’s no value, or not an immediate one, it goes in the ‘not doing’ or ‘nice to have, might do later’ pile. By going through this process every time you start a task you’ll start to only spend your time on things that will really add value to your goals.
As well as this, you can always go one step further here, and ask yourself ‘do I need to do this? Or can it be done by a member of my team?’ If you can delegate it, make that happen, even if it means spending time training someone else. Focus on short term pain, for long term gain.
2. Analyse your way of working
We all get into the habit of working a certain way, but instead ask yourself ‘is this the best way to do this?’
By always looking at how you can improve your systems you’ll make sure you don’t fall into the ‘we’ve always done it that way’ trap. Sometimes just by being aware of how you go about your day, rather than being on auto-pilot, will help you spot things that you can do differently.
3. Force yourself to stop
Just by being in a place where you’re well and truly on the hamster wheel can cause you to not see the wood for the trees. By forcing yourself to stop (even though you really won’t feel like you can) you’ll be able to plan more effectively and give your brain some well needed down time. If you’re wondering how to do this, have a go at booking in a meeting with yourself. Give yourself some time each day, even if it’s just 15 minutes to stop, think, reflect and plan properly, and you’ll soon start to see the benefits.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you go about making time in your day. Let me know by leaving a comment.