Staying on task and getting it all done takes work, but it can be easier.
Time is money. You’ve probably heard this a million times. You’ve probably had moments in your life when it was true. You find yourself clearly wasting your valuable time doing something that isn’t beneficial or literally costs you money. What can you do to help set your priorities and avoid wasting your valuable time? Keep reading to find out!
Worst things first
One of the easiest ways to waste time is to drag out things you don’t want to do. But if you put those in the way of doing something you want to do, you’ll be motivated to power through. No one wants to clean the toilets and mop the floor. But you have to do it every so often. Need to watch a movie for class? Don’t hit play until the bathroom is clean.
Use the things you enjoy to motivate yourself through the things that are not as enjoyable. Need to get homework done? Start with your least favorite class.
Obviously, this all requires a certain level of self-discipline. It is super easy to skip over what we don’t like, but now it’s costing you time. You wasted time justifying the delay. It’ll probably take longer to do the thing you don’t want to do if you have nothing to look forward to. Stay focused, push through, and save your time.
Time is a factor
Two things here: 1) When you have a deadline, the priority of that task shifts to the forefront. 2) How long will the task take you?
If something has a deadline, give yourself a buffer and set a false deadline. Going down to the wire never ends well; you’ll most likely end up rushing, not doing your best work, and—you guessed it—wasting some of your time and not getting the best you could have gotten from it.
Consider doing things that are going to take the longest first. Cleaning the kitchen counters only takes a few minutes. So does sorting laundry. Getting the mail is no time at all. But if you keep doing little things and avoiding big things that take time, like mowing the lawn, they’ll never get done. You can fold laundry at 10pm. Your neighbors aren’t going to appreciate you mowing at that same time.
Start big time-sucks first, then pile the smaller ones together. Doing laundry is great for this. It’s small actions with wait time in between. You can put a load in, then clean the kitchen while you wait for it to finish. You get the point.
It’s not all chores
Prioritizing chores is a great place to start getting yourself organized and on time. But there is more to life than daily chores—establishing priorities, big ones, can help you make a framework to keep the small things in order. But how do you do that? Here’s a few steps to building a bigger framework of priorities:
It can be difficult if you’ve never really prioritized tasks before. Set your tasks, establish their value, and spend your time better—it’s a life skill that pays off in the long run.