Getting Things Done: How to Stop Saying ‘No Time’ and Start Feeling Time Abundant

When it comes to managing your time, there's a big mistake many of us make—we forget to set specific times for our tasks and jobs. It might not seem like a big deal, but it can mess with how much we get done each day.

Picture your to-do list. It’s full of stuff you need to do. But how many of those tasks have a set time against them? Especially if they are going to take longer than 15 minutes. If you’re anything like my clients, you may very well be operating off the notion that they’ll get done whenever you get to them.

The trouble is that when tasks don’t have a specific time slot, they tend to get ignored. They’re like nagging little open loops on your to-do list, never quite getting done, never closed.

Four Reasons

Here are four reasons why it’s important to set times against your tasks:

1. If something doesn’t have a set time, it’s easy to brush it off or put it off because it doesn’t feel urgent. It’s not a priority.

2. Without a clear time to do something, it’s tempting to say, “I’ll do it later.” But later often turns into never.

3. Important stuff, like paying bills or returning things you bought, slips your mind when there’s no set time to do them.

4. When you don’t schedule important things, they get buried under less important tasks that feel more urgent in the moment.

Set Specific Times

To fix this, you’ve got to start scheduling and setting specific times for your tasks. Here’s how:

1. Decide What Really Matters: Look at your to-do list and figure out what actually needs to get done (if something has been hanging around for several months or more… maybe it can be deleted). If it’s important, it deserves a spot on your calendar.

2. Block Out Time: For each important task, pick a time when you’re going to do it and put it on your calendar. Treat these like appointments you can’t miss.

3. Set Reminders: Use alarms or calendar reminders to nudge you when it’s time to start a task.

4. Start Small: If scheduling everything feels overwhelming, start with your Top 3 tasks for the day. You can add more as you get used to it.

5. Stick to It: Make scheduling tasks a habit. The more you do it, the easier it becomes to manage your time effectively.

No to wishful thinking

Remember, if something doesn’t have a specific time set, it’s just wishful thinking. Put it on your calendar, give it the attention it deserves, and watch how much more you get done and how much more in control you feel.

By fixing this common mistake, you’ll find yourself feeling more in control, less stressed, and with more time for the things that really matter in life.

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