I have never met a parent that felt totally on top of things—like all of their i’s were dotted and their t’s were crossed and their ducks were in a row and their house was in order and they totally had their act together and (insert other idioms here.)
These parents must exist. They are out there somewhere. Aren’t they?
In 2016, most people, parents and non-parents alike, are busy to the extreme and could use a little expert advise. When you’ve got little people who depend on you for their every need, the need is especially urgent.
That’s what I’ve got for you here. Check out these experts who seem to have this productivity thing nailed down. Whether you’re trying to build a professional empire or design your ideal family life, these tips are sure to inspire you to manage your time wisely.
“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”
Debunking the rampant myth that cutting down on sleep might afford you more time, the world is waking up to the fact that we humans need more sleep than most probably think and perform much more efficiently with higher levels of productivity when we get the appropriate amount.
Sleep has recently found a fan in media mogul Arianna Huffington.
“Everything you do, you’ll do better with a good night’s sleep.”
Huffington’s TED Talk on the subject has been viewed over 3 million times. Her latest book is dedicated to the subject as well: “The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.”
Further to the point, self-help icon Tony Robbins often speaks of the importance of energy.
“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.”
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
As parents we can easily feel like we are running from one urgent task to another without a clear picture of our goals. Taking time to envision the end result you are hoping for can bring clarity to the present, make your priorities obvious, and also give you license to let the less important slide.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” —Zig Ziglar
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
—Dwight D. Eisenhower
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Parents’ responsibilities are many, but with some batched work and preparedness, we can set ourselves up for success. Think about making a week’s meals ahead of time, pick out a week’s worth of outfits at once, plan one day of errands instead of taking care of things ad hoc, and so on.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
One habit lauded by many productivity gurus is planning your day the night before. A simple note with the most important tasks or goals for tomorrow before you go to bed will set yourself up for success each day, providing you with a map to follow.
“Never begin the day until it is finished on paper.”
For those most important tasks that you need to accomplish—writing your book, planning your family’s vacation, managing a work project, cleaning out a room, whatever main tasks need to get worked on to achieve your most important goals—you need focused time dedicated solely to that.
Performance guru Brendan Burchard calls these blocks of time.
“We call them block time. You need to pick each fifty minutes of your day …and have those fifty minutes uninterrupted. That’s blocked for work…no meetings… where you do nothing but create, do work, and advance ideas.”
Calendarize your chunks of time. Arrange for child care and whatever else you need to make them happen. Honor your goals and get the work moving forward.
Resist the temptation to check your texts, your email, and your social media accounts before your day gets started.
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.”
By giving yourself over to the incoming messages, you’ll immediately find yourself reacting to the agendas and needs of others before you’ve giving your own priorities a chance to live.
Marketing expert Seth Godin addressed this on his daily blog:
“The first thing you do when you sit down at the computer…
Let me guess: check the incoming. Check email or traffic stats or messages from your boss. Check the tweets you follow or the FB status of friends.
You’ve just surrendered not only a block of time but your freshest, best chance to start something new.
If you’re a tech company or a marketer, your goal is to be the first thing people do when they start their day. If you’re an artist, a leader or someone seeking to make a difference, the first thing you do should be to lay tracks to accomplish your goals, not to hear how others have reacted/responded/insisted to what happened yesterday.”
“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.”
—Peter F. Drucker