Adding more hours to your workday is a recipe for experiencing burnout that will cause a much greater drop in your productivity over the long run (and is generally unhealthy for your mind, body, and relationships).
A more beneficial approach to increasing productivity is reclaiming and repurposing time within the context of your current workweek. There are some things everyone can do to whip up some extra time. So, consider yourself the Head Chef of your schedule.
Are you ready to reclaim your time, but not sure where to begin? Let's go:
6 Ingredients to Reclaim Your Time and Increase Performance
#1 | REPRIORITIZE
You cannot just keep adding things to your calendar and your budget. If you are clearly focused on your priorities, you can intentionally reprioritize where you focus your time.
The recipe for success: Write a list of your activities. Check out the video below, then define your Rocks (key tasks), Pebbles (things you do but don't necessarily hit your bottom line – or your fancy), Sand (just stuff) and Water. Then, put the Rocks in first!
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Since our time is limited (represented by the jar), we have to be mindful of our choices - what we choose to do with our time.
#2 | RESEARCH
There are many resources that you may not have tapped into yet. Could you generate additional capital with a grant, a gift, a discount, a paid project or a bonus opportunity? You could use these resources to add support to your work-related time challenges. Think about your computers, applications, equipment, and workflow. Consider if everyone on your team is using their time as well.
The recipe for success: Begin with an honest look at where your time is actually spent each week, as well as your team members. Use a time log if you haven't already done something like this. Make sure the time allocation aligns with the job description and the goals of the organization.
Brainstorm ways to make the adjustment. What ideas come to mind that would provide you additional capital and time? Once you have a general idea, use a search engine to begin researching options, and then narrow it down to a few ideas. Lastly, create the criteria by which you will measure those ideas and select which one or two you would like to begin implementing.
#3 | RESOLVE
Are there any areas in your business where you are experiencing or witnessing a breakdown in communication? Clarifying instructions, conflicting information or expectations can win back time. Think about both specificity and tone. Are people receiving the message you are intending? Ask them to reflect back what you are saying.
The recipe for success: Ask for feedback from team members and clients. Use an online or written survey. Be thoughtful about how you design and have this survey delivered. Also, consider allowing participants the option to not share their name. Remember, some people are reluctant to share problems they are having with you; make it easy for them.
Be gracious when you receive constructive feedback. Fixing communication gaps can ultimately save you loads of time and unnecessary stress to boot.
#4 | REARRANGE
Find another place, time, or plan for something that is seemingly impossible to do when, where or how you are thinking of it now. Perhaps you have even said, "There just aren't enough hours in the day." If you have, then a great exercise is to place those rocks you have defined on a model week.
The recipe for success: Do some planning on your calendar. Use a model week and a 12-to-18-month calendar to plan your projects out. Test the reasonableness of the deadlines you have identified in context with your overall goals.
#5 | REASSIGN
When you find you are getting wound up about getting something done, don’t let yourself get frustrated. Ask yourself, do I have to be the one to complete the task, or is there someone better suited or who has more capacity to get it done? Maybe you just need someone to walk you through it.
The recipe for success: Create a list of all the things that are not key tasks that only you can or should do. Identify people in your organization or that you could outsource to in order to free up more time for productive activities.
If there is not someone already equipped with the capacity to get it done, or it’s a matter of figuring out just how to do it, call your Project Manager at Jambalaya Group. We are here for you and can walk you through it and make it come alive!
#6 | RELAX
You can typically make better decisions when you are relaxed. If you're stressed when faced with an important decision, consider postponing it.
The recipe for success: When was your last vacation? Were you doing business tasks while you were away? Do you have a solid day or two a week when you really detach? You will find you are happier, healthier, and more creative when you are not in burnout mode. You also won't place unrealistic, unsustainable workloads on others.
When it's time to be productive, be productive. When it's time to relax, make it happen, Captain.
BONUS R – REFLECT
Just imagine how it would feel if you added 5-10 more hours to your vital tasks by using some of these strategies. How would you feel? What results do you think you would experience?
We'd like to help you whip up more hours in your day by taking this one simple step further with our free checklist. Use our “Ingredients to Reclaim Your Time” checklist to identify which time-saving strategies would be most impactful for you. Time is precious; remember to use it wisely!
Discover your biggest time wasters and learn how to increase your productivity with our free, editable "Ingredients to Reclaim Your Time" checklist.
“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Savoring life means not going so quickly that you miss the taste, the essence, and the real meaning behind what you are doing.
I suggest you read this slowly; let it linger and take it all in.
Appreciate the work you have, the people you influence, the relationships you treasure, and the opportunities before you. It is a veritable buffet of life. Let's begin by finding some more of it by going for the sweet spot (and I'm not talking about dessert!)
We're also sharing our free, editable "Ingredients to Reclaim Your Time Checklist" to help you take more specific action on some of the ideas.