“If you want something done, ask a busy person.” Even though that statement seems so backwards, we all know it to be true. People with packed schedules always find the time to squeeze in one more thing. But is it possible to harness that level of efficiency without a crammed calendar? Absolutely. You just have to learn the time management secrets that busy people know.
1. We have more time than we realize
Much like people on a diet account for each calorie they consume, busy people account for each minute of their time. They know about Parkinson’s Law, that work expands to fill the time we have available, and therefore don’t give themselves two hours to get ready in the morning, or an hour and half to check email. When they sit down to work, they work efficiently and with the utmost focus, eliminating Time Killers that try to make their task take longer.
2. Don’t wait to want to do something
Sometimes there are tasks on our list that we aren’t looking forward to doing. When we don’t want to do something, we put it off hoping we’ll feel more like doing it tomorrow…as though enjoyment of a task was a necessary prerequisite. Busy people don’t think like that. They know their time is limited and it’s better to just do undesirable tasks now and get them off their plates and off their minds.
3. Put your head down and start grazing
Busy people know that worrying about a big workload is a waste of resources. Remember the story about the two cows:
“Two cows were both faced with an immense pasture of grass to graze. The first cow looked around and said, ‘Oh my goodness. There is so much grass here. How will I ever get through it all?’ While the first cow stood and worried, the second cow said nothing, and put her head down and started grazing.”
If we spend less time worrying and more time doing we not only lower our stress level, but we find that worrying was taking up a lot of time and energy that we could have spent on being productive.
The point of working efficiently is not to make time for even more work. The point of working efficiently is to get our work done quickly, so we can have more time for the enjoyable Desserts in life that are truly important.