We’ve all been there. You have a to-do list a mile long and not enough time to get everything done.
What do you do?
Most people start moving faster. They rush through their tasks to try to get everything done. Perhaps you’ve tried that approach.
How’s it working out for you?
I’m guessing it’s not, or you wouldn’t be here reading this. So here are three things to try. I’ll keep it short because I know you “don’t have time.”
(1) Slow Down
I know: you don’t have time to slow down. All the more reason to slow down. The stronger the feeling of having “no time,” the slower you need to get. Maybe even come to a full stop.
All time is not created equal. Yes, there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour, but those second and minutes aren’t equal. Time is perception. Rushing speeds up time. Slowing down gives you more time.
The best way to slow down is to focus on your breath. When we rush, we often hold our breath or breathe shallow and fast. Notice your breath and slow it down. Try to inhale for a count of 6 and exhale for at least 6. Do this for a few cycles.
(2) Let Something Go
In our always-on culture, we keep trying to cram more and more things into our days. Recognize that no matter how efficient you are, you can’t get everything done in this moment, or even in this day.
Let something go. Maybe more than one thing.
In the space you create by slowing down and breathing, ask yourself what doesn’t need to be done right now or at all.
If you have a tendency to procrastinate, this is your moment. Harness that strength of pushing things off and take something off your plate.
(3) Focus On One Thing At a Time
When we feel like we have no time, we tend to try to multitask.
Studies show that multitasking is not an actual skill. When we think we are multitasking, our brains are actually switching quickly between tasks. This will short-circuit the switch in your brain and deplete your energy and focus.
Instead of multitasking, pick one place to focus and put your attention there. Pay attention to what you’re doing. When you finish that task, move on to the next one.
It may feel counterintuitive, but slowing down, letting go, and focusing on one thing at a time will give you more time.