HOW TO GET MORE DONE IN 2015

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New year, new you – right? Each year, we start fresh with new resolutions, goals and travel plans. However as the balmy bliss of holidays start to fade and we return to work and routine, it’s all too easy to forget what we set out to achieve.

So how do we get more done in 2015?

#1 MANIFEST YOUR GOALS There is no point writing down your goals for 2015 on a piece of paper and forgetting where you put it a few weeks later. Last year I decided to take my goal creation seriously. I bought two whiteboards, wrote down my goals for the year and hung them in my room. Being able to see these goals every day and being reminded of what I wanted to achieve, helped me manifest them into reality. All of my goals for 2014 were achieved, with the exception of two of which my interests changed and I was no longer interested in these goals. It’s amazing to see what you can achieve when you visualise and manifest your goals.

#2 SCHEDULE YOUR TIME One of my favourite things to do is write lists. I love them! But last year I noticed they weren’t working for me as effectively as I wanted them to. So I began to try a few new processes to see what worked and what didn’t. What I found did work was scheduling time. I have a To Do List per say, but at the start of each day I schedule time against each item. This forces me to confront the reality of how much time I actually have and how much time it takes to do tasks. Looking at the bigger picture, I was able to achieve more in my day than ever before. Not only have I been able to squeeze in more work, I have been able to free up time to do other things. It’s an amazing feeling. And if you don’t consider how long things take, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Your schedule doesn’t need to be perfect. Things will change, I can promise that! But you need to have a plan, otherwise you’ll waste time. So why don’t you give this a try in 2015? It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but it may help you.

#3 GO ON AN INFORMATION DIET One of the best books I read last year was ‘The Four Hour Work Week’, written by Tim Ferriss. It literally revolutionised the way I worked. One of the key take outs for me was the Information Diet. The premise is to literally go on an information diet. I no longer read the news, I quit buying magazines (if I can be honest, I did this a long time ago) and I stopped reading the Daily Mail. By doing this I saved so much time. By going on an information diet, all I had to do was ask my friends, peers and family for an update. They are able to tell me what’s happening in the world in a few minutes, whereas I would often spend up to three hours a day absorbing news. It sounds crazy, I know. But give it a try. It will change your world.

#4 PUT YOUR EMAILS ON OUT OF OFFICE This is another suggestion from ‘The Four Hour Work Week’. Putting an out of office on my emails trains those who contact me that I am not always available. In the PR world where I used to work, it was standard to have to answer an email within the first hour, unless we were in a meeting or physically away from our desks. However, working … This means I can schedule time to answering emails, travel and focus my time on writing quality content for Mister Weekender. Which brings me to my next point.

#5 CHECK YOUR EMAILS TWICE A WEEK I used to be so guilty of leaving my Inbox open on my computer when working. I found it so distracting. So now, I only check my emails twice a week. Sounds crazy, I know. But it has freed so much of my time – mentally too – and I get so much more done now. And let’s face it, I’m not the Obama so it’s not the end of the world if it takes me a day or two to reply to an email.

#6 SET WORK/LIFE BALANCE BOUNDARIES This relates to #2. Once you have written your schedule, do what you can to make it work and be ruthless. Stop going to meetings, take phone calls instead. Cull obligations and don’t be afraid to turn people down; your time is your most valuable asset now. Switch your phone off and return important calls only once a day, or every two days.

#7 DO FEWER THINGS AND BE AWESOME AT THEM My biggest tip for getting more things done in 2015 is to do fewer things, but be awesome at them. A jack of all trades isn’t successful. Someone who chooses to do one or two things has more time to become very good at these things, and this is the person who will succeed. So go on, ask yourself “what do you love doing?” If you can only write one or two things down, you’re on the right path. If you’ve written down 15 things, ask yourself why and reduce the list to one or two things. Then become awesome at these. You’ll be surprised at the results, trust me.